News & Blog

Tips on Choosing an OVI Defense Lawyer for Your Columbus Drunk or Drugged Driving Case

First Tip: Do not go through a drunk or drugged driving case in central Ohio without securing advice and representation from an experienced Franklin County defense attorney. Police, prosecutors, and judges take the charge of what state laws call operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) very seriously. If you do not have a dedicated OVI attorney in your corner, you can face stiff penalties even if the evidence against you is not very strong.

Which defense lawyer you choose is up to you, of course. But following these next three tips should guide you to a Franklin County OVI attorney who will do the best job possible.

Tip: Prioritize Experience

Police must follow strict rules when doing traffic stops or operating DUI checkpoints, while conducting field sobriety tests, and when requesting and handling breath, blood, and urine samples. Similarly, prosecutors have limits on how they can use all types of evidence that purportedly “prove” an OVI defendant was diving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

A Columbus OVI attorney who has helped many defendants will know all the applicable rules and hold police and prosecutors responsible for complying with each of them. The more evidence that the defense lawyer can get thrown out or called into question, the higher the likelihood that the OVI charge will be dismissed or reduced.

An experienced Franklin County OVI attorney will also know all the ways to get a driver’s license reinstated, how to recognize an advantageous plea deal, and when to insist on procedures like having blood samples retested.

Tip: Demand Responsiveness

Even a first-time OVI conviction can land you in jail for six months and get your license suspended for a full year. Simply getting arrested can result in a long ban on driving and may lead to you losing your job. Regardless of what happens, you will end up spending a good deal of time of money dealing with the case.

Since a drunk or drugged driving charge will seriously disrupt your life, you need a legal ally who takes your case as seriously as you do.

Only hire a Columbus, Ohio OVI attorney who responds quickly to your first phone call or email. Fire any Franklin County OVI attorney who stops taking your calls or ignoring your messages. Demand full, factual responses to your questions, and get rid of an attorney who ignores your instructions. In short, stay away from any lawyer who treats dealing with your concerns as anything less than a top priority.

Know, too, that as the person who employs the lawyer, you can fire and replace him or her at any time. Exercising that option can be particularly important if you find it necessary to request a public defender for your arraignment right after your arrest.

Tip: Do Not Shy Away From Asking What This Will Cost

Again, you are your lawyer’s employer. If nothing else, you deserve to know up front how, and how much, your Ohio OVI attorney will charge you.

Ask if you will pay a flat fee or pay by the hour. If the lawyer offers a flat fee, does he or she then charge extra for making copies of court documents and providing other services? Does the law firm arrange payment plans?

Do not make cost your sole reason for selecting a Franklin County OVI attorney, but do make sure that receiving the final bill does not feel like an unexpected penalty.

Colin Maher of The Maher Law Firm regularly ranks among the best drunk and drugged driving defense attorneys in Ohio. He offers free consultations to all OVI defendants, and he takes on most clients for a flat fee. You can speak to him now by calling (614) 205-2208 or by completing this online contact form.

  • 2020-03-19
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Things You Need to Check Before Pleading Guilty to Speeding Ticket in Ohio?

Few Ohio drivers make it through their lives without receiving a speeding ticket. Some people can’t make it through most years without getting pulled over and ticketed. But that is not what keeps a Columbus speeding ticket lawyer like me in business.

  • 2019-12-20
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How Long Do You Have to Pay a Speeding Ticket in Ohio?

How long do you have to pay a traffic ticket?

You have a limited amount of time from the date on which it was issued to pay a speeding ticket in Ohio. You also have that same amount of limited time to challenge the speeding ticket. The deadline for challenging or paying the ticket will be listed on the bottom of the ticket as your court appearance date.

  • 2019-11-12
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Ohio Domestic Violence Laws

How Do Domestic Violence Courts Work in Ohio?

Drawing a domestic violence charge in Ohio can put you into a legal process that differs slightly from the one used to investigate, prosecute, and penalize other types of alleged assaults. Make no mistake, though. Jail is still a possibility, and securing quality legal advice and representation can protect you from an unjust conviction and harsh penalties.

  • 2019-09-27
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Drug Possession Charges for Minors in Ohio

How Do Ohio Courts Handle Drug Possession Charges for Minors?

In Ohio, most teens younger than 18 who get arrested for allegedly possessing drugs will actually be charged with delinquency. The reclassification of the alleged criminal offense reflects the emphasis state laws and courts place on encouraging education and rehabilitation for minors as an alternatives to punishment. Still, incarceration can be a possibility. Juvenile drug possession Ohio

  • 2019-08-12
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What To Do if Police Suspects Me of OVI During a Traffic Stop?

Acting appropriately during a traffic stop can reduce your risk of being taken into custody under suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI). Nothing you say or do will guarantee that a police officer or state trooper will not suspect you of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, you can protect yourself from major inconveniences or a criminal charge.

