Vehicle Seizure and Arraignment after Your DUI Arrest in Dayton
You spent all day sitting at the bedside of your sick 9-year-old in the Dayton Children’s Medical Center. Emotionally drained, on your way home you stop at a local grill for a light meal and a beer to take the edge off.
When you get back on the road, you notice police lights behind you. After the officer smells the alcohol on your breath, you find yourself under investigation for DUI. Your first thought is, “I need my car to see my daughter.”
When you are arrested for DUI, your car usually becomes a casualty unless someone can come pick it up right then. If there isn’t a safe place to leave it, the officer will usually have it towed and impounded. Guilty or innocent of DUI, you are already paying a penalty. You will only be able to request access to your car at your arraignment.
Your vehicle and life are on the line at your arraignment
Your arraignment is your first court appearance where you will enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. You should always plead not guilty. It is the only plea that gives you future flexibility. With respect to your vehicle, you must obtain a release of your vehicle at your arraignment. According to the law, if you fail to do so, the court may hold your vehicle until the end of the case. Final release of your vehicle won’t occur until after you pay the tow and storage costs, unless the tow was unlawful. You should know that 90 days in a tow-lot could cost you over $3,000.
What if I just plead guilty?
A plea of guilty, no matter how much the arresting officer made you feel guilty, is a bad idea. When you plead guilty, it is game over. The judge must sentence you to mandatory jail time, license suspension, and fines. Never mind that it is your first offense or that you specifically remember having only one drink.
I need to drive
A Statute in the State of Ohio grants the court latitude to allow for driving privileges for work reasons, medical reasons, vocational reasons, and other specific reasons. These all need to be brought up at your arraignment and specific permission needs to be granted for each situation.
From the time you are arrested until your arraignment, there is much you need to do and remember to make sure you can maintain a semblance of your former schedule. The best and easiest approach is to give us a call as soon as you are arrested. We can handle all the details and prepare to overcome your charge and get you back on the road.