I’m not crazy about cold weather, and autumn signals the inevitable temperature decreases in Ohio. On the other hand, autumn also means the O.S.U. football season, as well as the annual DUI defense seminar in Las Vegas. I have attended the seminar about 20 times, and this year I gave a presentation.
The Dominy Law Firm was recently listed as a “Best Law Firm” by U.S. News & World Report. The publication’s rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, as well as peer review from leading attorneys. The Dominy Law Firm is one of only four law firms in Ohio named as a “Tier 1 Best Law Firm” for DUI/OVI Defense and also named as a “Best Law Firm” for General Criminal Defense.
There has not been a live DUI defense seminar in Ohio for over a year. The Premier Ohio DUI Defense Seminar, hosted by the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (OACDL) is typically held in March. This year, with the hope of having participants present in-person, the seminar was postponed until June. The postponement paid-off, and the 20th annual seminar was not only live (with reduced capacity), but was also live-streamed to lawyers across the state. It wasn’t held at the usual time, but it had the usual high quality.
Being charged with Vehicular Homicide or Vehicular Assault is stressful. Individuals in that situation often experience feelings of guilt and fear. For those individuals, it would be helpful to have a solid understanding of the offense they are charged with, the penalties they are facing, and the court process ahead of them. It would also be beneficial for them to learn about the evidence used in court and possible defense strategies. Two new books contain this useful information: the Ohio Vehicular Homicide Guide and the Ohio Vehicular Assault Guide.
Many people charged with DUI (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio), especially those charged with a first offense, feel like they are in the dark. They do not understand the elements and consequences of OVI, and they do not know what to expect in the court process. They also are uncertain about whether to hire a lawyer and how to find a good defense attorney. I recently published a new book, the Ohio DUI/OVI Guide, which answers most of the questions people ask in this situation. My hope is that those who read the guide will no longer be in the dark.
We here at the Dominy Law Firm are big fans of the classic game show “Jeopardy”. With the fast-paced trivia challenge and Alex Trebek’s unmatched gravitas, there is little not to like. We are also big fans of the Constitutional protection against Double Jeopardy. This protection is enshrined in the 5th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution, as well as Article I, section 10 of the Ohio Constitution. It prevents people from being prosecuted for a crime more than once or being punished multiple times for the same conduct. The protection against double jeopardy occasionally is used as a defense in DUI cases (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio).
A semi rolled-over and spilled about 11,000 salmon onto the highway. As the fish flopped around on the road, the truck driver was charged with DUI. But it turned-out he had ‘auto-brewery syndrome’, a condition in which his body makes its own alcohol. This condition is rare but has been identified many times. For a person charged with DUI (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio) who drank no alcohol, auto-brewery syndrome may be responsible.
There is a difference between what generally ‘makes sense’ and what is sufficient evidence in court. In a recent Ohio DUI/OVI case, the prosecution’s failure to prove all the elements of an offense resulted in one conviction being reversed and probably should have resulted in a second conviction being reversed as well. This case from an Ohio court of appeals also illustrates important lessons for litigating DUI/OVI cases involving drugs.
OVI trials sometimes involve testimony from expert witnesses. Those witnesses include pharmacologists who testify about the accuracy of the defendant’s breath test result. A recent decision from an Ohio Court of Appeals demonstrates the importance of assessing the quality of the expert witness report and evaluating the utility of anticipated expert testimony.
Destruction of evidence by the government can violate a defendant’s right to due process of law. Due process violations often lead to cases being dismissed. Using dismissal as a remedy is based on the principle that denying a defendant access to evidence can make a trial unfair. This is particularly true when the evidence is ‘exculpatory’: it tends to disprove guilt or is otherwise favorable to the defendant. In DUI cases (called “OVI” cases in Ohio), the evidence often includes video from a police cruiser, a body camera, or a police station. When such a video is destroyed by the government, does the case get dismissed? Like so many questions in the legal world, the answer is: