Columbus DUI Information

Reported Accuracy of the Breath Test

Field sobriety tests are usually the first things that are asked for after being stopped by an officer for a possible DUI in Ohio. Failure of these tests can lead to you being asked to take a breathalyzer or blood test to determine your Blood Alcohol Concentration. Even if you refuse to take those tests, an officer can still arrest you if he determines via his own experience and judgment that you have been operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. However, a Columbus DUI lawyer can call into question the accuracy of these tests and whether they alone can prove that you were indeed too mentally impaired to be driving.

The two most common and accurate field sobriety tests are ones asking you to walk in a straight line and then turn, and also following a pencil with your eyes that is in the officer’s hands. The officer is looking for very specific things that he must record, including whether you step off the straight line, as well as whether you use your arms at all for balance. With the pencil test, the officer is looking for a twitch within your eyeball that you may not even be aware of. If the officer does not record all findings correctly, your Columbus DUI attorney can use that as part of your defense.

There are other field sobriety tests that are also used in the state of Ohio, including touching your finger to your nose and a one-legged stand. However, some experts feel they are not as reliable as the walking and turning and pencil test. Also, many feel that these tests alone may be enough for an arrest, but are not enough for a conviction in court and need to be used in conjunction with chemical testing when presented as evidence. The officer should also inform you that you are not required to take these tests and if arrested anyway, refusing to take them cannot penalize you in any way.

The methods used to determine intoxication, as well as whether proper procedures were performed, are often called into question by a DUI attorney in Columbus and is why many lawyers recommend that you plead not guilty to DUI charges. An admission of guilt and a subsequent conviction can give you a permanent criminal record, as DUIs are not eligible for expungement in Ohio. Hiring an experienced DUI lawyer in Columbus may be the best defense to this criminal offense.

 

Common Field Sobriety Tests in Ohio

A breathalyzer test is the most common and convenient way of testing what a person’s Blood Alcohol Content is when suspected of drunk driving across the country and Ohio is no exception. It is a preferred means of testing due to its use at the scene of a DUI and the quick results it records. However, the accuracy of these tests have been brought into question in recent years and your Columbus DUI attorney may question its accuracy when defending your case.

While blood and urine tests may also be given to determine intoxication (these tests work well for detecting drugs, something breathalyzers cannot detect), you have no choice which test is administered, as that is at the discretion of the officer. However, there is a possibility due to sheer physiology that a breathalyzer test (and other tests) may not give correct results. The legal limit Blood Alcohol Concentration in Ohio is .08% and anything above that can result in an arrest.

However, it is thought that women’s bodies metabolize alcohol differently than men’s bodies do and because of this, the results cannot be considered blanket for everyone and an experienced Columbus DUI lawyer may bring this up in court. In addition, there is also some question as to the difference of measuring the concentration in alcohol in the blood as opposed to the brain, as it is alcohol in the brain that can impair your mental capacity to drive safely.

How BAC tests are performed is something else you DUI attorney in Columbus will investigate. Was everything done according to procedure? Was the breathalyzer calibrated correctly and as often as it should be and were strict records kept on this matter? And, were the devices used approved by the state? The two types of breathalyzers approved for use in Ohio are called the BAC Datamaster and the Intoxilyzer 5000. All of these things have a bearing on the outcome of your case and can decide whether you will be acquitted or not. This is another reason many lawyers recommend pleading not guilty in DUI cases and fighting against a conviction since there are various ways to defend a DUI case.

Remember, whether it is your first offense or whether you have been charged with DUIs in the past, a conviction can have a devastating effect on your life as well as the life of your family. For the best defense possible, call a DUI lawyer in Columbus today for the help that you need.

First Time DUI Offense

Although being charged with a DUI for the first time in Ohio is a criminal misdemeanor offense, it is still a serious charge that needs serious attention. A conviction can become a part of your permanent criminal record and you can face jail time and steep fines. The legal limit for Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in Ohio is .08% and being above that amount can have serious consequences that can change the course of your life. A Columbus DUI attorney can help see to it that the consequences are as minimal as possible.

A first-time offense conviction for a DUI in Ohio can come with a license suspension of one full year if you refused chemical testing at the time of your arrest. If you were tested and your BAC was above the legal limit, you can lose your driving privileges for three months. That would just be the result of an Administrative License Suspension by the BMV. The court can then choose to suspend your license for a period of six months to three years, and also may choose to place an Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle. This would be like a breathalyzer permanently installed in your car that can measure your BAC before you choose to operate a motor vehicle. Losing your vehicle and driving privileges can lead to eventual high insurance premiums and a possible loss of work due to not having a car. The right DUI lawyer in Columbus may be able to save your license.

