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Luftman Heck Case ResultsIn this blog, we publish articles and stories we believe people will find useful in the areas of criminal defense and justice, OVI / DUI and other issues we think our visitors will find useful. If you have any tips or topics you would like us to write about, please feel free to suggest article topics by email us at advice@columbuscriminalattorney.com.

Unfortunately, wrongful accusations, charges, and convictions do occur in the justice system. Everyone operating in that system, including police, investigators, attorneys, and judges are fallible and capable of making mistakes. When this occurs, the innocent can become the victim.

Becoming a victim of a false charge can not only leave you subject to criminal penalties, but also additional consequences that may inhibit your future employment and/or educational opportunities.

If you are currently facing a false accusation of committing a crime in Ohio, you may be wondering how you’re going to secure your legal rights and mount a strong defense. This is the time when you need an experienced Columbus criminal defense lawyer on your side. At Luftman, Heck, and Associates, we understand your plight and can effectively employ our skills and experience to fight for the elimination of your charges, or if necessary, defend you vigorously at trial.

Call us today at or send us a message through our online contact form to request a free, no obligation consultation.

What to Do If You’re Wrongfully Accused of a Crime

Once you are under investigation for or have been charged with a crime you did not commit, it is important that you take certain actions that can protect you in the legal sense.

  • Hire an Attorney

    Some defendants may bypass hiring an attorney and put too much faith in the good graces of the legal system, assuming that their obvious innocence will eventually be proven by the investigative process. However, this would be a wrong assumption to make. Retaining an experienced Columbus criminal defense attorney is an important first step to securing your freedom. Having an attorney working for you in the early stages of the investigation will minimize the legal risks you face and increase the chances you will be proven innocent. Your attorney should work vigorously to pressure the police as necessary to investigate what is required to discover the truth.

  • Use Your Right to Remain Silent

    The natural inclination of many who are falsely accused of a crime in Ohio is to declare their innocence to all concerned. However, it is important to take advantage of your constitutional right to remain silent to the authorities. Speak with an attorney first before you speak with law enforcement. It is easy to make an error by forgetting details or relating your story with certain inconsistencies that could potentially tarnish your version of events in the view of the police or investigators. Get your story straight with your attorney first.

  • Demand a Search Warrant

    Never allow the police to search your residence without a search warrant in hand from the court. By doing this, you ensure that law enforcement follows the rules. As well, the prosecution may not have enough evidence against you to obtain a search warrant – this can help you protect your innocence without the need to continue the investigation.

  • Don’t Contact the Alleged Victim or the Victim’s Witnesses

    The idea of talking to the person who is falsely accusing you of crime may seem appealing. However, having a conversation with this individual could potentially make matters worse. If such a conversation is not handled properly, you may be accused of trying to intimidate the plaintiff. Any proposed conversation with your accuser that you believe will help solve the matter between the two of you should be discussed with your attorney first before moving forward.

  • Gather Evidence That Supports Your Innocence

    If you know of beneficial evidence that contributes to proving your innocence, gather that evidence into one location and present it to your attorney. Typical forms of physical evidence that may help your case include photos, video recordings, clothing, and other material objects. You should also gather any documents connected to your case such as emails, letters, legal or financial records, GPS records, phone records, login/logout records, and any relevant computer records. Your attorney can help present these records to law enforcement in a proper and effective manner to demonstrate your innocence.

    With the above said, it is also important to refrain from destroying any evidence that may not benefit your case. Destruction of evidence is illegal and may result in additional criminal charges.

  • Gather Witnesses Who Can Collaborate Your Story

    Make a list of witnesses who may potentially be able to corroborate your version of events. You may ask these persons to relate their side of the story with your attorney. Any individual whom you believe has information about the accusations against you, the incident involved, or the alleged victim may prove to be a beneficial witness on your behalf.

  • Be Prepared for the Fight

    If you are falsely accused of a crime in Ohio, you may encounter a fight you did not expect. Although you are innocent, it is important for you to be prepared for a potential legal battle ahead. One way to do this is to hire a skilled and experienced attorney to advocate vigorously on your behalf.

Contact an Experienced Columbus Criminal Defense Lawyer

Facing a false accusation or charge of committing a crime in Ohio can be a startling event to absorb. However, our team of Columbus criminal defense attorneys at Luftman, Heck, and Associates has the experience you need to form an intelligent and effective defense on your behalf.

