Individuals who incur a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – or DUI – in Ohio may face severe penalties. Those penalties may include losing a driver’s license, high monetary fines, and even jail time in some circumstances. If you are currently pending a DUI charge in Ohio, you need experienced legal counsel advocating for your interests at every stage of the proceedings.
The knowledgeable Akron DUI Defense Lawyers at Patituce & Associates, LLC understand the seriousness of Ohio DUI charges and the potential legal penalties and collateral consequences that individuals may face.
Our legal team can review your circumstances with you and determine your eligibility for asserting a solid legal defense to your charge at trial. We can also explore other options, such as negotiating a favorable plea deal with the prosecuting attorney handling your case. Our legal team will do everything possible to secure the best possible result in your pending DUI case.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an Akron DUI defense attorney, please call us or contact us online today to learn more.
Why Choose Us for Your Legal Needs?
If you are currently pending a criminal DUI charge in Ohio, you need a skilled team of attorneys advocating for you and representing your interests at every stage of the process.
Look no further than the experienced Akron DUI defense lawyers at Patituce & Associates, LLC. Our legal team members have a combined 70-plus years of experience defending individuals facing criminal charges.
In addition, three of our team members once served as state prosecutors. Consequently, we have an in-depth understanding of how prosecuting attorneys build their cases. We then use this knowledge and experience to achieve favorable results for our clients.
Once you retain us to represent you, we can immediately enter an appearance as legal counsel in your criminal case. We can then explore potential legal defenses we can assert in response to your drunk driving charge. Finally, we can represent you at all criminal court proceedings in your case, including a criminal bench or jury trial.
Our office is in Downtown Akron at 520 South Main Street, Suite 2511, Akron, OH 44331. We regularly appear and defend clients in Akron criminal court and throughout Ohio. Let us achieve the best possible result in your pending criminal DUI case.
What Are the Potential Penalties for a Criminal OVI Conviction in Akron?
Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or OVI, is a first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio. An OVI conviction can lead to severe legal penalties and collateral consequences.
However, to obtain a conviction against you for an OVI offense, the state prosecutor handling your case must satisfy their legal burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. You can raise one or more legal defenses in response to your charge at trial.
If the state prosecutor ultimately obtains a conviction against you in your OVI case, a judge will impose the necessary criminal penalties, according to state statute. If you ultimately sustain a conviction for OVI, you can look at a mandatory jail sentence of three days, with a maximum of six months, depending upon the circumstances surrounding your criminal charge. In addition to serving time in jail for an OVI conviction, you may also have to pay high monetary fines.
If you incur additional OVI convictions, you may have to serve between 10 days and five years in jail and pay monetary fines between $350 and $10,000.
In addition to these penalties, a judge can sentence you to attend a drug and alcohol treatment program. Additionally, you may have to pay for the installation of an ignition interlock device, or IID, on your vehicle. In addition to the initial installation cost of this device, you will have to pay ongoing maintenance and monitoring expenses.
To operate your car, you will need to breathe into the IID. If the device detects any amount of alcohol on your breath, it will not allow your vehicle to start. Similarly, upon sustaining a conviction for OVI, you can lose your driving privileges for a significant time.
A judge may also see if you have any prior OVI convictions on your record when they impose criminal penalties against you.
In addition to these potential criminal penalties upon conviction for OVI, you may face several collateral consequences that can affect various aspects of your life. For example, you may have difficulty finding or keeping a job, especially if your job involves operating a vehicle – such as a commercial truck driver.
Additionally, you may have trouble gaining admission to a vocational program, university, or college because of your OVI conviction. This consequence is widespread because administrators frequently perform criminal background checks on prospective applicants. If they come across an OVI conviction on your record, they may deny your admissions application.
Additionally, if you are a current student and receive financial aid or scholarships, an educational institution may pull those funds if they notice an OVI conviction on your record. Finally, an OVI conviction may lead to reputational harm in both your personal and professional communities.
The best way to avoid legal penalties and collateral consequences for an OVI is to prevent a conviction in the first place. Our legal team can represent you at your criminal sentencing hearing and work hard to pursue the lightest available penalties on your behalf. We can also work to lessen or eliminate the collateral consequences that you face due to your conviction.
Our Akron, Ohio, Law Office is Prepared to Serve You
How Does a Police Officer Arrest a Person for DUI?
Many DUI arrests happen when a police officer pulls an individual over on a minor traffic violation, such as failing to use a turn signal or speeding. When the officer pulls the driver over and speaks with them, the officer may notice the smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath or other symptoms of alcohol intoxication, such as bloodshot eyes or slurred speech. Officers who see any of these signs may eventually request that the driver blow into a portable breathalyzer device.
