DUI Court Process

A Motion To Suppress Is Vital In An Ohio DUI Case

August 13th, 2014

motion to suppressIn State v. French, 72 Ohio St. 3d 446, 1995-Ohio-32, 646 N.E. 2d 887 (1995), the Ohio Supreme Court held that a pretrial motion to suppress is the only way to challenge the admissibility of a chemical test.  If not filed, the results will be automatically admissible at trial.  The prosecuting attorney will not need to lay a foundation and any objection by the defense as to their admission will be overruled by the judge.  This makes choosing an experienced DUI attorney vital to your case as they will know what to challenge in a pretrial suppression motion.

A motion to suppress is one of the most important tools in a DUI attorney’s arsenal. It’s purpose is to render “the state’s proof … so weak in its entirety that any reasonable possibility of effective prosecution has been destroyed.” State v. Davidson, 17 Ohio St.3d 132, 135, 477 N.E.2d 1141 (1985). If successful, a motion will likely end the case in favor of the defendant.

The motion is the defendant’s challenge to crucial aspects of the State’s case, which may include challenges to:

  • the reason for the initial police contact;
  • the reason for asking the defendant to exit the car;
  • the reason for administering the standardized field sobriety tests;
  • the administration of the field sobriety tests;
  • the 20 minute observation period before the chemical test;
  • the administration and time frame of the chemical test; and
  • the results of the chemical test.

Ancillary benefits of a motion to suppress include the ability to see and hear the officer testify about the arrest. The officer may be an exceptionally good or bad witness. The state may or may not choose to pursue certain aspects of the case based on the testimony. Further, the motion hearing may prove to be a valuable discovery tool. From a purely strategic standpoint, a motion to suppress demonstrates to the State that you are committed to your client’s position and will do whatever it takes to prevent a DUI conviction.

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.”

For more information about a motion to suppress contact me, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburg, Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

DUI Defense In “My Cousin Vinny”

August 4th, 2014

dui defense attorney

DUI defense is never far from my mind.  I was reminded of this last weekend watching one of my favorite movies, “My Cousin Vinny.” In the movie a novice New York attorney (Joe Pesci) heads to the deep south to defend his cousin and his friend in a high-profile murder case.  He is met with a hostile judge and a pompous attorney who are hell bent on seeing the two kids put away for murder. Comedy ensues.

In the course of the trial the prosecutor call George Wilbur (James Rebhorn) as an expert for the State.  Vinny objects.

Vinny Gambini: I object to this witness being called at this time. We’ve been given no prior notice he’d testify. No discovery of any tests he’s conducted or reports he’s prepared. And as the court is aware, the defense is entitled to advance notice of any witness who will testify, particularly to those who will give scientific evidence, so that we can properly prepare for cross-examination, as well as to give the defense an opportunity to have the witness’s reports reviewed by a defense expert, who might then be in a position to contradict the veracity of his conclusions.

[there is a short pause as Judge Haller appears caught off-guard by Vinny's sudden compentence with knowledge of the law]

Judge Chamberlain Haller: Mr. Gambini?

Vinny Gambini: Yes, sir?

Judge Chamberlain Haller: That is a lucid, intelligent, well thought-out objection.

Vinny Gambini: Thank you, Your Honor.

Judge Chamberlain Haller: [firm tone] Overruled.

The State’s witness is the special automotive instructor of forensic studies for the FBI, who testified that the tire marks left at the scene of the crime match the tires of the vehicle driven by Vinny’s clients.  He has all of the traditional indicia of credibility, an outstanding education and an authoritative command of the courtroom.  The only problem with his testimony is that he is DEAD WRONG!  In the movie the kids are saved by out of work hairdresser Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei) whose real world expertise proves that the car did not match the tire tracks left at the scene.

In DUI defense we are often faced with forensic experts who are clothed in the traditional indicia of credibility.  Defense attorneys also face a machine that the state of Ohio has exempted from scientific challenge. The only thing that our clients have going for them is us!

