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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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?
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.
What Happens if I’m Charged with a Third DUI?
If you already have two convictions for drunk or drugged driving offenses on your record, a third arrest for driving under the influence in Columbus, Ohio, puts you at risk for a lengthy jail sentence and thousands of dollars in fines and fees. You could also find yourself without a personal driver’s license and commercial driver’s license for a decade.
Can Breath or Blood Test Consent Be Withdrawn?
Yes, you can stop taking part in breath, blood, and urine testing procedures after you have started. That simple answer requires a good deal of explanation, however, particularly because failing to do everything a police officer asks you to do can have serious legal consequences.
Implied Consent and Fifth Amendment Rights
When it comes to testing suspected drunk and drugged drivers, Ohio police act on the principle of implied consent. This means that simply getting into the driver’s seat can subject a person to all kinds of field sobriety tests and laboratory analyses of your breath, blood, and urine samples unless the person clearly states that he or she does not consent to those procedures.
How a DUI Attorney Can Get Your Charges Dismissed
As a DUI attorney practicing in Central Ohio, I use three main strategies to convince prosecutors and judges to dismiss a charge for the offense that state statutes call operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI):
Ohio Criminal Offense Penalties
The surest way to learn what penalties you may face when charged with a crime is to consult with a Columbus criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer will use their knowledge of state statutes, local ordinances, and experiences with helping defendants in similar circumstances to give you a clear picture of what a conviction or plea deal could mean.
Out of State Drivers and DUI
Visitors to Ohio are subject to the laws of Ohio. When it comes to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, this means that anyone found operating a motor vehicle with one of the following blood alcohol concentrations will be arrested and charged immediately:
Ohio police and Highway Patrol officers also specifically test suspected intoxicated drivers for the following drugs:
5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Columbus Criminal Defense Attorney
You have hundreds of choices for criminal defense attorneys in and around Columbus, Ohio. Hiring the one who is best able to advise and represent you can make all the difference between avoiding an unfairly harsh penalty and serving a maximum sentence.
The Maher Law Firm understands we won’t be the right defense lawyer for every potential client. Still, we want every individual who gets charged with a crime in central Ohio to receive the best defense available. To help make sure that happens, we outline five types of questions every criminal defendant should ask an attorney before hiring him or her.
5 of the Most Common Traffic Violations
Leaving aside drunk and drugged driving, the five things most likely to draw the attention of a local traffic cop or a Highway Patrol officer are speeding, following too closely, making improper lane changes, operating with faulty equipment, and running red lights. We’ll take brief looks at what getting ticketed for any of these can mean for an Ohio driver below.
What to Do if a Cop Pulls You Over Under Suspicion of Drinking
An arrest and trial for driving under the influence can create almost as many problems as a conviction for what Ohio state statutes call operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI). The officer can make an administrative license suspension that works just like a court-ordered suspension and applies equally to the suspect’s commercial driver’s license. Also, the arrest can appear on the suspect’s driving record even if no conviction results. That will translate into higher insurance premiums and the possible loss of job opportunities that require driving company vehicles.
What Types of Prescription Drugs Can Cause a DUI Charge?
Ohio laws that prohibit operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) apply equally to diving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The category of drugs, of course, includes prescription medications, so taking a wide range of otherwise perfectly legally and safe drugs can put an Ohio driver at risk for arrest and conviction. If you find yourself in this difficult situation, consider reaching out to a Columbus, Ohio OVI defense attorney, who understands how to handle cases involving prescription drug use.
What Are the Hit and Run Laws?
Ohio law makes leaving the scene of an accident a criminal/traffic offense. Even a person hit by another driver must stop. Failing to do so can bring a jail sentence, criminal fines, a lengthy driver’s license suspension, points, and a court order to pay restitution. If you find yourself accused of committing the violation that state statutes call “failure to stop after an accident,” you should contact an experienced Columbus, Ohio, hit and run defense lawyer to explore ways to avoid those harsh punishments.
Understanding the BMV Point System
Penalties for most traffic violations include points against your driver’s license. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) administers the points system, and racking up 12 points in a two-year period results in a suspension. The rules regarding license points are largely the same for people who drive their own cars and for commercial drivers, but CDL holders face a particular risk when they accumulate point penalties. Any driver’s license suspension applies to each type of license a driver holds. This means that losing your own personal license to a 12-point suspension also means you lose your CDL.
How Multiple DUI Offenses Can Stack Up Against You
Receiving a first conviction related to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs increases your risk for subsequent DUI-related convictions. The cycle can be difficult to break because the increasingly harsh penalties for multiple DUIs leave people with fewer options to avoid suspicion and to exercise their rights to avoid incriminating themselves. These realities make working with an experienced Columbus, Ohio, multiple DUI offense attorney essential to avoiding an initial conviction.
Do Penalties Escalate for a Higher BAC?
Yes. Having a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) when you are pulled over for suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) will subject you to harsher penalties, especially, but not only, when it comes to jail time.
That one-sentence answer hides a lot of complexity. What counts as OVI? What is a “high BAC”? Do legal BAC limits differ for different drivers? What penalties become more severe as BAC increases? How is BAC even measured?
Here are brief answers to each of the questions. You can learn more and request representation from an experienced Madison County, OH, drunk driving lawyer by calling The Maher Law Firm at (614) 205-2208 or filling out this contact form. An initial case consultation is free, and lead DUI/OVI defense attorney Colin Maher charges clients a flat fee.
Offenses You May Not Know Are Criminal Charges
Even as an experienced Columbus, Ohio, criminal defense attorney, I occasionally find myself surprised and amused by a BuzzFeed or Cracked-type list of weird laws that include entries like “Elephants wearing top hats are prohibited” and “No person shall give alcohol to fish.” But—and, again, as a criminal defense lawyer—I know that many Ohioans run afoul of the law unintentionally simply because they do not realize certain statutes exists.
5 Reasons Why You Should Fight a Traffic Ticket
Fighting a traffic ticket often makes sense even when you can afford the fine and would prefer to avoid the hassle of appearing in court. Speaking with an experienced traffic lawyer Columbus can help you perform the cost-benefit analysis. Short of a legal consultation, here are five of the most important reasons that support a decision to contest a citation for anything from making an unsafe lane change to speeding and reckless operation.
Medications and Conditions That Cause False Results on Sobriety Tests
Results from sobriety tests performed by the side of the road and in state-certified labs provide key pieces of evidence for charging and convicting Ohio drivers for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Neither the field sobriety tests (FSTs) nor breath, blood, and urine tests are 100-percent reliable, however. Several physical conditions and medications can produce effects that police and lab technicians mistake for signs of impairment and intoxication.
As an experienced DUI defense attorney in Columbus, Ohio, Colin Maher of The Maher Law Firm has helped many clients clear their names after getting falsely and unfairly accused of the offense state law refers to as operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI). A few of the physical problems and drug therapies that can confuse sobriety tests have brief descriptions below.
Conditions That Make Passing Field Sobriety Tests Difficult
Medications That Make Passing Field Sobriety Tests Difficult
Medications That Can Produce False Positives on Blood and Urine Tests for Drugged Driving
Many liquid over-the-counter cough and cold remedies contain alcohol. Therapeutic levels of opioid painkillers, ADHD drugs, and other medications marked as being in Schedules II-IV can register as too high to drive legally. Working with your Ohio DUI/OVI defense lawyer to challenge laboratory drug and alcohol test results is always a wise decision. If you need help fighting a poorly performed or incorrectly interpreted drug or alcohol test, request a consultation by calling attorney Colin Maher at (614) 205-2208 or scheduling an appointment online.
5 Reasons Why You Should Fight a Traffic Ticket
Fighting a traffic ticket often makes sense even when you can afford the fine and would prefer to avoid the hassle of appearing in court. Speaking with an experienced Columbus, Ohio, traffic ticket lawyer can help you perform the cost-benefit analysis. Short of a legal consultation, here are five of the most important reasons that support a decision to contest a citation for anything from making an unsafe lane change to speeding and reckless operation.
Consequences of Not Paying DUI Fines
Failing to pay any criminal or traffic fine in Ohio will likely cost you your driver’s license. Unpaid court costs and restitution can also prove problematic.
In all instances when a court accuses you of not paying fines or fees, you have the right to a hearing and the right to be represented by a Columbus, OH, criminal defense attorney. Exercising these rights is important because not responding to a notice of delinquent fines can make you subject to arrest and imprisonment for failing to appear.
Why Can’t We Legally Drink Until 21?
Why has Ohio enforced a minimum drinking age of 21 since 1988?
The short answer is that lawmakers and safety advocates, with broad support from voting public, wanted to curb drunk driving. A more complete answer points to the need to continue receiving a full allotment of federal highway funds and to the overall poor performance of younger drivers.
Why You Should Fight a License Suspension
Five major reasons exist for fighting a driver’s license suspension.
You will lose all driving privileges for weeks or longer.
Ohio law allows drivers placed under suspension to reclaim some limited driving privileges after a fixed time has passed. For a court-issued suspension related to a first-time conviction for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, for instance, the earliest that you can be permitted to drive to and from work, court appearances, or doctor’s appointments would be 15 days. Getting caught driving in the first 15 days will result in you serving jail time.
Is it a Good Idea to Request a Trial by Jury?
Each criminal defendant has the right to request a trial by jury so long as they are charged with an offense that carries the possibility of jail time. Choosing to exercise that right depends on several factors that differ from case to case and defendant to defendant. When advising clients on whether to request a bench trial in front of a single judge or before a jury, Columbus, Ohio, criminal defense attorney Colin Maher, the founder of The Maher Law Firm, focuses on the issues of evidence and empathy.
When Does a Police Officer Have to Appear in Court for a Traffic Violation?
When you contest a traffic ticket and insist on your right to a trial, the police officer or state trooper who issued your ticket must appear in court. This requirement exists because your right to fair treatment under law includes allowing you to face and question your accuser. That explanation sounds a little grandiose for something like fighting a speeding ticket, but constitutional rights always apply whenever you deal with law enforcement officers and judges.
Avoiding DUI Checkpoints: Your Rights
You do not have to drive through a DUI checkpoint. If you know police will be conducting random stops along your usual route, take a different road. If you spot a roadblock in time, turn around.
Avoiding a DUI checkpoint really is that simple, but you either need to plan ahead or act quickly and responsibly.
Steps to Take When You Are Accused of a Crime You Didn’t Commit
Your best defenses against a false arrest and an unjust conviction are exercising your right to remain silent and insisting on your right to retain quality legal representation.
Police, prosecutors, judges, and juries make mistakes, and the pressure to accept a plea to a lesser offense you also did not commit just in order to end the ordeal of being wrongfully accused of a truly serious crime can become overwhelming. To ensure that you do not get steamrolled by the system, avoid incriminating yourself and work closely with a private Columbus, Ohio, criminal defense attorney who can make your case a top priority.
Why Sobriety Tests Are Unreliable
Combinations of field sobriety tests and chemical tests for alcohol and drugs are used to make arrests and secure convictions for operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI). Each set of assessments have reliability issues. A skilled Delaware, Ohio, OVI attorney will know how to probe those weaknesses while mounting a defense against a drunk or drugged driving charge.
When a law enforcement official stops a driver for suspicion of driving under the influence, he or she will ask the suspect to perform several tasks. Refusing the request is within the suspect’s rights, but doing so will likely result in an arrest and administrative license suspension.
Are DUIs Only Charged When Alcohol Is Involved?
Driving under the influence of drugs is a criminal offense. Many medications and chemicals categorized as controlled substances can impair balance, coordination, wakefulness, and decision making, so drivers found with high enough concentrations of those substances in their bodies can be charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) in Ohio.
Current DUI Penalties and Fines in Ohio
A full breakdown of the penalties people can face in Ohio for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs appears on this Maher Law Firm webpage. Consequences can include.
What are the Differences Between Reckless Operation and Physical Control?
Reckless driving or reckless operation is a fairly common traffic offense on Ohio roadways. The reason it is a common offense is that it can be used as a “catch-all” charge which could include infractions as diverse as passing a school bus, weaving in and out of traffic, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle, extremely excessive speed, and even following too closely or tail gating. But don’t be fooled, even though it is a common offense, the penalties associated with it can be very serious and have a big impact on your driving record if not your life.
Should You Refuse a Breathalyzer if You Carry a CDL?