The fines you face for a DUI conviction in Ohio can also be steep and a good Columbus DUI lawyer will try to see to it that you receive the minimum fine of $375. The maximum fine would be $1,075. The jail time you may face may seem relatively minimal, but can still be a frightening experience if jail is what a judge sentences you to.

You can spend three days in jail and if your BAC was unusually high, you can face an additional three days behind bars. There is also a possibility of up to five years on probation, as well as a three-day driver intervention program.

An unusually high BAC may also get your restricted license plates once you are permitted to drive again. The penalties for second and subsequent DUI offenses are even more severe and can become felony charges rather than misdemeanor. You can ill-afford a conviction whether this is your first or subsequent offense and an experienced DUI attorney in Columbus is needed to give you the best possible defense.

DUI of a Minor in Columbus

Being charged with a DUI in Ohio if you are under the age of 21 is different than if you are over the age of 21. The official name for this offense is Operating a Vehicle after Underage Consumption (OVUAC) and you can face different penalties than an adult, although the general arrest and court procedures are indeed similar. However, this does mean that hiring a Columbus DUI attorney who has experience defending underage clients is of the utmost importance.

If you are under 21, drinking in Ohio and in the 49 other states is illegal. However, many young people do drink, and like adults, they choose to drive afterwards and may soon need a Columbus DUI lawyer. When under 21, the legal limit for your Blood Alcohol Concentration cannot be more than .02% under the state’s zero tolerance laws. If you are then charged with an OVUAC, you can face an Administrative License Suspension with the Ohio BMV.

This means it is possible to lose your drivers license for up to two years. If the sentence is less, you still must wait two months to get minimum driving privileges and can end up with yellow license plates. You may also be required to take your drivers’ exam again and if you are charged and convicted with another DUI as an adult, you may be forced onto the state’s habitual offender registry. You can also end up subject to more severe penalties as an adult if you were previously convicted as a minor.

Your DUI lawyer in Columbus will warn you that it is not only your license at stake in this matter. You can also face fines of up to $250 and even face the possibility of 30 days behind bars. If you are under 21 and are convicted for an OVUAC twice, then you may have to pay $500 in fines, spend two months in jail and can lose your driving privileges for up to five years.

As a young person, your entire life is ahead of you and a OVUAC charge can have a devastating and life-altering effect in your future. It can interfere with school in the here and now and job prospects in the future, and can also be an emotionally trying experience for both you and your parents. You may already regret your decision to drink and drive, but you may not have to regret it for years to come with the right DUI lawyer in Columbus by your side.

Updates to Columbus DUI Laws

New changes were made to the DUI laws in Ohio in 2008 that can affect you if it is not your first time being charged with driving under the influence. It can change your charge from a misdemeanor one to a felony and the penalties you face may be more harsh and severe. Ensuring that you hire a Columbus DUI attorney who is familiar with these news laws and has defended repeat offenders before is imperative for a successful outcome in your case.

If you are charged with a DUI and have had two or more convictions previously in a six-year period, you can be charged with a criminal felony. You will be required to submit to any test requested to determine what your Blood Alcohol Concentration is, and if you refuse you, law enforcement officials are permitted to use “whatever means necessary” to see to it that a chemical test is administered. If your refusal results in no BAC test being given, then you can be tried as if your alcohol level was considered high tier even if it was not.

Your best bet is to what the officer asks, but your Columbus DUI attorney does have the right to question is everything was done according to procedure at the time of your arrest. Your vehicle can also be impounded and you can lose your drivers license for up to one year. On a second offense, you may be required to attend an alcohol treatment program and by the third offense, you may be forced to turn your vehicle over to the state. You can even lose your license for up to a decade and then only receive it back with restrictions, something you may not be able to afford if your car is necessary for work purposes.

There are various other life-consequences you can face if you are convicted of a DUI offense several times in the state of Ohio. If you do retain rights to your license and car, you insurance premiums may sore through the roof and you can also lose traveling rights in Canada. And unlike other states, DUI convictions in Ohio are not eligible to be expunged from your criminal record so this can be a permanent mark on your life. A DUI attorney in Columbus with multiple offense experience can help you possibly avoid a conviction, and also receive the least possible penalties allowed by law.

 

Facing a DUI Conviction in Ohio

A DUI conviction in Ohio can have life-changing consequences. You can be subject to steep fines, time spent in jail and an extended loss of your driving privileges. One fateful decision you already regret can alter the course of your life as well as the lives of your loved ones. This is a criminal offense that must be taken seriously and it hiring the best Columbus DUI attorney possible is the best way to make sure you are defended adequately in a court of law.