  • 2019-07-10
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Can I Go to Jail for Simple Assault Charges in Ohio?

Yes, you can go to jail for simple assault charges in Ohio. Avoiding that penalty is possible by proving your innocence or reaching a plea deal to a lesser offense. 

  • 2019-06-10
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Understand Drug Paraphernalia Charges in Ohio

It is very easy to draw a drug paraphernalia charge in Ohio, The relevant state law, section 2925.14 of the Ohio Revised Code (O.R.C.), defines drug paraphernalia so broadly that even possessing a spoon or a box of small plastic bags can result in an arrest and conviction that brings jail time, high fines, and a lengthy driver’s license suspension.

  • 2019-05-06
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Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs in Ohio

Law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges in Ohio take driving under the influence of drugs every bit as seriously as they do drunk driving. In, fact, they use the same criminal code language of “operating a vehicle while intoxicated,” or OVI, and impose the same basic penalties.

  • 2019-04-15
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How to Seal Your Criminal Record in Ohio

The process for sealing criminal and arrest records in Columbus Ohio includes multiple steps and is punctuated by a hearing before a judge. Still, fighting through all the obstacles can make it much easier to pursue a rewarding career, secure loans, and take advantage of educational opportunities.

  • 2019-02-28
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What Is the Punishment for Underage DUI

As Ohio an underage DUI defense attorney, members of The Maher Law Firm know that courts in this state can punish driving under the influence of alcohol while younger than 21 quite harshly. Sentencing guidelines used by county, city, and town judges look like this:

  • 2019-01-18
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How to Fight a Speeding Ticket When You Weren’t Speeding

Fighting a speeding ticket when you know you were not speeding can be well worth your time and effort. Convincing a traffic court judge to toss out the charge will save you points on your license, spare you an increase in insurance premiums, and let you escape paying fines and fees. Perhaps even more importantly, if you drive for a living, keeping a speeding offense off of your record often means that you will hold onto your job.

  • 2018-12-16
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Can Receiving a Traffic Ticket Lead to Actions Against Your Driver’s License?

Getting ticketed for violating a traffic law in central Ohio can definitely have an impact on your driver’s license. The statutory penalties for many traffic offenses include points, and a number of laws call for suspending the licenses of people who plead guilty or get convicted.

  • 2018-11-15
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What Can a DUI Lawyer Do for Me?

Ohio police and prosecutors prioritize the arrest and conviction of people for driving under influence of alcohol and drugs. Sentences for the offense that state laws call operating a vehicle while intoxicated, or OVI, are severe. Having an OVI/DUI on your record can make finding and keeping jobs difficult, make affording car insurance nearly impossible, and keep your life off track long after any jail time is served, fines are paid, and license suspensions get lifted.

  • 2018-10-20
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How to Avoid Penalties for Driving Under OVI Suspension in Ohio

Ohio laws require a sentence for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs to include a driver’s license suspension. Police who have taken drivers into custody under suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) also have the authority to impose an administrative license suspension when the driver refuses to participate in breath, blood, and urine testing or when the results of those tests exceed the legal limits for alcohol and drug use while operating a motor vehicle.

  • 2018-09-26
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Is There a Difference Between OVI, DUI, and DWI?

You spell DUI, DWI, and OVI differently.

Other than the terminology, though, each alleged offense comes down to driving after drinking too much alcohol or using drugs. States assign different names to this, but the legal consequences for getting convicted are pretty severe regardless of the location.

  • 2018-08-31
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Do DUI Car Crash Defenses Exist in Ohio?

While a charge for driving under the influence greatly complicates matters for a person who is accused of causing a car crash, effective defense strategies definitely exist. An experienced Columbus DUI defense lawyer will focus on both questioning the evidence being used to convince a judge that his client was impaired by alcohol or drugs and on the reasons investigators cite for blaming the crash on his client.

  • 2018-08-07
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What if I Fail to Appear in Court for a Speeding Ticket?

Do not miss your traffic court date.

Franklin County, Ohio, speeding ticket attorneys are not supposed to give legal advice on their websites.  Consider this nothing more than a very strong suggestion. Nothing good happens when you fail to appear or pay after receiving a traffic citation.

  • 2018-07-05
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Understanding Weapons Crime Charges

The term “weapons charge” covers a lot of alleged criminal activities. Police and courts treat each very seriously, and even just having a knife or gun within reach while allegedly committing a crime can turn a potentially bad situation much worse.

  • 2018-06-08
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Things You Should Know About Reckless Operation in Franklin County

Drivers in central Ohio may not immediately recognize the term “reckless operation.” Getting to know what the alleged traffic violation entails and what the consequences for a conviction can be is important.