Passenger vehicle drivers are legally intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol concentration or BAC of at least 0.08 percent. However, more stringent standards apply to commercial vehicle drivers and minors under 21.
If a police officer determines that a driver is per se intoxicated, they may initiate an arrest.
Potential Defenses to a Criminal DUI Charge in Akron
In a criminal DUI case in Akron, the state prosecutor has the sole legal burden of proof. In contrast, the accused individual does not have to satisfy any legal obligation in their case. Moreover, if their case proceeds to a criminal jury trial, they do not have to take the witness stand or testify in their own defense, according to the Fifth Amendment’s constitutional protection against self-incrimination.
However, an accused person may raise one or more legal defenses to their DUI charge at trial. A defense can work to negate various elements of the prosecutor’s case-in-chief. If the prosecutor cannot satisfy their legal burden, then your criminal DUI charge and your entire criminal case might be subject to a complete dismissal.
The defenses available to individuals facing DUI charges depend significantly upon the circumstances. First, you can allege that you suffered from a medical condition that affects how your body breaks down and absorbs alcohol.
Similarly, if the police officer subjected you to a field sobriety test, you can contend that the officer did not follow the proper testing protocols. You can also argue that you suffer from a medical condition affecting your balance, preventing you from performing the field sobriety test correctly.
Finally, you can say that because of suboptimal weather and lighting conditions, you could not perform the test correctly.
In addition, you can argue that the police improperly calibrated or maintained the Breathalyzer machine that recorded your BAC. You can also contend that a lab technician who processed chemical testing evidence made a mistake regarding their testing and collection methods.
Finally, you can argue that the police officer who arrested you committed one or more constitutional violations. For example, the officer might have pulled your vehicle over randomly without having any reasonable suspicion or probable cause that you violated a traffic law.
Our legal team can determine if you’re eligible to raise one or more of these legal defenses at your criminal court trial and can pursue a complete dismissal of your pending DUI charge in Ohio.
Negotiating With the State Prosecutor for a Favorable Plea Deal
In some cases, as an alternative to taking your case to a criminal bench or jury trial, you can negotiate a favorable plea deal from the state prosecutor handling your DUI case. A plea deal typically occurs when the state prosecutor offers some concessions for pleading guilty to a charge. For example, the prosecutor might reduce a DUI charge to a reckless driving charge that will incur fewer penalties.
Alternatively, the prosecutor might offer the accused individual probation, especially if the accused faces a first-time DUI. If they satisfy their probationary requirements, any conviction on their record may go away.
Before accepting a plea deal from the state prosecutor, you need to know the legal rights you will waive. For example, if you agree to plead guilty to a criminal offense, you will waive your constitutional right to a trial by jury and appeal the case result.
In addition, if you decide to accept a plea deal, you must show up at a hearing and put your plea deal on the record so that a judge can formally accept it. When you put your plea deal on the record, you must inform the judge that you are agreeing to the plea deal voluntarily, freely, and without coercion.
Our experienced legal team can negotiate with the state prosecutor for a favorable plea deal on your behalf. We can advise whether to accept the final agreement or take your case to trial and seek an acquittal.
Steps to Take After a DUI Arrest in Akron
Following a DUI arrest, safeguard your legal and constitutional rights. First, if a police officer arrests you and takes you into custody for DUI, never subject yourself to interrogation or questioning. Instead, immediately assert your constitutional right to the presence of legal counsel. If the police officer continues to ask you questions and you respond, you need a defense attorney to try to suppress any incriminating statements you made.
Additionally, it is always best for you to contact our legal team as quickly as possible for representation. Waiting too long to secure the defense representation you need can result in devastating consequences in your case.
A lawyer needs sufficient time to prepare your case for trial and develop potential legal defenses. If you were to attend your criminal court hearing without an attorney present, a judge may not postpone your case. Instead, they can make you proceed to trial without an attorney.
Our legal team can enter an appearance on your behalf right away and start advocating for your legal rights and interests. Furthermore, we can represent you in all courtroom proceedings and achieve the best possible result in your case.
Call an Akron DUI Defense Lawyer Today
DUI charges and conviction can affect your life in many ways. Never risk an overly harsh or wrongful outcome of your case.
At Patituce & Associates, LLC, our legal team is committed to advocating for your legal rights and attaining a favorable case result. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an Akron DUI defense attorney, please call us at (440) 641-4434 or contact us online today.
Patituce & Associates, LCC – Akron Office
520 S Main Street, Suite 2511
Akron, OH 44331