Portage County DUI LawyerTroy A. Reeves
Representing clients throughout Northeast OhioFREE CONSULTATION
OVI / DUI Defense
Our clients typically have three questions when they come to us following an Ohio OVI / DUI arrest: (1) How to I get driving privileges? (2) What are the penalties for an Ohio OVI? and (3) Is it possible to beat an Ohio OVI charge? We’ve provided some information below to help answer these questions. We encourage you to review this page and then give us a call so that we can discuss the particulars of your case.
An Ohio DUI charge can have an immediate impact on your life. One of the most obvious areas of concern is your ability to drive to work, school, medical appointments etc. Every court has their own specific rules and procedures that must be followed in order to obtain driving privileges. However, there are some rules regarding privileges that apply to all cases depending on the number of prior offenses a person may have and whether a chemical test was taken or refused.
Refusal of Chemical Test
Administrative License Suspension
|No. of Refusals /|
Offenses in 6yrs,
|Length of Suspension||Driving Privileges*||Yellow Plates||Interlock Required|
|1st||1 year||After 30 days||Possible||Possible|
|2nd||2 years||After 90 days||Possible||Possible|
|3rd||3 years||After 1 year||Possible||Possible|
|4th||5 Years||After 3 years||Possible||Possible|
*No privileges may be granted to offender with refusal who, within the preceding six years, has had three or more test refusals
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Failed Chemical Test
Administrative License Suspension
|No. of Offenses in 6yrs.||Length of Suspension||Driving Privileges||Yellow Plates||Interlock|
|1st||90 days||After 15 days||Unlikely for low test||Unlikely|
|2nd||1 year||After 45 days||Possible||Possible|
|3rd||2 years||After 180 days||Possible||Required for alcohol|
|4th||3 years||After 3 years||Possible||Required for alcohol|
*No privileges may be granted to offender with failed test who, within the preceding six years, has had three or more convictions or guilty pleas
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Ohio OVI / DUI Penalties
Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence in Ohio is a serious offense that carries quite severe penalties. The chart below provides the minimum and maximum potential penalties for the various types of OVI offenses. Judges have wide latitude to sentence individuals within these parameters. Please review the information provided and contact us to discuss the specific penalties you might be facing with your case.
|Offense No. & Category||Degree of Offense||Fines||Mandatory Days in Jail||License Suspension||Driving Privileges||Points||Substance Abuse Treatment||Yellow Plates||Interlock||Immobilization / Vehicle Forfeiture|
|1st in 10yrs. .08 - .169 BAC or Refusal||First Degree Misdemeanor||$375 - $1,075||3 days (or 72 hr. DIP) - 6 months||1 - 3 yrs.||After 15 days||6 Points||Possible||Unlikely||Unlikely||No|
|1st in 10yrs >.169 BAC||First Degree Misdemeanor||$375 - $1,075||6 days - 6 months (DIP + 3 days Jail)||1 - 3 yrs.||After 15 days||6 Points||Possible||Required||Possible||No|
|1st in 10yrs & Refusal prior in 20yrs||First Degree Misdemeanor||$375 - $1,075||6 days - 6 months (DIP + 3 days Jail)||1 - 3 yrs.||After 15 days||6 Points||Possible||Possible||Possible||No|
|2nd in 10yrs .08 - .169 BAC||First Degree Misdemeanor||$525 - $1,625||10 days - 6 months||1yr. - 5yrs.||After 45 days||6 Points||Required||Required||Required if alcohol||90 days Immobilization|
|2nd in 10yrs >.169 BAC||First Degree Misdemeanor||$525 - $1,625||20 days - 6 months||1yr. - 5yrs.||After 45 days||6 Points||Required||Required||Required if alcohol||90 days Immobilization|
|2nd in 10yrs & Refusal prior in 20yrs||First Degree Misdemeanor||$525 - $1,625||20 days - 6 months||1yr. - 5yrs.||After 45 days||6 Points||Required||Required||Required if alcohol||90 days Immobilization|
|3rd in 10yrs .08 - .169 BAC||Unclassified Misdemeanor||$850 - $2,750||30 days - 1 yr.||2yrs. - 10yrs.||After 180 days||6 Points||Required||Required||Required if alcohol||Vehicle forfeited to the State|
|3rd in 10yrs >.169 BAC||Unclassified Misdemeanor||$850 - $2,750||60 days - 1 yr.||2yrs. - 10yrs.||After 180 days||6 Points||Required||Required||Required if alcohol||Vehicle forfeited to the State|
|3rd in 10yrs & Refusal prior in 20yrs||Unclassified Misdemeanor||$850 - $2,750||60 days - 1 yr.||2yrs. - 10yrs.||After 180 days||6 Points||Required||Required||Required if alcohol||Vehicle forfeited to the State|
No privileges if three or more convictions or guilty pleas.
Court has authority to reduce the minimum period of a Class 3 suspension from two years to one year.
