Representing Drivers Charged With OVI in Ohio
When you have been stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) or, as it’s known in Ohio, operating a vehicle impaired (OVI), the police officer can take your driver’s license away from you on the spot, immediately starting a suspension.
This automatic suspension, known as an Administrative License Suspension (ALS), lasts for six months. It’s possible to fight this suspension and protect your license, but you must act quickly to save your driving privilege.
An important step in this process is known as the BMV hearing; but, we can request a hearing on your behalf so you don’t have to go alone.
When you’ve been arrested and facing DUI charges, contact Patituce & Associates, LLC at (440) 471-7784 as soon as possible to learn more about your options and how we can help you.
What Is a BMV Hearing?
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is responsible for overseeing every aspect of a driver’s right to operate a motor vehicle, and that includes controlling licenses.
When you’re charged with OVI in Ohio, you have a limited time to request a BMV hearing to contest the administrative license suspension that comes along with an OVI conviction.
A BMV hearing applies to the license suspension only, not the OVI. This is an opportunity for us to fight the suspension of your license so you can continue to drive without restrictions.
How Can I Request a BMV Hearing?
While BMV hearings are not required in a DUI case, we highly recommend that you request one. It’s an important part of defending your driving privileges after a DUI charge.
Important things to know about requesting BMV hearings for DUI / OVI include:
You must submit the hearing request within 30 days of the mailing date of the suspension notice. If you are facing an out-of-state charge, that time limit is reduced to 20 days.
There are no fees for BMV hearings.
You do not need to be physically present; you may ask an attorney to represent you at a BMV hearing.
Do You Need a BMV Hearing Attorney?
Imagine you’re driving home after a night out in Cleveland, and you get pulled over for suspected OVI. Your heart sinks as the police officer confiscates your driver’s license, leaving you with an immediate Administrative License Suspension (ALS).
According to Ohio law, you now have 30 days to request a BMV hearing, otherwise, your driving privilege could be in jeopardy for the next six months or more from an administrative suspension
But should you walk into that BMV hearing unprepared and unrepresented?
The short answer is no. While Ohio law allows you to request a BMV hearing without legal representation, the process is far from simple.
The hearing involves contesting the ALS, and it’s separate from the criminal court proceedings for the OVI charge. What you say or fail to say can have a profound effect on your ability to drive for the foreseeable future.
Navigating the nuances of an Ohio BMV administrative license suspension hearing requires keen understanding of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles procedures, as well as the tactics used by hearing officers to uphold suspensions.
Don’t underestimate the importance of having a BMV hearing attorney by your side, especially one familiar with OVI cases in Cleveland. These lawyers have experience in Ohio law, including successfully defending against license suspensions imposed by the court.
Whether you’re grappling with your first OVI offense, or it’s a subsequent charge, a drunk driving attorney can help you articulate a strong defense strategy.
For instance, your attorney might argue that the arresting law enforcement officer lacked probable cause, or that the breath or blood test was improperly administered.
This is particularly important in refusal hearings where you declined the breath test, as the BMV will consider this as well.
Moreover, a skilled attorney can assist with the logistics, such as ensuring the hearing request is submitted within the 30-day window, and can represent you so you don’t have to appear in person.
A lawyer can also help you understand the limitations and conditions for applying for limited driving privileges during your suspension period.
Time is ticking, and each day that passes reduces your options for keeping your driving privileges intact. If you’ve received a suspension notice in the mail from the Ohio BMV or are facing drunk driving charges in Ohio, reach out for a free consultation with a law firm experienced in BMV hearings as soon as possible.
Don’t allow a single mistake to impede your ability to drive, potentially affecting your livelihood and quality of life.
Contact A BMV Hearing Attorney Today
When it comes to fighting DUI / OVI charges in Ohio, time is of the essence.
As soon as you’ve been charged with OVI in Ohio, or you have received a suspension notice from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney experienced in BMV hearings at Patituce & Associates, LLC.
We have 70+ years of combined experience helping drivers to navigate the OVI process.
Facing the consequences of a DUI / OVI charge is difficult enough without losing your driving privileges. Contact our BMV hearing attorneys at (440) 471-7784 to increase your chances of keeping your license.