One look at Ohio’s statute on Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI), and you’ll know that getting pulled over for drunk driving is a big deal. If convicted for even a first-time offense, you face jail time and a driver’s license suspension. If your blood alcohol content was .08% or above, mandatory minimum sentencing kicks in. This means that you’ll spend anywhere from 72 hours to six days in jail. There are also fines, court fees, the costs of taking an alcohol abuse course, and license reinstatement expenses, so you’re looking at losing thousands of dollars. Based on these penalties, you may think that refusing a breathalyzer in Ohio is a good idea. In truth, declining the chemical test is not a wise move. Some answers to these common questions may help you understand the key issues. What does implied consent mean? In Ohio, you consent to a chemical test to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC) when asked by police. The test may be through samples of your breath, blood, or urine, but the breathalyzer is the most common. If you refuse the breathalyzer in Ohio, the penalties can be severe. When can officers request me to take a breath test? Police can ask you to take a chemical test after you’ve been arrested for drunk driving. You must be under arrest before the police can make the request. If they ask you to take a portable breath test at the scene, you’re within your rights to refuse to blow. These devices are often inaccurate and are usually not administered by a specially trained law enforcement officer, so the results cannot be used as evidence. What are the penalties I refuse to blow? The first time you refuse a breathalyzer test, you’ll get a one-year driver’s license suspension. Per Ohio’s DUI laws, the punishment increases with subsequent offenses. Therefore: A second refusal could lead to a two-year suspension of your driving privileges; License suspension for three years for a third refusal; and, A five-year suspension applies for more offenses. What happens to the DUI charges against me? Refusal to blow is a separate offense from drunk driving, so you could be sentenced to the above punishment regardless of the outcome in our DUI case. Are there any defenses to OVI refusal to blow? The details vary according to your circumstances, but you may have grounds to fight the charges. One of the more common defenses is that the police officer didn’t tell you your rights about refusal to blow. Set Up a Consultation with an Ohio OVI/DUI Lawyer Right Away If you have more questions about refusing a breathalyzer in Ohio, please contact Gounaris Abboud, LPA today. We can schedule a case evaluation to review your circumstances and determine the best strategy for defending your rights.Read More
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Have you or a loved one been charged with a felony in Ohio? If so, you’ll want to know what to expect from your preliminary hearing. When a defendant is charged with a felony in Ohio, a preliminary hearing will be scheduled in the local municipal court. According to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), a preliminary hearing determines if there is probable cause to hold the defendant. This hearing also determines if the criminal case should move forward in the legal process. Here, our criminal defense team answers questions about what to expect at a preliminary hearing in Ohio. Ohio Preliminary Hearing: Understanding the Basics What is a Preliminary Hearing? A preliminary hearing is a type of screening procedure. At the hearing, there will be a review of the prosecution’s evidence to ensure that there is reasonable cause to hold a defendant in jail or apply bond conditions. What is the Timeline for a Preliminary Hearing? When a preliminary hearing is used instead of a grand jury, it will occur right after an arrest. Prosecutors must hold a preliminary hearing within ten days if the defendant is being held in custody or within fifteen days if the defendant was released from custody. To protect your rights, consult with an experienced Dayton, OH criminal defense lawyer before your preliminary hearing. What Actually Happens at a Preliminary Hearing in Ohio? A preliminary hearing proceeds in the same way as a trial. First, the prosecution has an opportunity to lay out its evidence. For the defendant, this is a critical first look at the prosecution’s case. Under Ohio law (Ohio Revised Code § 2937.12), the prosecution must prove probable cause. If they fail to do so, they defendant can petition for discharge after the hearing. How Should I Prepare for a Preliminary Hearing? If you have a preliminary hearing in Ohio, seek representation from an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney will be able to build a proper defense strategy for the trial. Get Help From Our Dayton, OH Criminal Defense Attorneys Right Away At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, our Ohio criminal defense lawyers are strong advocates for our clients. If you or your loved one was charged with a crime, we are here to help. To set up a free, no-obligation analysis of your case, please contact our law firm today. With offices located in Dayton and Springboro, we represent defendants throughout the region.Read More
Ending a marriage is never an easy thing to do, but divorce is the right choice for some couples. If you are getting divorced, you are not alone. Filing for divorce is complicated. Beyond the heavy, intense emotional issues, many legal and logistical matters must be resolved. Here, our Dayton divorce attorneys explain how to file for divorce in Ohio. Four Steps for Filing for Divorce in Ohio 1.) You Must Meet the Eligibility Requirements Under Ohio law (3105.01), you must meet the state’s residency requirements to file for divorce. Either you or your spouse must have lived in the state of Ohio for at least six months before you filed for divorce. Couples seeking a divorce in Ohio must file in the county where they have resided for the last 90 days. If you do not yet meet Ohio residency requirements, you must wait to do so. 2.) Select Your Grounds for Divorce To file for divorce in Ohio, you must select and prove grounds for the separation. Most couples choose to seek a no-fault divorce in Ohio. Married couples can get a divorce on the grounds of “incompatibility” in Ohio. 3.) Prepare and File Divorce Forms When you file for divorce in Ohio, ensure that all forms are correctly prepared and submitted. The specific requirements for divorce forms sometimes vary from county to county. In any Ohio divorce, you must: File a case designation sheet; File a divorce complaint; and Include instructions for serving divorce papers on your spouse. If you are a parent of a minor, you must complete and submit a Parenting Proceeding Affidavit. Eventually, divorcing parents must create a shared parenting plan with documents for child support calculations. 4.) Resolve the Key Issues Before you can finalize your divorce, all relevant issues must be resolved. Critical issues in an Ohio divorce case can include: Property division; Debt division; Alimony (spousal support); Child custody; Child visitation; and Child support. In some divorce cases, litigation may be necessary to reach a resolution. However, that is usually not the case. Most divorces are settled outside of the courtroom — either through collaborative divorce, divorce mediation, or through another type of negotiation. Get Help From Our Dayton, OH Divorce Lawyers Today At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, our Ohio family law attorneys are compassionate advocates for clients. If you are filing for divorce, we are here to help. For a free confidential divorce consultation, please contact our legal team right away. From our law office in Dayton, we serve communities throughout the region, including in Montgomery County, Miami County, and Greene County.Read More