  • 2018-05-11
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How to Reduce Your DUI Fines

In Ohio, a first-time conviction for the offense state laws call operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) will bring a fine of between $375 and $1,075. Fines increase for second and subsequent drunk or drugged driving convictions. The maximum amount is fixed by statute, and the assessed amount is given according to sentencing guidelines issued by the state Supreme Court.

  • 2018-04-10
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What Are the Stages of an OVI Case in Columbus, Ohio?

While every drunk or drugged driving case in and around Franklin County presents different facts, each goes through six distinct stages. Knowing your rights and what to expect during the early stages of the legal process for a case concerning the legal charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) could help you avoid  harsh penalties.

  • 2018-03-09
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I Missed My Court Date for a Traffic Violation. What Should I Do?

Any Franklin County traffic lawyer will advise you to do almost anything to keep your court date. Failing to appear in traffic court on the scheduled day can get you arrested and cost you your driver’s license. You may even end up being forced in to a conviction of the alleged driving offense you intended to fight without being given the opportunity to prove your innocence.

  • 2018-02-13
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When Does a DUI Become a Felony in Ohio

Ohio police, prosecutors, and courts treat most drunk and drugged driving cases as misdemeanors. Other charges related to or filed with allegations of committing the offense that state statutes call operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) are much more likely to be treated as felonies.

  • 2018-01-15
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Major Penalties for a DUI in Ohio

Getting convicted of or pleading guilty to driving under the influence in Ohio brings many different penalties. The four parts of the sentence that drunk or drugged drivers tend to find the most difficult to live with are the lengthy license suspension, the jail term, the fines and fees, and the required use of an ignition interlock device.

  • 2017-12-19
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Underage DUI Attorney Franklin County

What Is the Punishment for Underage DUI

As Ohio an underage DUI defense attorney, members of The Maher Law Firm know that courts in this state can punish driving under the influence of alcohol while younger than 21 quite harshly. Sentencing guidelines used by county, city, and town judges look like this:

  • 2017-11-28
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Can I Get a CDL if I Have a DUI Charge on My Record?

The short answer is yes, you can get an Ohio commercial driver’s license after being charged with or convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The reality is that reinstating a CDL lost to the offense Ohio calls operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) will be difficult and expensive.  Keep in mind that getting a license does not mean you will be employable.

  • 2017-10-28
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How Do You Reinstate Your Suspended Ohio Driver’s License?

What you need to do to reinstate a suspended Ohio driver’s license depends on why you lost full driving privileges and which type of license you need to have restored. In all, Ohio courts and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles can take away a driver’s license for more than 30 criminal and civil offenses. In addition to expected cases like operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) and racking up 12 points for repeated traffic tickets, a license can be suspended for an equipment violation on commercial trucks or failing to pay child support. The process for getting your license back varies for each instance.

  • 2017-10-13
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Franklin County drunk driving lawyer

Here are five facts about impaired driving every teenager and adult in Franklin County, Ohio must know.


  1. State laws against impaired driving cover alcohol, street drugs, and several types of prescription medications.

  • 2017-09-07
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Common Facts About Drinking and Driving in Ohio

From my perspective as a longtime Franklin County drunk driving attorney, the most-concerning fact about driving under the influence involves how easy it is to get charged unfairly and inappropriately with DUI. People can easily fail field sobriety tests due to factors that have nothing to do with intoxication. Legal blood alcohol concentration limits for drivers younger than 21 (.02 BAC) and for commercial truck drivers (.04 BAC) are low enough to register false positives even when the suspect has not been drinking within hours of getting behind the wheel. DUI checkpoints create stress in drivers that can be interpreted by law enforcement officers as confusion and lack of coordination brought on by drunkenness.

  • 2017-08-18
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What Happens if I Get a DUI Outside of Ohio?

Getting convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs anywhere in the United States brings serious legal and financial consequences. The location does matter to some extent, however, because each state has its own laws and penalties for the offense Ohio statutes call operating a vehicle while intoxicated, or OVI.

  • 2017-07-06
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What Officers Are Looking for During a Checkpoint

Every driver is likely to encounter a drunk and drugged driving checkpoint at some point. People who see a checkpoint in time, or who know about one in advance (checkpoints must be announced), can legally take a route around a DUI checkpoint. Once a person enters the cones, however, it becomes a criminal offense to refuse to stop and hand over one’s license, registration, and proof of insurance.

  • 2017-06-07
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The Use of Video Evidence in OVI Arrests

In Columbus and Franklin County, Ohio, local police officers, state troopers, and their cruiser are often equipped with digital recording devices that capture visual records of stops and arrests for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI). Footage from dashboard cameras and body cams, which can legally be supplemented by recordings bystanders make on smartphones, is used in different ways by officers, prosecutors, and drunk and driving defense attorneys. Understanding what video can and cannot show, as well as how video footage can support or contradict spoken and written accounts of an incident, can make the difference between getting convicted of OVI and being acquitted or having the charge dismissed before a trial.