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Ohio OVI / DUI Defenses
Defenses to DUI charges in Ohio vary depending on the particular facts and circumstances of each case. However, there are certain categories of defenses that apply more frequently than others. We encourage you to read the information below and contact us to discuss the specific defenses that may apply to your case.
One of the very first thing an experienced DUI Lawyer will look at when reviewing an OVI case is the reason for the stop. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 14 of the Ohio Constitution provide protection against unreasonable seizures by the police. A police officer generally must have reasonable suspicion or probable cause of a violation of the law to satisfy Constitutional mandates. If the officer lacked sufficient cause to make the stop, then all the evidence gathered as a result of the stop must be excluded or thrown out. That means allegations such as odor of alcohol, admissions to drinking, field sobriety tests, and chemical tests (e.g. the breath test) could not be used by the prosecution against you at trial. Without such evidence, the prosecutor will be forced to dismiss the charges.
Attorney Reeves will use the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure to obtain and review the officer’s report and other evidence such as the dash-cam video. Then he will rely on his extensive knowledge of the law and ability to conduct legal research to determine whether the officer actually had sufficient cause to make the stop.
For example, suppose an officer stopped a motorist for violating Ohio’s Marked Lanes statute. The officer’s report states that he observed the vehicle drive over a double yellow line. However, the dash-cam video clearly shows the vehicle’s left tires drive over the inner most part of the double yellow, but do not actually cross over into the adjacent lane. Attorney Reeves knows the case law states that the tires must actually cross over the line entirely in order to constitute a Marked Lanes violation. Attorney Reeves would file a Motion to Suppress and the case would be resolved.
Police officers often make traffic stops for very minor traffic violations to see if the motorist had been drinking. However, a request to perform field sobriety tests is a greater invasion of an individual’s liberty interests than the initial stop. Therefore the officer must observe clear symptoms that the detainee is intoxicated before the officer can make such a request.
Attorneys Reeves will obtain and review the police report and dash-cam video to determine whether or not the officer had reasonable suspicion of impairment. The reasonable suspicion analysis is based on a collection of factors indicating impairment that must be present before a trial court could approve the officer’s decision to conduct field sobriety tests. If the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to conduct field sobriety tests then the Judge would exclude all evidence gathered from that point forward including the FST and any chemical test.
Factors that may be considered in determining validity of a request to perform field sobriety tests include: (1) time and day of stop; (2) location of stop; (3) any indicia of erratic driving before stop that may indicate lack of coordination; (4) whether there is cognizable report that driver may be intoxicated; (5) condition of suspect’s eyes; (6) impairments of suspect’s ability to speak; (7) odor of alcohol coming from interior of car, or, more significantly, on suspect’s person or breath; (8) intensity of that odor; (9) suspect’s demeanor; (10) any actions by suspect after the stop that might indicate lack of coordination; (11) suspect’s admission of alcohol consumption; and (12) officer’s previous experience in dealing with drunken drivers.
Because an arrest is the ultimate intrusion upon a citizen’s liberty, the arresting officer must have more than reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. He must have probable cause to believe the individual has committed a crime. Probable cause is defined in terms of those facts and circumstances sufficient to warrant a prudent law enforcement officer in believing that a suspect committed an offense.
Attorneys Reeves will review the officer’s impairment report and video to determine whether or not the officer had probable cause to make an arrest for OVI. There are a variety of factors considered in the probable cause analysis. However, one of the most important considerations is the results of the field sobriety tests. Attorney Reeves will scrutinize the tests to determine whether they were administered in compliance with National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration regulations. If the officer failed to administer the tests correctly, then Attorney Reeves will move to exclude them from evidence. If the Judge agreed, the tests would not be considered in the probable cause determination. Without the field sobriety tests, there is a strong likelihood that the Judge would also find that the officer did not have probable cause to arrest. If the officer lacked probable cause to arrest then all the evidence gathered as a result of the arrest (e.g. the chemical tests or refusal to submit to such tests) would be excluded from evidence.
There are numerous rules and regulations governing the procedures for chemical tests used in OVI prosecution. Before the state may seek to admit the results of bodily substance (breath, blood or urine) testing in the trial of an alleged violation of R.C. 4511.19 the State must demonstrate that (1) the instrument was in proper working order; (2) that its operator had their requisite qualifications to conduct the test; (3) that such test was conducted substantially in accordance with the Ohio Department of Health Regulations; and (4) that consent was given and the test conducted within the time required by law. Attorney Reeves is very familiar with all the rules and regulations governing chemical tests. If the state failed to comply Attorney Reeves will move the court to exclude the test results from evidence.
The State must present enough “admissible evidence” to firmly convince convince each juror beyond a reasonable doubt:(1) That you operated a vehicle; (2) In the Court’s jurisdiction; and (3) With a prohibited concentration of alcohol or drugs (or) While under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or a combination of both.
Attorney Reeves has conducted numerous jury trials that have resulted in acquittals for his clients.