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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.

Car accident fatalities caused by driving under the influence (DUI) are unfortunately very common. Due to this, smart phone breathalyzers have become a popular tool used to monitor blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and determine if it is safe for motorists to drive. However, while smart phone breathalyzers can be useful, you should take every precaution not get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking any amount of alcohol.

Being charged with a DUI will change your life. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates can help. Our Columbus DUI attorneys have years of experience handling DUI cases. We can evaluate your case, discuss your legal rights, and explain what steps you should take next.

Call us today at to schedule a free and confidential case consultation.

When Should I Take a Breathalyzer Test?

There are many factors that can affect the reading of the breathalyzer other than your weight and gender. The factor that influences a breathalyzer the most is the amount of time you wait to take the test after your last drink. If you take a breathalyzer too soon after your last drink, you could potentially blow a higher BAC due to the alcohol residue in your mouth.

It is important to also keep in mind that alcohol takes about 30-90 minutes to be absorbed into your bloodstream. That means you can blow under the legal limit before you leave, but if you are driving home a half hour later, the alcohol could be fully absorbed into your system, making you could be legally drunk.

Popular Types of Smartphone Breathalyzers

With the many types of smartphone breathalyzers now on the market, there are several products in particular that have become especially popular. Smartphone breathalyzers are typically external devices that can attach to your phone to immediately test your BAC and assess if you are over or under the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Currently, the BACtrak Smartphone Breathalyzer is the highest ranked smartphone breathalyzer approved by Department of Transportation. The Breathometer Breeze and Alcohoot AHT101 Smartphone Breathalyzer follow close behind as highly-rated smartphone breathalyzers, as well.

Each smartphone breathalyzer has an app that you can download to enter your gender, weight, and age. This will allow you to receive a more accurate reading.

How Can a DUI Attorney Help?

At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we pride ourselves on knowing that each case is different. Because of this, we create a different approach for each client and their legal troubles. Our attorneys have extensive experience with all types of DUI cases. With this experience and compassionate representation, our skilled DUI attorneys will fight your rights and your best case outcome.

Contact our attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Call us today at . We will evaluate your case and discuss your legal rights.

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Categories: DUI, Legal Blog

You may go to an Ohio mayor’s court in order to resolve a case without going before a judge. Your case may be taken to a mayor’s court if you are charged with a misdemeanor or traffic violation in a community of 200 people or more, or without a municipal court.

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, contact our Columbus criminal defense attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates right away. We can evaluate your case and help you throughout the legal process.

Call our attorneys today at to discuss your legal options and schedule a free consultation.

What is a Mayor’s Court?

Mayor’s court cases are usually held before a magistrate or a mayor. The mayors themselves are not required to be a certified lawyer. If your case is not being handled by the mayor, but is being presided over by a magistrate appointed by the mayor, they are required to be a certified lawyer with a minimum of three years of experience. Cases held in a mayor’s court are typically smaller cases such as hearing regarding misdemeanors or traffic violations.

Types of Cases Handled in Ohio Mayor Courts

Ohio mayor’s courts can hear multiple types of cases such as:

  • OVI Cases- Drunk driving cases can be heard before the mayor’s court if the defendant has not been charged with an OVI offense within the past six years.
  • Violations of Municipal Ordinances- These types of cases can include violations such as parking or moving car violations.
  • Misdemeanors- Misdemeanor cases such as reckless driving can also be heard in a mayor’s court.

Cases the Mayor’s Court Cannot Handle

Mayor’s courts cannot hear any felonies, nor can they hold jury trials. If a jury trial is desired, the case must be transferred to a municipal court. Other types of prohibited mayor’s court cases include:

  • Kidnapping
  • Assault
  • Domestic violence
  • Violation of protective orders
  • Aggravated trespassing
  • Stalking

Advantages and Disadvantages

There are several advantages and disadvantages to taking your case to the mayor’s court.

Advantages
Hearings in a mayor’s court are typically casual and relaxed. They often take place at night in order to accommodate busy work schedules.

