News & Blog

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.

  • 2015-10-27
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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.

  • 2015-10-27
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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.

  • 2015-09-28
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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.” 

  • 2015-09-08
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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. 

  • 2015-08-25
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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

  • 2015-08-13
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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.

  • 2015-07-27
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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.

  • 2015-07-10
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What Constitutes Theft In Ohio?

According to Ohio theft laws, theft occurs when one person deprives another of property:

  • Without the consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent;
  • Beyond the scope of the express or implied consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent;
  • By deception;
  • By threat; or
  • By intimidation.

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.

  • 2015-06-22
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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.

  • 2015-06-15
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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:

  • 2015-05-27
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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.

  • 2015-05-13
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Is an OVI a Felony?

Driving under the influence can be a felony in certain circumstances.  Some circumstances making an OVI a felony include:

  • Four or more offenses in the last six years
  • Six or more in twenty years with a BAC test of .17 or refusal to take the test

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.

  • 2015-05-02
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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:

  • 2015-04-28
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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.

  • 2015-04-20
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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).

  • 2015-04-08
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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. 

  • 2015-03-31
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What Are DUI Blood Alcohol Limits in Ohio?

Legal BAC in Ohio, which stands for blood alcohol concentration in Ohio, 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%.

  • 2015-03-13
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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%.  

  • 2015-03-10
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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.    

  • 2015-01-30
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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.   

  • 2015-01-12
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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. 

  • 2014-12-12
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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. 

  • 2014-11-27
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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. 

  • 2014-11-17
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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.

  • 2014-10-31
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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.

  • 2014-10-09
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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.

  • 2014-09-29
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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.

  • 2014-09-16
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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.

  • 2014-09-02
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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.

  • 2014-08-14
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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. 

  • 2014-08-05
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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.

  • 2014-07-17
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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.

  • 2014-07-08
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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.

  • 2015-10-27
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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.

  • 2015-10-05
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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.

  • 2015-09-28
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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.

  • 2015-09-07
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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.

  • 2015-08-20
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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.

  • 2015-08-11
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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:

  • 2015-07-27
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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.

  • 2015-07-09
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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:

  • 2015-06-19
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Felonious Assault Charges in Ohio

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 Felonious 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.

  • 2015-06-05
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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.

  • 2015-05-27
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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.

  • 2015-05-12
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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

  • 2015-04-29
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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.

  • 2015-04-22
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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.

  • 2015-04-15
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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.

  • 2015-04-02
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Ohio Speeding Laws: What You Need to Know

Violating  Ohio speeding laws or traffic laws can set in motion a long chain of serious consequences. In addition to paying Ohio speeding ticket fines and fees, a driver can have penalties points added to his or her record with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, see car insurance rates increase, and even lose a job that requires maintaining a clean driving record.

  • 2015-03-28
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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.

  • 2015-03-12
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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.

  • 2015-03-09
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What Can Cause a False Positive Breathalyzer Test

A false positive alcohol breath test does not prevent you from getting arrested and being hit with fees for processing or releasing your car from impound. In fact, registering a false positive on a breathalyzer practically guarantees you will face those negative consequences, along with possible employment problems if your job requires you to maintain a clean driving record and regularly pass alcohol and drug screenings.

  • 2015-01-27
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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.

  • 2015-01-09
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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. 

Arrest

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.

  • 2014-12-12
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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. 

  • 2014-11-22
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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.

  • 2014-11-17
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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. 

  • 2014-10-16
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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.

  • 2014-10-07
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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.

  • 2014-09-26
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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.

  • 2014-09-11
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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.

  • 2014-08-21
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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.

  • 2014-08-12
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Talking on Your Cell Phone or Texting While Driving in Ohio – Cell Phone Law

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. Distracted driving contributes to three-quarters of traffic accidents involving teen drivers. Overall, driver distraction is cited as a cause in about 25 percent of crashes all across the United States.

Ohio Cell Phone Laws for Novice Drivers

Statistics like these have convinced lawmakers to crack down on cell phone use while driving in Ohio. The strictest rules apply to what legislators call “novice drivers,” or those under the age of 18.

In Columbus and elsewhere in Ohio, teen drivers cannot legally use any handheld wireless communication devices to

  • Send or read text,
  • Send or read emails,
  • Make or take phone calls even on Bluetooth-enabled devices or in-dash systems.
  • Play video games etc.

While reviewing the rest of this overview, keep in mind that Ohio cell phone laws define an “electronic wireless communications device” as

  • A wireless telephone such as a flip phone of smartphone,
  • A text-messaging device such as a pager,
  • A personal digital assistant such as a Blackberry, and
  • A computer, including a laptop computer and a computer tablet.

An in-dash navigation system or dashboard-mounted GPS device does not count as a handheld device.

Novice drivers who get convicted of any of the listed traffic violations involving cell phones and other handheld devices face a $150 fine and a 60-day license suspension. Penalties double for a second offense.

Is It Illegal for Adults to Text and Drive in Ohio?

Yes, it is illegal to text and drive in Ohio, although local police and state troopers are not authorized to pull over adult drivers only for texting while driving.

Ohio Anti Texting Laws for Adult Drivers

Section 4511.204 of the Ohio Revised Code states, “No person shall drive a motor vehicle … on any street, highway, or property open to the public for vehicular traffic while using a handheld electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication.”

Ohio cell phone laws or texting laws goes on to explain that, for drivers older than 18, “no law enforcement officer shall cause an operator of an automobile being operated on any street or highway to stop the automobile for the sole purpose of determining whether a violation” of the ban on texting while driving occurred. The charge will only be made in addition to some other offense like speeding, failure to yield, or crossing a lane line.

Exceptions to the texting while driving ban for adults exist for police and other first responders, people reporting accidents and crimes, and truck drivers using scheduling or routing tablets. Walkie-talkies and CBs also fall outside the texting and driving law. Still, the only time most drivers can text behind the wheel in Ohio is when they are parked and out of the flow of traffic.

Is It Illegal for Adults to Talk on the Phone While Driving in Ohio?

No, but only if the call is made using a hands-free device.

While there is no explicit Ohio hands-free law for drivers, the general statute on distracted driving (O.R.C. 4511.991) makes it clear that using a cell phone’s speaker function or a Bluetooth-enabled device to make and take calls does not meet the legal definition of a distraction.

Adult drivers who do get convicted of holding a phone to their ear while driving can face a fine of $100.

Texting and Driving Rarely Charged as Separate Traffic Violations in Ohio

As noted, Ohio drivers who are 18 and older will not be ticketed just for using a handheld device while operating a moving vehicle. This means that the distraction charge will be made in addition to whatever primary offense the officer or trooper spotted. Distraction can be secondary to, or a cause of, reckless operation, running a red light, following too closely, or causing an accident. The primary traffic violation will be prosecuted in addition to the violation of the Ohio texting law or Ohio cell phone law.

Keep in mind, too, that cities and counties write and enforce their own traffic laws. Columbus, for instance, explicitly prohibits drivers from using handheld devices to access the internet.

If you’re charged with talking on your cell phone or texting while driving in Ohio, consider hiring a traffic ticket attorney in Columbus, Ohio to represent you. It is especially important to consult an attorney if you caused an accident that resulted in the injury or death of another person. It’s also worth seeking the advice of an attorney if this would be your second or third offense since the consequences may be more severe. Contact The Maher Law Firm today to for a free phone consultation with our Columbus, Ohio, traffic violations lawyer.

  • 2014-07-29
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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.

  • 2014-07-15
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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.

  • 2014-07-03
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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)

  • 2015-10-27
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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.

  • 2015-09-30
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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.

  • 2015-09-28
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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.

  • 2015-09-03
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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. 

  • 2015-08-18
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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.

  • 2015-08-05
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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.  

  • 2015-07-20
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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:

  • Not a resident of the U.S.
  • Not a resident of Ohio (unless you are a permit holder from a state with reciprocity with Ohio)
  • Charged with or convicted of a felony or specific misdemeanors
  • Convicted for resisting arrest in the last 10 years
  • Named in a protective order in any state
  • Drug or alcohol addicted
  • A fugitive from justice
  • Younger than 21 years old
  • Adjudicated as mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed to a mental institution

  • 2015-07-08
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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. 

  • 2015-06-16
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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. 

  • 2015-06-05
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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.

The Machine Itself

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. 

  • 2015-05-27
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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.

  • 2015-05-05
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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.