While you have the right to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test, refusing to submit to a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine can earn you a one-year commercial driver’s license (CDL) suspension. As long as you have an Ohio driver’s license of any kind, you use that license under what is known as “implied consent.” In other words, by having the license, you automatically consent to chemical tests if you are suspected of drunk or drugged driving.
Can You Get Your License Reinstated Faster?
First, we should be clear with the terms we use. Having your driver’s license fully reinstated is one action, while receiving limited driving privileges while under suspension is another. Reinstatement involves fully satisfying all requirements in order to get a valid license through the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Getting limited driving privileges involves your ability to drive for certain reasons while your license is not valid.
Your Rights As An Inmate
You have legal rights as a prisoner. If you are in prison, it is important to acquaint yourself with those rights and make sure your rights are respected.
First, the United States Constitution provides rights that are available to you even if you are in prison.
You are to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. When this amendment was initially passed, it was intended to preclude torture or extreme forms of death. The amendment has come to represent prohibitions against any type of inhumane treatment that is contrary to the prisoner’s human dignity, such as inhumane living conditions like rodent infestations, or inadequate toilet facilities. Assault by prison officials could also be an example of cruel and unusual punishment.
I Hit a Parked Vehicle and Can’t Find the Owner – Do I Leave?
Hitting a parked vehicle, though embarrassing and inconvenient, could become much more than a nuisance if you simply leave the scene of the accident. If you hit a parked vehicle, you must provide your name, address, and vehicle registration number in a visible place on the vehicle that you hit. If you do not own the vehicle, you must provide the vehicle owner’s name and address.
Underage DUI Penalties (Including under 18)
Here are some sobering facts about underage drinking, which may give you some insight as to why the State of Ohio takes this crime so very seriously and enforces underage drinking laws vigorously. Here are a few facts from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:
Why Hire a Franklin County CDL Attorney ?
If you are facing traffic tickets as a commercial driver’s license holder, you face more serious consequences than the average driver. As a CDL holder, your professional driving skills are held to the highest standards. The CDL is your livelihood and not only do you need to be concerned about your driving record, but also your employer’s traffic ticket policies, your employer’s insurance, and your own insurance rates. Contact a Franklin County CDL lawyer.
Different Types of Traffic Violations
Traffic violations come in all shapes and sizes and can have a wide variety of impact on your budget and ability to drive. Most traffic violations result in points on your license. If you accumulate 12 or more points in a two-year period, your driver’s license will be suspended for six months. In addition, the number of points you have will impact your insurance rates. The more points you accumulate, the more your automobile insurance will cost.
Different Types of Theft and Fraud and Their Penalties
The general crime of taking something from someone else is known as theft. There are many degrees and levels of theft. Theft, also known as “larceny,” is the act of taking or using the property of another person or entity. According to Ohio Revised Code: “No person, with purpose to deprive the owner of property or services, shall knowingly obtain or exert control over either the property or services in any of the following ways:
What Can Happen if You are Involved in a Hit and Run ?
The State of Ohio imposes serious, potentially life-changing penalties for leaving the scene of an accident or “hit and run,” also know as “hit-skip". Leaving the scene of an accident, according to Ohio law, is a first degree misdemeanor. If the accident results in serious physical harm to a person, failure to stop after an accident is a fifth degree felony. If the accident results in the death of a person, failure to stop after an accident is a third degree felony. Here’s a summary of the penalties:
What Can Happen if Drugs are Found in Your Vehicle?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that illegal drugs are used by approximately 10-22 percent of drivers involved in all motor vehicle crashes, often in combination with alcohol. Further, Ohio has high rates of prescription drug use among those involved in traffic fatalities, which means law enforcement may be looking for people driving under the influence of prescription medication, alcohol, or both. (NHTSA Prescription Drug Study)
Will I Lose My CDL if I’m Charged with DUI?
Your commercial driver’s license is your livelihood. It is very important that if you have been charged with driving under the influence, you find qualified legal representation to assist you at this critical time. Your livelihood is at stake in this matter, whether the charge occurred as a result of operating your private vehicle or in the course of operating your commercial vehicle.
Pleading guilty to DUI or OVI (operating a vehicle while under the influence), or if you are found guilty of the charge means your commercial driver’s license will be taken away for one year. A second conviction for DUI will result in your commercial license being revoked indefinitely. Added to this, the court is not at liberty to grant you commercial driving privileges while your case is pending meaning you cannot work. It cannot be overstated how devastating this can be for your life and livelihood.
Why You Should Hire an Attorney When Charged with Assault
Ohio law defines assault as: knowingly causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another or to another's unborn; or recklessly causing serious physical harm to another or to another's unborn. This is known as “simple assault,” and it is the least serious assault charge.
The first thing you need to do if you’re charged with assault is to find an experienced, skilled criminal defense attorney to help you through this situation in the best way possible. Not only are assault charges in Ohio complex, but Ohio judges tend to take this charge very seriously. A conviction for this charge is enough to earn you significant jail time and high fines.
Refusing a Field Sobriety Test
Ohio law enforcement officials strictly enforce drinking and driving laws. Almost 30 people a day in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes is more than $59 billion.
Though these are some compelling reasons for enforcing operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI) laws, be sure you’re not placing yourself in a compromising position by giving the State evidence against you. You are not required to take field sobriety tests. If you are stopped, the officer conducting the stop will ask you questions. You are only required to comply with the request for license, insurance, and registration. Beyond that, the officer may be hoping you will make his case for him by giving him the evidence he needs to arrest you. For example, you do not need to answer questions about where you were and where you are going. You may ask the officer politely if you are under arrest. If you are not under arrest, then you are not required to answer the questions. Respectfully decline to answer the questions.
What Can Happen if You Drive With a Suspended License
In 2011 the Ohio Legislature decreased the penalties for driving with a suspended license from six points assessed against your driver’s license to two points unless the suspension is for driving under a 12-point suspension, an OVI suspension, or an administrative license suspension which is still six points. This is significant because insurance companies base the rate you pay for insurance on the number of points you have accumulated on your driver’s license. While decreasing that penalty is good for most people, especially considering most license suspensions have nothing to do with how well or poorly an individual is driving, don’t take that to mean that driving with a suspended license will earn you nothing more than a slap on the wrist.
What To Do If You’re Charged With Marijuana Possession
The first thing you need to do if you are charged with marijuana possession is find an experienced, skilled attorney to defend you against these charges. Even though you may have heard that Ohio is soft on first time possession charges, any drug conviction in Ohio will result in a suspended driver’s license, with the suspension lasting anywhere from six months to five years.
What To Do If Your Child Has Been Charged With Underage DUI
Underage DUI charges are taken very seriously in Ohio and can carry harsh penalties. In Ohio, the legal drinking age is 21 years old. Being charged with underage drinking and driving can be very frightening and has the potential to have a negative impact throughout the rest of your child’s life. If your child has been charged with driving under the influence (DUI), also known by its updated acronym OVI (operating a vehicle while impaired), you need to get them the assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced DUI attorney to fight the charges.
When Can I Carry A Weapon Legally?
The Ohio Constitution protects the right to bear arms, but there are circumstances that remove that right from certain people and in certain places. If you want to conceal your weapon, you must have a concealed carry permit to conceal the weapon on your person or in a vehicle.
You may NOT carry a weapon in Ohio if you are:
How Small Traffic Violations Can Stack Up Against You
Ohio uses a driver’s license points system, which allows you to rack up as many as 12 points in a two-year period. Ohio state law dictates how points are calculated under Ohio Revised Code Sections 4510.037 through 4510.038.
DUI Sentencing Hearing: What to Expect
If you find yourself facing driving under the influence (DUI) charges, you should know that DUI cases follow five stages. Arraignment is stage one, which usually takes place five days following arrest. Next comes the pre-trial hearing, which is a meeting between the prosecuting attorney and your defense attorney. The third stage is the motion hearing. This is when the court considers different aspects of the case against you, or you enter a plea bargain. If unable to work out a plea bargain, the next step is to go to trial. Since a DUI charge carries with it penalties of incarceration, you have the right to a trial by jury. The prosecution must prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Things That Affect Breathalyzer Testing
The breath analysis that may be conducted with a portable unit kept in the patrol car or at a stationery unit in the police station is not necessarily a reliable indicator of blood alcohol content (BAC). In fact the breath analysis is only an indirect estimate of BAC.
Because it is an indirect estimate, the breath-analyzing device must be precisely calibrated, and many factors can impact the accuracy of test results. Even the operating software can have an impact on results. Like all software, it may be subject to bugs and glitches. Different types of breathalyzers operate differently. Fuel cell sensor breath analyzers are known to be more accurate than the cheaper semi-conductor devices.
What to Do at a DUI Checkpoint
Though officers must have “reasonable suspicion” to make traffic stops, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the dangers posed by drunk drivers outweigh the degree of intrusion posed by DUI checkpoints. How you conduct yourself at a DUI checkpoint could mean the difference between an arrest and the freedom to move along to your destination.
What to Do If You Are Caught Speeding
When you first see the lights in your rear view mirror, pull over as soon as it is safe to do so. As you are pulling over, take a deep breath and get rid of any attitude you may have. Do not be hostile, arrogant or angry. Being polite and cooperative can help with negotiating in court.
Once you’re safely pulled over, roll down your windows, turn off the car, and put on your emergency flashers. These are all actions that demonstrate you’re being cooperative, intelligent and respectful.
How to Build a Solid OVI Defense
The State of Ohio takes OVI offenses very seriously even on the first offense. If you have been arrested for OVI in Ohio, it is wise to begin building a solid defense from the first moment you’re able.
How do you build a solid defense? In consultation with skilled, experienced legal counsel, discuss the circumstances of your life. Are you a solid citizen? Is this your first or maybe even only encounter with the law? Do you have stable employment? Are you involved with your community? You may not think these factors matter at all, but they can impact and may possibly mitigate the circumstances.
Why You Should Never Flee the Scene of a Car Accident
Being involved in an accident is a frightening thing. One of the first instincts, if we think we’ve done something wrong, is to run. Leaving the scene of the accident makes you appear to be guilty, regardless of whether or not you’re at fault. In an age of cell phone cameras, traffic monitoring at every intersection, and parking lot security surveillance cameras, chances are that you’ll be caught if you flee.
Leaving the scene of the accident can have lifelong consequences, from large fines to jail time. Naturally, consequences vary according to the severity of the accident and whether human life or property is involved.
How to Avoid a DUI Arrest and Conviction
The first and best strategy for avoiding a DUI arrest and conviction is to not drive after drinking…at all…even if you’ve only had one beer. The cost, inconvenience and drama that can ensue from a drunk driving arrest make a taxi fare one of the best investments you’ll ever make.
Here are few statistics regarding risk that you’ll want to consider before drinking and driving:
Ohio OVI Laws: OVI on a Bicycle
Although most DUI/OVI cases involve cars, trucks, and the like, some cases involve non-motorized vehicles, like bicycles. DUI laws in every state prohibit operating a vehicle while under the influence, but “vehicle” is a broad term that could apply to many different modes of transportation, from skateboards to tractors.
Whether or not you can get arrested for bicycle DUI/OVI depends on what state you live in. Generally speaking, drunk cyclists are only a hazard to themselves. Nevertheless, some state laws acknowledge that even if a cyclist only harms himself by riding under the influence, his injury could have a profound effect on others, particularly family members. Therefore, some states punish bicycle DUI/OVI just as harshly as drunk driving.
A Guide to Ohio’s Drunk Driving Laws and Penalties
If you or a loved one has been charged with operating a vehicle under the influence, you’re probably wondering what will happen next. In Ohio, if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08% or more, you are considered legally drunk and are not allowed to drive. If you’re under the age of 21, the BAC limit is .02%. If you’re a commercial driver in a commercial vehicle, the BAC limit is .04%. It is illegal to drive with a predetermined amount of a controlled substance (i.e., drugs) in the blood. The predetermined amounts are based on levels they feel cause impairment.
Failure to Appear in Court for a DUI/OVI Case
Many who are charged with a DUI fail to appear in court. This not only angers the judge who may later pass judgment, but it can put those charged with a DUI at risk for other misdemeanor charges. With multiple court dates to track, it is understandable that those charged with a DUI may miss a date or two. This is why hiring a DUI attorney is so important. With an attorney to advocate for your rights and present a strong defense, drivers charged with a DUI have a better chance to make the court date and won’t attract additional punishment.