Disadvantages
There has been much speculation on the efficiency and integrity of mayor’s courts. People believe that the mayors are not well qualified to handle these types of cases, and only accredited lawyers and judges should be allowed to. There has also been speculation that the hefty fines given out to defendants in the mayor’s court are only meant to profit the city. Although attempts to revoke mayor’s court privileges have been taken, nothing has been successful so far.

How to Take Your Case to a County or Municipal Court

If you want to take your case to another court after you have received a decision about your case in a mayor’s court, you must act quickly. You are required to report a notice of appeal to the mayor’s court no more than 10 days after the final decision.

After you do file the notice of appeal, the case will be heard in either the municipal or county court. This essentially means starting over with your case. When your case is heard in a municipal or county court, the judge will throw out the previous decision – the one of the mayor’s court – and start completely fresh.

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your case in a mayor’s court, our attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates can help you file a notice of appeal and get started on getting your case heard in another court.

How Luftman, Heck & Associates Can Help

If you have been charged with a crime, contact a Columbus criminal defense attorneys right away. Our attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates can walk you through the mayor’s court process. In the event that you want to take your case to a trial in front of a judge, we can help you file a notice of appeal. We will stand by your side through each step of the legal process and help you receive the best outcome for your case.

Call us today at to schedule your free and confidential case consultation.

Plea agreements, also known as plea bargains, are common due to courts becoming more and more crowded and the length of time that criminal trials increasing drastically. In 2011, 120,964 criminal misdemeanor and traffic cases were filed in Franklin County Municipal Court. If all of these cases had gone to court, there would have been insurmountable expenses. Waiting an extended period of time to take your case court can be a hassle, and it could negatively impact your case. In order to prevent this, prosecutors and judges feel an increased pressure to speed up the trial process. This objective can be easily reached through a plea deal.

By taking a plea deal, the trial process will conclude faster, and the defendant will have some control over the outcome of their case. It is more likely that a defendant will receive a harsher consequence if the case does go to trial, as opposed to settling their case through a plea agreement. Thus, a plea agreement may be your best course of action for your case.

At Luftman, Heck & Associates, our Columbus criminal defense lawyers strive to bring exemplary bargaining to the table. With our years of experience negotiating, we will fight for the best plea deal possible for your case.

Call us today at to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our lawyers.

What is a Plea Agreement?

A plea agreement can be defined as an agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant in which the defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendere (“no contest”) in return for either lesser charges or a lighter sentence. There are several different types of plea bargaining which can be categorized as:

  • Charge Bargaining- This when the defendant pleads guilty to a less serious crime.
  • Sentence Bargaining- In this situation, the defendant takes a lighter sentence than what they would have faced for the originally stated charge.
  • Count/Charge Bargaining- Here, the defendant pleads guilty to only a couple of charges, and the prosecutor typically forgives other, more serious ones.
  • Fact Bargaining- In this case, the defendant pleads guilty and admits to certain truths in order for the prosecutor to not state other facts and scenarios that lead to the accused’s conviction. This is the least common type of plea bargaining.

Pleading Nolo Contendere or “No Contest”

When the defendant pleads nolo contendere to the court, they are basically saying, “I choose to not contest the charges against me,” essentially not accepting or denying the crimes they are being charged with.

When Is a Plea Agreement an Option For My Case?

Plea agreements can happen at any time throughout the trial process. Often, a plea agreement occurs when the jury is hung and having difficulty deciding on a verdict. Other times, a plea deal can be reached when a case is on appeal, after an arrest, or before criminal charges are filed.

The Process of a Plea Agreement

The court must give its approval of the plea agreement. In an open court, the judge and defendant will talk so that the judge can be sure the plea agreement is voluntary, and that the defendant is not being held under threats or blackmail or that would cause bias. Additionally, the judge will fully inform the defendant of what the plea agreement entails, and what rights the defendant will waive by going through with one.

A judge will inform the defendant:

  • In a plea agreement, the defendant forgoes the right to a trial by jury and his right to appeal
  • The defendant forgoes the right to oppose those witnessing against him
  • About the fines associated with bringing the case to court.

How Luftman, Heck & Associates Can Help

As a defendant, you may not know if you are receiving the best plea deal a prosecutor can offer you. This is where an experienced and skilled lawyer can help. Your lawyer can help you decide if your plea offer is adequate or not. If it is the latter, your lawyer will help negotiate with the prosecutor to get you a favorable plea agreement and outcome for your case.