  • 2017-05-10
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Can You Be Charged With A Crime in Ohio Without Knowing?

You would think you can’t be charged with a crime without knowing, but it happens all the time. Officers and prosecutors have a choice, in most cases, to file charges based on a warrant or on summons.  Charges based on a warrant mean you are subject to arrest whereas charges on a summons give you the opportunity to appear in court.  You can face criminal penalties without ever getting arrested. Police, prosecutors and courts handle certain types of cases differently, but they are required to inform you of the charges against you.

  • 2020-02-13
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What Happens When Someone Files Criminal Charges Against You in Ohio?

What Happens After Criminal Charges Are Filed Against Me in Ohio?

The first important thing to understand is that the filing of a criminal charge differs from simply having a police officer arrest you by taking you into custody. You can be detained, booked and even locked up for some period without ever facing an official charge. In both circumstances, you have undeniable rights to seek advice and representation from a Columbus criminal defense attorney.

  • 2019-12-13
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What happens if you get caught underage drinking in Ohio?

Ohio, like every other state, sets the legal drinking age at 21. The state also makes it a criminal offense for anyone younger than 21 to:

  • Order alcohol,
  • Pay for alcohol,
  • Share the cost of alcohol,
  • Attempt to purchase alcohol,
  • Possess alcohol,
  • Consume alcohol, or
  • Go out in public after becoming intoxicated by alcohol.

  • 2019-11-04
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What Is a Marked Lane Violation in Ohio?

Under section 4511.33 of the Ohio Revised Code, there are five ways for a driver to get a lane violation ticket in Columbus.

First, a driver can be ticketed for making an unsafe lane change. The state statute requires a person to wait to change lanes until after he or she “has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.” In real-world terms, this means a police officer or state trooper can make a stop and issue a ticket for cutting off another vehicle.

  • 2019-09-10
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What Is a Failure to Yield Violation in Ohio?

Ohio state laws make it fairly easy for drivers to receive failure to yield tickets. At least six statutes cover the alleged traffic violation. Fortunately, effective defenses exist to spare an improperly charged driver the costs of an Ohio failure to yield ticket.

  • 2019-08-02
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When Is Fleeing and Eluding a Felony in Ohio?

Fleeing an Ohio accident scene and eluding an Ohio police stop can both be prosecuted as felony offenses. A driver who gets charged with felony fleeing or with felony eluding can face a harsh sentence that includes jail time, high criminal fines, and a lengthy license suspension.

  • 2019-06-30
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What Does It Mean to Be Charged With Aggravated Drug Possession in Ohio?

You are most likely to be charged with aggravated drug possession in Ohio when police suspect that you have intentionally bought or used amphetamines, methamphetamine or a prescription opioid painkiller without a prescription. The charge will be prosecuted as a felony, and the potential criminal penalties will depend on the weight of the drugs you allegedly possessed.

  • 2019-05-27
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Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Ohio

Leaving the scene of an accident in Ohio before reporting the collision, helping or calling 911 for injured people, and speaking with police is more than a traffic violation. Local police officers and state troopers consider hit and run a crime as well as a traffic violation. Importantly, the official state statute, section 4549.02 of the Ohio Revised Code, applies to both the driver who caused the crash and the drivers of every other vehicle involved.

  • 2019-04-30
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How You Can Find a Good Criminal Defense Lawyer in Columbus, Ohio

Hundreds of criminal defense lawyers practice in and around Columbus, Ohio. Finding the one who can best represent you does not need to be a challenge, but it does require doing some research. And you definitely do need a good attorney. Ohio courts impose harsh penalties for criminal convictions.

  • 2019-04-05
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Should I Hire a Lawyer for My First DUI Case

My only honest answer to anyone who asks me, “Should I hire a lawyer for my first DUI case?” is yes. Absolutely, yes.

I do not say this just because I do drunk and drugged driving defense in and around Columbus, Ohio. I urge anyone charged with driving under the influence in my state to partner with an experienced and knowledgeable defense attorney because the penalties for a DUI conviction can be severe and life-changing.

  • 2019-02-20
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Three Most Important OVI Codes to Know in Columbus

Ohio law enforcement officials and courts use the abbreviation “OVI” for alleged drunk and drugged driving offenses. The initials stand for “operating a vehicle while intoxicated,” which is something other states call driving while intoxicated, driving while impaired, and operating under the influence.

  • 2019-01-08
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Do All DUI Checkpoints Have to Be Announced in Advance?

Yes, local police departments and the Ohio State Highway Patrol must provide public notice of every sobriety checkpoint before they conduct it. This does not mean that law enforcement officials have to widely advertise each general stop to check drivers for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI). Nor do officials need to specify the exact times and locations.

  • 2018-12-05
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How Long Do You Lose Your CDL for a DUI?

