DUI & College

Prom DUI Blitz Underway

April 16th, 2014

prom dui 1957

Mothers Against Drunk Driving and their partners in law enforcement have begun the annual Prom DUI enforcement blitz that will last throughout the prom season.  So in addition to the tuxedos, the wrist corsages and the awkward pictures; make sure you talk to your teen about drunk driving.  MADD is proclaiming April 21 “PowerTalk21 Day” to encourage parents and teens to talk about alcohol.

In recent years, MADD has shifted its focus away from its singular mission of preventing drunk driving, to include an effort to curb underage drinking.  The Prom DUI enforcement is used in conjunction with their efforts at instilling fear amongst parents who may provide alcohol to minors in their home.  This initiative has been aided by a national ad campaign called “Parents Who Host Lose The Most.”  As prom season approaches you may be confronted with information about furnishing alcohol to minors and the penalties associated with such action.  Ohio Revised Code Section 4301.69 contains most of the information concerning underage alcohol possession and use. Penalties are in Ohio Revised Code Section 4301.99. These and other related laws can be found on the Internet: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc.

A person who furnishes alcohol to an underage person is guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor. The maximum penalty associated with this offense is six months imprisonment or $1,000 fine or both. A social host, therefore, risks being fined and imprisoned when he/she furnishes alcohol to a person who is not 21 years of age. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be in the house – if you are negligent in supervision or permissive you can be charged with social hosting.  If you purchase a hotel room, provide a campsite, or have people in your house or on your property you will be held responsible for what happens.

In addition to the penalties for furnishing alcohol to minors, you may also face a rioting charge if your party is deemed unruly or draws police attention. Rioting is defined as four or more persons engaged in disorderly conduct, and it is “aggravated” if those involved commit or act with the purpose to commit a felony or an act of violence. Aggravated Riot also includes situations where those involved are carrying weapons. Aggravated Riot is a felony, and Riot is a first-degree misdemeanor. Under a law passed in 2003, if you are convicted of rioting or aggravated rioting, you will be immediately expelled for one year from all state-supported colleges in Ohio, and will be ineligible for state financial aid for two years.

The best way to avoid a Prom DUI is to plan ahead and designate a sober driver or hire a limousine service for the night.

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 more information on Prom DUI enforcement check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

 

Furnishing Alcohol To Minors In Ohio

April 8th, 2014

furnishing alcohol to minorsOhio provides tough penalties for furnishing alcohol to minors.

In recent years, MADD has shifted its focus away from its singular mission of preventing drunk driving, to include an effort to curb underage drinking.  Much of their efforts have been directed at instilling fear amongst parents who may provide alcohol to minors in their home.  This initiative has been aided by a national ad campaign called “Parents Who Host Lose The Most.”  As prom season approaches you may be confronted with information about furnishing alcohol to minors and the penalties associated with such action.  Ohio Revised Code Section 4301.69 contains most of the information concerning underage alcohol possession and use. Penalties are in Ohio Revised Code Section 4301.99. These and other related laws can be found on the Internet: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc

A person who furnishes alcohol to an underage person is guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor. The maximum penalty associated with this offense is six months imprisonment or $1,000 fine or both. A social host, therefore, risks being fined and imprisoned when he/she furnishes alcohol to a person who is not 21 years of age. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be in the house – if you are negligent in supervision or permissive you can be charged with social hosting.  If you purchase a hotel room, provide a campsite, or have people in your house or on your property you will be held responsible for what happens.

In addition to the penalties for furnishing alcohol to minors, you may also face a rioting charge if your party is deemed unruly or draws police attention. Rioting is defined as four or more persons engaged in disorderly conduct, and it is “aggravated” if those involved commit or act with the purpose to commit a felony or an act of violence. Aggravated Riot also includes situations where those involved are carrying weapons. Aggravated Riot is a felony, and Riot is a first-degree misdemeanor. Under a law passed in 2003, if you are convicted of rioting or aggravated rioting, you will be immediately expelled for one year from all state-supported colleges in Ohio, and will be ineligible for state financial aid for two years.

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 more information on furnishing alcohol to minors and check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Top Ten Rules for Partying in Ohio

March 31st, 2014

In light of the arrest made following the University of Dayton’s victory, we offer college students these rules for partying (legally) in Ohio.