Driving Under OVI Suspension Penalties in Ohio
In Ohio, persons caught driving with a suspended license face increased penalties and fines. Rather than face additional time with a suspended license or fines that you can’t afford, work with an attorney to advocate for you. You can work to get your license reinstated or to review the reason for the suspension. Either way, finding the right Columbus, Ohio driving under OVI suspension lawyer is crucial in restoring your driving privileges so that you can return to the road.
Questions to Ask When Hiring a DUI Attorney
Traffic stops and tickets are never fun, especially when you are stopped and charged with a DUI. The most important thing you can do when you find yourself charged with a DUI is call an attorney. With so many DUI attorneys in the phone book, it can be a challenge to find the right one for you. Always take attorneys up on the free initial consultation, as this will give you a chance to get to know them and learn if they are the right attorney for you and your current situation. Take a look at some of the top questions to ask a DUI attorney before they represent you in court.
What is a Driver Intervention Program?
Driver intervention programs were created to help reduce the number of multiple DUI/OVI offenders. Many counties, like Union County, offer driver intervention programs to those convicted of a DUI offense in lieu of serving the 72 hours in jail. The prosecutor can also offer the driver intervention program as part of a plea deal, allowing those charged with a DUI to plead to a lesser offense, but still requiring time in a court approved program. Rather than agree to a deal without being informed, read on to learn more about driver intervention programs.
Ohio Driver’s license reinstatement procedures
In Ohio, if you are convicted of a DUI, you will likely have your driver’s license suspended. When you have your license suspended, you will need to take a few steps to reinstate your driving privileges. If you are a driver under the age of 18 and you are convicted of an OVI/DUI offense, you will need to take additional steps to reclaim your driving privileges. Finding the right driver’s license suspension attorney is important because the lawyer will be able to answer specific questions you may have about your situation.
What to Expect at a DUI Hearing
Defending a DUI charge isn’t a one-step process—rather, it is a series of important appearances in court that will determine the outcome of your case. The different stages include arrest, arraignment, pretrial hearing, motion hearings, trial, and sentencing. Having an attorney with you during all of these appearances will help prepare you for the best DUI defense possible.
Alcohol Treatment Programs for DUI Prevention
Preventing DUIs can be a challenge without the proper help. Those who seek help often prevent damage to their social life, work life, and driving record. Finding the right support is very important, especially when you know the consequences and Ohio’s mandatory sentencing for DUI/OVI convictions. If you are unsure of where you stand given your current driving record, it is always a good idea to seek out an experienced Madison County Ohio drunk driving attorney.
Is Field Sobriety Testing Mandatory in Ohio?
The simple answer to this question is no, you do not have to submit to a field sobriety test. In Ohio, you are well within your rights to refuse a field sobriety test, just as you can refuse a Portable Breathalyzer Test (PBT). Below, we will examine the reasons why refusing a field sobriety test is recommended by the majority of DUI/OVI attorneys in Ohio.
What Is a DUI Arraignment?
After being charged with an OVI, your first appearance in court is called the Arraignment. A Columbus, Ohio criminal defense attorney can help you through the process.
Misdemeanor arraignments are governed by Traffic Rule 8, and felony initial appearances by Criminal Rule 5(A) which state that the proceedings are to be conducted in open court and consist of either reading the complaint to you or stating the substance of the charge and obtaining your plea. You may waive the reading in open court, which is frequently done when counsel is present. You must be present at the arraignment although for misdemeanors, the court may allow a plea through your attorney in person or by mail within four days after receipt of the ticket by the defendant.
Driver’s License Reinstatement Procedures in Ohio
Ohio driver’s license reinstatement lawyers know that there are many different reasons your driver’s license may be suspended. How to get your license reinstated depends on why the court suspended your license in the first place. Below is a list of some of the types of driver’s suspensions and how to have the license reinstated.
What is Reckless Driving in Ohio?
Charged with reckless driving in Ohio? Get your information from a leading Columbus reckless driving lawyer. In Ohio, the law uses the terminology “operation in willful and wanton disregard” to define reckless driving. The term encompasses any vehicle operation that disregards the safety of other individuals or property. Individuals can include drivers, passengers, or pedestrians. Property includes both public and private property.
DUI, DWI, OVI, and OMVI: What Do These Acronyms Mean?
The acronyms DUI, DWI, OMVI and OVI all refer to the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The most commonly used terms are DUI, an acronym for Driving Under the Influence, and DWI, an acronym for Driving While Impaired. However, Ohio law no longer uses the DUI and DWI acronyms because, in 1982, Ohio enacted a law that refers to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs as “OMVI,” an acronym for Operating a Motor Vehicle Impaired.
Representing Yourself in a DUI Case
While it’s common for people to represent themselves in small claims court or civil proceedings, it’s not a wise move for you to represent yourself if you’re facing a criminal charge, such as an OVI/DUI. If you choose not to hire an OVI attorney in Delaware, Ohio, it’s important to understand the risks of doing so. While the cost of hiring a skilled OVI lawyer in Delaware, Ohio can be high, it’s well worth it because a lawyer can prevent you from having to face a myriad of fees and harsh penalties.
What Is a Standardized Field Sobriety Test in Ohio?
Although OVI fines and penalties vary from one state to another, law enforcement officers across the country use field sobriety tests to identify suspected drunk drivers. The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is a battery of tests that help establish probable cause to make an OVI arrest. The SFST consists of three tests:
Using an Expert Witness in a DUI/OVI Case
If you are charged with a DUI/OVI, you will be required to go to court. During your trial, your OVI defense lawyer in Columbus, Ohio may call upon an expert witness to testify in an attempt to weaken the prosecutor’s case. A DUI expert witness can be used to testify about the scientific aspects of your case, such as the chemical tests you took. An accident reconstruction expert could also be used as an expert witness if your drunk driving arrest involved an accident.
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer to Handle My DUI/DWI Case?
As with any court proceeding, you have the right to hire a lawyer in a DUI/OVI case. But do you really need a drunk driving attorney? A DUI/OVI is a serious offense that could significantly affect your future. Hiring a DUI lawyer could help you get your charge reduced or dismissed, so you can avoid losing your driver’s license.
Maher Law Firm Launches New Responsive Website
Maher Law Firm is a leading DUI/OVI and criminal defense law firm in Columbus, Ohio. We teamed up with Columbus web design and marketing company Cynexis Media to strategically redesign our website and align it with our goals and mission.
Our new and improved website has a strong design, user-friendly layout, and dynamic, engaging atmosphere. The custom site comes equipped with a content management system (CMS) and is built with HTML5 and CSS3. The background of the home page displays a time-lapse video that adds a completely new dimension to the site.
DUI Sentencing Factors
Certain factors will play a role in the mandatory minimum penalties that must be imposed in your DUI case if convicted. They include a high alcohol test, a prior DUI within the last 6 years, and a prior DUI within 20 years if you refused to take a chemical test to determine your alcohol or drug levels. Each factor increases the penalties in the following ways:
OVI Ohio: Second Offense Penalties
If you have been charged with your second OVI offense within 6 years, here are the potential penalties:
Mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail, or 5 days in jail and 18 days house arrest. Up to 6 months in jail.
*Note- if you have a high alcohol test result or refuse to test, the mandatory minimum is increased to 20 days in jail, or 10 days in jail and 36 days house arrest.
3 Types of DUI / OVI Driver’s License Suspensions in Ohio
The administrative license suspension, also known as the implied consent suspension, is the initial driver's license suspension imposed on a DUI or physical control case in Ohio. It is a suspension for either testing over the legal limit, or for refusing to submit to a test.
Did the officer have the right to pull me over for DUI in Ohio?
In order for an officer to pull you over, they must have reasonable suspicion. Determining reasonable suspicion involves figuring out what the officer knew at the time they decided to pull you over. Witnessing a traffic violation like drifting over the lane markings is enough to have reasonable suspicion.
Columbus “Operation Cool Down”
If you have tuned in to the local news this week, you may have heard mention of "Operation Cool Down." Due to the unbearably hot temperatures, Mayor Coleman asked Columbus city personnel to open designated fire hydrants throughout the city the afternoon of July 18th.
Drug Trafficking in Ohio: A Guide to Offense Levels
If the substance is included in schedule I or II with some exceptions, the crime is considered aggravated trafficking in drugs. Aggravated trafficking in drugs is generally a felony of the fourth degree. Certain facts will change the level of felony and therefore the possible penalties.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Underage DUI Attorney Franklin County
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:
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.
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.
Franklin County drunk driving lawyer
Here are five facts about impaired driving every teenager and adult in Franklin County, Ohio must know.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Do DUI/OVI Laws Apply to All Types of Vehicles?
Ohio statutes call the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs “operating a vehicle while intoxicated.” This very intentional use of the awkward term OVI instead of DUI allows police and courts to enforce drunk and drugged driving laws as widely as possible.
So, yes, any person in control of any vehicle can face a DUI/OVI charge in Ohio. Intoxicated pedestrians can only face disorderly conduct or public drunkenness charges, providing they commit no other criminal offenses and are older than 21.
5 Things to Do After Being Charged With DUI
You must act quickly and consistently to establish and succeed with a defense against a drunk or drugged driving charge. Taking the following five steps when accused of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) in Ohio will help.
Call a Columbus Ohio DUI Lawyer
Your right to speak with an attorney who focuses on defending people charged with driving under the influence exists from the moment a police officer pulls you over or approaches you at a DUI checkpoint. Exercising that right as soon as possible after you hear that you will be charged with OVI gives you access to helpful advice and representation for enforcing your other rights, including protections against self-incrimination and illegal searches.
How to Get Traffic Tickets Dismissed in Ohio
There is no surefire way to get a traffic ticket dismissed in Ohio. However, working closely with a Columbus traffic ticket lawyer to take the following steps can increase your chances for keeping a traffic conviction off your driving record as well as not having to pay fines and fees.
How Do Ohio DUI Penalties Compare to Other States’?
Every state penalizes driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs harshly. Ranking states from lenient to draconian really doesn’t make sense, but it can help to know what you might face if you get convicted of DUI in different localities.
The drunk driving defense attorney with the Maher Law Firm detail Columbus Ohio DUI penalties here. The following chart contrasts a subset of what an intoxicated or stoned driver could expect in neighboring states if he or she has never been convicted of drunk or drugged driving.
Typical First-Time DUI Penalties in States That Border Ohio
Can I Receive Driving Privileges?
Ohio law allows people to regain limited personal driving privileges after they lose their license due to a criminal or traffic offense. Commercial driving privileges stay suspended for the entire period of a court-ordered or administrative suspension. Working with a license suspensions attorney in Columbus Ohio can shorten the time a person must refrain from driving altogether.
Fraud Charges and Their Penalties
Ohio law treats fraud as both a kind of theft and as a method for committing theft. Penalties for fraud include jail time, large fines, and restitution. Importantly for anyone charged with fraud, a conviction requires proving to a judge or jury that the accused defendant intended to defraud someone or to steal money or property in a fraudulent manner. Working with an experienced Columbus Ohio criminal defense attorney can help prevent a misunderstanding over ownership or permission to escalate into a criminal record.
How to Avoid a CDL Suspension in Ohio
Commercial drivers in Ohio can have their CDLs suspended for dozens of reasons. A long list of criminal offenses, traffic violations, and regulatory lapses that carry commercial driver’s license suspension penalties appears elsewhere on this Maher Law Firm website. When checking out that rundown, note that a first-time suspension raises a commercial driver’s risk for subsequent CDL suspensions.
Outside Factors That Can Affect Sobriety Tests
Police, prosecutors and judges in Columbus Ohio put great stock in sobriety tests when making arrests and holding trials on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI). The tests and their results are far from infallible, however. Several factors can influence how each assessment of impairment due to alcohol or drug use is performed and interpreted.
Discussing all the options for an OVI defense will require sitting down with an experienced Columbus Ohio OVI attorney. Here are just a few insights into how sobriety tests done by the side of the road and in a medical facility can produce unreliable and inadmissible information that should not be used to secure a conviction.
Alternative Sentences for DUI in Ohio
Ohio law offers few alternatives to jail time for a conviction on the charge state statutes call operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI). Most of the penalties that take the place of incarceration are only available to first-time drunk or drugged driving offenders, but a dedicated Union County, OH, DUI attorney will explore all the options for a more-lenient sentence when a conviction or plea deal becomes unavoidable.
How Much Jail Time Do Repeat DUIs Warrant?
The repeat DUI attorney in the Columbus, Ohio, offices of The Maher Law Firm know that multiple convictions on the charge that state statutes call operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) can carry severe penalties. One component of such sentences many of our clients understandably worry about is jail time.