Call us today at to set up a free preliminary case evaluation.

If you have become the object of the criminal accusation, you may be inclined to do whatever it takes to make the charges disappear – this may be especially true if you are involved in a drug possession case. Drug crime sentences can be quite severe and leave you with the prospect of enduring a long prison term. Law enforcement officials in every state, including Ohio, understand this fact – and this is why they have developed a mutually beneficial arrangement that involves the use of confidential informants.

Throughout the state of Ohio, law enforcement officials use an individual referred to as a confidential informant, or CI, to help carry out some of their important investigative and law enforcement activities, especially as it concerns drug cases. A confidential informant is a person who is themselves facing criminal charges. Law enforcement negotiates with this individual for the successful use of their services in exchange for a reduction or elimination in charges or penalties connected with the crime for which they are accused.

You may not know what your legal options are if you have been charged with a crime in the state of Ohio. An experienced Columbus criminal defense lawyer from our team at Luftman, Heck & Associates can go over your options with you and help formulate a defense on your behalf with the goal of achieving an optimal outcome in your case.

Call us today at or email us through our online form to request a free consultation.

The Work of Confidential Informants

Criminal or confidential informants are individuals who assist law enforcement in setting up and busting other individuals accused of violating the law in some way. An exchange for leniency in the charges against the informant generally occurs in these situations. If you, as an informant, perform the job assigned to you by law enforcement, you can expect to have your charges dropped or reduced in exchange for your successful work. At times, you may be provided other benefits for your help.

The help provided by confidential informants is substantial and active in nature. As an informant, you will likely play a serious role in gathering evidence against one or more other suspects through activities that may include wearing a wire or engaging in controlled purchases. You may be asked to engage directly with a suspect and participate in an activity with that suspect such as a drug buy.

Generally speaking, criminal or confidential informants participate in a number of controlled activities that result in arrests of suspected criminals. As an informant, you may be required to agree to participate in a set number of drug buys or arrests before your charges will be dropped or reduced. The arrangement between law enforcement and you, as the informant, gives you immunity from all criminal activities you may engage in during the course of your service as an informant.

How to Become a Federal Confidential Informant

One example of how you may become a federal confidential form is if you have been arrested for a minor drug crime. In this situation, law enforcement may offer you the opportunity to become an informant in exchange for lesser charges, elimination of charges, or probation. You may be offered the opportunity to work as a confidential informant during a plea deal or even during informal questioning.

Individuals facing harsh sentences can benefit significantly by agreeing to become a CI. As one of these individuals, you may have the opportunity to clear your record and get a second chance by successfully working with law enforcement in this manner.

Advantages of Becoming a Confidential Informant

The benefits provided to confidential informants include facing lesser charges than originally issued against you or possibly acquiring a totally clean record. You can also obtain satisfaction from taking down drug operations and gaining the trust and appreciation of law enforcement at the same time. Law enforcement will take steps to protect your identity so that your participation in the arrests made will be unknown to others.

Risks of Becoming a Confidential Informant

There are potential risks and dangers to working as a confidential informant for the government. You may be placed in the position where you need to testify against one or more criminals. Through a mistake, your identity may be leaked during the investigation or trial phase. As well, some of the situations you may face during the course of your work as an informant could be dangerous, especially those situations involving drugs and money.

As well, you generally will be required to fulfill all of the terms of your agreement with law enforcement. If you fail to meet all of the terms, your deal for a reduction or elimination of the charges against you may not be fulfilled.

For these reasons, it is important to discuss the prospects of becoming a confidential informant with your attorney prior to making a decision to move forward in that direction.

Get Help From an Experienced Columbus Criminal Defense Lawyer

The deals offered to confidential informants can be complex and should be understood thoroughly before any further action is taken to proceed with an agreement. Our attorneys at Luftman, Heck, and Associates can help you determine the best course of action if you’ve been offered a confidential informant agreement by law enforcement.

Call us today at to set up a free consultation so we can discuss your options.

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Categories: Criminal Defense, Legal Blog

We all know about the dangers of drinking and driving. Driving while intoxicated can lead to accidents, injuries, and deaths. It can also lead to harsh penalties and lifelong consequences such as a criminal record. A criminal record can affect you in many ways, including employment opportunities.

