Have you ever had a drink and felt that it affected you more than usual?
Many factors impact alcohol tolerance and blood alcohol content, such as weight, metabolism, and food consumed while drinking.
Unfortunately, this means that you may drive after drinking without knowing your abilities are impaired.
In Ohio, this is known as operating a vehicle under the influence, or OVI.
An OVI also can apply to drivers using a prescription, over-the-counter, or illegal drugs.
An OVI conviction can bring harsh penalties, including time in jail, fines, and a license suspension.
Your freedom is on the line, so you need to learn how to get out of an OVI in Ohio. For skilled legal representation, you must contact an experienced OVI defense attorney to assist you with this charge.
Call (937) 222-1515 or fill out the online form to reach the experienced attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA, for immediate assistance or continue reading for more information on how to beat an OVI charge or get an OVI dismissal in Ohio.
Just because you have been accused of DWI does not mean you will be convicted. There are defenses to DWI charges.
How to Beat an OVI Charge
A criminal defense attorney will discuss the specifics of your case with you and advise you on your best legal defense. Here are some legal defenses that may apply to your case.
Illegal Search or Seizure
If law enforcement did not have probable cause or reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle, you may be able to argue the OVI charges against you should be dismissed.
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure. This means for a police officer to stop your vehicle lawfully, they must have reasonable suspicion that you violated a traffic infraction or committed a crime.
The officer must have probable cause to justify the arrest if you are arrested due to that stop. If the officer had neither, you could argue that any evidence from the traffic stop is inadmissible because it is the “fruit of the poisonous tree.” In other words, any evidence obtained from the illegal search or seizure may be ruled inadmissible in a court of law. This might be any drugs or alcohol found on your person or in your car due to an illegal search.
An experienced OVI attorney will know what to look for and how to spot potential Fourth Amendment grounds for dismissal of an OVI charge.
Failure to Advise You of Your Fifth & Sixth Amendment Rights
If the officer inappropriately questioned you, your answers to the officer’s questions may be excluded. You have a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and a Sixth Amendment right to an attorney.
If you are taken into custody, these rights are supposed to be read to you in a Miranda warning, informing you of your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney.
Most people are familiar with the term Miranda rights or Miranda warnings from popular crime dramas. Any time you are in custody or not free to leave on your own accord, law enforcement must advise you of your right to remain silent and that anything you say may be used against you in a criminal proceeding.
If you do not read your Miranda rights, your attorney will move to suppress any statements you made during the interrogation. It is also possible to move to suppress any evidence obtained due to your unlawfully obtained statement. For instance, if police fail to read you your Miranda warnings and, during the interrogation, you mistakenly admit that you had 10 drinks and were drunk driving, that admission may be inadmissible.
If the officer neglected to recite a Miranda warning before questioning you, the court might be forced to exclude your statements. It is up to your attorney to spot these illegalities and make the appropriate motions to suppress them. If your statements are suppressed, and there is no or little other evidence against you, the State may have to dismiss your case.
Improper Administration of Field Sobriety Tests
Law enforcement officers will conduct roadside field sobriety tests (FST’s) where your alertness, dexterity, and responsiveness will be tested.
These results will be used against you in court to try to prove your level of impairment has been impacted. The tests are subjective and must be reviewed by a skilled criminal defense attorney in order to protect your rights.
The police are required to follow mandatory protocols when administering roadside field sobriety tests (FST). If they deviate from these standards, the results of any FSTs can be suppressed and deemed inadmissible as evidence against you.
Depending on the circumstances, you may have another defense to FSTs, including any medical conditions that prevent you from performing and completing the FSTs as instructed. Your attorney may also challenge the road conditions when the FSTs are administered. For instance, if the road is snow-covered or icy, it is possible to challenge the accuracy of the results.
The law firm of Gounaris Abboud will request the court issue an order to preserve all video evidence in order to help you defeat an OVI charge.
Improperly Administered Breath Test or Faulty Breathalyzer Machine
Another way to beat an OVI charge is to challenge the breathalyzer test. You can assert that the machine was defective, unreliable, poorly maintained, improperly calibrated, or that the test was administered improperly. If your attorney can show this, the prosecutor must rely on something other than the breathalyzer results to prove their case.
Examples of ways to challenge the breathalyzer include:
- The test was given hours after the alleged OVI,
- The required observation period was not conducted,
- The machine was improperly calibrated,
- The machine malfunctioned or was defective, and
- The officer who conducted the test was not certified to do so.
A skilled attorney will spot any inaccuracies with the breathalyzer administration and results.
Inaccurate Test Results
Blood tests or urinalysis also must also be conducted appropriately to provide admissible evidence. If there was a chance the test was not administered in the appropriate time frame, it may be inadmissible.
Test results such as these also raise chain of custody issues where the sample was improperly documented as it changed hands. It is also possible that samples are contaminated and, therefore, unreliable. Your attorney will review all results and reports to spot any inaccuracies.
Diagnosed Medical Condition
Lastly, you may suffer from a medical condition mimicking intoxication symptoms. For instance, if you have diabetes and your blood sugar rises for an extended period, it releases ketones that can make your breath smell like alcohol. Or you might have allergies that cause your eyes to be glassy and bloodshot or physical injuries that cause you to stumble.
Plea Bargain an OVI Charge
If none of these defenses provide a way to get your charge dismissed, you can attempt to plea bargain. A plea bargain can reduce your charge or reduce your penalties. The first step is retaining experienced defense counsel.
Your criminal defense attorney can negotiate with prosecutors to request a plea bargain. Your attorney will attempt to reduce your penalties as much as possible under the law.
You might be wondering, What are the chances of getting my OVI reduced? While every case is different, your attorney may be able to provide you with a better understanding of your odds of a plea bargain or reduced charge after reviewing the State’s evidence. An analysis of the strength and weaknesses of the prosecutor’s case can help predict the likelihood of receiving a reduced charge.
To achieve a plea bargain, you may need to plead guilty to a traffic offense like reckless operation, which is a lesser charge than an OVI.
How an Ovi Attorney Can Help
When you face an OVI, you may not know what to do. You must seek legal advice because an OVI conviction has consequences. Not only does it carry potential jail time and fines, but the charge goes on your criminal record.
This charge can impact your housing and employment opportunities, and an OVI cannot be expunged from your record. A skilled criminal defense attorney can evaluate your case and strive to prepare your best legal defense.
Your attorney will attempt to get your charges dismissed. If that is not possible, your attorney will negotiate with the prosecution in an attempt to get your charges reduced.
An OVI charge is not something you want to handle on your own. Your freedom and future are on the line, so you need an experienced OVI defense attorney.
Call the knowledgeable attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA, at 937-729-3575, or contact us online. We have helped hundreds of clients get their OVI charges reduced or dismissed.
When we meet for a free consultation, we can advise you of your best legal strategy. Give us a call today to start your OVI defense.