A police officer was recently charged with DUI (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio) and Fleeing the Scene of an Accident. According to News 13 in Myrtle Beach, the officer is a sergeant who serves as the supervisor of the traffic division. In our OVI defense practice, we have represented clients suspected of OVI and Failure to Stop After Accident (commonly called ‘Hit-Skip’). In some cases, the driver is charged only with Hit-Skip. In other cases, the driver is charged with both Hit-Skip and OVI. Drivers in those situations also face the possibility of being charged with felony offenses.
When a suspect is in the custody of a law enforcement officer, the officer must provide Miranda warnings before questioning the suspect. If the officer does not give sufficient warnings, the suspect’s statements made in response to questioning cannot be used at trial. In a recent DUI Murder case in California, Miranda violations resulted in an appeals court ordering a new trial.
Following his recent arrest for DUI (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio), Bob Huggins resigned from his position as the men’s basketball coach at West Virginia University. His situation is illustrative of many high-profile individuals who have lost jobs due to a DUI/OVI. But it is not only high-profile individuals who face employment consequences for OVI cases. We are frequently asked the following questions about OVI cases and employment.
When a driver is prosecuted for operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio), what evidence is sufficient to sustain a conviction? The prosecution must prove the defendant operated a vehicle under the influence of a drug of abuse. That requires the prosecution to prove the defendant was impaired while operating the vehicle, identify the specific drug which was ingested, and link the drug’s ingestion to the defendant’s impairment.
I recently came across this article in an Ohio newspaper: Judge Denies Motion to Suppress Evidence. What does that mean in a DUI case (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio)? When a judge orders that evidence is suppressed, the evidence is excluded from trial. That means, even though the evidence existed, the jury does not hear about it. The two general bases for suppressing evidence are: (1) violations of the defendant’s Constitutional rights; and (2) the government’s failure to comply with statutory (legislative) law.
According to a story by NBC4i, the Ohio State Highway Patrol reports that 30% of DUI arrests (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio’) come from repeat offenders. In Ohio, the mandatory OVI penalties increase with every conviction in ten-years (called the ‘lookback period’). Those penalties include vehicle sanctions, license suspensions, incarceration, and other consequences.
With the media reporting the recent changes to Ohio’s distracted driving laws, Ohio drivers probably have questions. In what circumstances am I prohibited from using a cell phone when I’m driving? In what circumstances am I permitted to use a cell phone when I’m driving? What is the law on ‘distracted driving’? Can I be stopped for violating these laws? What are the penalties if I’m caught? What if I am under 18? This article answers those questions.
The issue of venue recently arose in an Ohio Vehicular Homicide case. As reported by the Leader-Telegram, the defendant was accused of hitting two highway workers in Clark County. As a result of the collision, one worker died, and the other was seriously injured. The defense attorney filed a motion for change of venue. What is venue, and when can it be changed?
We’ve used this space in the past to discuss issues with Ohio’s approach to DUI (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio) cases involving marijuana. The rising prevalence of marijuana OVIs following Ohio’s legalization of medical marijuana has shown Ohio’s OVI laws are woefully out-of-date to deal with these issues. A recent bill in the Ohio Senate seeks to update the way the law treats marijuana OVIs. This bill, if passed, would have a profound impact on the way marijuana OVI cases are charged, handled by courts, and defended by OVI defense attorneys.
Rejecting a No Contest plea may be an abuse of a judge’s discretion, according to a case decided last week by the Ohio Supreme Court. A plea of No Contest is different than a guilty plea, and the plea of No Contest is used for two purposes in DUI (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio) cases. Although a judge’s approval is required for a plea of No Contest, the case decided last week makes it clear a judge’s refusal to give approval may be overturned.