DUI & Driving Privileges

How To Get Your License Back

May 14th, 2014

get your license backOften, the most pressing question in a DUI arrest is how to get your license back!

If you are stopped for an OVI, DUI or drunk driving and you refuse to take a chemical test (breathblood or urine), or if your test results exceed the legal limit of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), the police officer can and will take your driver’s license on the spot causing your drivers license to be suspended immediately.  This pre-conviction suspension is called the ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE SUSPENSION. The ALS is a suspension imposed by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles and not a suspension imposed by the court.  A court may not grant driving privileges for a certain period of time following the imposition of an ALS. O.R.C. 4510.13(A).  The amount of time between the imposition of the ALS suspension and the time you are eligible for limited driving privileges is called “hard time.”  How long the hard time lasts depends upon whether the person has any prior offenses and whether or not the person took the test or refused the test. Speak to your attorney at your initial consultation about how and when you will get your license back.

First Offense Midemeanor OVI Failed Chemical Test R.C. 4511.191(C): Occupational driving privileges cannot be granted during the following periods in test cases:

  • First 15 days of suspension on a first offense
  • First 30 days of suspension on a person who had a prior OVI or refusal within 6 years.
  • First 180 days for a person who has had 2 prior OVI/refusals within 6 years.
  • First 3 years of suspension on a person who had 3 or more previous OVI/refusals within 6 years

First Offense Misdemeanor OVI Refusal R.C. 4511.19(B): Occupational driving privileges cannot be granted during the following periods in refusal cases:

  • First 30 days of suspension on a first offense.
  • First 90 days of suspension on a person who had a previous refusal within 6 years.
  • First year of suspension on a person who had 2 previous refusals within 6 years.
  • First 3 years of suspension on a person who had 3 previous refusals within 6 years.
  • A person, who within the preceding 7 years, has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to 3 or more OVI violations cannot be granted limited privileges.

One of the first conversations you should have with your OVI lawyer will involve wether or not grounds exist for an appeal of the ALS.  You will discuss the limited circumstances under which an Administrative License Suspension can be challenged.  The court must hold the administrative license suspension hearing within five days of arrest.  You only have 30 days from your arraignment to file an appeal of the Administrative License Suspension. The scope of appeal is confined to four issues:

 1. Was your arrest based on reasonable grounds? 

2. Did the officer request that you to take a test? 

3. Were you made aware of the consequences if you refused or failed the test? 

4. Did you refuse or fail the test?

Charles M. Rowland II is familiar with the case law relevant to determining if an ALS appeal would be beneficial in your case.  He will check to see if the 2255 form (the yellow piece of paper you were given) was notorized.  The BMV must receive a notarized sworn copy of the 2255.  If the form is not executed as required by law, then he can bring that to the court’s attention and request that the ALS be terminated or stayed.  It is important to discuss whether or not you were able to produce the requested sample.  If you have a verifiable medical condition the Administrative License Suspension may not be plausible in your case.  No matter what the circumstances, Charles M. Rowland II will help secure you limited driving privileges for work or for school after the HARD TIME has passed.

Much confusion is caused by the fact that the Administrative License Suspension is a pre-trial suspension generated by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  The warnings given by the arresting officer are misleading.  Often a client will come to our office under the misimpression that the worst case scenario will be a 90 day suspension.  If our client refused a chemical test, they believe they are condemned to a one year suspension.  This is not usually the case.  Upon a plea to a reduced charge (such as Reckless Operation) or to an OVI,  the Administrative License Suspension will be terminated and the court will impose its own suspension.   The minimum mandatory suspension for a first OVI offense is six months.  This will horrify the person who believed that they were facing 90 days, but a welcome relief to people who thought they were going to have a one year suspension.

According to the Ohio BMV, the ALS Refusal Suspension will be terminated by the registrar upon notice that:

  • The person entered a plea of guilty to OVI and the refusal suspension arose from the same incident.
  • The person entered a plea of no contest to OVI, was found guilty and the refusal suspension arose from the same incident.

