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Criminal Defense

Criminal Defense
If you believe you are the focus of a criminal investigation, it would be a good idea to confer with a criminal defense attorney. Mr. Neuman has in the past prevented charges from being brought against his clients even before a complaint was issued by the prosecutor's office.
If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, it is imperative that you exercise your right to an attorney. An attorney can give you specific advice concerning your particular situation, and having one is crucial at every stage of the legal process.
As soon as you are charged with a crime, it is a lawyer's duty to aggressively advocate for you in order to secure your release. As the case progresses, an attorney prepares arguments to the court concerning the evidence or police procedure.
Such arguments may result in the case being dismissed altogether. Furthermore, when it comes to making decisions about your case, you will look to your lawyer for the legal knowledge and experience necessary to make a proper evaluation.
It is important to understand that the burden of proving any crime is solely the responsibility of the prosecutor. Each crime is made up of specific elements which a prosecutor is required by law to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
His or her failure to prove any of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt requires the return of a verdict of not guilty. A good attorney will analyze your case, focusing on the specific elements of the crime, in order to prepare a solid defense.
The Right to Remain Silent
Part of the Miranda warnings state that you have a right to remain silent, and anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. The emphasis in this warning is on the word will.
Mr. Neuman has often found that the only evidence admissible against a client are those statements that the client made to the police prior to retaining him as an attorney.
The best advice he can give you is to remain silent, even if you feel as though you need to discuss your situation with the police. First discuss your situation with an attorney, and he will advise you on the proper course of action.
For more information, please contact Scott Neuman at 517-721-7429.