The Types of DUI and Their Penalties
Ohio police enforce several laws against driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The basic offense, and the one most people think about when they hear “DUI,” is called operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI). Other anti-drunk and drugged driving statutes and special provisions exist for commercial drivers, drivers younger than 21, boaters who are under the influence, and multiple OVI offenders. Ohio also recognizes merely sitting in the driver’s seat of vehicle while intoxicated as an offense.
How Can a Domestic Violence Lawyer Help Me?
Your domestic violence defense attorney will treat you fairly and with respect.
Few people may want to listen to your side of the story after police charge you with threatening or harming someone close to you. As your legal representative, advisor, and ally, an empathetic and ethical Columbus domestic violence lawyer will never prejudge you and will always work to achieve the result that is in your best interest.
When You Can Drive if Your License Is Suspended
You have several options for getting back on the road after your license has been suspended. The options available to you depend on why, how, when, and the type of suspension that was issued. In each case, you have the right to seek advice and representation from a Columbus Ohio lawyer who knows all the details and risks of driving under suspension. The best way to stay on the road is to hire an experienced Columbus traffic attorney any time you are charged with a traffic offense. Your attorney will be able to advise you of the possibility of suspension or the potential for future suspensions so you can take steps to avoid it.
What May Happen When You Refuse a Sobriety Test
Ohio law enforcement personnel use two sets of tests to make arrests and bring charges for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI):
Most people suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol have a legal right to decline requests to perform field sobriety tests and to provide samples for lab testing. Exercising those rights can have consequences, however.
How You Can Be Wrongfully Charged with Reckless Operation
Section 4511.20 of the Ohio Revised Code states that “No person shall operate a vehicle … on any street or highway in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.” The state statute makes a point of not explicitly defining “willful or wanton disregard. That omission represents the number-one reason a driver might be wrongfully charged with reckless operation.
Why People Drive Under a Suspended License
Life does not stop. You have to get to work, shop for groceries, take the kids to practice, and attend to dozens of other obligations and errands each week. Driving, for all its traffic-related frustrations, fuel and maintenance expenses, generally makes our lives easier. Sometimes, driving is what makes life livable at all, as when we must rush a loved one to the hospital or head out of town on short notice to attend to a crisis.
How to Get Your CDL Reinstated After a DUI
The steps you must take to get your commercial driver’s license back after getting charged with driving under the influence depend on the type of suspension you received. Ohio law allows police to make an administrative license suspension, or ALS, after taking a person into custody for suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI). An OVI charge that leads to a guilty plea or conviction results in a court-ordered suspension.
How a Defense Attorney Can Defend You Against a Hit and Run Charge
Anyone convicted of a misdemeanor for leaving the scene of a car crash in Ohio can get sentenced to six months in jail and lose their driver’s license for up to three years. Criminal fines can also total $1,000, restitution can be ordered, and six points can be put on the offender’s license. Such harsh penalties can apply even if the offense involved nothing more than running into a parked vehicle and then taking off without leaving a note for the owner.
Do I Have to Stop at a DUI Checkpoint?
The question “Do I need to stop at a DUI checkpoint?” does not lend itself to a simple yes or no answer. What you can legally do when police set up a station to screen all passing motorists for signs of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) depends on where you are. Let’s run a few common scenarios.
Charges for Arson in Ohio
Chapter 2909 of the Ohio Revised Code makes it a crime for any person to use fire or explosions to “knowingly … cause, or create a substantial risk of, physical harm” to a building, person, piece of property, or vehicle. An alleged arson offense could also be treated as vandalism or terrorism, and, depending on the target and the amount of injury or damage inflicted, the purported criminal act can be prosecuted as a high-level misdemeanor or a felony. Jail and stiff fines are always possible, making hiring a Columbus, Ohio, criminal defense attorney a must when charged with arson.
Can I Get a DUI on Private Property in Ohio?
To answer the title question directly: Yes.
In more lawyerly language, the accusation of dunk or drugged driving results from suspected use of intoxicants rather than the location where a driver attracts the attention of a law enforcement officer. As a result, Ohio police have the authority to make arrests for driving under the influence on private property. This means that Ohioans have been charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) in parking lots and driveways, on golf courses and unpaved access roads, stadiums and fairgrounds.
When is an Ignition Interlock Device Required?
Any conviction or guilty plea for operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI) in Ohio can lead a judge to order the offender to use an ignition interlock device. This is true in cases involving alcohol and/or drugs. The penalty becomes mandatory for an alcohol-related OVI after a second offense within six years. Individuals with multiple drug-related or alcohol related OVI offenses on their record are also likely to be required to use an ignition interlock. House Bill 469 proposes making ignition interlock mandatory for every alleged offender, even on the first offense.
Can I Be Charged with DUI if it’s an Emergency?
Avoiding a DUI charge once an Ohio law enforcement officer asks you to perform field sobriety tests is difficult in many scenarios. The officer can be predisposed to interpret any stumble, stammer, or errant eye movement as evidence you were drinking or using drugs before getting on the road. Ironically, arguing that you were not can heighten the officer’s suspicion that you were.
Of course, if you, a friend, or a family member is experiencing an emergency in your car or at the place you were trying to reach, you are likely to answer a police officer’s questions in a confused manner and to have trouble doing things like perfectly walking a straight line heel-to-toe. Claiming that the emergency is why you committed a purported traffic violation that caught the officer’s attention or failed the field tests will do you little good.
What Can Happen if a DUI Causes Injury to Another Person?
Expect to face severe criminal charges and a civil personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit if you get charged with inflicting injuries while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. All courts, law enforcement personnel, and insurance companies in Ohio take accusations of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) seriously and will strive to maximize penalties against a driver they believe to be at fault. Hiring a Columbus, Ohio, DUI lawyer when that happens is essential.
Should I Talk to My Child About Underage Drinking?
Teenagers must know that buying and using alcohol before they reach the legal age of 21 can have serious and long-term criminal consequences. Even if simple possession of beer or carrying fake ID get prosecuted as misdemeanors, having any kind of criminal record can jeopardize educational and employment opportunities. In fact, simply getting charged with any kind of alcohol-related offense is considered a violation of many schools’ student code of conduct. Expulsion and loss of scholarships are real possibilities for committing what most people may consider youthful indiscretions.
How to Fight a Speeding Ticket
Fighting a speeding ticket in Columbus, Ohio, is relatively straightforward and often successful. The process does require commitments of time and money. It is often beneficial to hire speeding ticket lawyers like those from The Maher Law Firm to help.
What Constitutes OVI in Ohio?
Issuing and proving a charge for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Ohio takes a combination of reasonable suspicion, field sobriety test (FST) results, and laboratory test results. The last type of evidence provides the strongest grounds for penalizing a person for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI).
Habitual DUI Offenders: How a DUI Offense Attorney Can Help
As you might guess, subsequent DUI offenses can incur steeper fines and penalties, and can quite possibly decrease any leniency the judge might have been inclined to show in sentencing. An attorney who is skilled and experienced in defending clients against multiple DUI offense charges may be able to help you avoid or mitigate some of these penalties.
Human Error During Field Sobriety Tests
All three of the standard field sobriety tests an officer in Ohio will administer are subject to human interpretation, and therefore subjective in nature and open to human error. In addition to possible errors in interpretation of the tests, there are a number of variables that could impact how well you perform the tests which have nothing to do with whether you have been drinking or not.
Consequences for Boating While Intoxicated in Ohio
In the United States, alcohol use is the number one contributing factor in boating deaths according to the United States Coast Guard statistics. In addition, alcohol use is among the top five contributing factors in boating injuries and accidents. Due to this safety concern, officials are on the lookout for those boating under the influence.
What are the Differences Between Theft and Robbery?
Theft is when you deprive the owner of goods or services without authority to do so. The charge is elevated to robbery when the theft occurs with violence, or threats of violence. For an in depth look at the crime of theft and its penalties, see our blog on theft here.
Traffic Violations You Don’t Know You’re Committing
The more years between driver’s ed and your current age, the more likely we are to forget some of the rules of the road that could get us ticketed by an attentive law enforcement officer. Here are some reminders of traffic violations that we tend to get sloppy about.
One good reminder and one we often see other drivers violating is the use of a handheld mobile device while driving. You are also not allowed to drive while using headphones.
Should You Hire a Columbus Traffic Ticket Lawyer?
According to a 2012 news article in The Columbus Dispatch: “showing up in court almost always pays off. A review of more than 4,500 tickets issued in work zones around the I-71/670 interchange and on I-270 found that more than 93 percent of people who went to court (or had an attorney go to court for them) instead of mailing a check or entering a credit-card number online walked away with reduced or dismissed fines. Court officials say such statistics are a real-world glimpse at how the judicial system operates, not only for construction-zone speeding tickets but for all kinds of minor traffic offenses.”
What Can Happen If You Don’t Stop When An Officer Tries To Pull You Over
There are many possible consequences for not stopping when an officer signals you to pull over. None of them are good.
One possible consequence is that a high-speed chase ensues when you fail to stop after being signaled by a law enforcement officer. The risks here include losing control of your automobile and hurting yourself and/or someone else, including the police officer. It is quite possible that an innocent bystander gets in the way, and you cannot avoid hitting them. Now charges that may have been relatively minor, such as a traffic violation, are major.
How Officers Test for Alcohol and Drugs in Your System
There are three chemical tests law enforcement officers may perform on you if you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI). Officers may test your breath, your blood and/or your urine to determine if you have a blood alcohol content level (BAC) over the legal limit. In Ohio, DUI penalties for a first time offense are set according to your BAC level. If the BAC was between .08% and .17%, there is a mandatory three-day jail stay.
Charges for Illegal Possession of a Weapon
The Ohio State Constitution protects the right to bear arms, but there are caveats to that right. Here is what the Ohio State Constitution says on the matter of the right to bear arms:
The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be kept up; and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.
Charges for Driving Under A Suspended License
Driving with a suspended license is against the law. If you are caught driving with a suspended license you face steep penalties including fines, jail time, forfeiture of your vehicle, impoundment of your license plates, probation, community service, and a longer license suspension term. The jail term could be up to 180 days and fine for driving under suspension is up to $1,000.
The scary part is that you might not even know your license has been suspended. Under Ohio law, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles is only required to mail the notice to your last known address. You must update the BMV if your address has changed to make sure you can be made aware of any license or registration issues.
What are the Different Types of Driving Suspensions?
There are a surprising range of charges that may get your driver’s license, and therefore your driving privileges, suspended.
One of the most common reasons for license suspension is a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI), also known as OVI – operating a vehicle while impaired. If you’re arrested and given a breath, blood, or urine test and the results indicate alcohol or drugs above the legal level, an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) is imposed. If you are convicted of DUI or OVI, you will receive a court ordered OVI suspension. If you are arrested and refuse a blood, breath, or urine test your license will be suspended.
What Happens When You are Charged for Marijuana Possession if You are a Minor?
If you or your minor child is charged with marijuana possession, the first action you need to take is to find an experienced, skilled attorney to defend you against these charges. Though the State of Ohio has made first-time personal possession charges a minor misdemeanor, there is a great deal at stake here. Any drug conviction in Ohio could result in a suspended driver’s license, with the suspension lasting anywhere from six months to five years. In addition, a drug conviction becomes part of your permanent record and could follow you for a long time to come, ruining scholarship, employment, and tenancy chances.
Beyond a possession charge, if the charge is connected to an OVI (operating a vehicle while impaired) penalties become dramatically more serious, even for juveniles.
What to Do if You’re Accused of Fraud
In the most general of terms, fraud is the practice of using dishonest ways to deprive someone else of something of value. There are many different ways to commit fraud from identity theft to food stamp, Medicare, and even mail fraud. Make no mistake, fraud is a very serious criminal charge and if you are accused, the first thing you need to do is get the best criminal attorney you can find.
What to Expect if You’re Charged with Reckless Driving
Though reckless driving charges are issued many times a day in Ohio making it a common traffic violation, the charge of reckless driving carries with it serious consequences. According to Ohio Revised Code 4511.20, the statute states: “No person shall operate a vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar on any street or highway in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.”
Why You Should Fight a Minor Speeding or Other Traffic Ticket
In Ohio, there is no uniform fee for going ten miles over the speed limit in a school zone, for example. The fines and fees are set by individual municipalities and vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, county to county, and municipality to municipality. The best method for determining the fine you are being assessed is to read your ticket. It will detail the fine for the violation you are accused of committing.
