In Ohio, driving under the influence, or DUI, is a severe criminal offense. If you sustain a criminal conviction on a DUI charge, you may face severe penalties, including high monetary fines and even jail time.
If a police officer recently arrested you for DUI, retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you with every aspect of your case. Waiting too long to retain an experienced attorney may jeopardize your ability to achieve a favorable case result.
The experienced Ohio DUI defense lawyers at Patituce & Associates, LLC can aggressively defend you against your criminal charge and help you pursue a favorable result in your case. For example, we can arrange a fair plea deal from the state prosecutor handling your case or raise a successful legal defense on your behalf at your criminal court trial. Our team has extensive experience successfully defending individuals facing criminal DUI charges.
Let us help you obtain the result you need in your criminal case. For a free case evaluation and consultation, consult our criminal defense team today.
Why Choose Us to Represent You in Your DUI Case?
When you need legal representation following a DUI arrest, you want the experienced Ohio DUI defense lawyers at Patituce & Associates, LLC. on your side.
We have more than 70 years of combined experience defending individuals facing criminal charges. Our lawyers have successfully tried over 400 criminal jury trials. Our managing partner is one of only 13 board-certified criminal trial attorneys in Ohio. In addition, three of our criminal defense lawyers are former state prosecutors.
We know how state prosecutors build their DUI cases and the types of evidence they look for, and we use that knowledge to our clients’ advantage.
Given our vast knowledge and experience, we also have good working relationships with prosecuting attorneys and criminal court judges throughout Ohio. Consequently, we can use our skills to obtain favorable results for our clients. Let us help you get the results you need in your criminal DUI case today.
How Will a DUI/OVI Case Resolve?
Our knowledgeable Ohio DUI defense lawyers can help you move your criminal case forward and pursue the best possible result.
Some DUI cases resolve at a criminal court trial. During a trial, the parties can introduce evidence, call witnesses, and make arguments that favor their version of the case. A judge or jury will then typically decide the case outcome, including whether the accused is guilty or innocent of the underlying offense.
You may want to take your criminal DUI case to trial if you have one or more solid legal defenses. Given the case facts and circumstances, our legal team can help you decide whether to take your case to trial.
Instead of taking your case to trial, we can negotiate a favorable plea deal with the state prosecutor handling your case. The accused individual typically enters a guilty plea to a criminal charge as part of a plea deal. However, as a concession for entering a guilty plea, the prosecutor might be willing to reduce the charge.
For example, the prosecutor might reduce a DUI charge to reckless driving, which will incur a lesser penalty. Alternatively, the prosecutor might offer the accused individual probation. If the driver successfully completes probation, which may include attending drug and alcohol rehabilitation classes or installing an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicle, the accused can escape a criminal conviction.
Plea deals have several benefits and detriments. The obvious advantage is that you have direct control over the result in your case. However, by entering a guilty plea, you lose your right to a criminal jury trial, as well as your right of appeal. Our legal team can help you pursue a favorable plea deal from the state prosecutor handling your case and let you know whether accepting a particular plea deal from the prosecutor is a good idea.
What are DUI and OVI Cases in Ohio?
In Ohio, it is against the law for an individual to operate their motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. To determine whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol, a police officer will typically perform a Breathalyzer test. These portable devices measure a driver’s blood alcohol concentration or BAC.
In Ohio, a driver is under the influence of alcohol if their BAC is 0.08 percent or higher and they are age 21 or older. However, more stringent legal standards apply for operators of commercial vehicles, including commercial truck drivers and drivers under 21 years old. The BAC cut-off for commercial drivers is 0.04 percent and 0.02 percent for underage drivers. If a driver’s BAC exceeds the legal limit, a prosecutor can charge the offending driver with operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or OVI.
When a police officer initiates an arrest for DUI/OVI, many drivers don’t know what to do or where to turn. They may be uncertain about what questions they can answer or not answer and the potential consequences of their case. Fortunately, a Ohio criminal defense attorney can step in and help out.
The knowledgeable Ohio DUI defense lawyers at Patituce & Associates, LLC can meet with you to discuss the circumstances of your arrest and determine what you should expect throughout the legal process. We can look at your legal options and help you decide on the best way to proceed with your case.
Moreover, depending upon the circumstances, we can assert a robust legal defense on your behalf in court, which can result in a complete dismissal of your criminal DUI charge.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI/OVI Conviction in Ohio?
