If you're charged with drunk driving in Michigan, you may decide to proceed to trial. Going to trial means making the decision of whether you want a trial by jury or a trial by judge. If you select a trial by jury, you will have 6 jury members for a misdemeanor, and 12 members for a felony.
From there the prosecution and your attorney will give opening statements, witnesses will be called from both sides, with the opposing attorney having the opportunity for cross-examination. Once all the evidence is presented, both attorneys will have a chance to give a closing argument.
The closing argument will be the last time your attorney gets to address the jury. An effective closing argument reminds the jury of what was discussed in opening statements, and uses the jury instructions as a guide to arguing for an acquittal.
Depending on the facts in your case, an experienced Michigan DUI lawyer may include the following arguments in his/her closing argument:
-Defendant was not "operating" the vehicle, which is an essential element of the crime of drunk driving in Michigan. This could mean the defendant was behind the wheel, but not legally operating, or was actually never behind the wheel as a potential driver.
- Defendant is innocent of drunk driving, and the evidence of intoxication was actually due to a medical condition or physical disability. The defendant is certainly entitled to an acquittal.
- Prosecution did not meet burden beyond a reasonable doubt on all necessary elements. In this scenario, the defendant may have broken the law, but the prosecution cannot meet their burden, and under the law, the defendant is entitled to an acquittal.
- Arresting officer was lying, mistaken or was not credible, and this entitles the defendant to a not guilty verdict.
- DataMaster operator or blood lab technician was lying or erred about the test result, and the jury should find the defendant not guilty.
- DataMaster was not working properly and the results are not reliable, which means the defendant is not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
-The chemical test results don't make sense in light of the other evidence; there is some doubt as to their reliability.
- Defendant's constitutional rights were violated by the police department, the police department had a bias against the defendant or evidence was destroyed or lost, and the defendant is entitled to a not guilty verdict.