If you have been arrested and charged with a crime it is never too soon to retain legal representation.  Regardless of the charges against you, a capable criminal defense attorney will ensure that your rights are protected, providing the best chance for a favorable resolution of your case.

OVI and Traffic Cases

Ohio has two categories of driving under the influence:

  • Actual impairment

Under the actual impairment section of the revised code, the state must prove that a defendant was actually impaired by the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both.  Impairment cases rely significantly on the arresting officer’s subjective observations.  Skillful cross-examination and circumstantial evidence become critical in actual impairment cases.

  • Per se impairment

A per se charge presumes a driver to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs when breath, urine, or blood tests show a concentration above certain thresholds.  For example, a defendant whose alcohol breath test indicates 0.08% or higher blood alcohol content is presumed to be under the influence of alcohol.  Ohio law also provides blood and urine concentration limits for certain drugs of abuse.  Per se test cases can be difficult to defeat.  However, in certain circumstances the timing and method of testing can be challenged, sometimes requiring expert witness testimony.

Administrative License Suspension (ALS)

When arrested for OVI, if you refuse to submit to a chemical test or test above one of the per se limits, your driver’s license can be subject to an immediate administrative license suspension.  This civil suspension happens before you even appear in court.  However, it is possible to appeal the suspension as part of your OVI case or receive limited driving privileges during the suspension.

Driving under Suspension

Driving under suspension is a common traffic charge.  Both courts and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) can place a suspension on your driver’s license.  Unfortunately, many individuals accumulate numerous suspensions of their driver’s license making it difficult to regain full driving privileges.  If you have been charged with driving under suspension it is often practical to retain counsel to defend against the charge, have it reduced, or obtain limited driving privileges during your suspension.

Drug possession

Many drug possession cases require an attorney to challenge an unlawful search or seizure that violates the Fourth Amendment.  Law enforcement officers are required to carefully tailor their warrantless searches to fit within specific legal exceptions.  Too often, they fail to do so.  Navigating issues of constitutional law requires the expertise of competent legal counsel.

Theft

At their most basic level, theft crimes are defined as intentionally depriving a rightful owner of something of value.  The severity or degree of the charge is primarily dependent on the value of the property or services taken.  Theft offenses range from a First Degree Misdemeanor (carrying a penalty of up to 180 days in jail and $1,000.00 in fines) to a First Degree Felony (with a penalty from 3 to 11 years imprisonment and $20,000.00 in fines).

Assault

Assault charges come in many forms, from a Third Degree Misdemeanor (carrying a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500.00 fine) to First Degree Felonious Assault.  All assaults are serious charges, but it is important to understand the difference.  Similar past convictions often make a bad situation worse, especially when it comes to domestic violence charges.  Hiring legal counsel will help you to avoid surprises.