For you to incur criminal penalties on a DUI/OVI charge, the state prosecutor handling your criminal case must satisfy their legal burden of proof.
Specifically, they must introduce evidence that you were operating a vehicle while illegally under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Moreover, the prosecutor must establish their legal burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a very high legal burden to overcome.
In addition, the accused individual in a DUI case does not need to satisfy any legal burden of proof. The criminal defendant does not need to take the witness stand and testify at trial due to their Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination.
However, a defendant can raise one or more legal defenses at their criminal court trial, which may prevent the prosecutor from satisfying their legal burden.
If the state prosecutor can obtain a guilty finding or conviction against the accused individual, it will be up to the sentencing judge to impose various penalties according to Ohio state statute.
The potential penalties for a first-time DUI/OVI are at least three days of incarceration or participation in a three-day alcohol abuse program. In addition, the offender may incur a maximum monetary fine of $1,075.
A second-time offense, on the other hand, can lead to a minimum of 10 days in jail, with a maximum of six months in prison. Alternatively, the individual can receive a combination of house arrest, jail time, continued alcohol monitoring, and a maximum monetary fine of $1,625.
A third-time conviction can result in a minimum of 30 days of incarceration, with a maximum of one year of imprisonment. The offender can also receive $2,500 in monetary fines and required participation in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.
A fourth-time offense can lead to a minimum of 60 days in jail and a maximum of one year of incarceration. The offender may also have to pay a maximum of $10,500 in monetary fines.
Finally, a fifth or higher conviction within six years can result in a minimum of two months of incarceration and required placement on the State of Ohio’s Habitual OVI Registry.
Individuals who receive a DUI/OVI conviction may also face numerous collateral consequences in their everyday lives
For example, they may have to pay higher insurance rates or cannot find or keep a job – especially if it requires driving. In addition, an offender may experience damage to both their personal and professional reputations within the community. Finally, individuals may receive a driver’s license suspension or permanent revocation.
Defending against a Criminal DUI/OVI Charge in Ohio
An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you defend against a pending criminal DUI/OVI charge in Ohio. By successfully arguing a defense in court and preventing the state prosecutor from satisfying their legal burden of proof, we can obtain a complete dismissal of your criminal charge.
Sometimes, we can challenge the validity of the initial traffic stop that led to your DUI arrest. For example, the responding police officer may not have had the necessary reasonable suspicion or probable cause to pull your vehicle over in the first place. To make this determination, we can review any available camera footage to see if the police officer initiated an invalid traffic stop.
In addition, we can challenge field sobriety test results. For example, a police officer might have made a mistake while administering the test, causing an inaccurate result. We can also challenge the reason the police officer removed you from your vehicle in the first place. If the police officer did not have the necessary reasonable suspicion to take you out of your car, we can challenge the DUI arrest.
Finally, we can challenge any chemical testing the police officer administered in your case, such as a urine, breath, or blood test. When performing these tests, police officers and investigators have to follow stringent procedures, and if they commit an error, the test result may be inaccurate. Our legal team can investigate the testing a police officer administered in your case and determine if there may be a basis to challenge the results.
How can a DUI Defense Attorney Help You?
When asserting a robust legal defense or negotiating a favorable plea deal with the state prosecutor, a DUI defense attorney is an absolute must. The potential consequences of a DUI conviction, including jail time and monetary fines, are far too high to represent yourself in a DUI case.
The knowledgeable Ohio DUI lawyers at Patituce & Associates, LLC can help you in several ways.
Some of the most common ways that we can help include:
- Representing you during all court hearings
- Answering the questions you may have about the criminal court process
- Providing you with objective legal guidance throughout your case
- Helping you understand DUI and OVI laws within the State of Ohio
- Examining the prosecution’s evidence in your case
- Undertaking a thorough case evaluation
- Explaining all of your legal options and helping you develop a solid and aggressive strategy to defend against your pending criminal charge
- Offering you emotional support while your criminal case is pending
- Guiding you through the process and helping you make both intelligent and informed decisions
- Helping you save money and time while your case is pending
Talk to a Skilled Ohio DUI Defense Lawyer Right Away
You do not want to take any chances when it comes to a criminal DUI charge. The knowledgeable and compassionate criminal defense attorneys at Patituce & Associates, LLC can guide you through the criminal court process and help you make the best possible decisions in your case.
We have dedicated DUI Defense teams in Cleveland, Toledo, Columbus, Cincinnatti, Akron, Dayton, and Canton.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation, please call us at (440) 641-4434 or contact us online today.