Ohio commercial driver license suspensions related to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol come in three forms. None are good news for the accused or convicted commercial driver because state statutes prohibit any driving of commercial vehicles during the entire length of a suspension.

  • 2018-11-05
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How to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Ohio

If you choose to fight a traffic ticket in central Ohio, you must follow the four steps outlined below. You can learn more about each step and enlist the assistance of a Franklin County traffic violation lawyer by calling The Maher Law Firm at (614) 205-2208 or connecting with us online.

  • 2018-10-10
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Tips on How To Read Your Traffic Ticket

Start reading an Ohio traffic ticket at the bottom. The last line on the standard form indicates whether you need to appear in court to answer to the alleged offense or accept a sentence for a guilty plea. If the police officer or state trooper who issued you the ticket checked YES to the question “Personal Appearance Required,” you need to go before a judge unless you hire an attorney to appear for you.

  • 2018-09-15
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Is DUI a Serious Criminal Offense?

This is what we consider a quasi criminal offense because it is also a traffic offense.  It is quite serious and the penalties get more severe the more you rack up.

You will face serious penalties if you get convicted of or plead guilty to driving under the influence in Ohio.

  • 2018-08-24
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Major Strategies for Fighting Speeding Tickets in Ohio

Getting ticketed for speeding in central Ohio can seem like no big deal, but the penalties and other consequences can really pile up. Working with a Franklin County speeding ticket lawyer can help you avoid fines, keep points off your Bureau of Motor Vehicles record, and avoid increased insurance premiums. Also, if you drive for a living, a conviction for speeding can cost you your job when your employer requires maintaining a clean driving record.

  • 2018-07-25
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Are Speeding Ticket Fines the Same Throughout Ohio?

No. Speeding ticket fines are not standardized across Ohio, or even necessarily within the same city or county.

How much you get fined for speeding in the state depends on where you get ticketed and how fast you were allegedly going. Municipalities have broad authority to set fines for traffic offenses, and a state law doubles the fine for speeding in a work zone while workers are present.

  • 2018-06-25
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Factors to Consider When Hiring a Traffic Lawyer in Columbus Ohio

Hiring a Columbus, Ohio traffic attorney to help you contest a ticket or fight a more serious offense like operating a vehicle while intoxicated can spare you from penalties that go well beyond fines and fees. Not just any traffic defense attorney will serve your best interests, however. You need a lawyer who treats your case as a priority and who goes the extra mile to make the strongest arguments that you are innocent or have been overcharged.

  • 2018-05-28
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What Should You Do if You Get Arrested While Driving After Having a Couple Drinks?

You literally had two glasses of wine with dinner. And now you find yourself in police custody. Don’t panic.

Even though you may eventually find yourself charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI), you must keep in mind that you can defend yourself against a conviction with the help of a Columbus, Ohio, drunk driving lawyer. Part of the defense may rest on what police officers did and said while questioning you, conducting sobriety tests, and processing you after an official arrest. So pay attention and take mental notes.

  • 2018-04-29
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My Driver’s License Got Suspended in Ohio. Now What?

Your options following a driver’s license suspension are limited. The good news is that you do have options other than simply parking your car and hanging up your keys until the suspension expires and you can go about reinstating your license.

  • 2018-03-25
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Do You Lose Your License When You Are Convicted for a DUI for the First Time?

Yes, the sentence for a first-time conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Ohio includes a license suspension. The standard penalty is a 12-month suspension and no driving privileges for 15 days. A judge has the authority to extend the suspension to as much as 36 months, and also to extend the total ban on driving.  Driving privileges are at the complete discretion of the judge.  He or she can decide not to let you drive for the entire length of your suspension.

  • 2018-03-01
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How to Fight a Speeding Ticket in Ohio and Get Benefits

It seems simple enough to treat a speeding ticket as no big deal. Why waste a day, especially a day of paid work, going to court? Just sign the citation, write a check or fill in the credit card information, mail back the summons, and get on with your life. Why sweat it?

  • 2018-02-05
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Tips on How To Read Your Traffic Ticket

Start reading an Ohio traffic ticket at the bottom. The last line on the standard form indicates whether you need to appear in court to answer to the alleged offense or accept a sentence for a guilty plea. If the police officer or state trooper who issued you the ticket checked YES to the question “Personal Appearance Required,” you need to go before a judge.

  • 2017-12-30
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Uncommon Types of Traffic Violation in Ohio

You certainly know you can get ticketed for speeding, running a red light, or turning without using a signal. You also realize that you and your passengers need to buckle up and, if younger than 8, use an appropriate booster seat or child safety seat. You also understand that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is treated as a serious criminal offense.

  • 2017-12-14
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What Happens if I’m Found Guilty of Multiple DUIs?

If a judge in central Ohio finds you guilty of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol more than once, you will spend time in jail, pay high criminal fines, lose your personal and commercial driver’s licenses for a year or longer, receive six points on your driving record, and face several other penalties. The Franklin County DUI offense attorneys with The Maher Law Firm provide more details about second, third and fourth operating a vehicle with intoxicated (OVI) penalties here.