I take great pleasure in proving the machine and the State’s witnesses wrong.  It is said that DUI is the most frequently mis-charged crime in the United States.  When you can get a jury to see an error it is as dramatic as anything Hollywood can produce. It is a feeling that most attorneys, especially me, strive to have as much as humanly possible.  Maybe one day I will have the opportunity to deliver the opening statement that Vinny Gambini uses in the movie…

Vinny Gambini: [opening statements] Uh… everything that guy just said is bullshit… Thank you.

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.”

To learn more about DUI defense check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgHuber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

 

Ohio Supreme Court Rules on DUI Motion To Suppress Issue

April 21st, 2014

DUI Motion To Suppress

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled on a DUI Motion to Suppress issue in State v. Codeluppi, 2012-Ohio-5812.

In August of 2011, Officer Ryan M. Young of the North Ridgeville Police Department stopped Ms. Codeluppi on Lorain Road for driving 53 m.p.h. in a 35 m.p.h. zone.  When Officer Young walked to the driver’s window of Ms. Codeluppi’s car, he smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from the interior of the car. Following an investigation and administration of standardized field sobriety tests, the defendant was arrested for OVI.

In her motion to suppress, Ms. Codeluppi asserted that: the officer lacked sufficient reasonable grounds to effectuate a traffic stop and/or probable cause to arrest her, the Field Sobriety Tests were not conducted in substantial compliance with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) Guidelines, and statements she made during the traffic stop were obtained in violation of her Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.  Ms. Codeluppi also requested a hearing.

In its response, the State argued that Ms. Codeluppi’s DUI motion to suppress should be denied because, pursuant to Crim.R. 47, it failed to state with particularity the respects in which Officer Young failed to conduct the Field Sobriety Tests in substantial compliance with NHTSA guidelines. As such, the State contended that Ms. Codeluppi did not put it on notice by setting forth any factual basis for her challenge to the constitutionality of the traffic stop and arrest. On November 14, 2011, after reviewing both parties’ arguments, the trial court denied Ms. Codeluppi’s motion to suppress without conducting the scheduled hearing, and, instead, set the matter for a pre-trial. In its order, the trial court stated:

[Ms. Codeluppi’s] Motion to Suppress is denied, at the [S]tate’s request, due to the fact it fails to state legal and factual bases with sufficient particularity to * * * place the prosecutor and the court on notice of the issues to be decided. * * * Case remains set for pretrial on 11/15/11 at 1:30 P.M.

This is an all-to-familiar response from some courts in addressing a motion to suppress and a powerful tactic to prevent a defendant from asserting a DUI motion to suppress.  Much confusion has been raised as to what does, and what does not, constitute a proper motion.  While it is understandable that a court does not want to make a prosecutor “guess” as to what may be raised in a DUI motion to suppress, it is also a devastating blow to deny the single most important motion in a case because of an improperly filed motion.  What is worse, some courts apply this standard in an arbitrary way, denying lengthy or boilerplate motions because they assert issues with too much particularity.  This confusion was addressed by the Ohio Supreme Court.

Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger, in her majority opinion, wrote that a motion to suppress need not describe “in excruciating detail” the basis for arguing for suppression of the evidence. It does need, she said, to provide sufficient notice of the issues to be considered.  The motion to suppress, she wrote, “is merely a procedural vehicle to ‘put the ball into play’ and serve notice that the defendant intends to have the state meet its legislatively mandated burden of demonstrating compliance with any and all challenged regulations and requirements.”  Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justices Terrence O’Donnell, Sharon L. Kennedy, Judith L. French and William M. O’Neill joined Lanzinger’s opinion. Justice Paul E. Pfeifer dissented without an opinion, stating that he would affirm the Ninth District ruling.

Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio during prom season and beyond.  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.”

