Defenses to DUI Charges
Due process has allowed countless individuals throughout Ohio the ability to fight the criminal charges against them. Even with due process protecting many from unfair incarceration, the justice system is not infallible. There is always potential for subjective judgments, improper procedures or human errors, just to name a few.
This has lead to many situations where individuals accused of driving under the influence are handed down disproportionate prison sentences, exorbitant fines and burdensome probationary standards, along with a permanent criminal record. All of these issues can severely affect many areas of a person's life, from their social and economic standing to their eligibility to enter certain professions.
Because of the inefficiencies in our justice system, and the negative consequences that could arise, the need for a well-informed and qualified Franklin County DUI lawyer to stand at your side is paramount. An attorney will be able to make certain the process is completed in a fair and just manner by protecting your rights and providing transparent legal counsel.
There is simply too much at stake to take even a misdemeanor drunk or drugged driving charge lightly. The charges must be met with an aggressive and informed defense strategy that takes all factors of your case into account, so that you can fight to get the charges reduced or even dismissed.
Potential Defenses to Ohio DUI Charges
Our attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm are highly experienced in defending criminal traffic offenses and will use their extensive legal understanding to develop a strong defense. We use a proactive approach that assertively seeks out every relevant factor of your case while continually honing your overall defense strategy.
Joslyn Law Firm is a Columbus based, full-service OVI practice that will handle every step in the process, from analyzing chemical test results to investigating procedure used by law enforcement officers. Their knowledge of Ohio DUI laws and techniques used by the prosecution can also prove an asset in building a solid defense strategy.
To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call (513) 339-6289 or send an online message today. Joslyn Law Firm takes pride in its quick response time, so you will be well taken care of right away. We are proud to continue our mission of defending the futures of anyone charged drunk driving throughout Central Ohio, including the cities of Dublin, Westerville, Reynoldsburg, Gahanna, Hilliard, Circleville, Delaware, Newark and Lancaster, among many others.
Information on Ohio's DUI Laws and Potential Defenses
- Failure to Read Miranda Rights after OVI Arrest
- Unlawful Stop by Law Enforcement Officers
- Driver Did Not Have Actual Physical Control of Vehicle
- Demonstrating the Necessity Defense
- Weaknesses in Blood, Breath, or Urine Testing and Field Sobriety Tests
- Finding a Free Consultation to Review Your Charges with a Franklin County Lawyer
The United States legal system protects you from answering law enforcement questions that may seriously compromise your legal defense through self-incrimination. If the question posed to you effectually helps the officer make a case against you, then you should have been given your Miranda rights first. If the officer does not do so before asking such questions and after arrest, then your answers may be inadmissible in court.
One of your inherent rights under the United States Constitution is freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment. The relevant aspect of this right in DUI cases is the protection from being pulled over without probable cause in a traffic stop.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP), Columbus Police Officers, and other local law enforcement officers are trained to look for signs of potential drunk or drugged driving. This may include, among others:
- erratic driving
- failure to obey traffic signals
- driving 10 mph or less under the speed limit
- stopping without apparent cause
- drifting into other lanes
- taking excessively wide turns
- driving on the wrong side of the road
In the event your arresting officer cannot produce valid justification for pulling your vehicle over, your Columbus DUI lawyer can use this oversight in your defense strategy.
The officer does not have to prove the “driving” aspect of a DUI, as some people may wrongly assume. In fact, “driving” under the influence is not even an accurate term for the offense. The state of Ohio only needs to prove that a citizen had “actual physical control” of the car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Under §4511.194 in Ohio's Revised Code, "physical control" is defined as being in the driver's position of the front seat of a vehicle or having possession of the vehicle's ignition device. Under this definition, having the keys in your hands and sitting in the passenger seat may put you under the category of having physical control while driving under the influence.
This is a form of defense that attempts to prove that the individual charged with the DUI was forced to drive out of necessity. An example of this could be a situation in which the sober driver of the vehicle has a medical issue, such as a heart attack, and the inebriated passenger has to take them to the hospital. If an officer makes the OVI arrest after getting to the hospital, then you may be eligible for a necessity defense.
There are many aspects of the chemical testing process during a suspected DUI traffic stop that could be argued as ineffective or improperly implemented. This includes field sobriety tests that are administered in the incorrect fashion, making them invalid in court.
Science is also not perfect. Errors in DUI chemical testing, such as blood, breath, or urine tests, can also be used to weaken the prosecution's case against you. Some of the common errors in this testing include:
- Improper levels of preservative in blood sample
- Contamination of samples
- Lack of sample refrigeration
- Failures in evidence chain of custody
- Improperly calibrated machinery
- Failure to properly document evidence
Your Franklin County defense lawyer should carefully examine every aspect of the testing used by the arresting law enforcement agency. Any evidence of errors can be used to your advantage in developing a favorable motion, such as one to suppress evidence.
Please keep in mind that the defenses noted on this page may not be available in each case. The circumstances of your arrest and your criminal history have a direct impact on the strategies that your OVI defense lawyer may use. Such advice can only be given during an official discussion with a licensed Ohio lawyer, after an attorney-client relationship has been established.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI and need legal representation, call Joslyn Law Firm today. Our attorneys will be able to provide a high level of legal counsel that is both straight forward and effective. They take a scientific and fact based approach to law, using the details of the case in conjunction with their legal understanding to produce a defense strategy that weakens or eliminates the prosecution's case against you.
Our Columbus criminal defense firm serves the needs of residents in and around central Ohio, including Franklin County, Pickaway County, Madison County, Fayette County, Union County, Delaware County, Licking County and Fairfield County.
To discuss your charges and potential defense options in the form of a free consultation with an attorney, call (513) 339-6289 or send an online message today. You can be confident that the attorney taking on your case will be your biggest advocate, defending your name and freedom throughout the entire process.