Five Things To Know about DUI Legal Defense in Ohio
Whether you’ve had multiple DUIs or you’re wondering what to do if you are stopped for a DUI in Ohio, Understanding your rights is the first step to defending them. While every situation is a little different, knowing how to protect those right before and after you have contacted a lawyer is your best defense.
The definition of DUI in Ohio: operating a vehicle under the influence, which is an OVI.
Regardless of which acronym you use, the meaning is the same: It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or a “drug of abuse” or a combination of both when operating any vehicle in Ohio. To be considered “Under the Influence” of alcohol, you only need a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more.
Sobriety Check Points
Ohio police are authorized to set up OVI/DUI checkpoints. If you are stopped at one of these checkpoints and the officers suspect that you are under the influence, you will be asked to take a Breathalyzer or other sobriety test. You can avoid these checkpoints by doing a news search to determine where they are being set up, because police must give the public advance notice that they will be operating a DUI/OVI checkpoint.
Implied Consent in Ohio
When drivers in Ohio accept their license, they are giving “Implied Consent” to blood, breath, or urine tests that can determine if they are driving under the influence of a drug or alcohol. Implied Consent does not mean that you have to submit to a roadside sobriety test. You can ask to speak with a lawyer before you submit to a test.
Refusing a Roadside Sobriety Test
If you have never had a DUI/OVI before, refusing to take a roadside test can remove the risk of testing high. This may lower your chances of being convicted. Refusing to take the test will automatically result in losing your driving privileges for a short time, but a good lawyer can help negotiate those restrictions. If you have had a DUI/OVI in Ohio or any other state within the last 20 years, you can be charged with a more serious offense if you refuse to take the test and are convicted. Even if you are over the legal limit, you may want to consider taking the roadside test and working with a lawyer to lessen the conviction after the fact.
How DUI Legal Defense Can Help
If you are convicted of one or more DUI/OVIs in Ohio, you may face penalties including stiff fines, suspension of your driver’s license and even jail time. Multiple offenses may earn you yellow DUI plates that can make you a target for DUI checks in the future. It may be tempting to represent yourself to save money, but you may pay more in fines and other penalties. An experienced legal defense team can help lessen these penalties and may even help you avoid a DUI/OVI conviction. A good DUI lawyer will know how to recognize technicalities that may help you win and he or she can help you present character witnesses and other evidence that might win favor with the courts.
If you or someone you love is facing DUI charges in Ohio, make sure you know your rights and always speak to a lawyer before you take any test or sign anything.