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In 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting a DUI in Ohio or any other state not only puts you at risk to incur significant legal penalties, but also additional requirements that could extend into other areas of your life. One of those requirements involves the filing of an SR-22 insurance certificate.
SR stands for Safety Responsibility. It is document that verifies you have an auto insurance policy. An insurance company prepares the document and then files it with the state DMV. Ohio and other states require this filing for individuals with one or more types of driving-related issues, which includes operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI).
Having an SR-22 certificate proves that you carry the minimum insurance requirements in the state, and it ensures that if you are involved in an accident, an insurance company will compensate you for losses.
Having a DUI/OVI charge filed against you can be a daunting experience. Regardless of your current situation, our team at Luftman, Heck & Associates can help you build a strong defense on your behalf.
To begin with a free consultation about your case, call a Columbus DUI lawyer today at .
You may be required to file an SR-22 insurance form in Ohio under any one of the following circumstances:
An alternative to acquiring an SR-22 certificate is available in Ohio. You may deposit $30,000 in securities or cash with the State Treasurer or file a $32,500 surety bond with a state licensed insurance company. You are required to retain the bond or deposit for the entire length of the SR-22 certificate requirement.
There are three types of SR-22 certificates available in Ohio. These are:
At a minimum, drivers under an SR-22 requirement must continue to file an SR-22 for three years. Based on the seriousness of the offense, the court has discretion to ask for a longer filing period as it deems appropriate.
An SR-22 must be renewed on a yearly basis at a minimum of two weeks prior to expiration. Failure to at least notify the insurer of your intent to renew will result in the insurer contacting the DMV, which in turn, can have your driving privileges suspended until the reinstatement of the insurance. It is your responsibility to renew your policy on time and submit the required SR-22 insurance form.
At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we know how to fight for our client’s rights in order to help them receive their best possible outcome. We can evaluate your case and discuss your legal options during our free case assessment. To speak with an experienced Columbus DUI lawyer, contact us today at .
Driving under the influence of alcohol can bring much heartache, sorrow, and embarrassment not only at the time of your arrest or conviction, but also to other parts of your life going forward. In fact, disclosing a DUI on a job application is one of the embarrassing consequences you may have to endure at some point in time. However, what you must disclose, if anything, depends on particular factors involving your charges, arrest, and, if applicable, conviction.
If you are facing a charge for a DUI or OVI in Ohio, you should have a knowledgeable defense on your side. At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we have the resources and experience to refute these charges on your behalf with the goal of achieving the most favorable outcome possible in your case.
To arrange a free initial consultation with a Columbus DUI lawyer, call us right away at .
When an officer cites or arrests you, you have entered the phase in which you are being charged with an offense. This charging phase exists regardless if you plead not guilty to the charge or not. Facing a charge for a DUI is not the same as having been convicted of this offense.
Although it is desirable to forget whether you’ve had a drunk driving arrest in your past, it is important to understand that you may be required to disclose a DUI on a job application in the future.
Generally, you are only required to disclose a past DUI arrest on a job application if that application specifically asks about past arrests. It is important to keep in mind that an arrest for a DUI, even without a conviction, may be present on your record if an employer runs a background check on you. But, if the job application only asks for past convictions, then you should not feel compelled to provide information about a past arrest that did not result in a conviction.
A DUI conviction can result in one of two ways:
If either of these situations applies, you are required to disclose a DUI on a job application that asks for that specific information. If you fail to do so, you will be committing fraud, and at the very least, you could lose your job when the fraud is discovered.
In Ohio, DUI/OVI convictions are not handled under the state’s criminal code. They exist under Ohio’s traffic code. Therefore, if a job application asks you if you have been convicted of a criminal offense, you can honestly answer “no” on the application. Some applications may only ask if you have ever been convicted of a felony offense. If your DUI conviction was a misdemeanor, you can also honestly answer “no” on the application.
However, if the application asks if you ever had any criminal convictions, you must answer “yes” if you were ever convicted of a misdemeanor DUI.
Another point to understand regarding disclosing a DUI on a job application in Ohio is the matter of expungement. Certain offenses in Ohio are not eligible for expungement. One of these offenses is operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol (OVI). Therefore, you cannot count on expungement in Ohio as a means of avoiding your responsibility to report a past DUI arrest or conviction on a job application that asks for such information.
At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we have successfully defended thousands of individuals in Columbus against their OVI charges, and we can help you with your case. Contact us today at to set up a free case evaluation with an experienced Columbus DUI lawyer.
If you have been accused of possessing child pornography, it’s important that you obtain strong legal counsel to defend you against the charges you are facing. At Luftman, Heck & Associates, our Columbus sex crimes attorneys understand what is at stake for you and can provide you with the legal advice and intelligent defense you need at this time to ensure your rights are protected under the law.
Call us today at or contact us online to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.