Our lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates will help you pursue and negotiate the plea agreement you deserve, and we will not settle for anything less. With one of our lawyers by your side, you can be sure that you will be fully informed of all your plea agreement options and rights.

Call us today at to schedule a free, initial consultation.

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Categories: Criminal Defense, Legal Blog

In the criminal justice system, most case outcomes are chosen before the case even goes to court. This will usually occur at a pretrial hearing. During a pretrial hearing, the plaintiff, defendant, judge, and lawyers will meet with the common goal to solve some parts of the case. Oftentimes during the pretrial hearing, the defense and the prosecutor will re-negotiate a plea agreement. When this happens, the case will not even go on to court.

In a pretrial hearing, you want to have a skilled and compassionate lawyer on your side. Our Columbus criminal defense attorneys will stand by your side and help manage your case and situation. At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we can discuss and your case to best benefit you. We want to help you receive the best outcome.

Call us today at to set up a free and confidential consultation.

The Pretrial Hearing Process

During a pretrial hearing, your defense attorney and the prosecutor will help shape your case by filing motions. These motions can range from whether or not a specific person can testify, to dismissing any evidence that is deemed unnecessary.

The outcome of a pretrial hearing will depend on how severe the crime you are being accused of actually is. During the pretrial hearing process in a criminal case, the judge will explain several things to you, along with creating boundaries for the case if it does end up going to court. The judge will explain:

  • The charges you are facing
  • Your rights
  • The possible penalties you face
  • Bail, release, or custody regulations and possibilities

Once the judge explains all of the above, the prosecutor and your defense attorney will talk about the case. It is at this point in time that they both begin filing different motions according to what is best for your case.

Types of Pretrial Motions

There are several common types of pretrial motions. Pretrial motions are extremely important and will significantly impact the outcome of your case since they legally shape the case and set boundaries if the case does, indeed, continue to trial. Some of the most common pretrial motions are:

  • Exclusion of Witness Testimony- A witness can be left out if they are proven incompetent, or that they pose a particular conflict of interest. For example, if the witness could offer a biased opinion on the case due to a previous relationship with you, they may not be able to testify.
  • Summary Judgment- A summary judgment occurs when there is no argument over the case and the judge can easily make a decision without your case going to trial.
  • Motion for the Release of Evidence- This motion will occur if the prosecution is suspected of withholding substantial evidence that could be helpful to the defense.
  • Motion to Dismiss- This can occur for any number of reasons ranging from insufficient evidence, to no jurisdiction, to an expiration of the statute of limitations. Once a motion to dismiss is accepted, the judge will throw out that particular part of your case.
  • Exclusion of Physical Evidence- Evidence can be dismissed from a case if it was not obtained legally or in accordance with the parameters set in the search warrant.
  • Motion for Discovery- Your defense attorney will ask the prosecutor to reveal the evidence they plan to use against you in court. This can be helpful to your attorney because they could see what the prosecution has in store for the trial, thus giving them the opportunity to come up with strategies to combat the prosecution’s clams.
  • Motion to Change Venue- A change of court typically happens in cases that are receiving substantial publicity. This can also occur if the court is held in an area where the jury could potentially be biased.

How Luftman, Heck & Associates Can Help

During a pretrial hearing, there is no telling what the prosecution could say and pin on the defense. A pretrial hearing can be difficult to navigate unless you have an experienced and skilled defense attorney on your side. During this hearing, our Columbus criminal defense attorneys will stand by your side to manage the conversation and negotiate with the prosecutor and judge.

Our attorneys have years of experience dealing with pretrial hearings and know how to negotiate in order for you to receive your best outcome. At Luftman, Heck & Associates, our attorneys strive to listen to and examine each and every aspect of your case. We want to help you receive the justice you deserve.

Call us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation at .

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Categories: Criminal Defense, Legal Blog

A partnership between the City of Columbus, the beer company Anheuser-Busch, and the ride-hailing company Lyft aims to reduce drunk driving by providing transportation alternatives for people who go out on the weekend. More than just an awareness-raising program, the Columbus City Pilot to Reduce Harmful Drinking is a concrete step to keep intoxicated Columbus residents off the roads.

From September 7 to the new year, Anheuser-Busch and other partners will offer 2,000 round-trip Lyft rides each weekend for Columbus residents. If you want to go to the bars, to a game, or to a music festival and not worry about transport, all you need to do is check the Anheuser-Busch Facebook and Instagram pages for a ride code. Available every Thursday at 2 p.m., the ride code allows anyone over 21 years of age to claim a $30 credit with Lyft, redeemable anytime between 5 p.m. on Thursday and 5 a.m. Sunday.

Don’t Take Chances With Drunk Driving

Even if you have a clean record, a single drunk driving conviction can turn your life upside down. In fact, you don’t even need to get convicted of DUI to face crippling penalties. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test after your arrest, for example, you will face many of the same penalties as if you had been convicted of DUI, such as fines and the suspension of your driving privileges.

Ohio law provides for harsh offenses even for first-time DUI offenders:

  • Jail Time – Three days to six months in jail. Minimum of six days if your BAC was over .17
  • Fines – $375 to $1075
  • License Suspension – One to three-year suspension
  • DUI plates – If your BAC was over .17

In addition to these penalties, your DUI conviction may result in several collateral consequences:

  • Increase in your insurance premiums
  • Inability to attend your job or school because of restricted driving privileges
  • Paying court costs and attorney’s fees
  • A permanent criminal record that can affect your eligibility for employment in the future

How a Columbus DUI Lawyer Can Help

Most people simply plead guilty to their DUI charges and spare themselves the expense of a lawyer. But considering the consequences of a conviction, investing in good legal representation is almost always worth it. Even if you eventually end up pleading guilty, your lawyer can likely help you secure a plea agreement with a more lenient sentence. And in some cases, it’s possible to defeat the DUI charges altogether.

To secure your conviction for DUI, a prosecutor must prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt on the basis of admissible and legally-obtained evidence. This means that you can avoid a conviction if your lawyer is able to make a plausible argument that you were not drunk behind the wheel, such as when your BAC test at the station was just barely over the legal limit, indicating that you could have been under the limit at the time you were driving. Alternatively, your lawyer might demonstrate that the prosecutor’s evidence was obtained illegally, such as when the police pull you over on the basis of a hunch, as opposed to an articulable suspicion that you were committing a crime.

At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we will explore every possible option for defending your case, and vigorously defend your rights at each stage of the criminal justice process. If you’ve been charged with DUI, talk about your defense options today with one of our Ohio DUI lawyers by calling .

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Categories: DUI, Legal Blog

An ignition interlock device is a common penalty imposed on people who are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. They may be imposed on first-time offenders as well as repeat DUI offenders. They can be complicated and costly.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, contact our DUI attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates. We can evaluate your case and help you avoid the harshest DUI punishments. Contact us today at to schedule an appointment today.

1. What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An ignition interlock device (IID) is a device that is installed in your vehicle and acts as a breathalyzer. You are required to breathe into the device in order for your car to start. If your BAC is above a 0.02, your engine will not start. You can typically blow into the breathalyzer again after five minutes and then again after 30 minutes if you are locked out because of your BAC. If your BAC is above 0.02, your probation officer will be notified.

The device also has a program where it will randomly turn on periodically while the car is in motion having the driver blow again into the breathalyzer to ensure that they initially blew into the device rather than another, sober individual.

2. Who is Eligible for an IID?

Anyone who has been convicted of a DUI may be eligible to install an IID instead of dealing with a lengthy license suspension. Even a first-time DUI conviction can result in up to three years of license suspension. That time can be reduced with the installation of an IID. Second and subsequent DUI convictions may result in a mandatory IID installation.

3. How is The Device Installed?

The ignition interlock device must be installed by a certified company in the state of Ohio. The device is installed near the steering wheel and is often attached to the dash. The device can be accessed prior to driving as well as while the car is in motion.

4. How Much Will it Cost?

Installation fees range from $200-300 along with a monthly maintenance cost of $100-200.

5. Do False Positives Happen?

While, IIDs are usually accurate, there are several factors that can cause a false positive. Mouthwash can cause a false positive since it contains alcohol that can stay on your mouth. If you rinse with mouthwash, you should wait at least 10 minutes and rinse your mouth with water before blowing into the ignition interlock device. Spicy foods can also cause a false positive. When spicy foods are digested, they produce methane gas, which can imitate alcohol vapor and cause a false positive. To prevent this, you can take an antacid. Certain medications and medical conditions can also result in false positives.

If your ignition interlock device does malfunction, you should contact your service provider right away in order to fix your device.

How Luftman, Heck & Associates Can Help

If you have been charged with a DUI, our attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates can work with you to see if you are eligible for an ignition interlock device to avoid a lengthy license suspension. Call us today at to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

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Categories: DUI, Legal Blog

If you have been convicted of driving under the influence, you may have asked yourself, “Can I get a job with a DUI?” Regardless of whether your conviction resulted in a misdemeanor or felony, potential employers may be cautious or even resistant to hiring you for an available position.

DUI convictions are serious and can have long-lasting consequences beyond the criminal penalties. If you’re facing a DUI charge right now, take an important first step and retain an aggressive legal advocate who can fight on your behalf to minimize the potential penalties and consequences of your charge. Luftman, Heck & Associates and our Columbus DUI lawyers, led by attorney Ben Luftman, are here to do just that for you.

Call us today at or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation.

Problematic Job Opportunities With a DUI

So you’re wondering, “Can I get a job with a DUI?”

Employers offering certain positions may be more sensitive or cautious about a prospective candidate’s DUI record than others. For instance, if you have DUI on your record and you are attempting to obtain a position that requires driving – for instance, a delivery driver, truck driver, or bus driver – you may run into some roadblocks with potential employers. As well, any position that involves dealing with children may preclude individuals with DUIs. Some companies retain confidential information policies that restrict them from hiring any person with a criminal record. Government and military jobs may also be out of reach if you have a DUI conviction that shows up on your background check.

With a DUI on your record, your job search may be more complicated and difficult, but you will not necessarily be precluded from finding a great job. To a great extent, your success or failure and obtaining employment may depend on how you approach your job search and interview process, as well as the type of job you are seeking.

Collateral Consequences Hindering a Job Search

Beyond the legal penalties stemming from a DUI conviction, there are ancillary consequences of your DUI that may hinder your job search. For instance, you may suffer the loss of your driver’s license for a number of months, or even longer, depending on the nature of your DUI offense. This can hinder you from having the ability to travel to and from work if you don’t have convenient access to public transportation. Relying on others, such as family members or friends, for transportation to work and back home again can also be problematic. Human resources departments at companies often request a new employee’s driver’s license to complete hiring paperwork. Not having this information to provide human resources can potentially raise concerns with hiring managers.

Know What’s in Your Background Check

Prior to entering a job interview, it’s important to find out what prospective employers may see on your background check. You should know whether or not your DUI will show up on your record. As well, it’s important to find any mistakes that may be present on your record, such as twice listed charges, or charges belonging to another person. Perform a background check on yourself. If you find errors, contact the state of Ohio to find out how have these errors may be removed. It could mean the difference between getting hired or passed over.

Don’t Mention It at the Outset

During the job interview process, some employers won’t ask you if you have a prior criminal conviction. Therefore, it is sometimes best to follow the lead of your interviewer and wait further into the interview to mention your DUI. It’s not necessary to include the mention of your DUI in your cover letter, during a phone screening call, or during an initial face-to-face meeting, unless the interviewer or hiring manager asks you the question.

Prepare Responses and Be Honest

If you are applying for a job for which you qualify and it is not a problematic job opportunity due to your DUI, take time to prepare in advance some responses to potential questions you may be asked about your previous conviction. Be absolutely honest with your answers.

Explain your DUI incident in a brief, but apologetic tone. Let the interviewer know that it was a lapse in judgment at the time and that you have now moved forward in life and learned your lesson. If you are able, give your potential employer examples of the changes you have made or the influences you have removed from your life since that time.