Drunk Driving
Under Michigan law, it is illegal to drive:
  • While intoxicated or impaired by, alcohol, illegal drugs, and certain prescribed medications.
  • With a bodily alcohol content of 0.08 or more (driving while intoxicated).
  • With any presence of a Schedule 1 drug or cocaine.
If you are under age 21, it is against the law:
  • To drive with a bodily alcohol content of 0.02 or greater, or have any presence of alcohol other than that consumed at a generally recognized religious ceremony.
  • To buy, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages. You may transport alcohol in a vehicle only when accompanied by an adult age 21 or older. If you are caught with alcohol in your vehicle and there is no adult accompanying you, you can be charged with a misdemeanor, whether you're on the road or in a parking lot.
Breath Tests
When stopped by a law enforcement officer for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, you may be asked to take sobriety tests including a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) at the roadside to determine whether you are under the influence of alcohol. If you refuse to take the PBT, you will be charged with a civil infraction and fined up to $150 plus court costs.
Persons under age 21 who refuse to take the PBT will receive two points on their driver record. Even if you take the PBT, you must still take the evidentiary chemical test (blood, breath, or urine test).
Michigan's Implied Consent Law
If arrested, you will be required to take a chemical test to determine your bodily alcohol content (BAC). Under Michigan's Implied Consent Law, all drivers are considered to have given their consent to this test. If you refuse a test, six points will be added to your driver record and your license will be suspended for one year.
Please be aware that suspension of a license is automatic for any refusal to submit to the test. This is a separate consequence from any subsequent convictions resulting from the traffic stop. If you are arrested a second time in seven years and again unreasonably refuse the test, six points will be added to your driver record and your license will be suspended for two years.
If you refuse to take the test under the Implied Consent Law or if the test shows your BAC is 0.08 or more, the officer will destroy your driver license, and you will be issued a 625g paper permit to drive until your case is resolved in court. There are no hardship appeals for a restricted license the second time you refuse.
Types of Charges
Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) means that because of alcohol or other drugs in your body, your ability to operate a motor vehicle was visibly impaired.
Operating While Intoxicated means the alcohol or drugs in your body substantially affected your ability so you could not operate a motor vehicle safely. It can also mean that your bodily alcohol content was at or above 0.08. This can be shown by a chemical test.
Operating With Any Presence of a Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine means having even a small trace of these drugs in your body even though you may not appear to be intoxicated or impaired.  This can be determined by a chemical test.
Under Age 21 Operating With Any Bodily Alcohol Content means having a BAC of 0.02 to 0.07 or any presence of alcohol other than that consumed at a generally recognized religious ceremony.
Teen Drivers and Alcohol
Drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 are typically the least experienced drivers on the road. When alcohol is added to their inexperience, the results can be even more deadly.
Male teenage drivers with a bodily alcohol content at 0.05 or more are 18 times more likely than a sober, male teen driver to be killed in a single vehicle crash. Female teenagers are 54 times more likely to be killed than a sober counterpart.
Any involvement with alcohol by teens can result in the loss of their license. Simply possessing any alcoholic beverage, whether in a motor vehicle or not, can result in a license suspension for a teen.
For information about licensing actions for drivers under age 21, please see the Zero Tolerance section under Driver License Actions below.
Anti-Drug Laws
Michigan law requires driver license suspensions for drug convictions, even if you were not driving at the time of the offense. If there are no prior drug violations, your driver license is suspended for six months. No restricted license is allowed for the first 30 days.
One or more prior drug convictions in seven years means your driver license will be suspended for one year. No restricted license is allowed for the first 60 days. The driver license reinstatement fee is $125. This fee is separate from the reinstatement fee required for any other driving activity.
Penalties for Drunk Driving
  • Anti-drunk driving laws require swift and sure action and stiff penalties for drunk drivers. The laws:
  • Require courts to decide drunken driving cases within 77 days after an arrest.
  • Require a mandatory six-month driver license suspension even for a first conviction. A driver may be eligible for a restricted license after serving 30 days of the suspension.
  • Require five days to one year of consecutive jail time and/or 30 to 90 days of community service for a second conviction of drunk driving.
  • Include a felony for a conviction for drunk driving that causes death.
  • Include a felony for a conviction for drunk driving that causes a serious injury to another.
  • Require fines for a conviction of driving while a driver license is suspended or revoked of up to $500 for a first offense, and $1,000 for an additional offense.
  • Do not allow hardship appeals for habitual alcohol offenders.
  • Require a reinstatement fee of $125 if your driver license was suspended, revoked, or restricted.
  • Require a Driver Responsibility Fee of $1,000 for two consecutive years for driving while intoxicated and a $500 fee for two consecutive years for driving while impaired, with any presence of a Schedule 1 drug or cocaine, zero tolerance, or child endangerment.
Driver License Actions
First Offense:
OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) or Operating With Any Presence of a Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine (OWPD)
$100 to $500 fine and one or more of the following:
  • Up to 93 days in jail.
  • Up to 360 hours of community service.
  • Driver license suspension for 30 days, followed by restrictions for 150 days.
  • Possible vehicle immobilization.
  • Possible ignition interlock. 
  • Six points added to driver record.
  • $1,000 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.
OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired)
Up to $300 fine and one or more of the following:
  • Up to 93 days in jail.
  • Up to 360 hours of community service.
  • Driver license restriction for 90 days (180 days if impaired by controlled substance).
  • Possible vehicle immobilization.
  • Four points on driver record.
  • $500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.
Any combination, second offense within seven years:
OWI (Operating While Intoxicated)
$200 to $1,000 fine and one or more of the following:
  • Five days to one year in jail.
  • 30 to 90 days community service.
  • Driver license denial/revocation for a minimum of one year.
  • License plate confiscated.
  • Vehicle immobilization 90 to 180 days unless vehicle is forfeited.
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
  • Six points on driver record.
  • $1000 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.
OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired)
$200 to $1,000 fine and one or more of the following:
  • Five days to one year in jail.
  • 30 to 90 days community service.
  • Driver license denial/revocation for a minimum one year.
  • License plate confiscation.
  • Vehicle immobilization 90 to 180 days unless vehicle is forfeited.
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
  • Four points on driver record.
  • $500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.
Any combination, third offense within 10 years (felony):

