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DUI Defense

Pulled over for a DUI in Ohio? What are your rights?

By April 24, 2024No Comments

Navigating a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) stop can be an anxiety-inducing experience. However, it’s crucial to remember that you have rights safeguarded by the law. Understanding these rights empowers you to protect yourself in such situations.

In times of distress, legal counsel is your greatest ally. Ohio’s esteemed criminal defense attorney, Max Hiltner, stands ready to offer his experience and support, ensuring your rights are upheld and your interests are protected.

DUIs in Ohio

In Ohio, you can be deemed guilty of “operating a vehicle under the influence,” commonly  referred to as OVI, under any of the following circumstances:

  • Your blood alcohol content (BAC) registers at least .08%
  • Your urine alcohol concentration is .110 or higher
  • You possess a specific quantity of marijuana, LSD, cocaine, heroin, amphetamine, methamphetamine, or PCP in your system
  • You are deemed “under the influence” of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both

While the interpretation of some of these conditions may be subjective, generally speaking, you won’t face arrest for a DUI unless a biometric test, such as a breathalyzer, indicates that your BAC surpasses the legal limit or you decline to undergo a chemical test.

Consequences for OVI in Ohio

The consequences of an OVI conviction in Ohio can be severe and vary based on the details of the offense. 

The consequence, including the jail time that a person charged will receive is determined by the level of intoxication and whether it’s a first, second, third, or fourth offense within a ten-year period.

A first DUI offense within this timeframe could result in up to six months in jail, five years of probation, and fines reaching $1,075. A second offense mandates a minimum of ten days in jail, a fine of up to $1,625, alongside similar penalties to a first-time offense. 

For a third offense, penalties escalate to 30 days to one year in jail, up to five years of probation, and fines up to $2,750. A fourth offense elevates to a felony charge, potentially leading to one year in jail and fines of up to $10,500. 

Notably, if your BAC registers over .17, the OVI is classified as “high level,” potentially resulting in doubled jail time for the offenses. Refer to the Ohio OVI sentencing chart for further details on potential consequences.

  1. The Right to Remain Silent Except for Providing Identification Anything you say could be used against you in court, so refraining from answering questions such as “Have you had anything to drink tonight?” or “Where are you coming from?” is advisable. However, you are obligated to provide certain identifying information, such as your name, license, and proof of insurance.
  1. The Right to Refuse Consent to a Vehicle Search
    Unless the police officer possesses a search warrant or probable cause, they are not legally permitted to search your vehicle without your consent.
  1. The Right to Decline Roadside Field Sobriety Tests
    These tests are almost impossible to pass even when sober, and they are subjectively evaluated by the officer. They are primarily used as grounds for arrest to facilitate a request for a chemical test back at the station.
  1. The Right to Decline a Roadside Portable Breath Test (PBT)
    PBTs, conducted on the roadside, are inaccurate and primarily serve to establish probable cause for arrest. There are no legal penalties for refusing this test, and its results are not admissible in court due to their unreliability.
  1. The Right to Legal Representation
    You have the fundamental right to request to speak with your Ohio-based criminal defense attorney to seek legal counsel and guidance tailored to your situation.They will answer your questions and concerns and ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

Implied Consent in Ohio

Under Ohio’s implied consent law, all drivers must submit to chemical testing for sobriety, whether that’s a blood test, a breath test, or a urine test.

If you refuse to submit to one of these tests, your license could be suspended for up to one year before you’re even convicted.

However, your criminal defense attorney in Ohio can help get you driving privileges to most places you need to travel within 30 days of your arrest. Additionally, refusing the test typically makes your case more defensible because there isn’t a scientific number the State can point to to prove intoxication.

Also, if you do the test and blow over, it’s much more likely you’ll be convicted of an OVI, and your license will be immediately suspended for at least 90 days and at least 1 year if convicted.

To get the best possible outcome for your case, such as the possibility toget your charges dismissed, speaking to a reliable, seasoned lawyer focused on DUI cases is a must.

Contact Ohio-based Hiltner Trial Lawyers for DUI Defense Today!

At Hiltner Trial Lawyers, we understand the weight of uncertainty and fear that comes with facing criminal accusations, such as DUI. Our mission is deeply rooted in protecting your rights and championing your future. 

With a compassionate approach and unwavering dedication, we’ve stood by countless individuals grappling with DUI/OVI charges, guiding them toward a brighter tomorrow.

You don’t have to face this challenge alone. Let us be your steadfast advocates, tirelessly working to secure the best possible outcome for your case.

Contact us today to schedule a free confidential and complimentary consultation

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