Many dangers exist online for the individual downloading pornographic content. It is possible to unknowingly download illegal child pornography due to deceptive file names and the rapid-fire downloading technology employed by many peer-to-peer file sharing websites. With pornography involving children in your possession, you may unexpectedly find yourself facing charges that carry mandatory jail time.
Several techniques are used by law enforcement officials to catch individuals allegedly engaged in the possession of or some other activity involving child pornography. Some of these tactics include:
The above-mentioned tactics represent several methods used by law enforcement to catch people in possession of child pornography. If you fall under suspicion of having these materials in your possession, you may become subject to law enforcement performing a search of your home and computer(s). The FBI has the ability to discover files that have been deleted as well. Therefore, the attempt to delete files containing this material may not eliminate them permanently or prevent their detection.
In early 2015, the FBI conducted an operation that dealt with one of the largest child pornography websites on the Internet at that time – Playpen. This site made it possible for users to download thousands of illegal images and videos. In order to carry out this operation, the government, in fact, took over control of the website, but left it active in order to catch individuals obtaining pornographic material involving children.
The agency justified its actions by claiming that if such enforcement operations were not conducted these individuals would otherwise remain hidden and unexposed, continuing to obtain and use child pornography. The FBI placed software on the site that enabled it to bypass its security features and identify hundreds of users engaging with the site and downloading material.
The U.S. Justice Department revealed through court filings that the FBI had control of this website from February 20 to March 4, 2015. During this time period, the site, which had over 215,000 registered users, contained links to more than 23,000 images and videos of children of a sexually explicit nature. The FBI, through its takeover of the site, made over 9,000 files available to users that were downloadable directly from the FBI. The court filings provided by the Justice Department described images of very young children, even those at the earliest ages for kindergarten.
If the severe, long-term consequences involving the charge of possessing child pornography are on your doorstep, it is vital to have an experienced defense attorney fighting on your behalf. Our team at Luftman, Heck & Associates is able to defend you against any federal or state charges associated with this crime and work toward achieving the mitigation, or if possible, the elimination of the penalties you are facing.
Contact us at as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation about your case.
This is the fourth of a four-part series of blogs delving into the reliability of BAC tests commonly used by law enforcement officers in Ohio.
This blog considers the reliability of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) urine tests, or urinalysis tests. Other BAC tests that will be considered in previous blogs are the BAC breath test, or breathalyzer, and the BAC blood test. If any of these tests have been administered to you after a DUI traffic stop, you should contact an experienced Columbus DUI attorney right away. Call Luftman, Heck & Associates today at .
Urine tests for BAC are considered the least accurate of the three testing methods mentioned in this series of blogs. Generally, this test is not used unless the other options are not available. A person’s urine is tested for BAC by correlating the urine-to-alcohol ratio detected within the person’s system with the BAC. The ratio of 1.33:1 urine alcohol to BAC is most often used. However, this method is considered quite subjective. Some studies have determined that the actual BAC in the blood can vary significantly from the urine alcohol level.
As well, urine tests generally cannot be performed at the time of the traffic stop which allows valuable time pass until the urine is tested. Another factor that may skew results is that alcohol can take as much as 60 minutes to be present in a person’s urine – and that alcohol can remain in the person’s system for as long as 6 to 24 hours. Thus, a positive BAC urine test result may not prove the subject was under the influence of alcohol when the incident occurred.
The toxicology aspect of testing urine for its alcohol level is similar to that of the blood testing method. Therefore, the results can be inaccurate due to the same issues of improper storage, mishandling, etc.
If you have been stopped or arrested for a DUI, you need to seek the legal assistance of an experienced Columbus DUI Lawyer. Our attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates understand that the chemical BAC tests frequently used by law enforcement officers in Ohio are unreliable. We know how to challenge them and point out other holes in the prosecution’s case against you. If you are ready to begin forming your defense against DUI charges, call us today at .
This is the third of a four-part series of blogs delving into the reliability of BAC tests commonly used by law enforcement officers in Ohio.
This blog considers the reliability of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) blood tests. Other BAC tests that will be considered in previous or following blogs are the BAC breath test, or breathalyzer, and the BAC urine test, or urinalysis. If any of these tests have been administered to you after a DUI traffic stop, you should contact an experienced Columbus DUI attorney right away. Call Luftman, Heck & Associates today at .
The BAC blood test is thought to be the most reliable method of determining the level of alcohol in the body. However, issues can arise involving the chemistry used to evaluate a blood sample.
Law enforcement must receive consent from an individual in order to conduct a blood test for alcohol. However, if you refuse to take a blood test, you may incur significant negative administrative legal consequences, including the loss of your driving privileges. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), individuals who submit to blood testing tend to receive lesser fines and shorter jail terms than those who fail to comply. The decision about whether to take a blood test or not should be made after serious consideration and, when possible, consultation with an attorney. Before submitting to a blood test, ask to consult with a DUI lawyer.
