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Why should you call an attorney for a DUI charge in Ohio

If you have been charged with drunk driving (DUI) or "operating vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs" (OVI) as it is known in Ohio, you need to take the charge seriously and speak with an attorney who handles drunk driving defense cases. An OVI charge carries various penalties, depending on whether it is your first offense or if you have any previous convictions on your record.

It also depends on the evidence presented. If the breathalyzer results allegedly show you had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of greater than 0.17, you could receive increased fines or other penalties if you are convicted. The presence of a child in the vehicle at the time of the stop can also lead to enhanced penalties.

The penalties can be enhanced if you were involved in a crash or other accident and caused property damage or injured or killed another person. In addition to the OVI charge, prosecutors could also bring a vehicular homicide or aggravated homicide charges.

Breath testing devices are fallible and if not properly maintained, calibrated and operated by officers administering the tests, their results may not stand up to scrutiny in court. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police do not need a warrant to administer such a test and Ohio has a statute the created an automatic 1-year license suspension if you refuse the test.

An experienced OVI attorney in Ohio can challenge these tests and if the police made errors or failed to properly maintain the devices, the evidence the produce may be found inadmissible.

If you make a guilty plea on your own, in addition to potential jail time and significantly increased insurance costs, you may find the conviction being used against you to enhance penalties should you be charged with another OVI in the future.

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Edward R. La Rue
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