SHOULD I HIRE AN ATTORNEY FOR A DUI (OVI) IN OHIO?
If you have been cited for Operating a Vehicle while Impaired (OVI) or Driving a Vehicle Under the Influence (DUI), it can be an incredibly stressful. One of the many questions you need to ask yourself is whether you should hire a lawyer.
You can represent yourself for your OVI or DUI charge, but DUIs are some of the most complicated laws we have in Ohio. We recommend at least consulting with an attorney before making any decisions about your case.
SHOULD YOU PLEAD GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY AT FIRST COURT DATE?
If you have been charged with a DUI, the court will ask at your first court date how you want to plead. You can either plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest.
Click here for more information on pleading no contest to your DUI charge.
An attorney can advise you as to the penalties you could be facing and on how you should plead.
Ohio considers a first offense OVI to be a first-degree misdemeanor. OVI charges charge carry penalties that include jail sentences, large fines, and a license suspension up to three years.
Ohio Revised Code 4511.19 and Columbus Municipal Ordinance 2133.01 both have sections that include mandatory minimum penalties that a judge must impose, one of which includes a mandatory 72-hour or 3-day jail sentence. Before pleading guilty to any charges, one should consult with an attorney to see if there is any way to avoid a possible jail sentence.
CAN AN ATTORNEY GET MY LICENSE BACK AFTER I WAS CHARGED WITH OVI OR DUI?
After being charged with OVI or DUI, your license may have been suspended by the officer who arrested you. Ohio is one of the few states that will impose a license suspension before you are found guilty. Being able to drive in Ohio is necessary to get to work, child care, and basic needs.
The process to get driving privileges from a court can be confusing and require paperwork that the court might not discuss with you. An attorney will also be able to get driving privileges while under suspension, and can work to have the suspension minimized or terminated early.
CHALLENGING THE OVI OR DUI CHARGE IN COURT
Your attorney will also be able to guide you through the OVI / DUI court process, and will present any possible defenses to have the OVI or DUI thrown out or reduced to a lesser charge.
An officer must have a valid reason to pull over a driver. Officers cannot pull over whomever they please in order to investigate for the possibility of impaired driving. State v. Barnett, 2018-Ohio-2486.
An experienced lawyer can review evidence such as police reports and dash cam footage and may be able to argue the reason police pulled you over was invalid.
We are transparent about our flat fee structure for your Ohio OVI or DUI charge and will upfront in our first meeting with you about any and all legal fees. Additionally, we accept all major credit cards and can discuss financing options with qualifying clients.