Consequences for Drinking and Driving in Franklin County
Franklin County has a long history of drunk driving enforcement dating back to 1993. It is a history of intense enforcement and one that touts positive results in reducing OVI (operating a vehicle while impaired) or DUI (driving under the influence) related accidents and deaths. The Sheriff credits these reductions to increased enforcement. Franklin County boasts a special DUI Taskforce that strategizes where to station sobriety checkpoints and how to deploy DUI patrols. This aggressive enforcement means if you drink and drive in Franklin County, there is a good chance you will need the services of a Franklin County DUI lawyer.
How Multiple DUIs Can Cost You
Practice makes perfect, but not when it comes to driving under the influence (DUI) also known by the updated acronym OVI – operating a vehicle while impaired. Piling up DUI offenses within a six year period can become very costly, not only in terms of defending against the charges, but in lost work, stress, and reputation.
What Is Physical Control of A Vehicle?
Under Ohio Law, physical control is defined as: “… being in the driver's position of the front seat of a vehicle or in the driver's position of a streetcar or trackless trolley and having possession of the vehicle's, streetcar's, or trackless trolley's ignition key or other ignition device.”
So, if you are passed out behind the steering wheel in the driver’s seat with the keys nearby, you are risking being arrested for physical control. If you’re going to sleep it off, it is best to do so in the back seat. A classic example is someone who knows they’re impaired and is not going to drive drunk gets in their car by the bar, and turns on the heater or air conditioner to be comfortable. Then, when all comfy, they fall asleep, or pass out, often with the vehicle still running. The running vehicle then draws the attention of law enforcement. That being said, it is still much better to suffer a physical control charge versus an actual operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI) charge.
What Constitutes Theft In Ohio?
According to Ohio law, theft occurs when one person deprives another of property:
Theft can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony crime. The charge is determined by the value of the stolen property or services.
Reinstating Your Driver’s License
If your license has been suspended as the result of a driving under the influence (DUI) or operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI) conviction, you would do well to consult an Ohio driver’s license reinstatement lawyer. Your driver’s license may be suspended as a result of an administrative license suspension, or as the result of a judge’s order.
If, as part of your DUI conviction, the judge in your case suspended your license. You may usually request limited driving privileges during the suspension. Limited driving privileges are usually given for work, educational, vocational or medical reasons. However, a DUI administrative license suspension requires a certain amount of “hard time” - or non-negotiable – license suspension. In the first offense, it is usually a matter of 15 days hard time license suspension. This chart shows a range of these hard time suspensions by offense.
Will I Have to Serve Jail Time for My DUI?
OVI offenses (operating a vehicle under the influence) in Ohio have serious consequences and the state strictly enforces these penalties even on the first offense. OVI or DUI (driving under the influence) convictions in Ohio can carry the following penalties, depending on the number of convictions on your record:
Consequences of a Hit and Run in Ohio
Leaving the scene of the accident can have a lasting negative impact on every aspect of your life, from large fines to jail time. Consequences differ according to the severity of the accident and whether human life or property is involved.
Having an accident, even if no one is injured, is a frightening event. You might be tempted to leave the scene, but do not do that! Penalties for leaving the scene of an accident are extremely stiff. Additionally, leaving the scene makes you appear to be guilty, regardless of whether or not you’re at fault. In this day and age with cell phone cameras everywhere, the accident would probably already recorded and you leaving would be too.
Is an OVI a Felony?
Driving under the influence can be a felony in certain circumstances. Some circumstances making an OVI a felony include:
The penalties for misdemeanor OVIs are harsh enough and the felony penalties are even more so. A first time felony of the fourth degree will land you in jail for a minimum of 60 days with a minimum fine of $1350. Your license will be suspended for 3 years to life with no driving privileges for three years. Your vehicle will be confiscated by the state and never returned if it is registered to you.
The Effect of DUI Convictions on Medical and Nursing Licenses
As a medical professional, the stress and pressures of your job may be overwhelming at times. By virtue of your position, the public and your patients rely tremendously on your skill and judgment.
A drunk driving conviction for a medical professional can mean the loss of licensure and the loss of your job. Different licenses are treated in different ways, so drunk driving penalties are based on the regulations of that particular state licensing board.
For nurses, the Ohio Board of Nursing deals with professional licensing. Penalties for drunk driving or operating a vehicle impaired (OVI), according to the Ohio Revised Code, may include:
OVI Penalties for First-Time Offenders
The State of Ohio takes OVI offenses very seriously and strictly enforces certain penalties against offenders, even on the first offense. If you are arrested and convicted of OVI in Ohio, your first conviction will earn you a court-ordered suspension, which will be between six months and three years. Further, penalties for the first time offense are set according to your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. If the BAC was between .08% and .17%, there is a mandatory three-day jail stay.
Provided there is no property damage or injuries, fines for the first offense start at $375 and may go as high as $1,075. Of course, that is just one component of the costs of a first DUI offense. Another component of the first DUI offense is paying attorney fees, which could amount to much more than your fine.
Refusal to Take a Breathalyzer Test in Ohio
Law enforcement is hyper-vigilant on enforcing DUI laws. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 30 people in the United States daily die in motor vehicle crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. Further, the CDC estimates the annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals at more than $59 billion.
If you are stopped and suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) you have the right to refuse to take a breathalyzer test but you will face increased penalties. Operating a vehicle in Ohio means you have given your “implied consent” to giving a blood, breath, or urine sample if the officer has probable cause to arrest you under suspicion of OVI/DUI (operating a vehicle under the influence).
About Breath, Blood, and Urine Tests in Ohio
When you operate a vehicle in Ohio, you do so with “implied consent,” meaning that if you are arrested for OVI (operating a vehicle under the influence) Ohio law requires that you take a test of either your breath, blood, or urine. The arresting officer gets to determine which test you take, and the test must be consented to within two hours of driving.
If you’re arrested and refuse to take the test, you may have your license suspended for one year for the first offense, two years for the second offense, and three years for the third offense.
What Are DUI Blood Alcohol Limits in Columbus, Ohio?
BAC, which stands for blood alcohol content, refers to the amount of alcohol in your blood. BAC is measured as weight per unit of volume and is converted to a percentage. For example, if one-eighth of a percent of your blood is alcohol, then your BAC level is .08%.
What Are Sentence Enhancements for DUI/OVI in Ohio?
DUI/OVI convictions in Ohio can result in severe penalties. A first offense could result in a minimum of 72 consecutive hours in jail, a minimum fine of $375 plus court costs, and a license suspension of at least six months. Under Ohio law, the state may choose to enhance DUI penalties. These enhanced penalties are known as sentence enhancements, and they are used to add additional punishment in DUI cases.
Sentence enhancements for OVI are statutes that provide for increased penalties if certain aggravating factors exist. While the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) level is 0.08% in Ohio, an extremely high BAC level can lead to a longer jail term and higher fines. The enhanced penalty BAC limit in Ohio is 0.17%.
Penalty for Driving Without Insurance in Ohio
Ohio requires drivers to have valid insurance when operating a vehicle in the state. When an officer performs a traffic stop, he or she will ask for the driver’s license, car registration information, and proof of insurance. If an officer finds that the insurance information you present is either falsified or expired, he or she can issue a citation for that alone. Failure to present insurance information within 30 days of the traffic stop is also grounds for a citation. Read more to learn about the specific penalties for those who drive uninsured in Ohio, and why it is always wise to contact a Columbus, Ohio traffic ticket lawyer in the event you are cited while driving.
DUI Child Endangerment Laws in Ohio
It is important to remember the safety of all passengers on the road when you are driving; this is especially true when it comes to the safety of the youngest passengers. Currently 38 states, including Ohio, have enacted some sort of enhanced penalty or separate offense for operating a vehicle under the influence while transporting a child. Not only do you put yourself at risk for DUI charges and the accompanying fines, you also face additional penalties and increased fines for endangering a minor. If you are charged with child endangerment while drinking and driving, it is best to contact a Columbus, Ohio drunk driving lawyer immediately.
Traffic Violations That Could Have Your CDL Suspended
For those who drive for a living, having and keeping your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is necessary to paying bills and providing for your family. Whether you drive a delivery route, transport cargo over long stretches of road, or provide much needed transportation services to the community, you need your CDL for your continued employment. Judges and police officers hold those with a commercial driver’s license to a higher standard, and they expect that you follow every traffic law to the letter.
Every traffic stop has the potential to not only land you a misdemeanor conviction, but also to lose your CDL. Not only do you need to worry about your actions while in your personal vehicle, but you need to take special care when operating a vehicle for your employer as well. Take a look at the following common traffic violations that could cause you to have your commercial driver’s license suspended.
What are major traffic violations in Ohio?
Earlier posts discussed some of the minor traffic violations in Ohio, those that would result in a ticket and a fine. Now we will discuss some of the major traffic violations that will cost you more than a few hundred dollars. As with minor traffic offenses, major traffic offenses can add up. Under Ohio Law, drivers accumulate points against their driver’s license for various moving violations. Drivers who have accumulated 12 points within a 2-year period will have their drivers license suspended. Rather than hand out 2 points at a time for the minor traffic violations, the courts often hit drivers with up to 6 points against their driver’s license.
Driving under the influence of marijuana in Ohio
Driving while under the influence of a narcotic or other controlled substances such as marijuana can lead to serious legal repercussions. Marijuana has gained notoriety in the past few years with the legalization for medicinal and recreational use in some states. Even with increased use of marijuana and legalization in some states, drivers in Ohio caught with measureable amounts of marijuana in their blood samples or urine samples will be charged with Operating a Vehicle Under the influence and could face the same jail time and fines as though they were drinking and driving.
Ohio DUI/OVI Felony Laws
Felony OVI/DUI offenses are serious. They carry with them mandatory minimum jail sentences, lengthy license suspensions, and hefty fines. It is important to learn what can lead to a felony OVI conviction and how to take steps to prevent the OVI/DUI charges from piling up. It is always important to consult a DUI attorney in Columbus, Ohio to fully explain the different consequences you face with each DUI charge.
When to Hire a Traffic Violation Attorney
Knowing when to hire a traffic violation attorney can be the difference between points on your license or only a small fine. You may find yourself asking, “Why should I spend more money with these high court costs and possible fines?” The answer is simple: the trained traffic violation lawyers will do their best to reduce the fines and costs. Many people forget that insurance premiums increase when the traffic violations add up. Here are a few instances when hiring a Columbus, Ohio traffic violation attorney is a must.
How an OVI Conviction Affects Your Car Insurance
An OVI conviction in Franklin County, Ohio carries significant consequences. One of the consequences that continues long after an OVI conviction is increased insurance premiums. If you are convicted of an OVI, your license will be suspended. In order to get a license reinstated after an OVI, a person must do the following: wait for the suspension time period to lapse, pay a reinstatement fee of $475, and provide proof of insurance.
5 Potential Ways to Get Your DUI Case Dismissed
Drunk driving is a serious charge in Union County, Ohio. OVI lawyers know that there is no such thing as a simple drunk driving charge. Every case is different, with different facts and circumstances. If you have been charged with OVI, there are many different defenses an attorney can utilize. Here are five possible reasons an OVI could get dismissed.
Should You Fight Your DUI Charge
If you have been charged with an OVI (commonly referred to as a DUI) in Delaware, Ohio, you will have an arraignment very soon. At arraignment, two things happen. The Court will read the charges against you and you enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Before arraignment, you need to decide whether to fight the charge.
The answer: you should always plead not guilty and fight a DUI charge.
How to Get Out of a Speeding Ticket: Tips from a Lawyer
You can’t just ignore a speeding ticket if you get one. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will suspend your Ohio driver's license and the court may issue a bench warrant for your arrest if you do not respond to your ticket. Speeding tickets can add points to your license and can raise your insurance premiums. If you are someone who likes to keep their driving record clean, let a Columbus traffic attorney give you some tips.
About Underage DUI Cases in Ohio
Have you or one of your children been charged with underage drinking and driving in Columbus, Ohio? Because the standards are stricter and the penalties may be harsher for those under 21 who are charged with underage drinking and driving, hiring an experienced underage DUI attorney is a wise move.
Tips to Prevent Drinking and Driving
Thousands of people die in alcohol-impaired car accidents each year. Don’t become a statistic. There are many different ways to prevent drinking and driving from happening in the first place. Here are some tips that will hopefully help you avoid having to contact an OVI defense lawyer in Columbus, Ohio.
How Much Does an OVI Lawyer Cost?
