Cleveland DUI Lawyer
When You Can’t Afford an OVI & Need to Drive: Call for a Free Case Evaluation
When you’re convicted of DUI / OVI, it changes your life forever. You will lose your license for a period of time. You face an almost certain fine, and you may spend time in jail. Arrests alone can ruin a professional career; jail time and a suspended license could do even more damage.
The state of Ohio takes OVI enforcement seriously, but our Cleveland DUI attorneys take your rights just as seriously. Not everyone arrested for drunk driving is guilty, and not everyone charged with the offense deserves to lose their driving privileges. The state is determined to secure a conviction in your case–you owe it to yourself not to walk into that fight alone. Our firm has won countless cases like yours; nearly half of our time is spent representing defendants in DUI cases. Let us advocate for your rights using every means we have at our disposal.
Our Cleveland DUI lawyers have experience in courtrooms across Ohio! Call (440) 471-7784.
DUI Matters We Handle
- Breath Tests
- DUI Checkpoints
- DUI Defense Strategies
- DUI Penalties
- Field Sobriety Tests
- License Suspension
- Multiple DUI
What Everyone Needs to Know About OVI in Ohio
We always get two questions when talking with someone accused of OVI:
- How much will DUI defense cost?
- What can you do for me?
We understand why: nobody plans to get arrested for DUI, and no doubt you are wondering right now how you’ll get through this. That’s where we come in. Our firm is known as one of the top DUI defense teams in Ohio, and we have a long track record of success with DUI/OVI cases. Whether it’s a dismissal of charges, a favorable plea bargain, or an acquittal at trial, we fight for the absolute best result our clients could hope for.
Our fees are not the lowest in the area, but you get what you pay for. If you’re serious about fighting your charges and winning, we’re the firm for you.
Cleveland DUI Defense Strategies to Protect Your Future
Often, our clients will ask us: “What can you do for me? I blew over the legal limit and got an OVI!” Your case might feel hopeless if you failed a breathalyzer or field sobriety test; however, simply failing either (or both!) tests doesn’t mean you’ll be convicted. That’s why you need a DUI attorney with actual experience defending clients from these charges.
At a minimum, in every case, we review the following to look for grounds for dismissal:
- The police report relating to your DUI arrest
- The field sobriety testing results relating to your DUI arrest
- The dash camera video, if it exists
- The complete logs relating to the breath test you took, if you took one
- The complete logs for any other type of blood or urine test you took
Many people—including some lawyers—do not know that there are two legal blood alcohol limits in Ohio. The first legal limit is 0.08 and the second is 0.17. The penalties for these types of charges go up significantly if you test over the second legal limit (also known as a high-tier test). But we can sidestep those penalties if the arresting officer violated your rights during the arrest.
How Our Cleveland DUI Defense Attorneys Fight OVI Charges
Another question we get: “I was drinking, how can I possibly fight my Cleveland OVI charge?” While we at Patituce & Associates do not consider our defense strategies basic by any stretch of the imagination, even the most basic strategies can help our clients receive the results they deserve.
There are many different avenues to challenge an OVI:
- We can challenge the reason you were stopped. A lot of the time, especially in cases where there is a dash camera, we analyze the footage to see why a defendant was stopped. Sometimes, allegations of the arresting officer are not visibly apparent and thus can be challenged. If the stop is bad, everything after the stop is bad.
- We can challenge the reason the arresting officer removed a defendant from the vehicle to perform standard field sobriety testing. If there was no reasonable suspicion to remove a defendant from a vehicle, then everything after the wrongful removal is bad as well.
- We can challenge the field sobriety test results. Ohio universally recognizes the NHTSA as to how the field sobriety tests should be administered. If the tests aren’t administered correctly, it can impact the way a defendant performs those tests.
- We can challenge chemical test results, whether it be a blood, breath, or urine sample. There are strict procedures for handling samples; if the blood or urine sample is mishandled in any way, the test results are void.
In our opinion, the two most important pieces of DUI defense are the video from the dash camera and the logs relating to the breath test. Here’s why: police officers often overstate, even accidentally, your performance on the test.
It happens all the time. We’ll review a police report and say, “Wow! Sounds like you were intoxicated.” The police report will say things like "slurred, slow speech, poor balance, etc.” However, when we go to the video, we see our client speaking normally, keeping their balance, and performing well on the test. We like to argue in court, and have done so successfully, that a police officer might lie—but video does not. That’s why video is important.
Read our blog post about 5 DUI Arrest Mistakes Police Make!
Cleveland DUI Defense Attorneys Must Examine the Breath Test Machine
We are shocked that there are OVI attorneys who don’t go to the police station and review breath test logs. Our attorneys once witnessed another lawyer, a seasoned ex-police officer, plea their client to a first-offense DUI at the arraignment. This attorney did not go to the police station and did not review the records.