Rule #1: Don’t Drink and Drive

Ohio has some of the most stringent drunk driving laws in the county.  A first-time offender faces 180 days in jail and a one thousand seventy-five dollar fine, loss of their driver’s license for up to three years and enhanced penalties upon subsequent convictions.  A DUI (called an OVI in Ohio) is not subject to expungement, meaning it will be on your record forever, and subjects an offender to a six (6) year look-back period for enhancements and up to twenty (20) years for enhanced punishments for refusing an officer’s request to provide a breath, blood or urine sample.  In addition to the penalties you will face in court, you may face suspension from your school or other discipline. (Ohio Revised Code 4511.19)

Rule #2: Don’t Drink If You Are Under 21

It is illegal in Ohio for anyone under 21 to purchase, possess or consume an alcoholic beverage.  A conviction of Underage Consumption is a first degree misdemeanor and carries a maximum fine of $1,000.00 and/or up to six months in jail.  Despite efforts to lower the drinking age, the law remains rigidly enforced.  Athletes, students on scholarship and students who live in on-campus housing may face additional harsh penalties for underage drinking and be particularly vulnerable to the penalties that are sure to follow an arrest.  Ohio Revised Code Section 4301.69 contains most of the information concerning underage alcohol possession and use. Penalties are in Ohio Revised Code Section 4301.99.

Rule #3: Don’t Furnish Alcohol to Minors

Furnishing someone under 21 with alcohol is a first degree misdemeanor.  If you are providing the alcohol, make sure you know where it is going.  You may be responsible if an underage person consumes the alcohol and face harsh punishments.  Ohio regularly receives funding for programs aimed at curbing underage drinking and uses these funds to go after people providing the booze.  The bigger your party the more likely it is to draw attention from law enforcement.

Rule #4: Don’t Use a Fake ID

Just possessing  a fake ID is illegal in Ohio and is classified as a first degree misdemeanor.  Using the fake ID to purchase alcohol is punished by a mandatory $250.00 fine and may result in a 3 year driver’s license suspension.  A popular enforcement method is for police officers to serve as vendors in drive-through establishments:  “COPS IN SHOPS”

Rule #5: Don’t Drink Where You Shouldn’t

Ohio has an open container law.  It is a minor misdemeanor to possess in public an open container of an alcoholic beverage.  You are subject to a fine of up to $150.00 (a minor misdemeanor).  Possession of alcohol while in a car bumps the charge up to a fourth degree misdemeanor and subjects the offender to 30 days in jail. 4301.62 Opened container of beer or intoxicating liquor prohibited at certain premises.

Rule #6: Don’t Be Drunk In or Near a Car

Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 4511.194 (effective Jan. 1, 2005), it is illegal to be in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence. “Physical Control” is defined as being in the driver’s seat of a car and having possession of the vehicle’s keys.  Physical Control does not require that the vehicle have ever been driven or even started.  Under the statute, having the keys within reach will satisfy the definition of having “physical control.”   The crime is one of potentiality, (i.e. you are so close to driving that we will punish you) and speaks to the growing neo-prohibitionist tendencies in Ohio law.

Rule #7:  Don’t Be Disorderly

Disorderly conduct can occur from simply being intoxicated in public.  Officers are given a great deal of discretion in determining what constitutes disorderly behavior.  Disorderly conduct occurs when one recklessly causes inconvenience, annoyance or alarm to another due to offensive conduct. Disorderly conduct also occurs when one makes unreasonable noise in such a manner as to violate the peace and quiet of the neighborhood or to be detrimental to the life and health of any individual.  While normally a minor misdemeanor ($150.00 fine) a disorderly conduct can be enhanced to a fourth degree misdemeanor (30 days jail/$250 fine) if an officer tells you to stop the behavior and you persist. See O.R.C. 2917.11 Disorderly Conduct.

Rule #8: Don’t burn stuff

Intentionally setting fire to property that might endanger other or their property, in fact damages the property of another and/or preventing police, fire or EMS personnel from doing their job is a violation of O.R.C. 2909.01 to 2909.0.  Students at public universities in Ohio who are found guilty of these crimes will lose all state-funded financial aid for two years.

Rule #9: Disperse When Instructed

Failure to disperse is also a crime in Ohio.  You should begin walking away and/or go indoors upon such an order. You must obey all lawful orders given by such persons at an emergency site.  A recent revision in the law makes a failure to disperse in situations such as campus area riots an offense for which you can be arrested and jailed. If you actively hamper police officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, and other public officials while they are doing their jobs you subject yourself to the charge of Misconduct During An Emergency.

Rule #10 Don’t Riot

The party is getting out of control.  If more than five people are engaging in disorderly behavior the party may be deemed a riot under Ohio law.  Your participation in a riot may subject you to criminal penalties. If there is violence involved the rioting gets bumped up to aggravated rioting.  Aggravated rioting is a felony level offense.  Those found guilty of rioting and aggravated rioting must be dismissed from their university and are not permitted to enroll in any state-supported institution of higher education for one year.

DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in Dayton, Springfield, Kettering, Vandalia, Xenia, Miamisburg, Huber Heights, Beavercreek, and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself the Miami Valley’s choice for DUI defense.  Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263).  For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter @DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook, www.facebook.com/daytondui and on the DaytonDUI channel on YouTube.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.comor write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.

Underage Consumption And Ohio’s College Students: Know Your Rights

December 16th, 2013

underage consumptionBeing charged with “underage consumption” is a common occurrence on Ohio college campuses.  The crime of underage consumption is a violation of Ohio Revised Code, which prohibits possessing, consuming or being under the influence of alcohol under the age of 21.  Holding an alcoholic beverage and/or being intoxicated in a public place is enough to sustain the charge.  Students sometimes mistakenly believe that an officer must give them a breathalyzer test to “prove” intoxication.  This is not the law.  College students often compound their problems by being so scared of being arrested for underage consumption that they provide false information to the officer.  Doing so can lead to a charge of Falsification or Obstructing Official Business.  Too often we see a person the cops call the “drunk samaritan.”  This person approaches the police officers and tries to convince the police to let their target go about their business.  This person frequently ends up charged with Obstructing Official Business or Disorderly Conduct. Ohio Revised Code Section 4301.69 contains most of the information concerning underage alcohol possession and use. Penalties are in Ohio Revised Code Section 4301.99.

You may also violate Ohio’s Underage Drinking Law by being the host.  A social host or home owner risks being fined and imprisoned when he/she furnishes alcohol to a person who is not 21 years of age.  You may not know the people at your party, but that does not matter to the police.  The bigger the party the more likely police will be called and the greater the chance of getting caught and/or charged.

A violation of Ohio’s Underage Consumption law is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by a potential jail term of six (6) months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000.00 and other penalties like court costs, community service, probation, alcohol counseling and untold issues with your college.  Under some (most?) college codes of conduct, merely being charged with violating the underage drinking law may subject you to penalties ranging from residential penalties and university penalties to loss of scholarship or dismissal from your college athletic team.  In addition, spending time in jail is humiliating and terrifying.  There are long-term penalties to consider.  In today’s world you will also see your picture of your mug shot on the internet.  What’s worse than that?  Seeing the same mug shot sitting on the desk of the person interviewing you for your first job.

So how should you act when you are approached by an officer? The best answers I have seen come from Ohio University’s “Survival Tips For Court Street.”  This guide is a great explanation of your rights.  It states, in pertinent part,

If asked for ID when you are not in a bar, give them your name, address and anything that identifies you without your social security number or age. You are not required to give the officer your driver’s license or social security number unless you are already under arrest. Ask if you are arrest or in custody. If not, ask if you can leave. (If an officer grabs your wallet or purse it is considered an invalid search). Ask your friends to witness your conversation with the officer. If you or your friends are asked another person’s age, advise the officer that you want to speak to an attorney before answering any questions.

  • The officer can and probably will arrest you anyway. Remember, the police can arrest anyone for anything but unless you’ve done something else to warrant an arrest, they must know at the time of your arrest that you are under 21 before convicting you of underage consumption of alcohol. Mere youthful appearance is not sufficient probable cause to convict!
  • Be polite, but firm. You have the right to remain silent so use it. Do not incriminate yourself, and do not try to run away. Simply identify yourself and ask for your attorney.
  • The police officer may be angry or threatening. Don’t worry, he/she will not hurt you. Unless you give them the evidence, they cannot convict you. Never lie and always treat the officer with respect. But never admit anything, just remain silent.
  • Do not stand near sidewalks or streets with an open container of alcohol. If you are stopped for this or for disorderly conduct, the police officer can seize your ID and will know your age. Know the phone number of someone who is sober to come get you.
  • Stay with your friends and witnesses. Travel in groups. Police officers look for people who are walking alone and appear to be intoxicated. Avoid looking suspicious – don’t hide the alcohol.
  • Being arrested does not mean you will be convicted! Follow the above rules, and you may be able to beat the charges against you if the arrest was unlawful. When you go to your first court date, DO NOT PLEAD GUILTY. Ask the court for more time to discuss your case with your attorney.

Everyone you know, including the police officer enforcing the underage drinking law may disagree with it, but that does not change the fact that you face life-altering penalties if you get convicted of this offense.  I have represented many clients charged with underage drinking offenses in and around the Miami Valley.  I have been able to get the underage drinking charges dismissed or reduced, and we are often able to get the records for the case sealed (expunged).