If you were arrested for OVI, you might be wondering how much it costs to hire a Madison County, OH OVI attorney. Whether you’re a first-time offender or you’ve been arrested for OVI multiple times, an attorney can help protect your rights and defend you in court. Drivers who obtain legal counsel always fare far better than drivers who try to represent themselves.
If you’re thinking about hiring a Madison County, OH OVI lawyer, it’s only natural to want to know how much it would cost. While the cost of hiring an OVI lawyer varies from one case to another, there are various factors to consider when estimating your legal expenses.
Underage DUI Penalties in Ohio
Although only 10% of licensed drivers are under the age of 21, underage drivers are responsible for about 17% of fatal drinking and driving accidents. This is because underage drivers tend to be more reckless and are less likely to wear a seatbelt.
Ohio has zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving. Drivers under the age of 21 will be arrested if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of over 0.02%. The BAC limit for drivers over the age of 21 is 0.08%.
The Consequences of Repeat DUI/OVI Offenses in Ohio
There are serious penalties in place to punish those who drive drunk, including probation and jail time. In some cases, however, these punishments aren’t enough to deter people from drinking and driving again in the future. Repeat DUI/OVI offenders make up about a third of drunk driving arrests each year.
In Ohio, the status of repeat offenders in DUI/OVI cases is determined based on a six-year “look back” period. The look back period is calculated from the date of the prior conviction.
DUI in Ohio with an Out-of-State License
The penalties for a DUI offense in Ohio depend on how much alcohol you have in your system, how many prior DUI/OVI related offenses you have, and whether or not you refuse to take a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol level.
Fight my DUI / OVI or Take the Deal?
When facing any criminal or traffic charge, a plea bargain is what the prosecutor offers in exchange for not having to move the case further along in the court process. Offers can get better as the case proceeds, but they can also get worse.
OVI Ohio: First Offense Penalties
Mandatory minimum of 3 days in jail or 72 hours in a driver intervention program. Up to 6 months in jail.
*Note- if you have a high alcohol test result, the mandatory minimum is increased to 6 days in jail, or 3 days in jail and 72 hours in a driver intervention program.
35 Procedural Errors to Fight DUI / OVI Administrative License Suspension in Ohio
There are two types of license suspensions that can be imposed after you have been charged for operating under the influence. They act to suspend your license while your case is pending in court. One is called a public safety suspension that the judge can impose if they feel your continued driving will be a threat to public safety. The other is an administrative license suspension through the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. This is also referred to as an implied consent suspension.
Should I Take the Portable Breath Test in Ohio?
Should I take the Portable Breath Test in Ohio?
If you are pulled over for driving under the influence DUI/OVI, you may be asked to submit to a breath test while on the scene. These portable breath tests (PBT) are not scientifically reliable and cannot be used for or against you in trial. The fact that you refuse the PBT also cannot be used against you in trial.
Speed Monitoring by Plane
How many times have you been driving and one of your passengers warns you about a police officer checking the speed of traffic? Good luck seeing this one coming back seat driver. Many jurisdictions are now checking speed by aircraft.
License to Carry a Concealed Handgun- Stopped by Law Enforcement
As you think about exercising your rights as an American this Fourth of July, remember that doing so can create certain duties under Ohio law. If you have your concealed carry license and are stopped for a law enforcement purpose while carrying a concealed handgun:
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.
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.
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.
4 Benefits to Fighting a Speeding Ticket in Ohio
It seems simple enough to treat a traffic 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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Drunk Driving Attorneys 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.
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.
Is It a Refusal if I’m Unable to Blow in the Breathalyzer?
Being physically unable perform a breath test while under suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) can stand as a positive defense against an OVI refusal charge.
Stripping out the legalese, a judge can find you not guilty of refusing to do a Breathalyzer if you and your Delaware, Ohio, OVI lawyer can show that you were too ill, injured or incapacitated to produce an adequate breath sample. This may allow for avoiding the increased penalties involved with a conviction for refusing a breathalyzer when you have a prior OVI offense within a certain period of time.
What Is Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated?
Perhaps the best way to explain the alleged offense Ohio calls aggravated vehicular homicide is to define the three words in reverse order:
How Long Will I Spend in Jail as a DUI Offender?
One of the primary reasons to hire a Columbus drunk driving attorney is to get help with staying out of a county jail cell.
The following table summarizes the types of jail sentences Ohio courts can impose for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI). Note that avoiding incarceration altogether is pretty much impossible for what judges call a “high test” conviction, even when the defendant has no previous history of driving under the influence.
What to Expect if You Get a Second DUI
In Ohio, incarceration and use of an ignition interlock device once limited driving privileges are reinstated become mandatory with a second conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol within a six-year period. So do display of specially designed offender plates and a 90-day “immobilization” (i.e., booting or impoundment) of one’s personal vehicle after s second operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) conviction.
The Franklin County drunk driving attorney with The Maher Law Firm present a full rundown of the penalties Ohio imposes for multiple DUIs on this webpage. Five things worth noting about a second OVI/DUI case are:
Hit and Run in Ohio: What You Need to Know
Ohio treats leaving the scene of a traffic accident as a serious offense. Even the victim in a traffic accident can be charged with the offense that state statutes call stopping after an accident if he or she takes off after a crash without first speaking with police. As a Columbus Ohio traffic defense attorney, here is what Colin Maher of The Maher Law Firm tells drivers they must know.
Domestic Assault and Battery Charges
Ohio state statutes group domestic assault and battery under the label “domestic violence.” Further, no clear distinction is made between “assault” and “battery.” In states where a legal difference is recognized, battery involves making contact with another person. An assault can occur with or without contact.
Although most violations of domestic violence laws are prosecuted as misdemeanors, penalties can be severe. Because accusation of assaulting a family member or a romantic partner who share your house can stem from a misunderstanding and or self-defense, hiring a Columbus, Ohio, criminal defense attorney as soon as a charge is filed is very important.
Should I Consider a Plea Bargain in My DUI Case?
The short answer is yes, you should consider a plea bargain in your DUI case.
That being said, you should never agree to admit to being guilty of any criminal offense or traffic violation until you consult with an experienced Columbus DUI attorney. The prosecutor who offers to reduce a charge from what Ohio statutes calls operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) may not be looking to lower potential penalties. Rather, he or she may just want to resolve the case while securing what amounts to a conviction. Do not agree to anything without first consulting an experienced DUI attorney in Columbus.
Repeat Reckless Driving Charges
Racking up more than one reckless driving charge within a 12-month period puts an Ohio driver at risk for a month or more in jail. Losing a license to a 12-point violation is also a possibility, and paying hundreds of dollars in fines is a given.
A Brief Overview of Reckless Operation
A first conviction for the offense that Ohio state laws refer to as reckless operation is treated as a minor misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $150. Even though it is called a “minor” misdemeanor, it is more serious than the typical traffic offense as indicated by the four-point license penalty.
Juveniles’ Constitutional Rights
Under the U.S. Constitution and the laws of Ohio, children and teens enjoy many of the same protections against illegal arrests and unfair trials that adults do. This is important because even a conviction for an offense as seemingly minor as underage possession of alcohol or disorderly conduct can cost a young person valuable educational and employment opportunities.
How Far Over the Speed Limit Is Considered ‘Speeding’?
Anything over the speed limit is speeding.
This is neither a philosophical maxim, nor a statement of physical principles. It’s the law.
Ohio state statutes designate speeding as a prima facie offense. In plain English, this means that a police officer who clocks you going even one mile over a posted speed limit can pull you over and write you a ticket.
What if I’m Charged With a DUI in Another State?
The name of the charge varies, but each state enforces a law that is equivalent to Ohio’s prohibition on operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI). The legal limits for blood alcohol concentration are identical -- .08 for adults older than 21; .04 for commercial truck and bus drivers -- no matter where you travel in the United States. Penalties vary, as do provisions regarding boating while impaired, having a very high BAC, driving under the influence of alcohol while younger than 21, and driving while under the influence of drugs.
Charges for Receiving Stolen Property
Ohio law enforcement considers receiving stolen property an act of theft and fraud. That is, even though a person accused of receiving stolen property did not steal anything or illegally deprive anyone of anything of value, the legal system treats the person as a thief or a perpetrator of fraud.
What Counts as a Crime?
Here is what section 2913.51 says specifically about the alleged offense: “No person shall receive, retain, or dispose of property of another knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the property has been obtained through commission of a theft offense.”
Traffic Ticket and DUI Penalties for Commercial Drivers
Most Ohio traffic laws apply equally to all drivers. Whether you are in your own car or behind the wheel of a semi, you must obey posted speed limits, stop at red lights, and stay in your lane unless you signal and wait until the way is clear before moving over.
Will I Do Jail Time for Drunk Driving?
First, understand that getting pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can subject you to being detained in a medical facility or police station. Even if police do not charge you with an offense, they are allowed to hold you for breath, blood, and urine testing, questioning, and safety considerations. If you have reason to think you will get charged, one of your rights is to contact a Delaware, Ohio, drunk driving attorney for advice and representation. Exercising that right can save you from unintentionally disclosing information that a prosecutor could use against you at trial.
Underage Drinking Defenses
Since I practice criminal defense law in Columbus, OH, I know that city, county, state and Ohio State University police enforce underage drinking laws vigorously. Combine a large population of college students with a long list of regulations on the purchase, possession, and consumption of beer, wine, and liquor, and you have all the ingredients for a seemingly never-ending docket of cases involving alcohol and alleged offenders who are under the age of 21.
The best defense against an underage alcohol charge will depend on the nature of the charge and the facts of the situation. The most common underage drinking cases involve accusations of
Will I Have to Have an Ignition Interlock Device After Multiple DUIs?
Yes. A second conviction within six years for the offense Ohio law calls alcohol-related operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) carries a mandatory penalty of using an ignition interlock device. The duration of using the device is set by the judge who issues the penalty. Also be aware that the in-car breathalyzer is just one part of the sentence for a multiple DUI offense.
Even a first-time conviction for driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs can bring the following penalties:
What Are the Rules for Alcohol Consumption on the Water in Ohio?
Every law regarding alcohol use on land applies to alcohol use on the lakes and rivers of Ohio. In a sentence: Individuals older than 21 can drink on the water, but they cannot take the wheel while legally drunk.
In a paragraph: Boat operators can face charges for boating while intoxicated (BWI). Boat passengers can be arrested for underage drinking. Any person aboard a boat or riding a personal watercraft can be charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct. Serving people younger than 21 on the water can bring alcohol-related charges, as can using a boat to illegally transport alcohol into Ohio from a neighboring state or Canada. Because some Ohio waterways are under federal jurisdiction, including Lake Erie and parts of the Ohio River, some alcohol-related cases are heard in U.S. federal courts.
What is the Difference Between OVI and DUI?
OVI stands for operating a vehicle while intoxicated by beer, wine, liquor, or any of the drugs classified as Schedule I or Schedule II by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. Those drugs include marijuana, methamphetamines, cocaine/crack, heroin, and prescription painkillers known as opiates and opioids.
DUI is an acronym for driving under the influence. The influence can come from alcohol or drugs.
How is BAC Determined?
Ohio police officers have four ways to measure a suspect’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC):
State laws and court rules restrict the conduct and interpretation of each test. Trial judges should not allow prosecutors to present results from prohibited or poorly conducted tests when seeking a conviction for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI), being drunk in public, or other alcohol-related charges. Hiring a Pick-away County drunk driving attorney will allow you to make sure you do not suffer unjust penalties based on poorly administered or misused BAC tests.
Your Rights During a Sobriety Test
You have the right to remain silent.
You have the right to protect yourself from providing evidence that may incriminate you.
Taken together, these constitutional protections give you the right to refuse to perform field sobriety tests and to decline requests to provide breath, blood, and urine samples while in custody for suspicion of driving under the influence. A few restrictions on exercising your right to refuse chemical alcohol and drug testing exist under Ohio law, but you can always raise legal challenges to how such assessments were performed and analyzed with the help of an Ohio sobriety test attorney.
Will I Lose my License if I Can’t Pay a Speeding Ticket?
A court-ordered driver’s license suspension is a possibility if you do not pay the fine for pleading guilty to or being convicted of speeding in Ohio.
Under the traffic laws of Ohio, drivers ticketed for speeding do not automatically face a license suspension. A series of decisions and actions, however, can end with the loss of driving privileges for an indeterminate period.
Defenses to a Reckless Driving Charge in Ohio
Reckless operation also referred to as reckless driving is now call operation in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property. The charge can carry serious penalties but is poorly defined. This fact makes contesting a reckless charge with the help of a Columbus reckless driving attorney worth considering.