A DUI conviction can cause you to lose your current job and prevent you from getting hired for certain jobs and with certain companies. This limits your employment opportunities, which can lead to financial difficulties. Hold onto your freedom and stop this from happening by calling our Columbus DUI lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates at .

DUI and Employer Background Checks

Companies want the best candidates for their jobs and many perform background checks before hiring an employee. While you may have a stellar work history, a DUI on a background check can be a deciding factor in whether or not you get hired. Some types of employment – such as those that involve driving or teaching children – have strict policies when it comes to DUIs.

Whatever you do, don’t lie about having a DUI. This will only damage your character even more. Do not bring it up, but if asked, be honest about what happened and mention positive steps you have taken since the occurrence.

DUI While Employed

If you are currently employed, a DUI could cause you to lose your job. This is especially true if you work as a truck driver. If you are convicted of a DUI while on the job or driving in your own personal vehicle, you will be terminated and not allowed to work as a professional driver for a period of time.

If you work in other professions, your job could still be in jeopardy. Those who work in government jobs or in the education field could be terminated from their positions once convicted of a DUI.

Can a DUI be Expunged in Ohio?

Certain states allow for DUIs to be expunged under certain circumstances and after a certain period of time. Unfortunately, Ohio does not allow expungement for certain crimes, and alcohol-related offenses that occur while driving a motor vehicle fall under this category. Therefore, if you are convicted of a DUI, your record cannot be sealed.

In fact, an Ohio DUI does not ever fall off a criminal record. While in some states it may fall off after seven or 10 years, traffic offenses occurring in Ohio stay on your criminal record forever.

Don’t Let a DUI Conviction Ruin Your Future

A DUI conviction comes with lifelong penalties. It stays on your criminal record for the rest of your life, making it difficult to enjoy the liberties you once had. The only way to get rid of a DUI charge is to have it dismissed.

Preserve your freedom and take advantage of your legal rights by contacting a Columbus DUI lawyer at Luftman, Heck & Associates. An accusation of drinking and driving is not a hopeless situation. We have experience defending people in your situation and can help you get your charges reduced or dropped.

Our extensive knowledge of the law can help you obtain favorable results. Get started today by calling us at .

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Categories: DUI, Legal Blog, OVI / DUI

If you have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to 20 years in jail, does that really mean you won’t be released for 20 years? Not necessarily. The phrase “time off for good behavior” is a reality. You actually can get out of jail early for good behavior.

Laws are in place to reward inmates for good behavior. However, there are certain rules that apply. For example, those serving life sentences or facing the death penalty for heinous crimes are exempt from this benefit. To learn more about reduced jail and prison sentences, contact the Columbus criminal defense lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates. Call to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

Jail vs. Prison

The terms jail and prison are often used interchangeably, but the truth is that they are two different types of facilities. Jails are run by local government agencies and are designed for those serving short sentences for misdemeanors. Most people spend a few weeks to a few months in jail.

Prisons are run by state or federal governments. They are reserved for those serving time for felonies. Prison facilities are typically well-developed, since people often spend many years there.

They do have one thing in common. They both allow you to be released early based on good behavior.

Good Time Credit in Ohio

Prison inmates who display “exemplary compliance with institutional disciplinary regulations” – meaning they have not committed any crimes or caused any discipline issues while incarcerated – are rewarded with a sentence reduction. Those serving a sentence longer than one year will receive 54 days off their sentences every year.

However, a person serving a 13-month sentence will not be able to be released 54 days early because the release date would be in the 11th month – and inmates need to serve a minimum of 12 months before being eligible for the sentence reduction. Therefore, the earliest they could be released would be on their one-year anniversary.

In addition, the good time credit limit is 30 percent of the sentence. According to Ohio Code §5120-2-05(A):

Except as provided elsewhere in this rule, an offender serving a felony sentence in a correctional facility operated by the department of rehabilitation and correction may, by faithfully observing the rules of the institution, earn a deduction of up to thirty percent of his minimum or definite sentence. The total amount of time that may be deducted from the offender’s sentence shall be prorated and shall be awarded monthly for obeying the rules of the institution for that month.

