Do Some Research

If you decide to engage in risky conduct that could result in criminal charges against you, you should consider the jurisdiction that you are in. For instance, let's say you decide to go out to dinner and then order that third vodka. After dinner you hop in the car and drive home. Although you feel a little buzzed, you are not drunk. What you don't realize is that one of your brake lights just blew. The other thing you don't think about is that the restaurant where you dined is located on Woodward in Bloomfield Hills.
As you drive south on Woodward, suddenly there is a police officer behind you with his lights flashing. It's 10:00 PM and he is pulling you over because you have defective equipment, a burnt out tail light or maybe a cracked windshield. The other reason he is pulling you over is because he wants to smell you and any small violation allows him to do this. If you have the smell like you just had a beer, that is enough to allow him to ask you to perform Field Sobriety Tests. For instance, he may ask you to do the one leg stand. In that test you must stand on one leg for 30 seconds without using your arms to balance yourself; even the most sober person may not be able to complete this test. If you put your leg down or use your arms, you flunk and the officer can then require you to submit to a preliminary breath test.

That third vodka probably put you over the .08 BAC limit, which means that you will be cited for Operating While Intoxicated. It also means that you will be going to the 48th District Court which is probably one of the toughest in Southeastern Michigan. Furthermore, depending on the judge you get, you may be spending some time in jail if you are convicted. Had you been given the this same ticket in another city, you would still face significant financial penalties but probably not face jail time.

I had a similar situation with a client who was arrested for growing 12 marijuana plants in a vacant lot next to his house, a felony. He was arrested in October and the plants were only 8 inches tall. A search of his house didn't turn up any baggies, scales or other equipment to suggest he was growing the weed to sell it. Even if he was, he wasn't very good at it. With freezing weather only a few weeks away, it was unlikely the plants would mature, making it saleable. Unfortunately the prosecutor refused to reduce the charge citing public policy in his county. If my client had been caught a few miles away, he probably still would have faced a criminal charge but a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

The bottom line, if you are going to commit a crime, make sure know what the likely punishment will be, what the local prosecutor will do, and what to expect from the judges in that jurisdiction. And once you have this information, if you decide to engage in criminal behavior, you will know what to expect not if but when you get caught.