Kettering Municipal Court OVI/DUI Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with an OVI offense in Kettering, Ohio, you may be frightened, nervous, and feel as if the life you are accustomed to is being turned on its head. Not being able to drive is devastating. It prevents you from going to work and taking care of your family. Our skilled attorneys are knowledgeable and experienced in Ohio DUI law. We know how to defend your OVI case.
I have defended OVI cases in Kettering Municipal Court for years. I have a great reputation with the judges, magistrates, prosecutors, bailiffs, and staff. An OVI charge means that the police believe that you operated a vehicle under the influence. Evidence of this can be testimony from witnesses or the officer’s own observations. Often times the police will have a dash camera that records your driving and field sobriety tests. This dash cam can also record audio in the car and from a wireless body mic the officer wears. The officer will also fill out a police report with a narrative statement of facts and a report on field sobriety tests. We will obtain all this information and evaluate it to determine how best to negotiate or fight your case.
Help! I’ve been charged with an OVI in Kettering!
When you have been charged with an OVI, you may feel lost and not know what to do. It is important that you take action quickly. The sooner you contact us to represent you on your Kettering Municipal Court OVI, the quicker I can take the steps necessary to keep you out of jail, obtain driving privileges, and fight back against the charges.
Once you have been arrested or given a citation for OVI in Kettering, your license will be suspended if you test over the limit or refuse. It is important, therefore, that you hire us right away to file the appropriate application with the Civil Clerk in Kettering so that your privilege to drive is restored pending the outcome of the case. First offenders that test over can get privileges to drive restored as soon as 15 days, while people that refuse have to wait 30 days before the court can allow them a letter to drive. If you want to file for privileges before the case is over the civil clerk will charge you a filing fee usually over $135 payable by cash, check, or MasterCard. If you wait until we resolve the case there is no filing fee to apply for driving privileges on a court suspension.
Judges have the authority to grant whatever driving privileges they want in their discretion. Privileges in Kettering used to be limited to no more than 60 hours a week. However, the OVI law in Ohio has changed as of April 2017 and tend to encourage a more liberal approach to granting privileges. If you have unique driving needs then there is a chance the Judges in Kettering will listen to what you are asking for and make an honest effort to accommodate your request. It can take 24-48 hours for the court to process a driving privileges request. The clerk will usually call you and let you know when they are ready. If the judge has questions they may ask you to come in to see the judge so they can get what they need. Privileges can be restricted with a breathalyzer or special license plates on the car.
Kettering Municipal Court will not require you to appear at the court date listed on your ticket if you hire a lawyer. We can notify the court that we have been hired on the case, say not guilty on your behalf, and ask for a new court date to be set. This is the standard procedure. The next court date you will usually need to be present unless you live out of town. I have represented plenty of business men and women that were only in town for about a week and wound up getting an OVI ticket in Kettering. I can usually waive their presence when I meet with the prosecutor and judge to talk about the case. They will present me with a copy of the police report and any videos at that time. I can then pick a new court date.
Your OVI case will be assigned to one of two judges in Kettering Municipal Court. Frederick W. Dressel and James F. Long are the judges. I have known Judge Dressel as far back as when he was a Magistrate in Kettering Municipal Court. I have also known Judge Long since he was a prosecutor in Kettering Municipal Court. I enjoy working with both of them now as much as I did then.
My office will upload any reports to you via our online filing system. Videos will have to be mailed to you. If you do not wish to have any videos mailed to your home, I am happy to message or call you with my evaluation of your case. I will pass along any offers the prosecutor made after I meet with them. I will explain possible defenses to the charges, penalties, rights you would give up to enter a plea, etc.
If your vehicle was towed you will need to check with the company to see if the police have a hold on the vehicle. If they do you will need to talk to the police department about getting a release. You will have to take an extra licensed driver with you to drive the vehicle. You will have to pay the tow company for the tow as well as daily storage fees. Sometimes the police will talk to you about parking your car in a safe place if it is practical near where you were pulled over. If the vehicle is a rental you will need to contact the rental car company.