The manner in which blood samples are stored and handled can impact the results of these BAC tests. Incorrect storage before analysis can result in decomposition or coagulation of the blood, leading to an inaccurate result. Other issues can interfere with accurate results as well, including the presence of certain prescription and nonprescription medicines, diabetic complications, certain herbal supplements, and the use of rubbing alcohol to clean the skin prior to needle insertion.
Columbus DUI lawyers representing you can review the procedures used by law enforcement and determine if the analysis of your blood throughout every stage of testing was performed properly and accurately. The results of your DUI case may depend on the ability of your attorney to find any inconsistencies or errors in the testing process. For more information about BAC blood tests and how to defend yourself against a DUI charge, contact Luftman, Heck & Associates today at .
This is the second of a four-part series of blogs delving into the reliability of BAC tests commonly used by law enforcement officers in Ohio.
This blog considers the reliability of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) breath tests, or breathalyzers. Other BAC tests that will be considered in other blogs are the BAC blood test and the BAC urine test, or urinalysis. If any of these tests have been administered to you after a DUI traffic stop, you should contact an experienced Columbus DUI attorney right away. Call Luftman, Heck & Associates today at .
The BAC breath test is the most common method used by police officers to estimate blood alcohol content. This test uses breathalyzers which are lightweight, portable breath analysis devices that provide a quick result in the field. Breathalyzers work by quantifying the level of alcohol that passes through the alveoli air sacs as blood runs through vessels within the lungs. The subject breathes into the device and expels the air that contains the traces of alcohol. These breathalyzer test results, in particular those resulting from fuel cell sensor breath tests, are generally considered accurate enough for admission as evidence in a DUI prosecution.
However, a negative aspect of these breathalyzer BAC tests in terms of reliability is that they do not differentiate or account for the different traits of persons – something that can affect the results. Instead, an average multiplier is applied to the calculated BAC reading on the test. This multiplier, which is 2,100, is referred to as a “partition ratio” due to the fact that the average amount of alcohol in a person’s breath has been determined to be 1/2100th of the level of alcohol in the same amount of blood.
However, a Supreme Court case entitled State vs. Brayman included testimony from a chemist who stated that this ratio can actually vary from 1/1600th to 1/3000th. Thus, knowledgeable Columbus DUI lawyers could potentially argue that a breath test produced inaccurate results due to its underlying “average” partition ratio assumption.
BAC tests using a breathalyzer are also vulnerable to human error and faulty equipment. These testing devices must be calibrated on a regular basis to help ensure accurate results. Certain physical characteristics of the person receiving a breathalyzer test can skew the test results and present a false reading – these include the ratio of red blood cells to blood plasma, the body temperature, the nature of the person’s diet, and the presence of breath fresheners.
Other surrounding environmental influences can also produce false breathalyzer BAC readings, including: gasoline, thinner, glue, and paint.
BAC breath tests are not reliable. If you’ve been given a breathalyzer after being pulled over for a DUI, you may be able to fight any resulting charges. We can challenge the results of your BAC breath test or other chemical test and show that you were not, in fact, intoxicated.
Call Luftman, Heck & Associates at to begin developing your defense.
This is the first of a four-part series of blogs delving into the reliability of BAC tests commonly used by law enforcement officers in Ohio.
Every state, including Ohio, designates an individual with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater as legally intoxicated, which also subjects them to the charge of driving under the influence (DUI). With that standard set, a question arises as to the best way of determining BAC. Also, how reliable, in fact, are BAC tests performed by law enforcement?
Are you facing a possible DUI conviction in Ohio? At Luftman, Heck & Associates, our experienced Columbus DUI lawyers can help maneuver your case through the Ohio criminal justice system, from your arrest to final resolution. We can advocate strongly for your rights and create a strategic defense on your behalf to minimize, and if possible, eliminate the penalties associated with your charge.
To schedule a free, confidential consultation about your case, call us today at or send us a message online.
Three of the most frequently used methods for determining BAC are the breathalyzer, blood, and urine tests.
These BAC tests (breathalyzer, blood, and urine) are used in various circumstances to determine the BAC level of an individual who is accused of DUI. However, some are more accurate than others. In the next few blogs, we will investigate each of these tests further. An experienced attorney defending you against your DUI charge will be able to demonstrate any testing inconsistencies or inaccuracies that may be present in your case.
If you have been pulled over and arrested for DUI in the State of Ohio, you may be uncertain of your legal options going forward. At Luftman, Heck & Associates, our experienced attorneys can help you understand your charges, the possible consequences of conviction, and the strategies we can employ to fight for the reduction, or if possible, the removal of the penalties you are facing.
Contact us today for a free consultation today at (614) 321-8439.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
Ohio mayor’s courts can hear multiple types of cases such as:
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:
There are several advantages and disadvantages to taking your case to the mayor’s court.
Hearings in a mayor’s court are typically casual and relaxed. They often take place at night in order to accommodate busy work schedules.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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 .