To make matters even more confusing, any suspension ordered by the Court is given a “class” numerical representation and any suspension given by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles is given a “letter” designation.  Here are the lists of the different “CLASSES” of suspensions in Ohio. See R.C. 4510.02(A) and R.C. 4510.02(B).

COURT SUSPENSIONS

  • Class 1: Lifetime
  • Class 2: 3yrs to life
  • Class 3: 2 – 10yrs
  • Class 4: 1 – 5yrs
  • Class 5: 6mos. – 3yrs.
  • Class 6: 3mos – 2yrs.
  • Class 7: “a definite period” – 1yr

BMV SUSPENSIONS (Note: all for a fixed length)

  • Class A: 3 yrs
  • Class B: 2 yrs
  • Class C: 1 yr
  • Class D: 6 mos
  • Class E: 3 mos
  • Class F: until conditions are met

It is advisable that you speak with Charles Rowland at the imposition of your suspension as many courts offer programs (at little or no cost) that help you get valid.

If you need to get your license back, contact Charles M. Rowland immediately! OVI Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can emailCharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

 For information about how to get your license back  and other  information and other city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Ohio BMV License Suspension

March 20th, 2014

BMV License SuspensionThe most common reasons that a person will have a driver’s license suspension by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles include:

  • Accumulating 12 “points” for traffic violations
  • Driving Without Insurance
  • Operating a Vehicle Impaired (testing over .08 or refusing to test)
  • Drug Offenses
  • Out-of-State DUI/OVI or drug related offenses

If you would like an unofficial copy of your driving record or more information on your type of license suspension or reinstatement, you can visit the BMV web site by clicking HERE.

You should not ignore a notice of suspension because it does not go away unless and until you pay the required reinstatement fees to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. You can appeal your BMV suspension by filing a proper petition with your local municipal court which is also empowered to give you driving privileges during the pendency of your license suspension.   The only exception exists if your license is suspended due to a failure to pay child support.  In such cases, petitions for driving privileges will be handled by the county’s Domestic Relations/Family Court.  Once you submit the appropriate paperwork and pay your filing fee, your appeal will be assigned to a Judge. At this time, you can also present a driving permit to the Court for consideration by a Judge. You can request driving privileges for work, educational or medical reasons.

The court will also allow you t set up a payment plan should you not be able to pay off your reinstatement fee in a lump sum.  The Ohio BMV will offer a driver’s license reinstatement fee installment plan to those individuals who have met all their reinstatement requirements except for paying reinstatement fees. The plan will allow individuals owing $150 or more in reinstatement fee to become valid or eligible to retest for a driver license by paying only $50.00 or more every 30 days for as long as it takes to pay their reinstatement fees.

The license suspension appeal process can vary from court to court.  It is often a very good investment to have an Ohio traffic attorney help you through this process.  The attorney will be familiar with the court’s appeal process and the required paperwork.  You should be able to get guidance as to how to get the maximum number of hours allowed by the court.  Often, people will need to address travel needs or have to deal with a work schedule that changes every week.  Again, a good attorney can deal with these issues.  They can also help avoid trouble by filing and re-filing should your circumstances change. It is also important to consider that driving without a valid permit could result in a criminal charge of Driving Under Suspension, a first degree misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and the possibility of 180 days in jail.

OVI Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio and protecting you.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can emailCharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

Ohio BMV license suspension information and other city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

MADD and NHTSA Push For Expanded Use of Ignition Interlock Devices

December 30th, 2013

 ignition-interlock

Mothers Against Drunk Driving and their government partners at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration want 2014 to be the year that all states expand the use of ignition interlock devices to include anyone convicted of a drunk driving offense.