What was outrageous was that we had a case out of the same police station and knew, because we had examined the records, that the machine was defective. The result? Our client agreed to reckless operation and received a $50 fine plus court costs. They got their license back that day. The other attorney’s client? They received 3 days in jail and 3 days at a driving class. Not the best result.
Tailoring Our Approach to Our Clients' Needs
We are not a plea factory. Many DUI lawyers will take clients and work out a quick plea deal. This approach has given defense lawyers a bad name. We advocate aggressively for our clients, tailoring our approach to their needs. Some clients want us to work out the best deal as fast as possible; others want us to challenge the evidence and attempt to secure an acquittal. It depends on the client’s situation.
If you have a job that requires driving or a clean criminal record, you might need to fight the charges. Our Cleveland DUI lawyers understand that.
What Happens If I’m Arrested for OVI in Ohio?
If you are lawfully arrested for OVI, two processes take place. The first (the administrative process) determines if your driver’s license gets suspended. The second (the criminal process) determines if you’re guilty of a crime, with all the penalties implied therein.
Upon a lawful OVI arrest, a police officer may request you take a chemical test to determine your blood or breath alcohol level. If it’s at or above .08, or if you refuse to provide a sample for analysis, the officer can immediately seize your driver’s license and suspend your driving privileges.
The immediate driver’s license suspension is part of the administrative process. Note that this sanction happens before your criminal case is decided.
To reinstate your driving privileges after an administrative suspension, you must:
- Serve the suspension period
- Pay the reinstatement fee
- Provide proof of insurance
Read more on our “What Happens After a DUI Arrest?” blog post!
What Is the OVI Court Process?
After your arrest, you’ll be arraigned. During this proceeding, a judge explains the charge brought against you and potentially sets a bail amount, which you must pay to secure release. At the arraignment, the judge will ask you to enter a plea. If you plead guilty, you will be convicted of the offense. Entering a not-guilty plea means your case will proceed, and you’ll have the opportunity to challenge the prosecutor’s accusations against you.
The next stage in the criminal process is a pretrial hearing. Your attorney will meet with the prosecutor and present facts/evidence to counter their case. Depending on the specifics of your case, the prosecutor may offer a plea deal, such as reducing your OVI charge or recommending a lesser sentence. Most cases are settled during a pretrial hearing.
Find out about getting your OVI charges reduced on our blog:
Can I Get My DUI Charges Reduced in Ohio?
If your case is not resolved outside of court, it goes to trial. The prosecutor will attempt to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, while your defense attorney will present counterarguments to defend your innocence and protect your rights and freedom. Because most cases settle at pretrial hearings, fewer attorneys than you realize have real courtroom experience.
If the prosecutor prevails and the jury convicts you of OVI, you’ll be brought to a sentencing hearing, where the judge will determine what term of incarceration and fines to impose.
What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An IID is similar to a breathalyzer. You are required to breathe into the device to start your vehicle. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above .02 percent, the vehicle will not start. Furthermore, the IID also requires random tests while the vehicle is in motion.
If the device detects alcohol, a company that monitors the IID will be notified of the failed result. IID violation can lead to license suspension for a longer period or a jail sentence. Installation fees cost between $200 and $300, while monthly maintenance costs between $100 and $200. There is also a fee for removing the device once you serve your suspension period.
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in Ohio
Ohio drunk driving laws have been among the toughest in the country since the early 1990s. You will lose your license if you are convicted of OVI in Ohio. Period.
How long your license is revoked depends on the severity and details of your arrest. You will lose it immediately if you refuse to take a sobriety test or if the breathalyzer result is higher than the legal limit of 0.08% BAC. Authorities can also take your license plates and seize or disable your vehicle if you have multiple arrests for DUI.
Ohio DUI penalties are extremely serious:
- First OVI: At least 3 days in jail or a 3-day alcohol abuse program. Fine up to $1,075.
- Second OVI: A jail sentence of 10 days to 6 months or a combination of jail, house arrest with monitoring, and/or continuous alcohol monitoring. The fines can be $1,625.
- Third OVI: A punishment of 30 days to 1 year in jail. If your BAC was 0.17% or higher, the sentence is a minimum of 60 days. The fine can be $2,500 along with paying for an alcohol or drug treatment program. You will also lose your driver’s license for 2 to 10 years. If your second OVI was less than 6 years prior to this arrest, throw out the above info because you are facing a felony now.
- Fourth OVI: Up to 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine for a 4th conviction. Plus, you would be required to surrender the car you drive to the authorities. Some 4th offenders lose their licenses permanently.
- 5th OVI or More: Call Patituce & Associates, LLC. We need to discuss what’s coming.
How Long Will an OVI Stay on My Record?
Being charged with an OVI is serious. If you’re convicted, the information will stay on your criminal record forever.
Ohio has a 10-year lookback period when it comes to OVI offenses. This means that if you are charged with a second or subsequent offense, the judge may look at your criminal history to see if you have any priors. If you do, and they occurred within 10 years of the current charge, they will be considered previous offenses for sentencing purposes.
