First Tip: Do not go through a drunk or drugged driving case in central Ohio without securing advice and representation from an experienced Franklin County defense attorney. Police, prosecutors, and judges take the charge of what state laws call operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) very seriously. If you do not have a dedicated OVI attorney in your corner, you can face stiff penalties even if the evidence against you is not very strong.
Which defense lawyer you choose is up to you, of course. But following these next three tips should guide you to a Franklin County OVI attorney who will do the best job possible.
Tip: Prioritize Experience
Police must follow strict rules when doing traffic stops or operating DUI checkpoints, while conducting field sobriety tests, and when requesting and handling breath, blood, and urine samples. Similarly, prosecutors have limits on how they can use all types of evidence that purportedly “prove” an OVI defendant was diving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
A Columbus OVI attorney who has helped many defendants will know all the applicable rules and hold police and prosecutors responsible for complying with each of them. The more evidence that the defense lawyer can get thrown out or called into question, the higher the likelihood that the OVI charge will be dismissed or reduced.
An experienced Franklin County OVI attorney will also know all the ways to get a driver’s license reinstated, how to recognize an advantageous plea deal, and when to insist on procedures like having blood samples retested.
Tip: Demand Responsiveness
Even a first-time OVI conviction can land you in jail for six months and get your license suspended for a full year. Simply getting arrested can result in a long ban on driving and may lead to you losing your job. Regardless of what happens, you will end up spending a good deal of time of money dealing with the case.
Since a drunk or drugged driving charge will seriously disrupt your life, you need a legal ally who takes your case as seriously as you do.
Only hire a Columbus, Ohio OVI attorney who responds quickly to your first phone call or email. Fire any Franklin County OVI attorney who stops taking your calls or ignoring your messages. Demand full, factual responses to your questions, and get rid of an attorney who ignores your instructions. In short, stay away from any lawyer who treats dealing with your concerns as anything less than a top priority.
Know, too, that as the person who employs the lawyer, you can fire and replace him or her at any time. Exercising that option can be particularly important if you find it necessary to request a public defender for your arraignment right after your arrest.
Tip: Do Not Shy Away From Asking What This Will Cost
Again, you are your lawyer’s employer. If nothing else, you deserve to know up front how, and how much, your Ohio OVI attorney will charge you.
Ask if you will pay a flat fee or pay by the hour. If the lawyer offers a flat fee, does he or she then charge extra for making copies of court documents and providing other services? Does the law firm arrange payment plans?
Do not make cost your sole reason for selecting a Franklin County OVI attorney, but do make sure that receiving the final bill does not feel like an unexpected penalty.
Colin Maher of The Maher Law Firm regularly ranks among the best drunk and drugged driving defense attorneys in Ohio. He offers free consultations to all OVI defendants, and he takes on most clients for a flat fee. You can speak to him now by calling (614) 205-2208 or by completing this online contact form.