November 28, 2023 | DUI
The short answer to this question is usually ‘yes’, for more than one reason. Attempting to defend yourself against a Dayton DUI (OVI) charge without a lawyer is like a gladiator walking into a stadium to face hungry lions.
The Ohio criminal justice system is competitive, adversarial, complex, and relentless. The ultimate disposition of your case could depend on whether you hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
What Defenses Are Available for a DUI?
The availability of multiple possible defenses is the main reason why you should hire a DUI defense lawyer to fight your Ohio DUI.
The ‘rising BAC’ defense could be particularly effective if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was only slightly over the legal limit (0.08% under most circumstances). The officer does not test your BAC for at least several minutes after pulling you over. Since it takes time for alcohol to take effect, you could argue that your BAC was below the limit at the time the officer pulled you over. This means that it did not rise to illegal levels until after the officer pulled you over (at which point you were no longer driving).
Some of the most common defenses to DUI include:
- The degree to which your BAC exceeded the legal limit was within the margin of error of the testing method. This defense is particularly useful if your BAC was only slightly over the legal limit.
- The officer had no legal right to pull you over in the first place (a Fourth Amendment argument).
- The officer bungled the test that established your BAC level.
- The state misplaced the evidence against you (you’d be surprised how often this happens).
A seasoned Ohio DUI lawyer should be able to identify the defense that works best for you, given the facts of your case.
Criminal Consequences of a Dayton DUI (OVI) Conviction
Ohio DUI penalties can be harsh, but there is a wide range of possible penalties for a first-time offender.
First-time DUI Penalties in Ohio
First-time DUI penalties in Ohio can be lenient or harsh, depending on several factors. You will face enhanced penalties if your BAC was 0.17% or higher, for example, or if you caused an accident.
If not faced with maximum penalties, you might be given the following:
- Three days in jail or successful completion of a Driver Intervention Program;
- A fine of $375; and
- A license suspension of 15 days.
Even a first-time offender might face up to six months in jail, five years of probation, and a license suspension of three years.
Ohio’s DUI penalties increase rapidly with multiple offenses. The state applies a 10-year ‘lookback period’ – they will look back 10 years to see if you have any prior DUIs. Fourth and further DUI offenses in a 10-year period constitute felony DUI in Ohio.
Suspension of Your Driving Privileges
Suspension of your driving privileges is an administrative matter. One of the consequences of this is that the burden of proof to take your license is much lower than the burden of proof to convict you of DUI. Ohio can suspend your driver’s license even if you later win an acquittal of your DUI charge.
You are entitled to request a hearing on your incense suspension. You should consult a lawyer during this process.
Contact a Dayton Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Ohio DUI prosecutions move fast, and a single error could greatly damage your claim. You only get one bite at the apple. Get a Dayton DUI lawyer involved in your case as soon as possible.
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Dayton
130 West Second Street #17-129
Dayton, OH 45402