Frequently Asked Questions
Answers from a Macomb County Criminal Defense Attorney
Are you currently facing criminal charges in Macomb County or Oakland County? If so, your entire future could be at risk and it is critical that you exercise and protect your rights in order to evade a conviction. Here at J.T. Bowden, Attorney at Law, I have the experience and the dedication necessary to help you reach a positive outcome. I understand that there is nothing more precious than your freedom, which is why I want to help you take back control of your life.
Being arrested can be terrifying, not to mention your fate rests in the hands of the criminal justice system. It is important to remember that a strong defense begins immediately, not in the courtroom, so call to discuss your charges today. As a Macomb County criminal defense attorney, I will be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have about your case.
Q: Can the police really lie to me during questioning?
Q: Do I still need an attorney if I am innocent?
Q: What does probation entail?
Q: How is an OWI different from a DUI?
Q: Do I have to submit to a breath test in Michigan?
Q: What is the statute of limitations when it comes to expungement?
Can the police really lie to me during questioning?
Unfortunately, yes the police are legally allowed to say just about anything to you while they have in custody. By telling you that your accomplice has already confessed or that they have substantial evidence and key witnesses ready to testify, they are hoping to draw a confession out of you. The authorities already have you pegged as being guilty, so by telling these little white lies they intend to simply speed up the confession process. If you make an incriminating statement, you just made their job much easier and they know have solid proof that you are guilty. Remember this before you think about answering any of their questions and exercise your right to remain silent.
Do I still need an attorney if I am innocent?
If you did not actually commit the crime, then you may have even more to lose than if you were guilty. People are falsely accused and convicted more often than one would think and it is always better to be safe than sorry. The law claims that you are considered to be innocent until you are proven guilty, but the truth is that the authorities and the prosecution believed you to be guilty since the moment you were arrested- they are just looking for proof to validate their claim. If you are considering representing yourself in a criminal case, take a moment to ponder everything that is at stake. With the help of an assertive legal advocate, you can bet that your chances of success will be significantly higher.
What does probation entail?
The probationary period is basically an extension of your original sentence that the court is allowing you to serve outside of jail or prison. During this time you are still under the court's supervision and they will be watching to monitor and test your behavior- you may even be required to report to a probation officer on a regular basis. In order to keep your probation you must abide by the terms and conditions set forth by the court- these may include community service, taking random drug tests, treatment classes, abiding by a curfew, remaining in a certain jurisdiction, or obeying the terms of a protective order. If you fail to follow the rules of your probation, then the court could extend your probationary period, tack on addition restrictions or revoke your probation altogether.
How is an OWI different from a DUI?
OWI is simply an acronym here in Michigan which is short for "operating while intoxicated." This charge is applied to driver's who are found drinking and driving, so essentially it is the same as a DUI. An OWI is the term used to reference drunk driving offenses and it essentially has the same penalties and fines that a DUI would entail. DUI is more commonly used throughout the United States, but OWI is the preferred term here in Michigan.
Do I have to submit to a breath test in Michigan?
In the state of Michigan there are penalties if you refuse to take the breathalyzer test when under suspicion of drunk driving. If an officer pulls you over on suspicion of operating while intoxicated (OWI), then they will ask you to submit to a breath test in order to determine your BAC. By refusing, you could be required to pay fine and your license could automatically be suspended for up to a year. This suspension will not depend on the verdict of your case, the suspension will be handles by the State, not the criminal court. You can submit an appeal, but you will be required to attend an Implied Consent Hearing- be sure to have an experienced OWI attorney present with you to represent you at this hearing.
What is the statute of limitations when it comes to expungement?
If you are looking to clean up your criminal record and you want to have your past conviction record sealed from the public, then you must go through the process of expungement. You only have five years from the time of your criminal conviction in which to do so. If you were in prison during that time, then you are allotted five years from the day that you are released. The expungement process can be long and difficult so be sure to obtain skillful legal counsel to assist you.
For answers to any additional questions, contact a Macomb County criminal defense lawyer from my firm today.