How a Drunk Driving Lawyer Can Benefit You?
A Franklin County drunk driving attorney can begin working for you within hours of your arrest for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI). In fact, starting the defense as soon as possible can be essential when the arresting Ohio police officer has given you an administrative license suspension.
Working closely with a lawyer who has years of experience helping DUI/OVI suspects during the period between arrest and sentencing is also important for ensuring that the prosecution can prove its case. Substantiating a charge for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is often difficult, and weaknesses in the evidence often lead to having a case dismissed or to prosecutors agreeing to accept a plea to a lesser offense.
What to Do If You Are Suspected of a Hit and Run
Do not hesitate to contact a Columbus, Ohio, criminal defense attorney if police accuse you of leaving the scene of an accident. Penalties for hit and run, which state statutes refer to as “fleeing the scene of an accident,” can be harsh, rising to as much as three years in jail when the crash resulted in another person’s death. Even a hit-and-run collision that only inflicts vehicle damage can lead to a 180-day jail term, a lengthy driver’s license suspension, and large fines.
DUI Fines and Penalties in Union County Ohio
Union County, OH, DUI attorney Colin Maher summarizes the penalties and fines for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) on this webpage. If you want even more detail, you can download extensive charts prepared for the Garfield Heights Municipal Courts, which operate in Cuyahoga County but follow the same rules as Union County courts.
Consequences of Disorderly Conduct in Ohio
The state laws of Ohio stipulate that disorderly conduct will be prosecuted as a minor misdemeanor unless the following circumstances aggravate the alleged offense:
How Long Will My License Be Suspended After an OVI Conviction?
Losing the ability to drive without restrictions is one of the harsher penalties for operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI) in Ohio. One reason for this is that an administrative license suspension or a court-ordered suspension applies to any commercial driver’s licenses a person holds and to their personal license. Losing a CDL can mean losing one’s job.
How to Fight a Disorderly Conduct Charge
“Disorderly conduct” is a catch-all misdemeanor charge, with fairly broad and vague definitions. The overarching principle of the law is that it prohibits anyone from “recklessly” causing “inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm to another” through these specific actions:
Ohio OVI/DUI First Offenses
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because this is your first offense for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) also known by the updated acronym OVI – Operating a Vehicle Impaired – that the judge will go easy on you. Even a first offense could mean jail time, substantial costs, a mandatory driver’s license suspension, and reinstatement fees.
Tips on Preparing For A Trial
Your attorney will help you prepare for trial, but there are some preparations that defendants can make that can mean the difference between success and failure on trial day.
Disputing Your Ohio Traffic Ticket
If you receive a traffic ticket and just turn around and pay that ticket, you are pleading guilty to the offense you were accused of committing. This is the case even if there may be circumstances or mitigating facts that would allow you to prevail and not have the guilty plea, and the resulting points on your record.
What Families Can Do to Prevent Underage Alcohol Consumption
Preventing underage alcohol consumption should begin at an early age. It begins with the adults around the children modeling positive behavior. That means if you as the parent drink, don’t drink too much or too often. If you have a problem with drinking, get help.
How to Avoid Adding Points to Your License
Aside from the obvious (don’t get traffic tickets), there are a number of ways to avoid adding points to your driver’s license. Accumulating points on your driver’s license can be costly in a number of ways. Most traffic violations come with points, and if you accumulate 12 or more points in a two-year period, your driver’s license will be suspended. Insurance companies regularly check your driving record and if you have added points to your license in the last year, chances are you will be charged a higher rate for insurance.
How to Avoid a Physical Control Charge in Ohio
According to Ohio Law, physical control is: “… being in the driver's position of the front seat of a vehicle or in the driver's position of a streetcar or trackless trolley and having possession of the vehicle's, streetcar's, or trackless trolley's ignition key or other ignition device.”
If you have had too much to drink and know you shouldn’t drive, there is a wealth of choices at this point to avoid a physical control charge.
Charges for the Illegal Manufacture of Drugs
Under both Ohio and federal law, the illegal manufacture of drugs is a very serious crime. If the controlled substance manufactured was a schedule I or II drug, this is classified as a second degree felony and the penalty for this is a mandatory two to eight years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. If the manufacturing took place in the vicinity of juveniles or of a school, the sentence is enhanced to be a first degree felony with three to 10 years in prison and a fine of as much as $20,000.
Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, marijuana drug crime, ecstasy, methaqualone, and peyote. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, Schedule I drugs are defined as “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence.”
Should You Fight Your Speeding Ticket?
If you simply pay a speeding ticket, you are pleading guilty to the charge. Even though that may seem to be the easiest way to deal with a ticket, it is merely a short-term solution. Speeding tickets have a cumulative impact on your license. A guilty plea to any speeding ticket automatically adds points to your driver’s license. The amount of points depends on how many miles per hour you are going above the posted speed limit. Your insurance company reviews how many points you have accumulated and will increase your insurance rates because of those points. If you accumulate 12 points in two years, your license will be suspended for six months.
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
OVI (operating a vehicle while impaired), also known as DUI (driving under the influence) is typically associated with alcohol-impaired driving. More and more, drug impaired driving is becoming a problem on Ohio roads. Officers are trained to look for drivers exhibiting symptoms of drug impaired driving.
If a law enforcement official has reason to suspect you are under the influence of drugs – whether legal prescription medications or illegal drugs – he or she may arrest you for drugged driving. If arrested, you may be required to take a blood or urine test. If you refuse to take a chemical test after being arrested, you will be subject to an administrative license suspension.
The Top 5 Reasons People Get Pulled Over
You might not be all that surprised by the items on this list, but it makes sense to think about it and how you might change some of your driving habits to make you less of a potential target for the random – or not so random - traffic stop.
Speeding: Are you just in a hurry to get to the next thing? Are you late to pick up the kids from school? Keep in mind the next time you are speeding that the reason you may be stopped is that the faster you go, the more time you need to react to the unexpected. In other words, speeding is dangerous. Commutes are longer than ever before, and unfortunately our patience with being in the car for those long commutes is shorter than ever. Awareness of speed limits and committing yourself to staying at or under the speed limit will help you avoid costly tickets and license points that increase your insurance rates.
Defending Yourself Against an Assault Charge
If you have been charged with assault, you should secure the assistance of a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Assault charges are very serious and can paint a very negative picture of you when potential and current employers or landlords or creditors look into your record. Ohio’s assault laws are complex and the penalties for assault convictions are extremely serious.
How to Reinstate Your License After a DUI Charge
known by the updated acronym OVI – operating a vehicle while impaired – is important and not automatic.
This chart shows the potential license suspensions for offenses within the same six-year period.
What to Do if You Suspect Your Child is Drinking Underage
First, if you suspect your child is drinking and is not 21, you need to have a discussion with him or her about your suspicions. If you’re seeing behavior changes or physical changes such as red eyes or you smell alcohol on his or her breath, these are indications that you should have the conversation before the authorities become involved. Other indications of alcohol use may be alcohol missing from cans or bottles in your home, overuse of breath mints or mouthwash, skipping school, borrowing money more frequently, aggressive or rebellious behavior, abruptly changing friends, lower grades, hiding alcohol, or any kind of intoxicated behavior such as slurring speech or uncoordinated movements.
How Can a DUI Attorney Help Me?
Driving under the influence (DUI) or operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI) - is a very serious offense in Ohio. Defending yourself against DUI charges is critical to your record and could play a lasting role in your future ability to get a job, be promoted, receive a professional license, get into school, or even rent your next apartment. There are many ways in which a DUI attorney can help defend you against these charges.
What You Should Know About Expungements
Having your record expunged makes it as though no arrest or conviction ever occurred. Expunging the record is a process that involves filing an application with the court, paying a filing fee (unless it was a dismissal), and a hearing in front of a judge. Expungement occurs when the record of your case is permanently deleted and is no longer accessible. Ohio law indicates that it should be treated as though the charge and conviction never occurred.
What is Disorderly Conduct?
Disorderly conduct is a not-too-specific minor misdemeanor charge for any conduct police think may go beyond basic freedom of expression.
Ohio Revised Code prohibits anyone from “recklessly” causing “inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm to another by” taking any of the following actions:
What Can Happen If You Obstruct Official Business
In Ohio, obstructing official business has serious consequences. Obstructing official business can include lying to the police or hiding someone who is fleeing the law. It can also occur if you warn someone that the police intend to arrest him or her. It is also considered obstructing official business if you give money, a ride, a weapon, or any means of getting away from police to someone who is fleeing justice. It must be an affirmative act on your part in order to be considered obstruction, meaning that failing to act is not an affirmative action. It can also be charged if you are the individual who is fleeing justice.
How Field Sobriety Tests Can Malfunction
Like many things in life, field sobriety tests are not foolproof. Many elements – most of them human – go into giving the test, taking the test, and evaluating the test. In addition to being subjective by nature, there are many variables that can impact the validity of the test.
There are three typical field sobriety tests that officers will administer. These tests are:
What to Do if You’ve Been Charged with Felonious Assault in Ohio
The most important first step you can take if you’re charged with Ohio Felonious assault is to find an experienced, trusted criminal defense attorney. Felonious Assault charges in Ohio can be extremely complex and are taken very seriously by Ohio courts. Ohio law defines assault as: knowingly causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another or to another's unborn; or recklessly causing serious physical harm to another or to another's unborn. This is known as “simple assault,” and it is the least serious assault charge.
How to Stop a Friend from Drinking and Driving
We all know the importance of not drinking and driving. Keeping your friends from drinking and driving can save your friend’s life,and the lives of others. Here are a few lifesaving strategies and steps to take.
Understanding Your DUI Police Report
If you’re facing DUI charges, the police report is probably the single most important resource you and your attorney have in building your defense against the DUI charges. This is the core evidence the prosecutor will use to try to prove the case against you. The report is what you and your attorney will go through with a fine-tooth comb as you work together to dispute the charges.
It is important to read the report calmly and with an open mind. Understand that this shows you the essentials of the prosecution’s case against you and how the arresting officer will testify against you. You probably won’t agree with much in the report, but that is where you and a good DUI lawyer start building your defense.
Penalties for Aggravated Vehicular Homicide in Ohio
In Ohio, vehicular homicide involves causing the death of another human being or the unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy. This is different from a charge of murder because it assumes the offender did not intend to kill another person, but in the course of operating a vehicle and as a result of the offender’s actions, another person died.
When certain circumstances exist, vehicular homicide can become aggravated vehicular homicide. When a crime is aggravated, the law calls for harsh penalties like mandatory prison terms and lengthy or lifetime license suspensions.
How Can You Find Out Where There Are DUI Checkpoints?
In Ohio last year, almost one–third of the traffic deaths involved drunk drivers. In addition, there were more than 12,000 alcohol-related crashes. Those are a few reasons that the State of Ohio aggressively pursues enforcement against drunk drivers. One of the ways in which Ohio tries to prevent impaired driving is to employ DUI or sobriety checkpoints.
What Is an Ohio DUI Motion Hearing?
DUI/OVI cases follow five main court stages. The first stage is the arraignment, which usually takes place within five days following arrest. The second stage is the pre-trial hearing. The pretrial is basically a meeting between the prosecuting attorney and your defense attorney.
The motion hearing follows the arraignment and pre-trial hearings. A motion hearing is when the Court considers different aspects of the case against you. One of your defense attorney’s goals during the motion hearing may be to get evidence against you suppressed or thrown out, eliminating harmful evidence against you. The evidence against you could include a video tape of the traffic stop and arrest, a video tape and results of field sobriety tests, and results of any chemical tests (blood, breath, or urine test) that may have been taken during the course of your arrest.
Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs in Ohio
Prescription drug use is gaining the attention of law enforcement as prescription drug use and abuse is rising dramatically. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has statistics telling us that illegal drugs are used by approximately 10-22 percent of drivers involved in all motor vehicle crashes, often in combination with alcohol.
According to other NHTSA statistics, Ohio is in the cross hairs due to high rates of prescription drug use among those involved in traffic fatalities, which means law enforcement may be looking for people driving under the influence of prescription medication, or alcohol, or both. (NHTSA Prescription Drug Study) NHTSA’s Drug Evaluation and Classification program has prepared nearly 1,000 instructors and trained more than 6,000 police officers in 46 states to recognize symptoms of driver impairment by drugs other than alcohol.
