Practicing law is an art, not a science, and there are various methods to develop skill at the art of lawyering. One method is to learn the hard way. In a recent Ohio OVI case, the defense lawyer learned the hard way how to appeal an Administrative License Suspension (A.L.S.). Hopefully, others will learn from this example.
In Ohio, an A.L.S. is separate from the underlying charge of O.V.I. An A.L.S. is imposed if a suspect is arrested for O.V.I. and either refuses a chemical test for alcohol/drugs or tests ‘over the limit’. The length of the A.L.S. and the suspect’s eligibility for limited driving privileges depend on whether the suspect has prior O.V.I. convictions and/or prior test refusals.
The A.L.S. can be appealed. Although the A.L.S. is separate from the O.V.I. case, a defendant may appeal the A.L.S., and/or seek limited driving privileges, in the context of the O.V.I. case. The A.L.S. appeal is filed with the court in which the O.V.I. case is being held, and the A.L.S. appeal is typically heard by the same judge who hears the O.V.I. case.
The A.L.S. was appealed in the case of State v. Schertzer. In that case, the defendant was arrested for O.V.I., and his breath test result was .303. As a result, Schertzer was subjected to a 90-day A.L.S. The defendant was arrested on June 6 and went to his initial court appearance on June 8. On September 2, 86 days after his initial appearance in court, the defense lawyer filed an appeal of the A.L.S.