OVI| Dui attorney
Columbus OVI|DUI lawyer Brandon Shroy has a history of successful defense against drunk or impaired driving arrests
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OVI is the current acronym under Ohio law for drunk driving. Over the years it has been known as OMVI, DWI, DUI and now OVI. These definitions have followed the legal trend of the OVI definition becoming increasingly broad and OVI penalties becoming increasingly severe. Despite Franklin County having more OVI arrests than all other Ohio Counties, Franklin County police are dedicating more time and resources to OVI enforcement.
OVI penalties include mandatory fines, license suspensions, and either 3 days in jail or a certified 3-day Drivers Intervention Program. OVI is an “enhanceable offense” under Ohio Law which means that multiple convictions for OVI within a 10-year period will lead to increasingly severe mandatory OVI penalties. “Mandatory penalties” means that even the Judge does not have discretion to impose less than the OVI penalties prescribed by law if you are convicted. Many cases can be resolved before these mandatory penalties are imposed with the help of an attorney who focuses on OVI law.
WHAT ARE DEFENSES TO AN OVI?
Why did the police stop you in the first place?
Every OVI starts with police interaction. Sometimes this is a drunk driving crash but often the police are patrolling for OVI arrests. This can lead to pretext traffic involving a minimal traffic violation or no violation at all. A judge can rule this initial stop was in violation of the 4th Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches. This leads to all subsequent evidence being suppressed.
Why did the police ask you to get out of your car?
Although “drinking and driving” has been stigmatized, it covers behavior as innocent as one glass of wine or a beer at dinner. OVI arrest reports almost always contain language including phrases like “an odor of alcohol” and “bloodshot and glassy eyes.” If a Judge rules you should not have been removed from your car, all evidence gathered from that point on can be suppressed.
What are field sobriety tests?
Police administer SFSTs - Standardized Field Sobriety Tests- whenever possible in an attempt to measure “what you did” vs. “what you should be able to do.” This concept needs to be challenged. No two people are the same. The 3 NHTSA certified tests are:
HGN-Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus – The HGN test looks for 6 “clues” that police will testify lead them to an arrest decision.
WAT - Walk and Turn Test – Law enforcement is looking for 8 clues during the Walk and Turn Test. It is not enough to “stay on the line”.
OLS – One-Leg Stand Test – The one-leg stand test is a similar to the WAT test in that it involves more than the title suggests. Law enforcement is looking for 4 clues.
You will probably see reference to these tests in paperwork you are given. Ohio Courts have ruled that when improperly administered these tests are not admissible in court. Make sure your attorney knows what these tests should look like.
Should the police have made the “arrest” decision?
The law requires Probable Cause – an accurate assessment that more likely than not a crime has been committed to make an arrest. This decision can be “second guessed” in court by a Judge who takes into account the factors known to the police when they place a Defendant under arrest. Field Sobriety Tests, admissions to illegal behavior, cruiser video, body cameras and observations by the police can all be taken into account.
What if I took a breathalyzer test?
Ohio Law allows for breathalyzers to be administered on a properly maintained BAC DataMaster, Intoxilyzer 5000, or Intoxilyzer 8000. If you test over the Ohio Breath Test limit of .08 g/210L breath you are “per se” over the limit. You may see this charge on your ticket. It is a powerful piece of evidence that a prosecutor may use against you. It can be attacked and rebutted by an attorney using caselaw and legal challenges.
WHAT HAPPENS at OVI|DUI court Dates?
First Court date - Arraignment
A first court date is typically an arraignment. At this court date you enter a plea of “Guilty,” “Not Guilty,” or “No Contest.” The Court may inform you of the worst penalties possible upon conviction to impress upon a Defendant that they need an attorney. Your attorney can also address a license suspension, get paperwork from the prosecutor, and even resolve your case quickly.
What happens after arraignment?
A pre-trial is the next hearing. The course that an OVI | DUI case takes after arraignment is a matter of strategy and planning. Pre-trials and other informal hearings can be used to collect information, negotiate and resolve cases.
What are Motion Hearing Dates?
What a jury is allowed to see at trial is crucial to defending against an OVI | DUI charge. What they can or can’t see can be scrutinized at a motion hearing date where a Judge reviews legal challenges to evidence and can suppress or “throw out” evidence before trial.
How does an OVI | DUI case end?
All cases end with a plea bargain or trial. After the court dates listed above have been exhausted, a case is set for trial. Depending on the county in which the OVI | DUI is filed this court date may be the last time a Defendant is in court. In busier counties there may be multiple “Jury Trial” dates while the parties attempt to resolve the case.
OVI | DUI PENALTIES IN OHIO
OVI penalties for a 1st time OVI | DUI in Ohio?
3-180 days in jail or a 3-Day Drivers Intervention Program
$375-$1,075 fine plus court costs
A 1-3 year license suspension
OVI penalties for a 2nd OVI | DUI in Ohio?
10-180 consecutive days in jail
$525-$1,625 fine plus court costs
A 1-7 year license suspension
90-day vehicle immobilization
Yellow License Plates
OVI penalties for a 3rd OVI | DUI in Ohio?
30-365 consecutive days in jail
$850-$2,750 fine plus court costs
A 2-12 year license suspension
Vehicle forfeiture to the government
Yellow License Plates
OVI penalties for a 4th OVI | DUI in Ohio?
60 days-42 months in jail
$1,350-$10,500 fine plus court costs
A 3-year to LIFE license suspension
Vehicle forfeiture to the government
Yellow License Plates
DRUNK DRIVING FACTS AND OVI
Drunk Driving accidents kill almost 29 people in the United States every day according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Franklin County is already the most heavily patrolled county in Ohio for drunk driving, but drunk Driving organizations such as MADD cite to statistics to push for the passage of increasingly harsh drunk driving laws. The Ohio legislature passed “Annie’s Law” in 2017 nearly unopposed. Under Ohio law a OVI | DUI can never be expunged. It can interfere with employment and make day to day life expensive and difficult.
Frequently asked questions
1. Can my DUI | OVI charge be reduced?
The honest answer is that it always can be reduced but prosecuting attorneys are under great pressure to fight OVI reductions. If a prosecutor believes the attorney they are up against will get a “not guilty” at trial they will often times try to negotiate “middle ground.” The days of casually reducing OVI charges are gone. OVI cases are litigated more than all other misdemeanors.
2. What is a reduction from OVI | DUI?
The two most common OVI | DUI reductions are Physical Control and Reckless Operation. Physical Control-Under the Influence is a first-degree misdemeanor but carries no mandatory OVI penalties allowing for greater negotiation. Likewise, Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle (ROMV) is a common OVI reduction. It also carries no mandatory OVI penalties. The reality is that depending on the case even prosecuting attorneys have broad discretion to reduce charges. Any guaranteed reduction from OVI is worth consideration but each case is different.
3. What will the OVI | DUI penalties be if my charge is amended to a reduced charge?
Mandatory OVI | DUI penalties for a first offense include:
· A 1-year license suspension
· A 3-day Driver’s Intervention Program
· A $375 fine
Prosecuting Attorneys tend to begin from the position that the penalties should remain the same as OVI penalties even if a reduction is given. Depending on the facts of the case these penalties are not mandatory and can all be negotiated. License suspensions in particular become “sticking points” that can be negotiated.
4. Will I get driving privileges while my OVI | DUI case is pending?
The fast answer is “yes” It is extremely rare for a Judge to deny driving privileges altogether but the timeframe in which privileges are granted varies greatly from county to county and judge to judge. A more accurate guess is possible with more information about your case. Call or text us at the link above for a consultation where your details can be considered.
5. Will I be put on probation for an OVI | DUI?
This varies greatly by the courthouse in which your case is filed. For instance, many Mayor’s Courts do not have a probation department so it is not possible. It is most common for there to be a period of probation on both OVI | DUI pleas and reductions. Call or text us at the link above for a consultation where your details can be considered.
6. What does probation look like for an OVI | DUI?
There are a variety of factors that impact “the probation experience.” Length of probation can be from a few months to 5 years with 1 year being the most common length of probation for an OVI | DUI.
Why hire BRANDON SHROy?
Brandon began his legal career on trial staff as a prosecuting attorney in Franklin County. He worked closely with officers from all agencies who make OVI arrests. As a defense attorney he maintains these relationships by assisting in advanced trainings for law enforcement, and uses this insight into case strengths and weaknesses to defend people charged with OVI|DUI.
Any attorney is allowed by law to represent you against an OVI charge. Make sure you get control back with an attorney with the unique experience and track record necessary to get the best possible result.