A criminal conviction for DUI/OVI can severely affect every aspect of your life. In addition to the potential legal penalties, including losing a driver’s license, high monetary fines, and even jail time, a convicted offender may experience numerous collateral consequences. A DUI may prevent an individual from gaining admission to a college or university and harm their personal and professional reputation.
The best way to avoid these legal penalties and collateral consequences is to avoid a criminal DUI/OVI conviction in the first place. To put you on the path to obtaining a favorable result in your criminal case, hire qualified legal counsel to represent you during every stage of the proceedings.
The knowledgeable Columbus DUI defense lawyers at Patituce & Associates, LLC can meet with you immediately to discuss the circumstances of your DUI arrest and help you develop a plan of action for achieving a favorable case result.
Our legal team can raise a robust legal defense to your DUI/OVI charge in court or work to negotiate a fair plea deal with the district attorney who is handling your case.
In addition to answering all of your legal questions while your criminal case is pending, we can help you make both informed and intelligent decisions at every stage of your case.
Please contact our office for a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Columbus DUI defense attorney. We can assess your situation and the best options for your defense, giving you peace of mind that someone is protecting your rights and future.
Why Should You Choose Us for Your Legal Needs?
Given the potential legal penalties and collateral consequences of a DUI/OVI conviction, you want the best possible attorneys representing you throughout your pending criminal case.
The skilled Columbus DUI defense lawyers at Patituce & Associates, LLC have a strong track record of success in favorably resolving DUI cases and litigating them in court. Our skilled defense team has a combined 70 years of experience representing individuals in the Ohio Criminal Court System and successfully defending them against criminal charges.
Our legal team has successfully tried more than 400 jury trials in the Ohio Court System. Furthermore, our managing partner is one of only 13 board-certified criminal trial attorneys registered in Ohio.
Moreover, three of the attorneys on our criminal defense team are former state prosecutors. Consequently, these attorneys know how prosecutors handle DUI cases, gather evidence, and build their cases against criminal defendants. More importantly, they routinely use this knowledge when defending clients against pending DUI charges.
Because of our significant experience and knowledge, we have excellent working relationships – both with Ohio criminal court judges and prosecuting attorneys throughout the state – allowing us to pursue favorable results for our clients. Let us assist you with defending against your criminal DUI/OVI charge and pursuing the case result you deserve.
What Is the Criminal Court Process in Ohio for DUI/OVI Charges?
As with other criminal legal matters, DUI/OVI cases must follow a specific process through the Ohio Criminal Court System.
The first step is an arraignment proceeding. During this hearing, a judge will explain the pending DUI/OVI charge and ask you if you want to plead guilty or not guilty to the charge. Following an arraignment, you will attend a pretrial hearing.
During this hearing, we can meet with the state prosecutor handling your case and provide the prosecutor with any potential evidence that may serve as a defense to your criminal charge. The prosecutor will then weigh this evidence and determine whether or not they can recommend a lighter sentence in your case or offer you a plea deal.
As part of a plea deal, the accused typically pleads guilty to a particular charge. However, in exchange for this guilty plea, the state prosecutor might offer a reduced penalty or a period of probation. Alternatively, the prosecutor might reduce the DUI charge to a lesser offense, such as reckless driving, which will incur lighter penalties.
In some instances, you should accept a plea deal from the state prosecutor, while at other times, you should take your case to trial.
By pleading guilty, you give up certain legal and constitutional rights, including your constitutional right to a trial by jury and your right of appeal. However, by pleading guilty, you also remove some of the uncertainty of a trial outcome.
You might wish to take your case to trial if you did not commit the offense or otherwise have a solid legal defense for your pending DUI/OVI charge.
If you decide not to accept a plea bargain after consulting your lawyer, your case will typically proceed to trial. During a trial, the parties can each present evidence and call witnesses. Moreover, your attorney can cross-examine any witnesses the state prosecutor calls to the witness stand. Depending on the trier-of-fact of your case, a judge or jury will then determine your guilt or innocence.
For the state prosecutor to obtain a guilty finding or conviction against you, they must satisfy their legal burden of proof and do so beyond a reasonable doubt.
In the context of a DUI/OVI matter, the state prosecutor must establish – beyond a reasonable doubt – that you operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If the prosecutor fails to prove even one legal element of the underlying charge, then the court will dismiss your charge.
Moreover, a criminal defendant has no legal burden of proof in a DUI case. Because of their Fifth Amendment constitutional right against self-incrimination, they do not even have to take the witness stand in their own defense at trial. However, your lawyer can argue a defense on your behalf at trial, and that defense can serve to negate one or more required legal elements of the prosecution’s case.