Those in jail also receive a good conduct allowance. When sentenced to 10 days or more, a person can have the sentence reduced by one day for every two days served. So, while a person sentenced to nine days in jail will have to serve nine days, a person sentenced to 12 days in jail can actually get out in eight days, serving a lesser term. Your actual jail term will depend on your county of residence, since the laws differ.

Get Out of Jail as Quickly as Possible

Nobody wants to be incarcerated. We all enjoy our freedom and daily routines. Whether you’re sentenced to six months in jail or 30 years in prison, there are ways to get out sooner and move forward with your life. Although it’s a good idea to be on your best behavior, you may be able to request an early release from jail.

The Columbus criminal defense lawyers from Luftman, Heck & Associates can help you meet with a judge to get your jail term modified. Give us a call at .

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Categories: Criminal Defense, Legal Blog

Whether it’s Christmas, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or spring break, many people like to celebrate by having a few alcoholic beverages. While a beer or two isn’t likely to cause much harm, many people overdo it and end up paying the price later after they attempt to drive home and get caught by a police officer. Because of this, it’s important to know how to avoid a DUI on a holiday.

With police officers more common on the roadways during the holidays, your chances of getting arrested for a DUI increase dramatically. Learn how to keep your license and prevent charges on your criminal record by following these tips from the Columbus DUI lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates.

If you are arrested or charged with a DUI, call us right away at to begin building a defense for your case.

DUI Prevention Tips

Follow these tips for safe and sober driving during the holidays:

  • Don’t drive drunk. This is the most obvious tip, but it bears repeating because many motorists fail to follow this rule. They think they’re sober enough to drive, but they end up failing a sobriety test. When it doubt, don’t drive.
  • Eat. Eating takes the edge off the buzz you may be feeling from ingesting a little too much alcohol. Once you start to feel intoxicated, stop drinking and have a bite to eat. Just avoid salty foods, which can cause you to drink more.
  • Pay attention to the road. If you aren’t intoxicated and do decide to drive home, stay alert. Don’t swerve or roll through stop signs. Eliminate distractions. Instead, focus on getting home as safely as possible without drawing attention to yourself.
  • Cooperate. If you do find yourself getting pulled over by a police officer, don’t act defensively. Be polite and comply with the officer’s requests. If you get angry and refuse to follow orders, you could face even worse penalties.
  • Get a ride home. Have someone who is sober drive you home. If you don’t have a designated driver, call a taxi or rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft. It’s better to pay for a ride home than to endanger yourself or others.
  • Plan to sleep over. If you’re at a party and can’t get a ride home, plan to stay overnight to sleep off the intoxication.

Getting Legal Help for a DUI

While you don’t necessarily have to give up your partying lifestyle, you do need to be responsible with your drinking habits during the holidays. If you do choose to drink, don’t drive. With ridesharing services now available to help you get home safely, there are no more excuses.

If you do get pulled over for drunk driving, don’t attempt to fight with the police officer. This will only make matters worse. Acting in a cooperative manner goes a long way.

Your next step is to contact a Columbus DUI lawyer from Luftman, Heck & Associates. We have many years of experience defending those accused of drunk driving.

Our extensive knowledge of the law can help you get your penalties reduced. We may even be able to eliminate the charge altogether. To learn more, give us a call at .

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Categories: DUI, Legal Blog

On March 21, 2017, SB 199, Ohio’s new concealed carry law, went into effect. The law makes significant changes to when and where firearms may be taken. It eliminates some gun-free zones and allows for easier access to guns by members of the military.

If you have questions about what this new law means for you, do not hesitate to consult a Columbus weapons lawyer from Luftman, Heck & Associates. Call us today at .

How SB 199 Impacts Private Businesses

In the past, private business owners had the right to ban guns on their properties. Now that SB 199 has gone into effect, the parking lots of private businesses which were previously known as gun-free zones permit guns. Employees who wish to do so must hold a valid concealed carry permit and keep their guns locked in their vehicle in the company lot while they are present. Although employers still have the right to ban weapons inside of their business, they can no longer prohibit employees with concealed carry permits from leaving their guns locked in their cars that are parked on their property.

The president of the Buckeye Firearms Association, Jim Irvine explained that an employee’s gun and vehicle are considered their private property and therefore, they have the right to defend themselves. He stated that an employer should not have a say in what an employee can and cannot do with their private property.