  • 2017-11-17
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Why You Need a Ohio Traffic Attorney

Hiring a Columbus traffic attorney to help you contest a ticket can save you from dealing with many legal and financial problems. Several traffic offenses bring more than a fine and administrative fees.  Simply accepting guilt by signing the summons and mailing in a payment will subject you to those other penalties and consequences.

  • 2017-10-24
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Options After an Alleged DUI Crash

If you get charged with causing a crash while operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) in central Ohio, you really only have one good option: Hire a Franklin County DUI lawyer. You need a vigorous defense, especially if the wreck resulted in injuries or deaths. The penalties for causing a collision while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can include years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines and fees. The only way to avoid the harshest consequences is to work closely with a defense attorney who has represented many people facing DUI/OVI charges.

  • 2017-09-27
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What to Know Before Your DUI Arraignment in Ohio

Driving under the influence is a criminal/traffic charge. One of the things that means is that the processes for investigating and prosecuting what Ohio statutes call operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) follows the same steps as cases involving crimes like robbery or assault.

  • 2017-09-01
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What Can I Expect at a DUI Checkpoint ?

Knowing what you can expect to see, hear, and do at a DUI checkpoint in or around Columbus, Ohio, can help you avoid arrest for suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) and prevent other legal difficulties. If you want more information than the basics shared here, you can schedule a free consultation with a central Ohio OVI defense attorney by calling The Maher Law Firm at (614) 205-2208 or by filling out this online contact form.

  • 2017-08-08
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Are Minors Allowed to Drink in Their Parent’s Home?

Ohio law recognizes a very limited set of exceptions to its law that only people older than 21 can drink alcohol. Specifically, teens and young adults who are “supervised by a parent, spouse who is not an underage person, or legal guardian” can legally possess and consume beer, wine, or liquor in a private residence. The “supervised by an adult” exception does not extend to public places, and it does not cover other people’s children or spouses.

  • 2017-06-27
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Drunk Driving Attorneys in Columbus, Ohio

Open Container Ticket Defense in Columbus Ohio

Violating Ohio's open container law is surprisingly easy and can have serious consequences. Fortunately, defending against a citation or a criminal charge is possible with the help of an experienced Columbus Ohio drunk driving attorney.

  • 2017-05-26
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What Is SR-22 Insurance?

The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles often makes submitting an SR-22 bond a requirement for having limited driving privileges approved or a license reinstated. The SR-22 is a kind of proof of automobile insurance, rather than an insurance policy itself. The simplest definition is that it stands as a guarantee from the company that issues a policy that it has, in fact, issued that policy to the person named in the SR-22 paperwork.

  • 2017-05-03
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What Does It Mean to Be Charged With 5th Degree Felony Drug Possession in Ohio?

The biggest thing to understand about being charged with fifth-degree felony drug possession in Ohio is that you could spend several months in jail and be ordered to pay thousands of dollars in criminal fines and court fees. The maximum penalties for the alleged offense are 12 months in a local jail and a $2,500 fine.

  • 2020-01-13
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Should I Tell My Criminal Defense Lawyer That I’m Guilty?

Should You Tell Your Criminal Defense Lawyer If You Are Guilty?

Don’t stress yourself out over the question of whether you should tell your lawyer if you’re guilty. Instead, understand that you will benefit from sharing the full story of how you wound up facing a criminal charge. The more your defense attorney knows about you and your case, the better he/she will be able to argue to have the charge against you dismissed or reduced.

  • 2019-11-26
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Why Can Ohio Suspend My Driver’s License, and What Could the Consequences Be?

The state of Ohio, working through municipal and county courts, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and law enforcement officers in the field have more than 20 ways to suspend a driver’s license. The most-frequent reasons people in Ohio have their driver’s licenses suspended are:

  • 2019-10-12
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What Is a Failure to Yield Ticket in Ohio?

Ohio state laws make it fairly easy for drivers to receive failure to yield tickets. At least six statutes cover the alleged traffic violation. Fortunately, effective defenses exist to spare an improperly charged driver the costs of an Ohio failure to yield ticket.

  • 2019-08-27
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Find the Right Criminal Defense Attorney for Your Case in Ohio

Here are five tips for finding the right criminal defense lawyer to handle your case in Ohio.

You have hundreds of choices when you need to consult with or hire a criminal defense attorney in Columbus. Chances are good that if you Googled “Columbus Ohio criminal defense attorney,” you will appreciate getting some guidance on how to choose among all those options. 

  • 2019-07-23
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How to Get a Stop Sign Ticket Dismissed in Ohio

You must beat a stop sign ticket in court. You cannot challenge a traffic ticket by mail or phone.

The good news is that having the stop sign ticket dismissed and avoiding the penalties is possible. You must still answer for yourself whether taking a day off work and appearing before a judge is worth the time, expense, and effort. So let’s start there.

  • 2019-06-20
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What Are the Implications of a Speeding Ticket in Ohio

As a Columbus, OH based speeding ticket attorney, I am always surprised (and a little dismayed) at how many drivers simply sign and return traffic court summons with payments for fines and administrative fees. Make no mistake, if you want to contest a speeding ticket, the ticket itself is an order to appear before a traffic court judge.

  • 2019-05-14
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What Happens in Ohio if I Have Multiple DUIs on My Record and Get Charged Again?

Drivers in and around Columbus, Ohio, who have at least one driving under the influence conviction on their record face harsher penalties for a second, third or fourth conviction. Jail time is pretty much guaranteed if the charge is not dismissed or reduced, and fines and fees can rise into the thousands of dollars. They also risk losing their personal driver’s license and commercial driver’s license immediately upon arrest.

  • 2019-04-23
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How A Columbus Defense Attorney Could Help You Get a Speeding Ticket Dismissed

If you’re reading this, I don’t need to over explain why getting a speeding ticket dismissed in Columbus, Ohio, is a great thing. Having a speeding violation on your record puts penalty points on your license, raises your insurance rates and threatens your job prospects if you need a clean report from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to obtain or keep employment.

  • 2019-03-15
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Ohio Driving Record Points System for Traffic Violations

Many of the most common traffic offenses in Ohio carry penalties that include Ohio driving record points. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles keeps track of those driving record points in the offender’s record, and it issues a six-month license suspension automatically whenever anyone racks up 12 points in a 24-month period. It is generally possible to retain limited driving privileges, such as commuting to and from work, while under suspension, but a suspended commercial driver’s license means no driving a commercial vehicle.

  • 2019-02-07
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Can You Reinstate a Suspended License Online After a DUI?

Ohio does allow people to complete some reinstatement requirements of a suspended driver’s licenses online. Other requirements must be  done through mail or physically going to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). Processing the forms takes time, so submitting the paperwork personally may not result in a same-day reinstatement. The BMV recommends sending in all the required information at least two weeks before a suspension expires.

  • 2018-12-28
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5 Events That Occur During a DUI Arrest

An arrest for driving under the influence in central Ohio goes through five stages regardless of whether a driver gets pulled over or enters a DUI checkpoint. We briefly describe each below. Keep in mind that if you find yourself facing an arrest for the charge that police and prosecutors call operating a vehicle while intoxicated, you have an undeniable right to call a Columbus DUI defense lawyer for advice and representation.

  • 2018-11-25
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What Are the Consequences of Not Paying a DUI Fine?

Getting convicted of or pleading guilty to driving under the influence (DUI) in Columbus Ohio will cost you quite a bit of money. The mandated criminal fine for the offense state statutes call operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) starts at $375. That penalty can be as high as $1,075 for a first-time offense, and it is assessed separately from court costs and the expense of any court-ordered Driver Intervention Program, ignition interlock, or addiction assessment and treatment.

  • 2018-10-29
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Can You Get in Trouble for Driving While High on Marijuana?

Ohio law treats driving while impaired by marijuana the same as driving under the influence of alcohol. State statutes refer to both offenses as operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI), and courts impose the same types of penalties regardless of whether a person gets convicted of driving while drunk or high.

  • 2018-10-03
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How Your Speed Is Recorded by Traffic Officers

As a speeding ticket lawyer in Columbus, Ohio, I hold police officers and state troopers to their legal obligations to produce clear, mechanically recorded evidence of my client’s speed. If the law enforcement official cannot present such evidence in traffic court, the ticket must be dismissed.

  • 2018-09-05
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What Counts as a Traffic Violation in Franklin County, Ohio?

Consult this long list of traffic violations that can put penalty points on your Ohio license to check if you recently committed a ticketable offense without even knowing it. The majority of traffic laws do exist for very good reasons, and recognizing that, say, not covering or strapping in a load in the back of your pickup truck can save you considerable trouble with police and, potentially, insurance claims from damage tracked back to items you dropped.

  • 2018-08-18
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How to Know if Your Traffic Offense Will Be Treated as a Crime

Ohio treats most alleged traffic offenses as minor violations. You should expect no more than a ticket, potential points on your driving record, and higher insurance rates if you get cited for speeding, running a red light, or doing something else that draws the negative attention of a traffic patrol officer or state trooper.

  • 2018-07-15
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Avoid an Increase in Your Car Insurance Rates

Many things can make your car insurance rates go up, such as moving, putting your 16-year-old child on your policy, and buying a new car. A Franklin County traffic attorney can’t get you out of the actuarial consequences of any of those personal choices, but a lawyer can help you avoid premium hikes due to traffic tickets, penalty points, license suspensions, and criminal convictions. Having a ticket dismissed or getting found innocent on criminal or traffic charges will help keep your premiums down.

  • 2018-06-14
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Goals for a Franklin County, OH Traffic Violation Lawyer

A Franklin County traffic violation lawyer will approach every case with four basic goals. Achieving each results in securing the best outcome for the client.

  • 2018-05-20
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6 of the Most Common Criminal Defense Cases in Ohio

Take any criminal charge seriously. Even if the penalty will amount only to a few hundred dollars in fines and fees for a low-level misdemeanor, the arrest and conviction can remain on your record for the rest of your life. Plus, there is little way to know for sure what the penalties will include until a judge issues the sentence.

  • 2018-04-20
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Do I Have the Right to Refuse Sobriety Tests in Ohio?

Ohio gives nearly all drivers the right to refuse sobriety tests. Exercising the right to say no when asked to perform field sobriety tests is a good idea with minimal legal consequences. You will be arrested, but you will likely be arrested anyway.  Refusing to provide breath, blood, and urine samples for laboratory testing after being taking into custody under suspicion of drunk or drugged driving, however, can bring serious consequences. Is Field Sobriety Testing Mandatory in Ohio?

  • 2018-03-16
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Top 3 Things to Look for When Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you get charged with a crime in central Ohio, you have many choices for a criminal defense attorney in Columbus and throughout Franklin County. You can find a good lawyer to advise and represent you by answering three questions.

  • 2018-02-20
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Do You Have to Be Driving a Vehicle to Be Convicted of OVI in Franklin County?

Short answer: Yes. Only the person in control of a vehicle can be charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI).

Long answer: To fully protect yourself from a drunk or drugged driving charge in Ohio, you must understand what law enforcement officials consider to be a vehicle and that a vehicle does not need to be moving to put you at risk for an alcohol or drug-related charge.

  • 2018-01-23
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Can You Go to Jail for Driving Under Suspension?

You definitely risk going to jail if you drive in Ohio with a suspended driver’s license. State laws classify driving under many types of suspension a first degree misdemeanor. This is the highest level of offense below a felony.  It carries a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and a fine of $1,000.

  • 2017-12-24
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What Is the Difference Between Reckless Operation and Physical Control?

“Reckless operation” and “physical control” sound like closely related offenses, but Ohio uses vastly different definitions for the alleged misdemeanors.

  • 2017-12-09
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What Acts Can Be Considered Traffic Violations?

Ohio recognizes more than 100 actions as traffic violations. A handful constitute criminal activities under state statutes, including reckless operation, street racing, hit-skip/fleeing the scene of an accident and operating a vehicle while impaired/Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

  • 2017-11-10
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Consequences for Driving Under Suspension

The laws of Ohio set harsh penalties for driving with a suspended license or violating restrictions placed on driving privileges. Getting convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) and also driving under OVI suspension/under restriction actually results in a mandatory jail sentence.

  • 2017-10-18
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What to Expect From a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Test?

Ohio state laws related to driving under the influence set what are called “per se” limits for blood alcohol concentration. This means that a judge can declare a driver guilty of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) just because the person’s BAC registers above the legal limit. The statutory limits are less than

  • 2017-09-18
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Is Drunk Driving a Criminal Offense in Ohio?

Ohio, like every other state, treats driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs as a traffic and a criminal offense. The severity of the alleged crime depends on several factors, including whether a person has previous convictions for drunk or drugged driving and whether driving under the influence led to a crash that inflicted injuries or caused deaths.


With some exceptions, the categorization of drunk driving charges in Columbus, Ohio looks like this:

  • 2017-08-25
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When Can Tickets Be Amended in Franklin County DUI Cases

Operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI), which is what Ohio statutes call driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, is no simple traffic ticket. It is like a criminal charge that, unlike a standard speeding or illegal U-turn ticket, carries the risk of jail time and spending half a year or longer without full driving privileges.

  • 2017-08-01
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What’s the Difference Between DUI and OVI?

“DUI” stands for “driving under the influence.” As a criminal/traffic charge, it applies to drunk drivers and drivers who have taken the road after using drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, opioid painkillers, and methamphetamines.

  • 2017-06-16
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Can My DUI Be Dismissed if I Was Not Read My Miranda Rights?

Let's handle this Q&A style.


Can I ask a judge to dismiss my drunk or drugged driving charge just because the officer who arrested me did not read me my Miranda rights?



But receiving a Miranda warning matters, right?

  • 2017-05-22
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What Happens When You Hold a CDL and Are Charged With DUI in a Noncommercial Vehicle?

Ohio drunk and drugged driving laws treat all driver's licenses equally regardless of which type of vehicle a person was operating. This means that anyone who has his or her personal license suspended for committing an alcohol or drug offense in their own car will also have each commercial driving certification they hold suspended.

  • 2017-04-19
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