  • 2015-04-28
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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. 

  • 2015-04-21
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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. 

  • 2015-04-13
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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:

  • 2015-04-02
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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.

  • 2015-03-28
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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.

  • 2015-03-11
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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. 

  • 2015-01-31
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Driving Under OVI Suspension Penalties in Ohio

Is Driving Under Suspension a Jailable Offense 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.

  • 2015-01-22
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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. 

  • 2014-12-16
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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. 

  • 2014-12-10
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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. 

  • 2014-11-19
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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.

  • 2014-11-07
  • 0

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. 

  • 2014-10-14
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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.

  • 2014-10-02
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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. What to Know Before Your DUI Arraignment in Ohio

  • 2014-09-23
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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.

  • 2014-09-09
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What is Reckless Driving in Ohio?

First, the offense most people call reckless driving is actually called reckless operation in the Ohio Revised Code. The law, O.R.C 4611.20, is titled “Operation in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property,” and the key text reads, “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.”

Ignore the stuff about trolleys and street cars. An important thing to understand about Ohio’s reckless operation statute is that a vehicle can be just about anything with wheels and a motor. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, and scooters meet the definition of vehicle.

Another thing to understand is that “willful or wanton disregard” has no statutory definition. Lawyers call this a term of art -- something that has a generally accepted meaning for police, prosecutors and judges.

In Ohio, willful conduct describes an action that is taken intentionally, designedly, knowingly, or purposely. Wanton conduct is something done without a good excuse or without respect to the rights of others. To act in a wanton manner is to do a thing just because you feel like doing it and regardless of whether the activity might injure people or inflict damage.

Charging a driver with reckless operation indicates that the police officer or state trooper believes the driver demonstrated indifference to the consequences of his or her actions behind the wheel. Convicting that driver requires presenting clear and indisputable evidence that the person drove in way that could endangered life, limb, health or property while also knowing that his or her actions could cause harm.

What Is Considered Reckless Driving in Ohio?

Outlining the legal theory underlying a reckless operation case will make possible defenses against the charge easier to explain. But before getting into that, it is worth looking at a few examples of what is considered reckless driving in Ohio courts have identified as instances of punishable reckless driving.

Drivers have been convicted for

  • Exceeding the posted speed limit by 25 mph or more
  • Violating the assured clear distance statute, which requires drivers to leave enough space between themselves and other vehicles to stop without causing rear-end collisions
  • Failing to yield to the right of way of a pedestrian.
  • Swerving over a highway edge line and toward a highway patrol trooper
  • Stopping abruptly in a lane of traffic
  • Exhibiting road rage

Note that none of these traffic violation are, by themselves, automatically considered and charged as reckless driving in Ohio. The ticketing officer must also cite a clear danger to people or property. That is where a reckless operation defense attorney will likely focus.

Questions that must be answered include

  • What led the officer to suspect recklessness?
  • How was the accused driver acting willfully and wantonly?
  • How and when did the officer observe those actions he or she considers reckless?
  • Many reasons can explain losing control of one’s vehicle and even harming others. What proof exists to illustrate reckless behavior?

What Are the Reckless Operation Penalties in Ohio?

Mounting a vigorous defense against a reckless operation charge is essential because even a first-time conviction can result in a driver’s license suspension. In each instance, the conviction puts 4 penalty points on the driver’s record with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (2 points for some municipal convictions). Accumulating 12 penalty points in a 24-month period triggers an automatic license suspension.

The rest of the penalty chart for reckless operation looks like this:

Reckless Operation Charge Maximum Fine for Reckless Operation Jail

First offense with no other traffic violations

$150

None

First offense with a conviction or guilty plea to another traffic violation in the previous 12 months

$250

Up to 60 days

Second or third offense with a conviction or guilty plea to another traffic violation in the previous 12 months

$500

Up to 60 days

Hire a Columbus, Ohio Reckless Driving Attorney

Colin Maher of The Maher Law Firm represents drivers in all kinds of traffic cases in Columbus and surrounding Franklin County. You can speak to him now by calling (614) 205-2208 or connecting with Colin online.

  • 2014-08-19
  • 2

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. 

  • 2014-08-07
  • 0

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.

  • 2014-07-22
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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:

  • 2014-07-10
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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.

  • 2014-06-24
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