Underage Consumption 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 Underage Consumption and other city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville 

 

Ohio Drug Laws And College Students

September 30th, 2013

ohio drug laws

If you attend college in Ohio you need to know Ohio Drug Laws and how they can get you in trouble.

 

Selling or distributing illicit drugs: O.R.C. Section 2925.03 prohibits any person from selling or offering to sell any controlled substance, preparing or packaging any controlled substance for sale, or distributing any controlled substances.  Anyone who violates this statute is guilty of drug trafficking. Violation of this statute is a felony, the level of which depends on the specific criteria set forth in Section 2925.03(C), including type and weight of drug. The minimum penalty for a fifth degree felony can include 6 to 12 months in jail and/or a fine up to $2,500. The maximum penalty for a first degree felony can include imprisonment up to 10 years and a fine up to $20,000.

 

Possessing or using illicit drugs: O.R.C. Section 2925.11 prohibits any person from knowingly obtaining, possessing, or using a controlled substance. Penalty for violation: Violation of this statute is drug abuse, which may be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the specific criteria set forth in Section 2925.11(C), including type and weight of drug. The minimum penalty, a fourth degree misdemeanor, is punishable by imprisonment of up to 30 days and a fine up to $250. The maximum penalty, a first degree felony, is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $20,000.

 

Federal Drug Laws: In addition to Ohio drug laws, federal law also imposes rules and restrictions on the use and possession of controlled substances.  Federal law prohibits the trafficking and illegal possession of controlled substances as outlined in 21 United States Code, Sections 841 and 844.  Depending on the amount possessed, first offense maximum penalties for trafficking marijuana range from five years’ imprisonment with a $250,000, fine to imprisonment for life with a $4 million fine for an individual, and from five years’ imprisonment with a $1 million fine to imprisonment for life with a $20 million fine for more than one offender. Also depending on the amount possessed, first offense maximum penalties for trafficking Class I and Class II controlled substances (methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, cocaine base, PCP, LSD, fentanyl analogue) range from five years’ imprisonment with a $2 million fine to imprisonment for life and a $4 million fine for an individual, and from five years’ imprisonment with a $5 million fine to imprisonment for life and a $10 million fine for more than one offender. First offense penalties for simple possession, 21 USCS §844, range from at most one years’ imprisonment or at least a $1,000, fine, or both; to at most 20 years’ imprisonment and at least a $1,000, fine. For the most current and complete information regarding Federal penalties for drug trafficking, visit the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s website at: http://www.justice.gov/dea/agency/penalties.htm.

 

Ohio Drug Laws & Your College: In addition to felony or misdemeanor criminal offenses for violation of Ohio Drug Laws, you may also be in violation of your university’s Code of Student Conduct.  Even if you avoid a conviction for a violation of Ohio Drug Laws you may still face discipline which includes losing your right to attend the institution, loss of financial aid to any institution and eviction from on-campus or off-campus housing.  It is important to understand that the Student Code of Conduct may impose higher expectations for behavior than the legal standards used to determine a violation of Ohio Drug Laws.

The following chart (taken from Ohio NORML) describes the various laws relating to possession and sale of marijuana in Ohio.

Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine

Possession

Less than 100 g misdemeanor N/A $ 150
100 – 200 g misdemeanor 30 days $ 250
200 – 1000 g felony 6 mos – 1 year $ 2,500
1000 – 5000 g felony 1 – 5 years $ 10,000
5000 – 20,000 g felony 1 – 5 years $ 10,000
20,000 – 40,000 g felony 5* – 8 years $ 15,000
More than 40,000 g felony 8 years* $ 15,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence

Sale/Distribution/Trafficking

A gift of 20 g or less (first offense) misdemeanor N/A $ 150
A gift of 20 g or less (second offense) misdemeanor 60 days $ 500
Less than 200 g felony 1 year $ 2,500
200 – 1000 g felony 6 mos – 1.5 years $ 2,500
1000 – 5000 g felony 1 – 5 years $ 2,500
5000 – 20,000 g felony 1 – 5 years $ 2,500
20,000 – 40,000 g felony 5* – 8 years $ 2,500
More than 40,000 g felony 8 years* $ 2,500
To a minor, within 1000 feet of a school, within 100 feet of a juvenile, or by one who has a previous drug conviction will increase the term of imprisonment and the fine.
* Mandatory minimum sentence

 

 

Disclaimer: The information on Ohio Drug Laws is intended as a general summary. Seek the advice of an attorney as Ohio Drug Laws are frequently amended and interpreted by Ohio courts.  If you are charged with a violation of Ohio Drug Laws it is important to speak with an attorney.