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Cincinnati Ohio

DUI / OVI Defense Attorney

We’ve all made mistakes we look back on with remorse. At Hiltner Trial Lawyers, most of the people we represent are in the same position – but there’s always more to their story, and sometimes they’re even wrongly accused.

If you are charged with or even accused of driving under the influence or operating a vehicle while intoxicated in Cincinnati, Ohio, you may be facing serious penalties. That’s where Hiltner Trial Lawyers come in.

Call 330-475-3164 for a free consultation

“Max Hiltner is an excellent advocate. I have witnessed his performance in court, and have had him on my side as well. There is no attorney I would trust more in a difficult situation.”

- Nat P.

Driving Under the Influence Cases in Cincinnati, Ohio

In the state of Ohio, it is against the law to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a person is caught driving under the influence, they may be charged with a DUI. 

This is a serious offense that can result in high fines, jail time, and a driver’s license suspension.

Driving under the influence is often referred to as “drunk driving.” In Ohio, it is also known as “operating a vehicle while intoxicated” (OVI).

Ohio law states that iit is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. This BAC level can be reached by drinking just one or two alcoholic beverages, depending on the person’s weight and other factors.

A first-time DUI offense in Ohio is typically classified as a misdemeanor. However, if there are aggravating circumstances present, such as a high BAC level or an accident resulting in injury or death, the charge may be upgraded to a felony.

The penalties for a DUI conviction in Ohio depend on the severity of the offense. A first-time offender with no aggravating circumstances may face up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. A second offense within six years can result in jail time of up to one year and/or a fine of up to $2,500. A third offense within six years is a felony and can lead to imprisonment of up to five years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

At Hiltner Trial Lawyers, we have successfully defended many people with DUI / OVI charges.

Call 330-475-3164 for a free consultation

What is considered operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) in Cincinnati, Ohio?

Non-commercial drivers in Ohio who have a blood alcohol level over .08 are legally drunk. (Generally, this is equivalent to three drinks an hour for women and four drinks an hour for men, although this estimation varies widely according to age, body type, and alcohol use experience.)

To determine the blood alcohol level of drivers arrested for OVIs, Ohio’s implied consent law requires them to undergo chemical testing. It’s up to the officer to decide what type of test to administer if he suspects you of drunk driving: blood, breath, or urine. You may, however, be suspended for one year if you refuse to take the test.

Across the country, police officers use three main field sobriety tests when making DUI arrests and stops:

  • You will be asked to walk nine steps in a straight line, heel to toe, and turn around to walk back the same way without using your arms to balance
  • You will be asked to stand on one leg with the other leg six inches off the ground.
  • Testing for horizontal gaze nystagmus – The officer will stand in front of you and move an object for you to follow with your eyes

Additionally, there are other tests available, but each has its own shortcomings and potential for misleading results.

It is also possible to be charged with an OVI in Ohio if you have a certain concentration of amphetamine, cocaine, heroin, LSD, marijuana, methamphetamine, or PCP in your body.

Know your rights in Cincinnati DUI cases

Normally, in order to pull you over, a police officer has to have “reasonable suspicion.” This means that they can’t pull you over randomly, an officer must have a reasonable, articulable suspicion that you are breaking the law.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to OVI checkpoints. If they follow the proper procedure, the police can set up random checkpoints to pull people over and test for sobriety.

Whether you’re pulled over on the side of the road or stopped at a checkpoint, you still have certain rights:

The right to remain silent other than to give your name: Anything you say could be used against you in court, so you don’t have to answer questions like “have you had anything to drink tonight?” or “Where are you coming from?” However, you do have to provide certain identifying information such as your name, license, proof of insurance, etc.

The right to refuse consent to a search of your car: Unless the police officer has a search warrant (or probable cause), they’re legally not allowed to search your car without your consent.

The right to refuse to perform roadside field sobriety tests: These tests are almost impossible to pass even if you’re sober, and are subjectively judged by the officer and merely used to arrest you to get you back to the station to request a chemical test.

The right to refuse to submit to a roadside portable breath test (PBT): PBTs are inaccurate breath tests done on the side of the road to help the officer establish the probable cause needed to arrest you.  There is no penalty for refusing this test and the result of this test is not admissible in court because they aren’t reliable.

The right to an attorney: You have the right to ask to speak to your attorney, or ask to speak to a public defender if you don’t have one.


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Cincinnati, Ohio DUI Defense Attorney Max Hiltner is here for you

At Hiltner Trial Lawyers, it’s our mission to protect your rights and defend your future when you’re accused of a crime. We have helped countless people deal with DUI/OVI charges in the past, and we know how to make sure you get the best deal for your situation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Call 330-475-3164 for a free consultation

“Max Hiltner is dynamite in the courtroom by connecting with the jury, recalling facts and cultivating good relationships with the opponents and presiding judge. He is professional, dedicated, honest and cares about the livelihood of his clients and their families. He excels in negotiating and hiring experts necessary for a well rounded defense. Max was one of my lawyers that stood between me and a life sentence. Without him on my team I would still be in prison. He will fight for you.”

- Colleen O.

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