Have you been arrested for a DUI? If so, you are likely stressed out and unsure of what your future holds. Fortunately, consulting a Hilliard DUI lawyer from Luftman, Heck & Associates can ease your stress levels and help improve your legal situation. Thanks to our decade of experience assisting clients from Hilliard and surrounding areas who have been pulled over for a DUI, we have the relationships and resources necessary to build strong defense strategies that often lead to positive outcomes.
In Ohio, a DUI is called an OVI. OVI charges occur when a driver is found operating a motor vehicle while they are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. They must also have blood alcohol concentration that is over .08 percent, which is the legal limit.
Why You Need a Lawyer for a DUI in Hilliard, OH
When charged with an OVI for the first time, you may be tempted to just plead guilty. While this may seem like the easy way out, it is often not the best move. By working with an experienced Hilliard DUI lawyer with your case, you may reap the benefits of reduced consequences or in some cases, get your case dismissed. The DUI attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates have a proven track record of winning cases in the Hilliard area.
What Questions Should You Be Asking Your Attorney?
If you’re facing charges for DUI in the Hilliard area, don’t forget to ask your DUI lawyer the following questions:
Do I have to appear at my arraignment?
Hilliard DUI cases are filed and scheduled for arraignment within five business days from the date of your arrest in order to allow you to appeal the administrative license suspension.
If you hire the Columbus OVI defense team at Luftman, Heck & Associates, we may be able to appear on your behalf so that you do not have to attend your initial court date. While we are there, we would enter a not guilty plea on your behalf and address your driver’s license suspension. We also request police reports and DVD footage of the arrest.
Can I get my license or driving privileges?
There are a few possible avenues for regaining your driving privileges. Our experienced Columbus DUI lawyers will assess BMV Form 2255 to see if there are errors. If there are errors present, this could lead to the termination of your driver’s license suspension. If errors are not present, we may be able to request a stay of your license suspension. Effectively, a stay would give you your full license back while your case is pending.
Generally, Hilliard Mayor’s Court permits stays of the administrative license suspension, provided that the OVI did not result in an accident and that there is no other problematic fact pattern. We are able to appear on your behalf at the arraignment to request the stay of license suspension for you. If this is granted, you will be forwarded two copies – one that you must take to the BMV, and one that you must keep with you at all times while driving during the pendency of your case.
If these options are not available to you, we would negotiate to get you limited driving privileges, which would permit you to drive for medical, work, and school reasons. This can be a bit more difficult, so having an experienced Columbus OVI attorney to negotiate on your behalf is important. Magistrate Mark Weaver is not lenient with driving privileges and will not grant driving privileges for childcare needs, so if you have children and need to drive them around, it is essential that you tell us as soon as possible.
To begin the process to obtain limited driving privileges, you must fill out a blank copy of the limited driving privilege entry and return it to us. We then file the form on your behalf. If granted, you will be forwarded two certified copies. The first of these copies you must keep in your car at all times while driving, and you should keep the second one handy in case you lose the first one.
Who is the prosecutor?
Gregory Peterson is the prosecuting attorney for Hilliard Mayor’s Court OVI cases. He has been a Franklin County prosecutor and a Franklin County Common Pleas Court judge. Currently he is in private practice and prosecutes DUI, criminal, and traffic cases at Hilliard Mayor’s Court. He will be prosecuting your case from its initiation in arraignment court and usually will prosecute the case only if it stays in Hilliard Mayor’s Court.
Do I get to see the police reports?
One of our primary concerns at Luftman, Heck & Associates is that you are always informed about your case and aware of what evidence is at hand. We will provide you with copies of all reports that we receive so that you may review them. We ask that you take the reports home, review them thoroughly, and email us with your thoughts about the reports. These should include any inconsistencies and your summary of exactly what happened.
Is there a DVD of my traffic stop?
Typically, yes. You will also receive a copy of the DVD for your review. All Hilliard police vehicles are equipped with a cruiser video system, so provided that there is no malfunction, there will be a DVD of your traffic stop. This can be very useful to us in building your defense. If the police reports are exaggerated in any way or if the field sobriety tests are issued improperly, this will show on the DVD. All of our Columbus OVI attorneys at Luftman Heck are certified in the administration of the field sobriety tests, so we know what mistakes to look for and how to identify them.
What outcome can I expect with my Hilliard Mayor’s Court DUI case?
If there are issues with the physical evidence in your case, the prosecutor may potentially offer a reduction of your DUI charge to a lesser offense such as a reckless operation or physical control while in Hilliard Mayor’s Court.
However, sometimes the prosecutor may not be willing to offer you a reduction and other options should be considered. For example, it may be advantageous to transfer your case to Franklin County Municipal Court, where your case will again go through the OVI court process.
In Franklin County Municipal Court, we are able to conduct a suppression hearing or jury trial if necessary. Prior to conducting a suppression hearing or jury trial on your behalf in Municipal Court, our Franklin County DUI lawyers will continue to negotiate for an offer of a reduced charge to give you an option before litigating the case.
Your First Hilliard DUI/OVI Offense
Although penalties for OVIs increase with each subsequent conviction, even a first-time offense can lead to serious consequences. Some of these consequences may include time in jail, fines of up to $1,000, and the loss of driving privileges. The effects of a DUI conviction in Ohio can impact your life for years to come. You may find it challenging to land a job because of a flawed criminal record, own or live in a rental property, get accepted to college, keep your professional license, travel internationally, and land an affordable car insurance rate.
After you are arrested for an OVI, you can expect to come to Hilliard Mayor’s Court for the pre-trial and arraignment. It’s best to bring a Hilliard DUI lawyer who is familiar with the court’s judges and Ohio DUI court process so that your case has a better chance of being resolved in a favorable manner.
How a Hilliard DUI Lawyer Can Help
The main goal of a Hilliard DUI lawyer is to use effective defense strategies that will successfully fight the charges against you. Since it’s not uncommon for law enforcement officials to make mistakes during DUI investigations, pointing out their errors can make it possible for you to avoid serious penalties.
A SKILLED HILLIARD DUI LAWYER MAY:
- Challenge the Legality of the DUI Stop – It’s important to understand that a police officer must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over. If you were stopped for an invalid reason, your charges may be dismissed in court.
- Question the Way Sobriety Tests Were Conducted – There are a number of factors that may hurt the accuracy of DUI tests. Medical conditions, physical ailments, poor coordination, and other factors can make these tests unreliable.
- Challenge BAC Results – BAC readings may also be inaccurate because of improper maintenance, a flaw in the equipment, or user error. When a BAC reading does not reflect the actual amount of alcohol that was consumed, your case may be dismissed.
Consult a DUI Attorney in Hilliard, Ohio Today
If you’d like aggressive legal representation that may have a positive impact on your future and well-being, don’t hesitate to call Luftman, Heck & Associates today at (614) 500-3836, or reach out online. A Hilliard DUI lawyer will be happy to evaluate your case from all angles and take every measure possible to help you avoid a conviction or reduce the severity of your case.