Contact Skilled Columbus DUI Lawyers

Are you currently up against a first, second, or subsequent DUI charge in Ohio? Before you need to consider the question, “Can I get a job with a DUI?”, make sure you have a strong legal advocate standing behind you to seek a mitigation or possible elimination of the legal consequences you are now facing. Attorney Ben Luftman and his team at Luftman, Heck & Associates are able to fight vigorously on your behalf.

Call us today at to set up a free, no obligation consultation.

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Categories: DUI, Legal Blog

Medications can have powerful intended and unintended effects on your body. Often times people are surprised at how their system reacts to a prescription drug, and law enforcement is very concerned about how substances affect people who are behind the wheel. If you are pulled over on an Ohio roadway, you may be wondering how will prescription medications affect a sobriety test to which you are subjected. An experienced Columbus drug lawyer can help protect your rights if you have been arrested after your medications have caused you to fail a sobriety test.

Contact us at Luftman, Heck & Associates in order to discuss your case with a skilled defense attorney. Do not hesitate to call us today at .

The Dangers of Prescription Medications While on the Road

Police officers and prosecutors have become more concerned with prescription medication use over the last several years as drug abuse has increased in Ohio. In fact, it is believed that up to 30 percent of drug addiction cases in the United States involve legal prescription drugs. While the legal blood alcohol content limit is .08 percent, there is no similar legal limit for most prescription drugs. You can be arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) simply if the officer has determined that your medication has made it too difficult for you to drive safely.

Prescription drugs can make operating a vehicle to be very dangerous when they have either a stimulating or sedating effect on your body. Of the many prescription drugs that are known to cause deadly accidents on the road, some would include:

  • Opiates such as Vicodin, Lortab, OxyContin, and Oxycodone
  • Sedatives-hypnotics such as Valium, Xanax, and Diazepam
  • Stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin

Prescription Medications’ Effect on Your Field Sobriety Test

Being pulled over can be a very intimidating situation, and you will possibly be subjected to several different tests in order to determine if you are sober enough to drive. Officers will be checking to determine if you are physically unable to control your body and reflexes in a way that allows for safe driving. For example, stimulants may make it difficult for you to properly control your arm and eye movements, and sedatives may greatly reduce your reaction time. Field sobriety tests that you can fail if you are taking prescription medication include:

  • One leg stand test – Prescription drugs can affect your balance and make it impossible for you to stand on one leg.
  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus test – Medication can make it difficult for you to steadily follow something with your eyes, and you may be experiencing sudden jerking movements.
  • Walk and turn test – Your ability to comprehend and follow instructions may be reduced if you are under the influence of a lot of prescription drugs.

Medication Can Cause You to Fail A Breath Test

If you are subjected to a sobriety test after being pulled over, the officer will possibly test your breath for traces of alcohol. This usually involves you blowing into a handheld breathalyzer that will then give the officer a reading of your blood alcohol content (BAC). However, these handheld devices are far from perfect, and there are many things that can cause an inaccurate return. Many medications contain alcohol even though they will not affect you in a manner similar to an alcoholic drink. Of the many medications that contain alcohol, some would be:

  • Albuterol, which is found in asthma inhalers
  • Anbesol, which is in pain relievers used for toothaches and canker sores
  • Cold or flu medicines such as Vicks Formula 44 or NyQuil
  • Cough medications including even cough drops

While being intoxicated due to taking medication can result in an OVI arrest, even a harmless amount of certain medications will possibly return an erroneously high BAC in a breath test. Contact us immediately if a faulty breathalyzer results in an arrest, and your lawyer can employ the use of more sophisticated blood tests in order to demonstrate that you were not intoxicated when you were pulled over.

Luftman, Heck & Associates Can Help You

You will need an experienced defense attorney to defend you if you are arrested after a failed sobriety test. Prescription medications can have serious side effects that can cause you to be arrested due to intoxication, but they can also result in erroneous reading on simple or defective sobriety equipment. Drug crimes are pursued very seriously by law enforcement and police, and therefore you should not hesitate to seek legal help if you or a loved one are arrested on suspicion of being prescription drug intoxication.

Contact the skilled Columbus drug lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates to begin your legal defense today. Call us at .

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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