DUI/OVI

When you’ve been charged with a DUI, it is devastating. You’re likely feeling stressed, embarrassed, and worried about your future. A DUI conviction can have a lasting impact on your life.

If convicted, you face:

  • Jail time of at least three days
  • Mandatory enrollment in a driver intervention program
  • Loss of your license from six months to three years
  • A fine of several hundred dollars
  • A license reinstatement fee of several hundred dollars

And that is only if this is your first offense. For second and subsequent offenses, the penalties are dramatically more severe. Second DUI offenses can be charged as felonies. You could be sentenced to longer jail time, placed under house arrest, or required to undergo alcohol monitoring. You could lose not only your license but your vehicle as well. If your DUI involved a particularly high BAC (blood alcohol content), an accident, or an injury to another person, the penalties are even more harsh.

If you are a commercial driver, the consequences of a DUI can ruin your career. The BAC limit in Ohio for commercial truck drivers is .04, compared to .08 for other drivers. If you are charged with a DUI, your livelihood is in jeopardy. Trucking companies are very reluctant to hire drivers that have DUIs on their criminal record.

If you are faced with a first-time DUI charge, you may be able to completely avoid jail time. Many times, judges give a more leeway to individuals who have no past criminal convictions. This is not guaranteed, however, so you should speak to a DUI attorney about your case who can help ensure their futures are not irrevocably altered from this one mistake.

Many Ohio drivers are unfairly charged with DUI/OVI and need an experienced Ohio DUI. You could find yourself arrested for suspicion of DUI without the necessary information to make certain decisions. Should you take the breathalyzer test? Are you required to take the field sobriety tests? Can the state take your blood without your consent? Will you still be allowed to drive? All these are valid questions—and the answers can alter your life, both now and in the future should you make the wrong decision.

This is the reason it is especially important that you speak to a knowledgeable Ohio DUI attorney as quickly as possible following your arrest. You may have already made choices which will affect you for a very long time to come, but you certainly want to avoid making additional bad decisions. The DUI attorneys at Horwitz & Horwitz can make sure your rights are fully protected and that you have the answers you need and the legal advice you require to minimize the effects of your DUI arrest.

Avoid Giving Evidence Against Yourself When Possible

Because Ohio drivers give implied consent to submit to a breath, blood or urine test when they obtain their Ohio driver’s license, refusal to submit to such a test can result in a driver’s license being revoked. Aside from the fact that breathalyzer tests are notoriously unreliable, without chemical proof, the prosecution must depend solely on police testimony to secure a conviction. Since the testimony of a police officer can clearly be quite subjective, this means it can also be disputed in a court of law by your Ohio DUI attorneys.

Always Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent

Many people are under the unfortunate belief that when they are stopped by a police officer and are under suspicion of driving while impaired, all they have to do is cooperate fully with the officer and “pass” the tests, and they will be allowed to go home. This is rarely the case. Far too many people attempt to “explain” to the officer that they were on their way home from a social function and only had a “couple” of drinks. There is an important reason the Miranda Warning advises that anything you say can and will be used against you—because it can and it will.

The most innocent comment you make can be taken out of context and used against you in court. In fact, many experienced DUI attorneys find the most difficult obstacle they must overcome is evidence given freely by the suspect. Offer your name and contact information, then politely ask that you be allowed to speak to your attorney. Remain silent, no matter how friendly the officer seems, and how much they try to convince you that if you will only answer their questions this whole matter will be over and done with—it won’t.

Should You Submit to a Breathalyzer Test?

If you are stopped in Ohio on suspicion of DUI/OVI you may wonder whether you should submit to a breathalyzer test, or, if you are simply giving the prosecutor evidence to use against you at trial. In the state of Ohio, a portable breathalyzer test can be refused with no consequences, however if you refuse a breathalyzer test at the station, enhancements will come into play. It is good to know the possible outcome of both choices—submitting to the breathalyzer or refusing—should the time ever come when you need to make that decision. If you refuse the breathalyzer at the station, the police officer must read you your rights, and detail the consequences of a refusal.

The Positive Side of Refusing a Breathalyzer Test

While it is not a crime to for an average citizen to refuse a breathalyzer test, those with a commercial driver’s license may not refuse. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, then you have not given the state a “per se” DUI charge against you. A “per se” charge means it was evident to the officer that your BAC was over the 0.08 percent legal limit, (or the .17 limit which carries even greater penalties and sentence enhancements).

If there is no precise measurement of your BAC, then the prosecutor will have to work much harder to convict you, even though the officer felt you were easily over the legal BAC limit. Because the police only need probable cause to arrest you for driving while impaired, you could be arrested even if there is no real evidence (in the form of a BAC reading) against you. What this means is that the officer is going to have to be very clear in court on exactly how you were acting which made him or her believe you were impaired. With less evidence against you, your Ohio DUI attorney may stand a better chance of getting your charges dropped or obtaining a “not guilty” verdict on your behalf.

The Negative Side of Refusing a Breathalyzer Test

Should you choose not to submit to a breathalyzer test, you will lose your driver’s license for one year and be charged a $475 reinstatement fee. This is a longer suspension than if you failed the breathalyzer test (your license would be suspended for 90 days). So, while it is not a criminal offense to refuse a breathalyzer test, you would be subject to the one-year administrative license suspension. If you do submit to the breathalyzer test, your Ohio DUI/OVI attorney from Horwitz & Horwitz can evaluate the specific facts of your case, determining the best defense on your behalf.

The breathalyzer machine may not have been calibrated or regularly maintained or the police officer may not have been fully trained in the use of the breathalyzer so may have administered the test incorrectly. Having a Horwitz & Horwitz attorney by your side after you have been charged with DUI can truly make a difference in how your charges turn out. You stand a much better chance of a positive outcome when you have a Horwitz & Horwitz attorney by your side.

How We Can Help

At Horwitz & Horwitz, LLC, we’ve helped many people successfully resolve their DUI cases. We can help you whether this is your first or subsequent offense. We can also assist you with license reinstatement.

We are a firm dedicated to getting the best possible result for our clients in a cost-effective manner. When you work with us, you will be working personally with a skilled attorney that will give you the attention you deserve. We do not have support staff handle our cases, take our phone calls, or attend meetings.

Call us today for a free consultation. During your consultation, criminal defense lawyer Jon Horwitz will talk about your situation and give you honest, straightforward advice.