Ohio Speeding Laws: What You Need to Know
A speeding ticket is more than just a nuisance. If you’re found guilty of speeding, not only will it add points to your driving record, your insurance premiums may also increase and you could lose your driving privileges.
Ohio uses a point system to keep track of traffic violations. If you accumulate 12 points or more within two years, your driving privileges will be suspended for six months. After that, you’d be required to take a remedial driving course and then take the driving test all over again to get your license back. A speeding violation may result in four points, two points, or no points on your driving record, depending on the posted speed limit and the number of miles per hour (mph) by which you exceed it:
Traffic Tickets and Violations in Ohio: An Overview
Have you recently been ticketed for a traffic violation in Columbus, Ohio? Traffic ticket fines aren’t the same throughout the state of Ohio. In Ohio, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) doesn’t handle traffic tickets – the cities and counties where citations are written handle them. Fines for traffic violations vary from one city and county to another.
You have three options for responding to a traffic ticket: you can pay for the ticket and plead guilty, pay for the ticket and plead no contest, or not pay for the ticket and plead not guilty. You can pay for your traffic ticket by mail or in person at the court listed on your citation. By paying the ticket, it means you are waiving your right to a trial in court. When paying your traffic ticket, you can plead guilty or no contest.
Consequences of Pleading Not Guilty to a DUI Charge in Ohio
After you get arrested for a DUI in Ohio, you will be required to appear before a judge for your arraignment. An arraignment is a court appearance during which you are formally charged with a crime and asked to respond to the charge by pleading guilty or not guilty. You have the right to be represented by a Fairfield County DUI attorney at your arraignment.
Negotiation typically doesn’t take place at the arraignment. You would simply plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, you will be sentenced and the DUI/OVI conviction will go on your permanent record. If you take the option of pleading not guilty, however, you will have a chance to plea bargain or eventually go to trial. Pleading not guilty will give you the opportunity to review the evidence against you and defend yourself against the prosecution’s allegations.
Causes of a False Positive on a Breathalyzer Test
Officers are on the lookout for anyone operating a vehicle under the influence, and routinely pull over more drivers than face arrest. Law enforcement officials are trained to look for those who are swerving, driving erratically, or showing signs of intoxication. This helps them gather the reasonable suspicion needed to perform a traffic stop and administer a portable Breathalyzer test. The portable test carried in patrol cars only monitors for the presence of alcohol in your breath, and does not provide a reliable enough reading to be accepted in court. A false positive on the portable Breathalyzer test will still provide officers with enough evidence to charge you with a DUI and arrest you. The officer will take you to the station to process you for drunk driving or release you to a responsible party and still charge you with the offense. Those who are involved in a traffic stop and blow a false positive on the portable Breathalyzer test are often faced with the embarrassment of arrest, court costs, and impound fees among others. Before you hit the roads, you should understand the types of things that trigger a false positive on a Breathalyzer test.
DUI Checkpoints: Know Your Rights
Many drivers don’t know what to expect when they reach a DUI checkpoint and it often causes them to approach the officers in a wary manner. It is important to understand your rights when it comes to facing potential interactions with police officers. Columbus, Ohio DUI traffic stops are often set up around major events or holidays to catch those drinking and driving. Before you are out on the roads, you should have an understanding of your rights and what is to be expected when you reach a checkpoint.
DUI checkpoints are in place to catch drunk drivers, but often times others are detained because they are unaware of the many rights afforded to them by the Constitution and governing state laws. Many drivers feel agitated and display body language that may indicate fear when interacting with an officer. Once drivers understand what to expect at a traffic stop, many are less likely to provide the officer with any reasonable suspicion to extend the stop.
Phases of an Ohio DUI Case
The typical DUI case will follow a specific path. Finding the right attorney to advocate for your rights on this path is important. Not only will any resulting consequences of a conviction affect your driver’s license, but you may also be required to disclose the conviction to your employer. With all the consequences that could come from a conviction, it is important to fully understand the process and what types of steps you can take at different stages to preserve your rights. Work with an attorney to preserve your rights.
An officer will likely stop you at a traffic stop, or at a roadblock and administer sobriety tests. These tests are meant to bolster the suspicion that you are impaired. If the officer believes that you are driving under the influence, he or she will place you under arrest and take you to the station for processing. After you are charged, you should have an opportunity to contact a DUI attorney in Central Ohio. DUI lawyers encourage all those charged to exercise their right to representation. Having an attorney at the beginning of the OVI/ DUI case will be beneficial in the long run, as your attorney will have extended time to advocate for and preserve your rights.
What are minor traffic offenses in Ohio?
A minor traffic offense in Ohio may not seem like something to fret over. It seems that everyone you know has received at least one speeding ticket in his or her life. Rather than brush off minor traffic offenses as nothing to worry about, consider the long-term impact on your driving record. Many don’t understand the consequences of receiving multiple tickets for traffic violations. If you drive a company car, have too many points on your license, have a commercial drivers license, or don’t want your insurance rates to increase, it is important to contest these traffic tickets. Finding the right attorney is important, which is why having a Columbus, Ohio criminal defense attorney on your side is crucial.
Penalties for Underage DUI in Ohio
Drinking and driving carries with it penalties for those of legal drinking age, such as revocation of your driver’s license, fines, and jail time. The punishments for drinking underage while operating a vehicle in Ohio are even more severe. Not only do you face a license suspension and fines, but you will likely have to retest for your driver’s license. Those under 18 caught drinking and driving face time in a juvenile detention facility. Juvenile detention is no laughing matter, which is why finding the right attorney is vital. Hiring an Underage DUI attorney in Columbus, Ohio with experience is key because an OVUAC is a very serious offense.
OVUAC means Operating a Vehicle after Under Age Consumption. In Ohio, as in the rest of the United States, the legal drinking age is 21. If you 20 or younger and operating a vehicle in Ohio, please read this carefully.
How a DUI Can Affect Your Career Opportunities
A DUI can have a disastrous effect on your career. Especially if you work or are seeking work in a field like teaching, the military, or law enforcement. Those charged with a DUI/OVI offense need to understand the challenges they face with their current employment or when seeking employment. Some employers will treat you differently, even using the conviction as a screening tool. It is always important to hire a trained OVI lawyer to help should you find yourself on the wrong end of a traffic stop.
What You Need to Know About Plea Bargaining in a DUI Case
The majority of cases of OVI/DUI do not go to trial, for a variety of reasons. Generally the prosecutors will offer a plea bargain at some point during the process in the hopes that they can resolve the matter quickly rather than go through the time and expense of a trial. Remember the plea deal is not a dismissal of charges, but rather a compromise in exchange for leniency. Sound confusing? Here are a few things you need to know about plea bargaining in a DUI case in Fairfield County.
Top 10 DUI/OVI Myths
Delaware, Ohio OVI lawyers hear many misconceptions about OVI charges, cases, and convictions. Often times, clients have received poor information regarding OVI laws and OVI procedures. Here are the top 10 OVI myths. If you have been charged with an OVI in Delaware, Ohio this information may be helpful.
Hit and Run Defenses in Ohio
In Ohio, a driver has a duty to stop after a collision and to provide his or her name, address, and vehicle registration number to the other party or to a police officer. If you fail to stop and provide information, you could be charged with hit and run. Hit and run is a serious offense. If you have been charged, it’s important to contact a hit and run defense attorney in Columbus, Ohio.
Ohio DUI Pretrial Procedures
The vast majority of cases do not go to trial. That’s why pretrial is so important. It is vital that you hire a Columbus, Ohio criminal defense attorney experienced in the pretrial process. Pretrial procedures can and do refer to many different components of a case. This article will give you an overview of some of the procedures that occur before you get to the trial stage of a case.
The most commonly encountered OVI offenses are misdemeanors and are governed largely by the Traffic Rules. Serious repeat OVI offenses receive felony treatment. Felony OVI offenses are charged by means of an indictment and are governed by the Criminal Rules.
Ohio OVI License Suspension Ohio DUI License Suspension Attorney
There are two types of suspensions that could happen after a DUI/OVI arrest. One would be the administrative suspension and the other is a court ordered suspension after conviction.
If you tested at or above one of the two legal limits (0.08 or 0.17) or you refused the chemical test, your license has been suspended. Generally, refusing to take a breathalyzer on your first offense is better overall for your case but it can have consequences. Refusing to take a chemical test can increase the length of your license suspension and can also result in higher fines and more jail time if you have prior convictions. There are many techniques to help fight an OVI license suspension in Ohio. That is why you need an experienced Ohio OVI license suspension attorney to help fight your case.
Talking on Your Cell Phone or Texting While Driving in Ohio
Talking on the phone or texting while driving is common, but a growing number of states are beginning to crack down on the practice in order to prevent accidents and improve road safety. Driver inattention causes around 25% of car accidents.
Texting is an extremely dangerous distraction because it takes your eyes off the road and puts other people in danger. You are 23 times more likely to crash while texting and driving. Ohio was the 39th state to pass a texting ban in May 2012.
How to Pay a Traffic Ticket in Ohio
The State of Ohio issues traffic tickets for various violations of traffic laws. You have to respond to a citation by paying a fine or appearing in court to dispute the citation. If you don’t do either, a warrant for your arrest may be issued and your driver’s license could be suspended. If you want to dispute a traffic ticket, you must appear in court on the scheduled date. Appearing in court gives you the opportunity to fight a traffic ticket. If you are unable to appear but still want to fight the ticket, you can often hire an attorney to go to court for you.
DUI Fines and Penalties in Ohio
Have you been arrested for drinking and driving under the influence in Ohio? In the State of Ohio, the legal drinking age is 21 and driving under the influence is commonly referred to as operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI). An OVI is also known as driving under the influence (DUI) and results in both criminal and administrative penalties. If a police officer stops you for a suspected OVI, you will be asked to take field sobriety tests and a chemical test.
Top Breathalyzer Myths Debunked
There are many myths and rumors about breathalyzer tests and how you can beat them. Everyone has probably heard a story about a friend of a friend who was able to pass a breathalyzer test by sucking on a penny or altering his breathing patterns.
Getting pulled over for a DUI/OVI has led many people to desperate measures, but there’s only so much you can do if you’re asked to take a breathalyzer test after you’ve been drinking. Below are some common myths about how to beat breathalyzer tests, debunked.
Tips for Filing an Appeal in a DUI Case
If you’ve been convicted of a DUI/OVI, you have the option of appealing your case with the help of a Columbus, Ohio DUI attorney. When you file an appeal, you’re asking the court to review the details of your case to determine whether an error was made, either in regards to the DUI/OVI conviction itself or with the sentencing.
By filing an appeal, you may be able to have the charges reduced or even dismissed and removed from your record altogether. If the proper evidence is displayed in court, you may be convicted of a lesser charge.
What do I do for an ID after a DUI / OVI?
If you have been pulled over for Driving Under the Influence in Ohio, it is likely that the officer took your driver's license and immediately placed you under an administrative license suspension. If you don't have some other form of identification like a passport, the taking of your license may make it difficult to use your debit or credit card.
Breathalyzer: to blow or not to blow in Ohio?
Refusing to take a breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) may result in stiffer penalties. That being said, taking a test when your alcohol level is high may also result in stiffer penalties. So how do you know when to submit to a breathalyzer?
How do I Fight my DUI / OVI in Columbus Ohio?
Driving under the influence, called operating a vehicle under the influence in Ohio, is typically a misdemeanor of the first degree. The mandatory minimum penalties on a first offense OVI conviction include 3 days in jail or 72 hours in a driver intervention program, a $375 fine, and a driver's license suspension for 6 months.
DUI / OVI and Prescription Medication
Just as with alcohol and other drugs, driving under the influence of prescription medication is illegal if you are impaired. A recent sobriety checkpoint in Columbus showed that 11% of drivers were under the influence of prescription medication as compared to only 3% of drivers who were under the influence of alcohol.
Prior Record Hindering Employment Opportunities
Have you ever applied for a job only to find out your application has been denied due to your criminal history? A prior record for what you thought was a minor offense can come back to haunt you. Something as simple as an open container or disorderly conduct may be preventing you from obtaining your dream job.
DUI and Endangering Children
As if being charged with a DUI isn't scary enough, the charge of endangering children may also be added if a child under the age of 18 is also in the vehicle. Endangering children is a misdemeanor of the first degree, but can be a felony of the fifth degree if it results in serious physical harm to the child like in an accident. If you happen to be out for dinner with your family and have a couple drinks, it is extremely important to designate a driver or make alternative arrangements for transportation.