If the prosecutor can obtain a guilty finding or conviction against you, then your case will proceed to sentencing. A judge will ultimately determine the punishment or punishments to impose against you within specific statutory guidelines.
The experienced Columbus DUI/OVI defense attorneys at Patituce & Associates, LLC can help you decide whether you should accept or reject a plea deal from the prosecuting attorney or take your case to a criminal bench or jury trial. We can also represent you at all legal proceedings in your case and guide you through every step of the process.
What Are the Potential Penalties for a DUI/OVI Conviction in Ohio?
Not surprisingly, a conviction on an Ohio DUI/OVI charge can lead to significant legal penalties and collateral consequences. For example, a first-time offense can lead to between six days and 180 days of incarceration and a monetary fine of between $250 and $1,075. Alternatively, an offender may have to attend a three-day alcohol abuse program rather than jail time.
A conviction on a second-time offense can lead to incarceration of between 10 days and six months. Moreover, the offender may have to pay a monetary fine between $350 and $1,625. Additionally, the individual may have to pay for and attend a drug or alcohol treatment program. A sentencing judge can also place them under house arrest and/or on continuous alcohol monitoring.
A third-time offense can lead to incarceration of between 30 days and 365 days, along with a monetary fine of between $550 and $2,500. A judge may also impose mandatory attendance at a drug and alcohol treatment and rehabilitation program, and the defendant must cover the costs. Additionally, a judge may require restricted license plates and mandatory participation in the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Program.
A fourth-time conviction can lead to incarceration of between 60 days and 30 months, along with payment of a monetary fine of between $800 and $10,000. Again, a judge may sentence the individual to drug and alcohol treatment, for which they must pay. The offending driver may also need restricted license plates and may have to participate in the IID Program.
For a fifth-time conviction, the offending driver may have to serve between six months and five years in jail and pay monetary fines of between $800 and $10,000. The court may require a drug and alcohol treatment program, restricted license plates, and mandatory participation in the IID Program.
In addition, a DUI can result in losing driving privileges for an extended time.
Along with the various legal penalties for a DUI/OVI conviction, a driver may face numerous collateral consequences.
Collateral consequences may include:
- Harm to one’s professional reputation and personal reputation in the community
- Difficulty finding or keeping a job, especially if the job in question requires a driver’s license
- Difficulty gaining admission to an educational program, such as a college or university, due to criminal background checks that admissions officers perform
- Loss of financial aid or scholarships from an educational institution.
Our legal team can represent you at your sentencing hearing and argue for a fair and reasonable penalty. We can also help you lessen or eliminate the collateral consequences that you experience due to a criminal DUI/OVI conviction.
Ways that a DUI Defense Attorney in Columbus can Assist
Our experienced legal team can assist you with defending against your criminal DUI/OVI charge in several ways.
First, we can represent you during all plea deal negotiations and in-court proceedings in your case. We can also answer all your questions and address your legal concerns while your case is pending in the court system. We can further gather the necessary evidence to support your version of events and review the prosecution’s evidence for potential inconsistencies.
If your case goes to a bench or jury trial, we can challenge the evidence the prosecutor introduces in their case or prepare a motion to suppress certain pieces of evidence or dismiss your charge. We can examine the breath test machine the police officer used in your case for potential technical problems and challenge other chemical testing in any manner possible.
A DUI charge does not mean a conviction is inevitable. You need the right defense to protect yourself and your future.
Call a Columbus DUI Defense Attorney Right Away about Your Pending Criminal Charges
When defending yourself against your criminal DUI/OVI charge, you want the best possible legal team to advocate for you every step of the way.
The skilled attorneys at Patituce & Associates, LLC focus a significant amount of attention on DUI defense. We are also very familiar with the strategies prosecutors use to try and introduce evidence in their cases, and we know how to combat those tactics.
Our legal team also has successful relationships with state prosecutors and can secure a favorable plea deal on your behalf.
In a DUI case, you should not wait to seek legal representation. If you wait too long, a criminal defense attorney may not have sufficient time to prepare your case for trial.
Moreover, if you show up at your criminal court hearing without an attorney by your side, the presiding judge may refuse to continue your case and might make you go forward right away – without legal counsel present. When considering the potential consequences of a DUI/OVI conviction, you do not want that to happen.
Our legal team will aggressively fight for your legal rights and interests every step of the way and work hard to help you obtain the best possible result in your case. A criminal conviction can affect you for the rest of your life.
You have too much at stake not to enlist an experienced criminal defense attorney.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Columbus DUI defense lawyer, please call us at (440) 641-4434 or contact us online today to learn more.