Currently, ignition interlock devices are used in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. However, states vary widely in how the ignition interlock devices are used and which drivers are required to install them. In West Virginia, for example, interlock devices are only ordered at a judge’s discretion while Michigan mandates their use for drivers who are found with a BAC more than twice the state’s legal limit.  In Ohio, ignition interlock devices are required for any driver accused of a second OVI (drunk driving) offense and are otherwise discretionary to the judge.  NHTSA and MADD want to eliminate these discrepancies and urge the adoption of a model rule which covers first-time offenders with a BAC just over the legal limit and would require the installation of ignition interlock devices on hundreds of thousands more vehicles.  Currently, only 20 states require the devices for anyone convicted of a drunken driving-related offense.

Studies show that ignition interlock devices are about 75 percent effective in keeping those previously convicted of drunken driving from repeating their behavior. While there are numerous different designs, the typical ignition interlock requires the driver to blow into a tube that measures breath alcohol levels. If a person fails he or she may try again, for up to three attempts before the vehicle is locked down.  Other versions may also use cameras to record a person’s behavior behind the wheel. Courts may access the data recorded and, in some jurisdictions, a motorist who blew over the limit may face additional penalties.  Ignition Interlock devices typically cost about $75 and may run $50 a month or more to maintain.

 

Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

 Find information on Ignition Interlock devices on this blog, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

 

Limited Driving Privileges Under Ohio Revised Code 4510.021

December 26th, 2013

limited driving privilegesQ. Can I get limited driving privileges during the pendency of my OVI case?

A court may grant limited driving privileges to a person who has had their license suspended pursuant to a pending OVI.  The Ohio Revised Code, 4510.021 limits driving to the following purposes: (1) Occupational, educational, vocational, or medical purposes; (2) Taking the driver’s or commercial driver’s license examination; and (3) Attending court-ordered treatment.  A court is granted broad discretion to impose restrictions so long as the restrictions are reasonable.  While most courts will not impose an ignition interlock devise or restricted “party” plates on a first offense OVI, the statute specifically grants them discretion to do so.  The statute also does not grant a right or requirement that the court grant limited driving privileges.  Some courts make obtaining privileges easy and some courts do not grant privileges prior to a plea.  Hiring an attorney who is familiar with the particular requirements for limited driving privileges will save you time and frustration during the pendency of your OVI case.

Q. When will I get limited driving privileges?

A court may not grant driving limited driving privileges for a certain period of time following the imposition of an ALS. O.R.C. 4510.13(A).  The amount of time between the imposition of the ALS suspension and the time you are eligible for limited driving privileges is called “hard time.”  How long the hard time lasts depends upon whether the person has any prior offenses and whether or not the person took the test or refused the test.

First Offense Midemeanor OVI Failed Chemical Test R.C. 4511.191(C): Occupational driving privileges cannot be granted during the following periods in test cases:

  • First 15 days of suspension on a first offense
  • First 30 days of suspension on a person who had a prior OVI or refusal within 6 years.
  • First 180 days for a person who has had 2 prior OVI/refusals within 6 years.
  • First 3 years of suspension on a person who had 3 or more previous OVI/refusals within 6 years

First Offense Misdemeanor OVI Refusal R.C. 4511.19(B): Occupational driving privileges cannot be granted during the following periods in refusal cases:

  • First 30 days of suspension on a first offense.
  • First 90 days of suspension on a person who had a previous refusal within 6 years.
  • First year of suspension on a person who had 2 previous refusals within 6 years.
  • First 3 years of suspension on a person who had 3 previous refusals within 6 years.
  • A person, who within the preceding 7 years, has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to 3 or more OVI violations cannot be granted limited privileges.

Q. Is there a way to avoid the ALS suspension and limited driving privileges?

One of the first conversations you should have with your OVI lawyer will involve wether or not grounds exist for an appeal of the ALS.  You will discuss the limited circumstances under which an Administrative License Suspension can be challenged.  The court must hold the administrative license suspension hearing within five days of arrest.  You only have 30 days from your arraignment to file an appeal of the Administrative License Suspension. The scope of appeal is confined to four issues:

 1. Was your arrest based on reasonable grounds? 

2. Did the officer request that you to take a test? 

3. Were you made aware of the consequences if you refused or failed the test? 

4. Did you refuse or fail the test?

Much confusion is caused by the fact that the Administrative License Suspension is a pre-trial suspension generated by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  The warnings given by the arresting officer are misleading.  Often a client will come to our office under the misimpression that the worst case scenario will be a 90 day suspension.  If our client refused a chemical test, they believe they are condemned to a one year suspension.  This is not usually the case.  Upon a plea to a reduced charge (such as Reckless Operation) or to an OVI,  the Administrative License Suspension will be terminated and the court will impose its own suspension.   The minimum mandatory suspension for a first OVI offense is six months.  This will horrify the person who believed that they were facing 90 days, but a welcome relief to people who thought they were going to have a one year suspension. Limited driving privileges will be available during the pendency of the court-imposed suspension.  Again, be sure to ask your OVI attorney how your court typically handles ALS terminations and limited driving privileges.

OVI Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can emailCharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

Ohio Limited Driving Privileges information and other city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Due Process and the Administrative License Suspension

December 23rd, 2013

Administrative License Suspension

How can it be constitutional for the State to take my license immediately via the Administrative License Suspension?

Ohio believes that driving is not a right, but a privilege. See 4511.191  If you are stopped for an OVI, DUI or drunk driving and you refuse to take a chemical test (breathblood or urine), or if your test results exceed the legal limit of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), the police officer can and will take your driver’s license on the spot causing your drivers license to be suspended immediately.  This pre-conviction suspension is called the ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE SUSPENSION. The Administrative license suspension is a suspension imposed by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles and not a suspension imposed by the court.  A court may not grant driving privileges for a certain period of time following the imposition of an Administrative License Suspension O.R.C. 4510.13(A).  By making the license suspension an administrative action rather than a criminal punishment, the Courts have carved out a legal zone whereby you can remain “innocent until proven guilty in a court of law” but yet receive a punishment prior to a finding of guilt.  The statutes governing the Administrative License Suspension are set forth at O.R.C. 4511.191 (establishing the implied consent law); 4511.192 (setting forth the arresting officer’s duties); and, 4511.197 (setting forth the provisions for appeal of the suspension and limited driving privileges).

If you think that the above-described scheme is on shaky constitutional ground, you are not alone.  In 1995, the 6th District Court of Appeal held in State v. Knisley (1995), 74 Ohio St. 3d 1413, 655 N.E.2d 734 held that “on the spot” suspensions violated the due process provisions of the Ohio and United States Constitution.  However, in 1996, the Ohio Supreme Court overruled the 6th District decision in State v. Hochhausler, 76 Ohio St. 3d 455, 1996-Ohio-374, 668 N.E.2d 457 (1996).  In Hochhausler the Court applied a three part due process analysis addressing whether:

 

  1. the private interest affected
  2. the risk of erroneous deprivation of that interest, and
  3. the governmental interest involved which involves a weighing of the government’s interest in removing drunk drivers from the roads against the private interest in the driver’s license

 

The Ohio Supreme Court concluded that the governmental interests outweighed the interests of the individual. Specifically, the Court relied on the provision for a five-day appeal hearing and the trial court’s inherent ability to stay the license suspension were adequate safeguards, thereby concluding that the risk of erroneous deprivation was low.  The failure of a court to conduct an Administrative License Suspension hearing within five (5) days warrants a termination of the ALS because the failure to hold the hearing is a violation of due process. State v. Gibson, 144 Ohio Misc. 2d 18, 2007-Ohio-6069, 877 N.E.2d 1053 (Municipal court decision).

But what of other Constitutional challenges?  This author has always maintained that the right to travel freely is a right enumerated in the Constitution.  Today, the automobile and the use of public roads is the presumed method of exercising that right.  Thus, an argument exists that the Constitution contains a “right” to drive.  According to the Supreme Court, enumerated rights that are incorporated are so fundamental that any law restricting such a right must both serve a compelling state purpose and be narrowly tailored to that compelling purpose.  Is the time right to make that argument?

 

Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

 Find information on the Administrative License Suspension on this blog, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville