The majority of the Columbus OVI cases do not make it to trial in court, they are settled during the pretrial period. This is why it is very important that you hire an experienced Columbus OVI attorney to handle your case. Before a case makes it to court, it passes through many pre-trial Procedures such as arraignments and pretrial motions.
During an arraignment the court will the read the charges against you; you will have to enter a plea either “Guilty” or “Not Guilty”. If you plead “Not Guilty” then you will be given a chance to review the prosecutor’s evidence and defend yourself against all accusations being made by them. During this time you will also have the opportunity to appeal against any administrative license suspensions.
The most common OVI offenses are misdemeanors and they are largely governed under traffic Laws; Serious offenses with repeated OVI priors will be considered a felony. Felony OVI charges are governed by Criminal Laws and they are charged by an indictment.
The Traffic Laws, unlike the criminal laws, require that some motions must be before entering a plea. Failure to make the motions in due time can result in a waiver. It is therefore crucial that the council considers some motions to be entered if the plea of “not guilty” is to be entered in a misdemeanor case.
Following are two pre-trail motions that must be made before a plea is entered:
– Objections and Defenses based on the defects in the institution of Prosecution
– Objections and Defenses based on the defects in the complaint
The Following Pre-trial motions must be made 7 days before a trial or 35 days after the arraignment:
– Motion to Suppress Evidence. This includes but is not limited to the identification testimony on the grounds that it was obtained illegally. (any objections to the admission of chemical test results must also be included in the motion to suppress in Ohio)
– Requests and motions for discovery.
– Motions for severance of charges.
The Pretrial hearing gives the Criminal Defense Attorney a chance to discuss the defendant’s case with the Prosecutor. This stage generally occurs after discovery or when evidence has been collected by both parties. The value and strength of evidence may be discussed and a plea bargain negotiated. If both parties agree then a plea may be entered by the defendant under a plea agreement. This plea may be of a lesser offense.
During a motions hearing, the court will consider the pretrial defense motions to suppress evidence. At this stage, your attorney will have a chance to challenge the validity of the evidence compiled by the government against you. It is important that you hire an experienced attorney with prior OVI experience and knowledge about the validity of blood and chemical tests. Your attorney can challenge the accuracy of the BAC chemical tests during this trial. If it is proved that the tests were inaccurate, this can destroy the prosecutor’s case.