Here’s an illustration of how this works: If you’re accused of a first OVI, you may face a mandatory minimum jail term of 3 days and a fine between $375 and $1,075. But, if this is your second OVI in 10 years, you could be sentenced to a mandatory minimum jail term of 10 days and/or a fine between $850 and $2,750.
DUIs & CDL Disqualification in Ohio
Many of our clients are individuals who own and operate their own truck companies–or single units. All these people have one thing in common: they have a CDL and without it, they are unable to work, function, and survive. We have often said that we believe DUI law impacts people holding special licenses more than those without, and it is certainly true when you talk about a CDL. If you have a CDL and are charged with an OVI/DUI, you need to speak with a Cleveland DUI attorney immediately. Call us at (440) 471-7784.
It is important to hire a lawyer who knows exactly how to both defend a DUI and protect your CDL. The Cleveland DUI attorneys at Patituce & Associates, LLC have handled a wide range of cases. We know how to find errors in police work, and we know how to exploit it to your advantage.
In one case, we secured a dismissal for an individual who was simply sitting in his vehicle when the police approached. We successfully convinced the court to throw out the entire DUI case without the need for a trial. The prosecutor wanted our client to serve a significant jail sentence, our client took our advice and we fought. We won and our client walked out with his license intact, no fines, no costs, and no jail time.
How Can A DUI Lawyer In Cleveland Help You?
Having an experienced lawyer by your side is critical for ensuring that your rights and your future are protected. Our attorneys will effectively evaluate your case, and gather important evidence to support your case. In the situation that your case gets taken to court, your attorney will be there to provide you with fierce representation on your behalf. Your DUI attorney can also serve as a great support system for you, and offer you the emotional reassurance that you need during this challenging time.
A DUI lawyer can help you in the following ways:
- Examining your case
- Collecting evidence
- Providing you with objective legal guidance
- Offering you emotional support
- Answering all of your questions
- Saving you time and money
- Helping you gain a favorable outcome
- Representing you
Don’t go through the repercussions of a DUI by yourself, let our experienced DUI lawyers in Cleveland help protect you and your future. Without a reputable DUI attorney, you may be risking the outcome of your case as well as your reputation. Contact our attorneys today to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help you.
Call a Cleveland DUI Lawyer for Your Free Consultation
As a Cleveland, Ohio DUI attorney it would be my privilege to talk to you about your case. It is important that you speak with a lawyer fast if you have been charged with these crimes because facing a judge alone and entering a lousy plea, or working with a lawyer who does not practice in this area can have damaging results to your case.
We offer a free consultation to all of our clients who have been arrested for OVI. Simply call (440) 471-7784 today to speak with our Cleveland DUI lawyers!
DUI-Related Blog Posts
- Aggravated DUI in Ohio
- How a DUI Can Impact My Education?
- How Will a DUI Conviction Affect My Nursing License?
- How Can an OVI Affect Employment?
- Do I Have to Tell My Boss About My DUI Arrest?
- CDL Drivers & Ohio DUI
- Can I Get a DUI for Sleeping in My Car?
- Why Is My DUI Case Set For A Motion to Suppress Hearing?
- How to Avoid a DUI During the Holidays
- Common Mistakes After Getting Arrested for a DUI
Work with Cleveland's FinestMeet the Attorneys of Patituce & Associates
Joseph C. Patituce
Managing Partner / Former Prosecutor
Megan M. Patituce
Partner / Former Prosecutor
Catherine R. Meehan
Office Manager / Paralegal
Aaron A. Schwartz
Facing Criminal Charges?Contact Our Team Today
Results MatterRecent Victories
Dismissed State v. Levanduski
Evidence Suppressed, State Lost the Appeal DUI / OVI: City of Cleveland v. Oles
Prosecutor Dismissed the OVI Charges OVI: Bay Village v. Keller
Reduction in Charges and Client Avoided Mandator OVI: State v. Shaver, Elyria
Case Dismissed DUI / OVI: Cleveland v. Al-Nazer (2012 TRC 040781)
Evidence Suppressed OVI-Appeal: City of Cleveland v. Oles
OVI Charges Dismissed DUI/OVI: City of Oberlin v. Barber
Case Dismissed DUI/OVI: Bay Village v. Crider
Plead to Reduced Charges and Avoided Prison OVI: State v. Mitchell, Akron
Case Dismissed DUI/OVI w. a weapon: State v. Al-Nazer (Cuyahoga Case No. 13-575491)
What Sets Us Apart?The Patituce & Associates Difference
We Offer No-Cost, Confidential Phone Consultations.
Our Team Has Over 70 Years of Combined Experience.
Our Lead Attorney Is A Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney.
Our Attorneys Have Taken Cases to Jury Trials Over 200 Times.
We Are the Firm Other Attorneys, Police & Prosecutors Turn To.
We Are Available 24/7.