Gun Possession on Public Properties

For the first time ever, people with concealed carry permits are legally allowed to bring handguns into airport terminals, college campuses, and daycares. This applies to employees and others. For example, if a parent has a concealed carry permit, they no longer have to disarm before entering a daycare facility to drop off or pick up their children. Private business owners can still ban guns within the buildings; however, not in cars that are in parking lots.

Gun Ownership by Active Military Members

Additionally, SB199 waives the education and registration requirements for those in the active military who would like to obtain a concealed carry permit. Active military members with a valid military ID and documentation that proves they have successfully completed firearms training can forgo the education and registration requirements to which others must adhere.

How a Columbus Weapons Lawyer Can Help

If you are charged with a weapons crime in Ohio, you need an experienced Columbus weapons lawyer from Luftman, Heck & Associates by your side. They can investigate your situation, determine how Ohio’s new concealed carry law impacts your case, and design a solid defense strategy that may reduce your charges or get your case dismissed altogether.

Call us at to schedule your free case consultation.

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Categories: Legal Blog, Weapons Crimes

If you’ve been convicted of driving under the influence (OVI/DUI) in Ohio more than once, expect the penalties to become stiffer. House Bill 388 – also known as Annie’s Law – was recently signed into law implementing a longer OVI/DUI “look back” period.

If you have been charged with an OVI/DUI, you need skilled legal defense. Contact our experienced Columbus DUI lawyers at today.

Annie’s Law Look Back Period

When assessing penalties for someone who is guilty of operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI), often referred to as a DUI, courts typically take into consideration prior offenses. Second, third, fourth, and subsequent DUIs can result in greater penalties. Prior to Annie’s Law, the court would add up the number of DUIs received over the last six years; however, that time period has now been extended to 10 years.

If you received a DUI while in college nine years ago and were recently charged with the same crime, you may have to face significant penalties that are impacted by decisions you made nearly a decade ago.

Stiffer Penalties for Subsequent DUIs

In addition to increasing the look-back period, Annie’s Law increases the length of license suspension for subsequent DUIs. Prior to the law, a second-time DUI conviction might result in a license suspension of up to five years; however, now the court can impose up to seven years if found guilty. A third offense used to result in up to 10 years of license suspension, which has now been upped to 12 years.

It’s important to know that license suspension is not the only punishment you could face. For a second or third offense, expect to pay thousands of dollars in fines and serve community service. You may also be forced to serve jail time or attend a treatment program.

A Columbus OVI / DUI Lawyer Can Help You

If you are accused of a DUI/OVI in Ohio, there are options available to you. In some cases, you may be able to plead guilty and face lesser charges. There are also various defenses that can help you reduce or eliminate our charges and penalties.

Contact Luftman, Heck & Associates today at to find out how we can help you.

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Categories: DUI, Legal Blog

The criminal penalties for sex offenses are unique in that sex offenders are required to regularly register and report changes to a wide range of personal information from their residential address and employment to email addresses and phone numbers. Registered sex offenders are then listed in a publicly available database, and in some instances, neighbors are notified when a sex offender moves into the area.

Sex offender registration can be incredibly damaging both personally and professionally and it is easy to see why some sex offenders might attempt to avoid registration. However, the penalties for failing to comply with sex offender registration rules in Ohio can be just as severe as the original sex offense.

If you have questions about registering as a sex offender, contact the knowledgeable Columbus sex crimes attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates today at .

Sex Offender Registration Requirements

The law regarding sex offender registration sets up different requirements for the frequency and duration of registration depending on the severity of the sexual offense. The registration requirements are set into three tiers, with Tier I being the least serious and Tier III being the most serious.

  • Tier I offenses include crimes such as voyeurism, pandering obscenity, and sexual imposition. Sex offenders convicted of Tier I crimes are required to register and verify their information annually for 15 years following their initial registration as a sex offender.
  • Tier II offenses include crimes such as compelling prostitution, kidnapping with sexual motivation, and pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor. Sex offenders convicted of Tier II crimes are required to register and verify their information every 180 days for 25 years following their initial registration as a sex offender.
  • Tier III offenses include crimes such as rape, sexual assault, and felonious assault with sexual motivation. Sex offenders convicted of Tier III crimes are required to register and verify their information every 90 days for the rest of their life.

Failure to Comply with Registration Laws

Not only do sex offenders have to provide periodic verification based on their tiers, but sex offenders of all tiers must promptly register with sheriffs in other counties if they enter that county for certain reasons or periods of time. For instance, a sex offender must register immediately if they enter a new county to attend an institution of higher learning. Ohio law does not differentiate between registration requirements, so any instance where a sex offender fails to register when they were required to do so can trigger severe penalties.

Ohio treats the failure to comply with sex offender registration as a serious offense and ties the penalties to the original sexual offense that lead to the registration requirement. The offense of failing to register is treated as the same level of offense as the highest level of sexual offense in the original conviction.

Failing to Register Can Lead to Prison

As the offense for failing to register is tied to the original crime, an example would be if a sex offender is required to register based on a first-degree felony conviction. The failure to comply with the sex offender registration laws would then also be considered a first-degree felony and the prison term for a first-degree felony in Ohio is between three and 11 years.

Ohio law underscores the seriousness of the failure to register by elevating the offense to a fourth-degree felony if the underlying sexual offense that required registration was a fifth-degree felony or misdemeanor. Fourth-degree felonies are punishable by six to 18 months in prison. Additionally, the failure to comply with sex offender registration would be considered a probation violation and could lead to the reimposition of prison time on the original sex offense.

How a Columbus Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

Ohio’s laws on sex offender registration impose an additional burden on those convicted of a sexual offense, even after the criminal penalties have been satisfied. The registration rules provide for many instances that require registration beyond the tier requirements, and it could be easy to make a mistake and end up facing time in prison for failing to comply with Ohio’s sex offender registration law.

If you are faced with sex offender registration requirements it is important to contact a knowledgeable Columbus criminal defense attorney who can help make sure you stay in compliance. If you’ve been charged with a sex offense, the surest way to avoid the requirements of sex offender registration is to mount a strong defense and avoid conviction.

Luftman, Heck & Associates has experienced Ohio criminal defense lawyers who will work hard to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Call us today at for a free and confidential consultation.

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Categories: Legal Blog, Sex Offenses

After being arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you face the task of defending yourself against serious criminal charges. Without any previous legal training or experience, this prospect is frightening. You likely have a number of questions. How can you challenge your DUI arrest? If you think you will be convicted, how can you avoid a harsh punishment like jail time? Your questions can be answered and your fears eased by working with a knowledgeable Columbus DUI defense attorney. However, choosing a lawyer can be a challenging task that requires time and research.

At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we are available to help you after you have been charged with a DUI in Ohio. We have years of experience having charges eliminated or minimizing the consequences of a conviction. Call us today at to schedule a free initial consultation.

How to Find an Attorney for your DUI

Your first steps to finding an attorney are conducting some online research for DUI defense lawyers in your area and then scheduling an initial consultation. During these steps, you should look for certain characteristics that define a strong defense attorney, such as experience, DUI-specific knowledge, and a track record of success. Often times, an attorney’s website will provide information about their education, number of years in practice, honors, and awards.

Utilize an Initial Consultation to Choose the Right Lawyer

While a website offers a great deal of information, you can learn even more about a lawyer and whether they are right for your situation through an in-person consultation. When you speak with an attorney, ask questions regarding:

Experience

When you need to hire an experienced DUI defense attorney, you need to know how long a lawyer has represented individuals like you against DUIs and related charges. You want someone who has years of experience handling a variety of complex DUI charges so that you can be sure they are ready for whatever happens in your case.

Attorney Benjamin Luftman of Luftman, Heck & Associates has practiced in Ohio for almost 15 years and demonstrated his proven experience in DUI defense by co-authoring a portion of a nationally published book titled “The Legality of Search and Seizure in DUI Cases” 2011 ed. This book is used by defense attorneys across the country.

Knowledge

While all licensed attorneys have a similar educational background and passed the state bar examination, not all attorneys will have the same level of knowledge regarding DUI offense. Lawyers can gain additional education and certifications that are helping in defending against drunk driving issues. For example, the attorneys at LHA are certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to conduct standardized field sobriety tests, just like police officers.

Client Communications

When you work with an attorney, you want to know you will receive timely updates on your case and can contact your lawyer when you have a question or concern. During an initial consultation, ask the lawyer how they handle client communications and what you can expect during your DUI case.

Costs

Before making a final decision about an attorney, ask about their fees. It is essential that you know how your lawyer will charge you for their time and how much. You should also ask about a retainer and any other upfront legal fees or court costs.

LHA offers a free consultation and will work hard to minimize the expenses in your case. In fact, it is more beneficial to spend money on an attorney than it is to lose time at work because you can’t drive or pay thousands of dollars in fines. Although attorney fees can be significant, your attorney will minimize the financial impact of your penalties after a DUI.

How Luftman, Heck & Associates Can Help You

Finding a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who can handle your DUI case in Ohio is not difficult. Luftman, Heck & Associates has a number of DUI defense attorneys who can help you. We understand how stressful a DUI charge is, which is why we aggressively fight for your right to retain your driving privileges and avoid jail.

Call us today at to schedule a free initial consultation.

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Categories: DUI, Legal Blog

Between 2014 and 2016, the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board, commissioned by Gov. John Kasich in 2014, developed new standards for when the police may use force during interactions with civilians. The board also defined when deadly force is necessary and appropriate.

Once the advisory board finalized the state’s new standard for use of force, the state began the process of “certifying” law enforcement agencies across the state early last year. Certification means the agency complies with the state’s new standard. In addition to certifying the nearly 1,000 law enforcement agencies around the state, Ohio intends to publish a report by March 2017 regarding the agencies that have adopted the new standard to improve accountability. Police forces that do not meet the statewide standards will be listed as noncompliant.

This is the first initiative of this kind in Ohio and is meant to improve community-police relations and reduce arrest-related injuries and deaths. However, these new standards do not mean police officers will not intentionally or negligently mishandle situations. If yyou were subject to police brutality or an unlawful detainment or arrest, contact a Columbus criminal defense attorney at Luftman, Heck & Associates right away. Call us at to find out how we can help.

Ohio’s Use of Force Standard

According to the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board, employees are entitled to use the force reasonably necessary to effect lawful objectives, such as:

  • Completing a lawful arrest
  • Overcoming resistance to a lawful arrest
  • Preventing the escape of an offender
  • Preventing or defending others or themselves from physical harm

The advisory board also a developed policy for Ohio’s standard in regard to the use of deadly force. According to a statement from the policy board, the preservation of human life is the highest value within the state, which means employees must have an objectively reasonable belief that deadly force is necessary to protect life before using it. Deadly force may only be used:

  • To defend themselves from serious physical injury or death
  • To defend another person from serious physical injury or death
  • In accordance with all U.S. Supreme Court and Ohio Supreme Court decisions, specifically Tennessee v. Garner and Graham v. Connor

The collaboration also created standards for telecommunicator training, body cameras, recruitment and hiring, and community engagement.

Many of Ohio’s Largest Forces Are Certified

As of January 2017, the highway patrol and the Cincinnati, Columbus, Akron, Dayton, and Toledo police departments were certified. A number of mid-sized to small forces are already certified as well and a large number of agencies have applied in order to gain certification by the deadline. Many university police departments including Ohio University, Case Western Reserve, Miami University and Shawnee State are also participating in the initiative.

A full list of the agencies that are currently certified can be found on the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board’s site listed by county.

Some Forces Will Not Participate

There are law enforcement agencies around the state that have already said they will not seek certification. Some local forces say this is because they already meet the standards and participating in this program requires time and resources they do not have – particularly after state funding cuts.

Do You Need an Attorney?

Prior to this community collaboration and new statewide standards, police departments themselves should have had regulations on when to use force. However, police officers can willfully defy these standards or act carelessly or recklessly.

If you were injured or unlawfully arrested because of an officer’s violent or unnecessary behavior, you may be able to use police misconduct within your criminal defense strategy. Contact the attorneys of Luftman, Heck & Associates to learn more about the law enforcement agency in control of your arrest and whether you were the victim of police misconduct. We will analyze your case, explain your legal options, and help you defend your freedom in court.

To schedule a consultation with Luftman, Heck & Associates, call .

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Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
580 E Rich St Fl 2
Columbus, OH 43215-5335
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