OWI (Operating While Intoxicated)
  • $500 to $5,000 fine and either:
  • One to five years imprisonment.
  • Probation with 30 days to one year in jail.
  • 60 to 180 days community service.
  • Driver license denial/revocation for a minimum five years.
  • License plate confiscation.
  • Vehicle immobilization one to three years unless vehicle is forfeited.
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
  • Registration denial.
  • Six points on driver record.
  • $1000 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.
First offense OWI/OWVI/OWPD/DWLS causing death/serious injury (felony)
  • Death - Up to 15 years imprisonment OR $2,500 to $10,000 fine, or both.
  • Injury - Up to five years imprisonment OR $1,000 to $5,000 fine, or both.
  • Emergency Responder Death - Up to 20 years imprisonment OR $2,500 to $10,000 fine, or both
  • Driver license denial/revocation for a minimum of one year.
  • License plate confiscation.
  • Vehicle immobilization up to 180 days unless forfeited.
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
  • $1,000 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.
OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired)
  • $500 to $5,000 fine and either:
  • One to five years in prison.
  • Probation with 30 days to one year in jail.
  • 60 to 180 days community service.
  • Driver license denial/revocation for a minimum of five years.
  • License plate confiscation.
  • Vehicle immobilization one to three years unless forfeited.
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
  • Registration denial.
  • Four points on driver record.
  • $500 Driver Responsibility Fee
Second offense (any prior crime within seven years): OWI/OWVI/OWPD/DWLS causing death/serious injury (felony)
  • Death-Up to 15 years imprisonment OR $2,500 to $10,000 fine, or both.
  • Injury-Up to five years imprisonment OR $1,000 to $5,000 fine, or both.
  • Emergency Responder Death-Up to 20 years imprisonment OR $2,500 to $10,000 fine, or both.
  • Driver license denial/revocation for a minimum of five years.
  • License plate confiscation.
  • Vehicle immobilization 90 to 180 days unless vehicle is forfeited.
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
  • $1000 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.
Open Intoxicants in a Motor Vehicle
  • Up to a $100 fine.
  • First offense-no action is taken against driver license.
  • Second offense-driver license is suspended for 30 days/restricted for 60 days.
  • Third offense-driver license is suspended for 60 days/restricted for 305 days.
  • Alcohol screening may be required.
  • Two points on driver record.
Actions for Drivers Under Age 21:
Zero Tolerance (under age 21)
First Offense
  • Up to $250 fine and/or
  • Up to 360 hours of community service.
  • Driver license is restricted for 30 days.
  • Four points on driver record.
  • $500 Driver Responsibility Fee for 2 consecutive years.
Person Under 21 purchase/consume/possess alcohol:
First offense-$100 fine, no action is taken against driver license.
Second offense-$200 fine, driver license is suspended for 30 days/restricted for 60 days.
Third offense-$500 fine, driver license is suspended for 60 days/restricted for 305 days.
Community service may be required.
Alcohol screening may be required.
Use Fraudulent ID to Purchase Liquor
  • Up to a $100 fine, 93 days in jail, or both
  • 90-day driver license suspension.
  • Alcohol screening may be required.
Second Offense within seven years:
  • Up to $500 fine and/or
  • Up to 60 days community service.
  • Up to 93 days in jail.
  • Driver license suspension 90 days.  Any prior drunk driving conviction results in a minimum one-year driver license revocation.
  • Four points on driver record.
  • $500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.
Person Under 21 transport or possess in a motor vehicle:
  • Up to a $100 fine.
  • First offense-no action is taken against driver license.
  • Second offense-driver license is suspended for 30 days/restricted for 60 days.
  • Third offense-driver license is suspended for 60 days/restricted for 305 days.
  • Alcohol screening may be required.
  • Community service may be required.
  • Two points on driver record.
  • Vehicle can be impounded up to 30 days.
DWLS (Driving While License Suspended)
Up to $500 fine, up to 93 days in jail, or both.
Mandatory additional suspension.
$500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.

DWLS (second offense)
Up to $1,000 fine, up to one year in jail, or both.
Mandatory additional suspension.
Vehicle may be immobilized for up to 180 days.
$500 Driver Responsibility Fee
DWLS (third offense-must have two priors within seven years-misdemeanor)
Mandatory additional suspension.
License plate confiscated.
Vehicle immobilized 90 to 180 days.
$500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.
DWLS (fourth offense-must have three priors within seven years-misdemeanor)
Same as for third offense.
DWLS (fifth offense-must have four priors within seven years-misdemeanor)
Mandatory additional suspension.
License plate confiscated.
Vehicle immobilized one to three years.
$500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.

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Business Associations

Member Ingham County Bar Association

Affiliations

  • Licensed in Michigan and Illinois

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Lansing Office: 517-349-2700

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Scott Marshall Neuman, P.C.,
2196 Commons Parkway
Okemos, MI 48864
Phone: 517-721-7429
30300 Northwestern Highway
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
Business Hours:
Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.|
24-Hour Assistance

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  • Lansing Office

    2196 Commons Parkway
    Okemos, MI 48864

    Farmington Office

    30300 Northwestern Highway
    Farmington Hills, MI 48334

    In Business Since 1993
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