There are several resources you can use while searching for the right DUI lawyer in Columbus to represent you. You can go the old fashioned route and try the phone book, but do not just choose the first ad you come across. Make a list of several names you see, but also utilize the World Wide Web as best you can. You can also make contact with the Ohio state bar association, as they can provide you with a list of DUI lawyers in your area, as well as what their specific credentials are.

Often, the court can provide you with a list of possible attorneys, as can friends or family who may have been through the same thing. You want to hire someone who is knowledgeable about the ins and outs of Ohio DUI laws and is familiar with the various changes that were made in 2008, especially if this is not your first driving under the influence offense.

Once you have compiled a list of lawyers, make some phone calls and talk to a few of them. Explain the details of your case in brief and see if you can get a feel for which attorney may be the right one from you. It is possible to make that short list even shorter that way, with your next step being setting up appointments with one or two and see how you get along in person. The right rapport with your Columbus DUI attorney is extremely helpful, as you two will be spending a lot of time together as your defense is prepared.

Look for honesty in whoever you choose and not someone who promises you an outcome that seems too good to be true. You have a long journey ahead of you and your DUI attorney in Columbus needs to inform you of that, as well as educate you on what you may be up against in court.

Would You Dare Break DUI Laws in Columbus?

You’re on your way home, driving your new car, when a police officer asks you to stop. They ask you some questions and after a while, the officer informs you that you’re charged with DUI. What! You’re about to lose control. You have no idea what will happen to you. You just want to go home.

No matter how careful we are, sometimes we commit violations of public laws. But the question is what will you do when confronted with such a case?  In this article, we will talk about DUI violations in Columbus and what you can do when charged with this felony.

DUI Violations – Common Scenarios

There are three possible things that may result from committing DUI. These are: DUI arrest, suspension of license, and paying fines.

DUI Arrest

When charged with DUI, the first thing that the police officers will do is to arrest you. Even though it may only take several hours, the fact that you’re behind bars can be a traumatic ordeal. It’s basically embarrassing. Just imagine if you’re a big boss in your office or you’re a leader of a group or you’re a public figure. The next morning you’ll see your face on the local newspapers and you will not want to go out until the gossip subsides.

Deferral of Driving License

Everyone knows how important is to have a car. But if you have a car, but you don’t have a license to drive, it’ll be useless. One of the worst consequences of committing DUI in Columbus is the probability of losing your driver’s license. The suspension of license can either be temporary or permanent.

Paying Fines

Paying fines is one of the most common penalties employed in these types of offenses. When there’s a penalty, there’s a fine.  Fines in DUI offenses are very high, especially if it leads to car accidents where there have been damages on property. The fines may reach tens of thousands. Expect to pay even more when you hit a person! Aside from the money, you will have to deal with your conscience.

There are plenty of Columbus DUI lawyer law offices that specialize in assisting people charged with DUI violations. You will want to get their help to possibly break away from these penalties. Make sure you hire a highly experienced lawyer- the one who has had experience in these matters.

Dealing with a Tough Offense of DUI

Driving under the influence is addressed as criminal offense all over America. When you’re charged with DUI complaints, the vital thing you will want to do is get a lawyer.

How you will get a proficient Columbus DUI lawyer Law office?

If you have been charged with DUI violation in the past or in any other states in the US, you will know exactly what to do, including how to hire a lawyer. But if this is the first time, you’re basically facing a very tough challenge. Getting a lawyer is something you want to do properly. You will want to invest time to compare the legal backgrounds and qualifications of the DUI attorney you will work with. Why? Because your fate depends on this person.

Ideally, you’d like to make things run smoothly and you will want to go home completely free from legal fines and all other liabilities.

The initial step would be to ask around. Ask anyone you know and you trust. If you don’t know of anybody who is going to make available to you referrals, then you might search the net and spend an afternoon to find the contact details of DUI lawyer Columbus. You can join legal forums online (there are a lot of them). You’ll find a community of people who have also experienced the same thing that you’re going through right now and they might recommend a good lawyer to you. Make sure to limit your search in the attorneys in Columbus. Take note that DUI laws vary from state to state so get the one who is very much familiar with the DUI policies in Columbus.

Before you dial the phone number of the attorney, always consider that person’s credentials and legal qualifications. The legal professional that should represent you must make you feel at ease. In case of incertitude, questions, and questions about the law, your lawyer will help you out. The DUI legal professional will perform all his/her best to make things turn out favorably for you.

More experienced attorneys are most likely to offer expensive services. But this should not discourage you. You can try to talk to the attorney about your financial standing. They will understand. There are legal DUI practitioners who are also experienced but don’t charge too much. If you will just give time to look for one, you’re sure to end up working with the right defense counsel.

General Facts You Should Know About DUI

1. It’s a serious offense

If you live in Columbus or any other part of the country, you should be aware that the DUI laws in your area are comprehensive and involve penalties that you might find very distressing. You may end up spending years in jail, you can be restricted to drive in particular states, and you might be blacklisted by the car insurance providers. Aside from these consequences, you also get to bear the traumatic feelings of being termed a “criminal”.

2. Offenders are charged based on their Blood Alcohol Content

There are plenty of ways on how to ascertain whether a person is intoxicated. For DUI offenses in Columbus, law enforcement officers make use of varying types of tools to prosecute drivers who are judged to be intoxicated when driving. One of the most widely known soberness trials used by the authorities, not just in Columbus, but also in some other states in the US is the use of breathalyzers. Breathalyzers are uncomplicated and are not unpleasant for the offender. There’s no need to use a needle or syringe just to measure one’s BAC. The person charged may also be asked to walk in a straight line or do some balancing tests.

3. Legal Fees Vary

It’s not always that legal fees are expensive. Lawyers charge their clients in different ways. You might be charged on an hourly basis. If the lawyer you’re dealing with has this kind of terms, make sure to know how much his /her hourly rate is. Some offer flat rates.  So, from the start to end of the legal proceedings, you will need to pay a certain amount of money. If you don’t have enough money, you can always seek help from the government through the public attorneys. They are experienced too and they don’t cost much (sometimes, their services don’t cost anything at all). If you’re accused with a serious offense of DUI in Columbus, the best remedy would be to hire attorney at law. But before you do that, you really should know exactly how much it will cost you.

In any DUI client-lawyer relationship, the fiscal facets should be managed as early as possible to ensure you are not shocked by the price of the legal services given to you. During the earliest consultation, ask how much you are going to pay exactly and ask why. You must be vocal about the issues on compensation with your attorney.

4. DUI cases can be resolved by adept Columbus DUI lawyer law

Don’t be afraid to face the charges against you. Before anything else, hire a good lawyer who will help you with your situation. There are so many DUI attorneys in Columbus who are more than capable and very much experienced in defending clients accused of DUI. You can escape legal charges if you do have an adept lawyer.

Should I hire a DUI lawyer?

If the offense you committed has resulted in grave physical injuries to another person or persons, as well as damages to property, you definitely need to acquire legal services. Once charged with DUI in Columbus, you can expect that the authorities to be very tough on you and they will make sure you get charged for the offense. Hiring a lawyer may save you from this undesirable scenario.

I was really drunk that time, how will the lawyer defend me?

There are many ways to establish whether a person is intoxicated. For DUI crimes in Columbus, law enforcement officers make use of different types of tools to prosecute car owners who are said to be intoxicated when driving. One of the most common sobriety trials used by the local authority or council, not just in Columbus but also in a few other states in the US, is the use of breathalyzers. Breathalyzers are quick and are not unpleasant for people unlike getting a blood sample. For you to be halted for DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE in Columbus, it must be found that the alcoholic beverage content in the blood of the alleged offender is .08% or above.

But then, everyone has a different level of tipsiness or intoxicant leeway. There are people who don’t get drunk even though consuming several bottles of strong beer. Even though he or she is not inebriated, the BAC level of his blood will be above the typical amount.

Lawyers are very good in questioning the procedures undertaken against their clients. They may attack the reliability of breathalyzers and other sobriety machines utilized by the law enforcement agents to gauge your intoxication.

I don’t understand what’s happening in my case. What should I do?

An experienced lawyer can actually make the situation simpler for you. The Columbus DUI lawyer law will explain each one of the legal features of the misdemeanors committed and what you should expect. Giving you false hope is not a sign that the legal professional is credible. A good lawyer will see to it that you are treated right and you know exactly what’s happening in and out the courtroom. As the person accused of the offense, it’s your right to be informed of the accusations against you. Your lawyer will ensure that you receive due process of law all through the arraignment until the judgment.

Getting in touch with a Columbus DUI attorney law office can tremendously assist anyone charged with driving while inebriated. The personal injury attorney will facilitate in ascertaining whether the sobriety tests carried on are adequate to prove the supposed insobriety. A little doubtfulness can destroy the prosecutions argument and the arrestee might be exonerated.