If the car is owned by someone else or your company then you will have to contact them to get the car out. To get a vehicle out of a tow lot they will require that the owner be present with proof of ownership like the title or registration. They will also require that person to show proof of identity usually with a picture ID. Never get a state ID before the BMV has notice of the suspension as it will cancel your license in Ohio. The BMV can take a week or two before they update their records to reflect any administrative license suspension you received from the officer.
About a month after arraignment, you must file a motion to suppress in your case. A motion to suppress challenges the prosecution’s evidence in your case and the manner in which it was collected. Having an experienced OVI defense attorney help prepare and file such a motion can greatly improve your odds of success. A successful motion to suppress can result in the prosecution not being able to use certain key pieces of evidence (like a breath test or field sobriety test evidence, for example) against you at trial. A successful motion to suppress can even, in some cases, result in the dismissal of your case.
If we are unable to reach a settlement agreement you have the right to a trial by judge or jury. You will have the opportunity to see and hear the evidence against you and ask questions of the officer that stopped and arrested you. Knowing what questions to ask the officer is critical to success. That is why it is generally not advisable to attempt to represent yourself at an OVI trial or to hire an attorney who is not intimately familiar with OVI law or the process in Kettering Municipal Court.
If you are found not guilty, the case is over and no conviction is reported on your record. If you are found guilty at trial, the judge will give you to a sentence he or she feels is appropriate. There may be grounds for an appeal after you have been sentenced, if the judge or prosecution made mistakes during your trial.
What Do I Need to Know about OVIs in Kettering Municipal Court?
Each OVI case is different. The facts and circumstances that led to you being stopped by police and charged with OVI are unique to your case. On the other hand, though, OVIs share some things in common. For instance, most often a OVI case will depend on the credibility of the officer and the strength of the evidence. The prosecution has to “prove” you were intoxicated when you drove beyond all reasonable doubt. We can help drivers charged with OVI under all sorts of circumstances:
- First-time OVI offenders: Some prosecutors and police will attempt to persuade first-time OVI offenders to just “plead guilty and get over it.” They may suggest that the fines and jail sentences for first-time offenders are low, and it will keep you from the expense of hiring an attorney and going to trial. Before you plead, talk to us. The consequences of a first-time OVI offense are light compared to the penalties for someone with prior OVI convictions, but that does not mean these penalties are not serious. Fines, mandatory jail time, license suspension, and other consequences can be imposed on you even if this is your first OVI offense.
- Felony OVI offenders: For those who have had OVI convictions in the past, the situation may appear grim. You are looking at least a month or more in jail and perhaps a prison sentence along with thousands of dollars in fines. An experienced OVI defense attorney can help you by not only challenging the evidence of your present OVI but also examining your prior record.
- Breath-test OVI: Some drivers give up fighting their OVI case because there is a “breath test” showing an alcohol concentration over the legal limit. But these breath tests are prone to error, sometimes showing an alcohol concentration much higher than is accurate. You need an experienced OVI defense attorney who knows about the limitations of breath tests and how to challenge them in court.
- Chemical-test OVI: If a breath test is not available, or if you are suspected of having drugs in your system, you may have been asked to submit to a blood test or urine test. These tests may seem like irrefutable evidence of intoxication, but like breath tests these tests do not always produce accurate results. If a chemical test was administered improperly (such as a blood draw taken by a person not authorized to draw blood for OVI testing purposes), you may be able to have the test thrown out.
When you hire our Kettering DUI lawyers, you gain access to our extensive knowledge and experience acquired from years of representing people in situations just like yours. Remember that Ohio law imposes serious consequences on even first-time OVI offenders. You owe it to yourself to give yourself the best possible chance of beating your OVI charge that you can. You get that opportunity when you hire Suhre & Associates.