To the north of Columbus sits the suburb of Westerville. The city of 36,000 is located in both Delaware County and Franklin County, and Route 3, the highway connecting Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati, runs right through its heart.
OVIs and other charges are more common in Westerville than you may suspect, but the negative impact on your life and future are just as real as in other areas in Central Ohio. The criminal defense attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates have been defending people with DUI and criminal charges in the Westerville area for years and are ready to fight for you.
Westerville Criminal Charges We Handle
Luftman, Heck & Associates has spent over a decade working in Westerville courts. Our criminal defense and DUI attorneys have been working to defend the rights of those charged every day for years on end.
Some of our most recent clients have even seen their charges ultimately dismissed.
Westerville DUI/OVI Offenses
The fines for even your first OVI can be hefty, and the sentences can be harsh. You could be fined over $1,000, face community service, be assigned special plates for everyone to see, have your license suspended for three years, or spend six months in jail, according to Section 4511.19 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Subsequent offenses carry even tougher penalties with fines up to $2,750, license suspension for up to 12 years, and up to a year in jail.
Criminal and Violent Crime Charges
While you may have been arrested and initially charged in Westerville, Franklin County Municipal Court has jurisdiction over traffic cases and misdemeanor criminal cases for assault, property damage, drug crimes, and sex crimes.
Municipal Court typically hears cases and handles trials involving DUIs and domestic violence with serious felonies reserved for the Court of Common Pleas.
But no matter the charge, if you’re arrested in Westerville, Luftman, Heck & Associates is ready to help
Westerville Charges & Mayors Court
For many criminal matters, including OVI, your case will likely at least start in the Westerville Mayor’s Court, where you’ll face a pre-trial. While cases can be transferred out of Mayor’s Court or progress to a final resolution, our team of attorneys has been handling cases there for nearly a decade. We know the strategies to get the best results there.
If we decide we can improve your case results, we may transfer your case to either the Franklin County Municipal Court or the Delaware County Municipal Court. There, we can bring your case to trial.
Transferring Cases Out of Westerville Mayor’s Court
In some instances, if there are issues with the evidence, the prosecutor may offer a reduction of your charges. Other times it may be more advantageous to transfer your case. If transferred, your case will go through the court process in Franklin County Municipal Court.
Once the case is transferred, we typically conduct a suppression hearing or move to a jury trial. Before litigation, however, we strive to negotiate an offer for a reduced charge ahead of time so that you have your options available to you.
What to Ask Your Attorney
During your Westerville criminal or DUI case, there are several important questions to ask:
Do I have to appear at my arraignment?
Westerville DUI and criminal cases are filed and scheduled for arraignment within five business days of the arrest so that you can answer the charges against you and enter a plea. Your plea options are:
- Not Guilty – You contest the facts alleged
- Guilty – You admit guilt, and your case moves to sentencing
- No Contest – You don’t admit guilt, but you acknowledge that the facts alleged are true
Usually, we can appear on their behalf when clients hire us, so they don’t need to take time off work or school to attend the initial court date. At that time, we would enter a not guilty plea on your behalf, negotiate your driver’s license suspension if applicable, and request police reports from the day of the incident.
Can I Get Driving Privileges after a DUI?
After a Westerville DUI charge, there are a few different ways to get driving privileges back. You can request a stay of your license suspension, which would give you your full license back while your case is pending. We can also work to negotiate limited driving privileges to permit you to drive for work, school, and medical reasons.
If your license is suspended, you can reinstate it by serving the suspension imposed by the court, paying reinstatement fees ($50 minimum), and providing proof of insurance that covers the length of the suspension. If your suspension is for a repeat offense, you may have to complete a treatment or rehabilitation program before getting your license back. When represented by an experienced attorney, this is not a difficult process.
Who is the Prosecutor?
Mike Fultz is the prosecuting attorney for Westerville Mayor’s Court cases. He has prosecuted DUI, criminal, and traffic cases for the City of Westerville during his 11 years in practice.
Do I Get to See the Police Report?
As your Westerville defense lawyers, we will always make copies of all WPD police reports we receive and provide you with them. We ask that you take them home, review them thoroughly, and then send us an email with your thoughts. Make a note of any inconsistencies, as well as your summary of what occurred at the time of the alleged offense.
Contact a Westerville Defense Lawyer for Help
Let an experienced defense lawyer ease your mind when you face criminal or OVI charges in Westerville, Ohio. Your best defense is an attorney who knows the courts you’re about to enter and can look for opportunities to reduce or dismiss your charges, move your case out of Westerville if necessary, and get you through the process with a minimal negative impact on your life.
Now is the time to regain control. Don’t leave your future in the hands of the prosecution. Get a veteran Westerville DUI lawyer on your side. Call us at 614-500-3836, or reach out online to get a lawyer from Luftman, Heck & Associates on your team today.