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If you’ve been arrested and charged for operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI), you may think your situation is hopeless. When the prosecutor’s case includes incriminating breath or blood test results and the arresting officer’s testimony, it may seem like there is no way to refute the charges. But with a skilled and experienced Columbus DUI defense attorney by your side, you have a good chance of obtaining a dismissal of the charges, a verdict of not guilty, or a conviction for a lesser offense.
Click Here to see the OVI penalties in chart form (PDF).
It’s essential to invest in good legal representation because the consequences of an OVI are severe. In addition to facing the possibility of a jail sentence and the certainty of having to pay fines, court costs, and attorneys fees, your OVI conviction may affect your ability to find a job, obtain certain professional licenses, or enroll in college. Your Columbus criminal defense lawyer can help you avoid these penalties by employing one or more of the strategies outlined below.
Filing a motion to suppress is one of the best ways to defend against OVI and other criminal charges. Basically, filing a motion to suppress is a way to ask the judge to exclude some or all of the prosecution’s evidence from its case. Not only is it an effective strategy, it is also less expensive and time-consuming than trying to defend the case at trial.
If the suppression hearing is successful, the prosecutor will not be able to use some of the evidence that he or she was going to use to prove your guilt. When the prosecutor’s remaining evidence isn’t enough to show your guilt, your lawyer can ask the court to dismiss the charges altogether. Even if the case does go to trial after the motion to suppress, you’ll stand a much better chance of obtaining a not guilty verdict or a conviction for a lesser offense.
To succeed, a motion to suppress needs to lay out convincing arguments as to why the prosecutor’s evidence should be excluded from the trial. Here are some common situations where this is a possibility in an OVI case:
The Columbus DUI defense lawyers of Luftman, Heck & Associates are well equipped to obtain the suppression of the prosecution’s evidence in your case. They are certified in NHTSA field sobriety tests and know the ins and outs of proper breath, urine, and blood sample collection. Further, they are well versed in the constitutional principles that underpin your right to be free from unreasonable traffic stops.
In an Ohio DUI court process, the prosecutor must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that you operated a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If your lawyer can show that there is a doubt as to whether you were in actual control of your vehicle or if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you stand a very good chance of avoiding a guilty verdict.
Your lawyer will try to prove reasonable doubt through two strategies. First, he or she can show gaps in the prosecutor’s case by offering an alternative interpretation of the evidence that does not point towards your guilt. Second, your lawyer can collect and introduce additional evidence on your behalf that points to your innocence.
For example, the arresting officer’s report might state that you were swerving. Your lawyer’s job is to show that swerving does not mean you were intoxicated, and that it’s possible that you were avoiding potholes or debris in the road. Your lawyer would want to cross-examine the arresting officer, in an effort to get him or her to testify that you could have been swerving for innocent reasons.
Additionally, your lawyer can introduce evidence that he or she collected to advance a version of events showing that you are innocent. To bolster the theory that you were swerving for an innocent reason, your lawyer can go to the scene of the arrest and take pictures of the potholes and uneven road surface.
Your lawyer can employ these strategies to refute every building block of the prosecutor’s case, which may include:
Your Columbus DUI defense attorney will start by reviewing the prosecutor’s evidence then asking you for your side of the story. In some cases, it may be necessary to perform some additional investigative work, to seek witnesses, or to even hire an expert witness.
At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we pride ourselves in exploring every possible defense strategy to give our clients the best chance at obtaining a positive case outcome. If you’ve been charged with OVI, call us today at for a free and confidential consultation of your case.
With the help of an experienced, competent Columbus DUI defense attorney, you can be assured of understanding all of your legal rights and options and know that your rights will be protected. The criminal defense team at Luftman, Heck & Associates protects rights of people charged with an OVI / DUI on a daily basis and would be honored to do so for you. To contact us, either call or email firstname.lastname@example.org.