To learn more about a DUI motion to suppress check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Ohio DUI Attorney: Is It A Just World?

April 10th, 2014

ohio dui attorneyAs an Ohio DUI attorney, I often observe a bias that people carry toward those accused of drunk driving.  Psychologists call this phenomena the “Just World Hypothesis.”

The belief that people get what they deserve and deserve what they get, which was first theorized by Melvin Lerner in 1977.  Lerner, M.J. & Miller, D.T. (1977). Just-world research and the attribution process: Looking back and ahead. Psychological Bulletin85, 1030-1051.  Attributing failures to dispositional causes rather than situational causes, which are unchangeable and uncontrollable, satisfies our need to believe that the world is fair and we have control over our life. We are motivated to see a just world because this reduces our perceived threats,Burger, J.M. (1981). Motivational biases in the attribution of responsibility for an accident: A meta-analysis of the defensive-attribution hypothesis. Psychological Bulletin90, 496-512, Walster, E. (1966). Assignment of responsibility for an accident. Journal of Personality and Social31, 73-79, gives us a sense of security, helps us find meaning in difficult and unsettling circumstances, and benefits us psychologically.  Gilbert, D.T., & Malone, P.S. (1995).The correspondence bias. Psychological Bulletin117, 21–38.

Unfortunately, the just-world hypothesis also results in a tendency for people to blame and disparage victims of a tragedy or an accident, such as victims of rape (See Abrams, D., Viki, G.T., Masser, B., & Bohner, G. (2003). Perceptions of stranger and acquaintance rape: The role of benevolent and hostile sexism in victim blame and rape proclivity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology84, 111-125;Bell, S.T., Kuriloff, P.J., & Lottes, I. (1994). Understanding attributions of blame in stranger-rape and date-rape situations: An examinations of gender, race, identification, and students’ social perceptions of rape victims. Journal of Applied Social Psychology24, 1719-1734) and domestic abuse (See Summers, G., & Feldman, N.S. (1984).Blaming the victim versus blaming the perpetrator: An attributional analysis of spouse abuse.Journal of Applied Social and Clinical Psychology2, 339-347) to reassure themselves of their insusceptibility to such events. People may even go to such extremes as the victim’s faults in “past life” to pursue justification for their bad outcome.(Woogler, R.J. (1988). Other lives, other selves: A Jungian psychotherapist discovers past lives. New York: Bantam.)

The just world phenomena is observed in DUI trials as a bias that can cause a jury to overlook the evidence and blame the accused driver for putting himself or herself in a position where an officer could arrest them.  When you combine this inherent bias with a society that stigmatizes drinking drivers (Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over), you are left with a turbulent trial scenario for your attorney to face.  An experienced Ohio DUI attorney will make allowances for the juries unknown bias by addressing it in the void dire and in a closing argument.  Often, simply addressing the bias is enough of an inoculation to allow the jurors to focus on the evidence.

Ohio DUI 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 Ohio DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II on this blog, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

 

 

Asserting An Affirmative Defense In An OVI

March 6th, 2014

affirmative defenseIn an Ohio OVI, a defendant may rely on an affirmative defense.  The Ohio Revised Code 2901.05(C) recognizes an affirmative defense to certain crimes and offenders. If an affirmative defense is asserted, the burden of proof is on the defendant to prove the affirmative defense by a preponderance of the evidence.

The following are the affirmative defenses are recognized:

  • Entrapment
  • Insanity
  • Self-Defense
  • Intoxication
  • Duress
  • Blackout

If you plan to assert an affirmative defense, it will be raised at the trial stage and not in a pre-trial motion.  Often, the biggest hurdle in the assertion of an affirmative defense will be crafting the affirmative defense and having the court agree to instruct the jury on the affirmative defense.  The decision to assert an affirmative defense is a monumental one.  It will shift the burden away from the government and onto the defendant.  It should only be asserted when the defendant is on firm legal grounds and sure that it is the best legal strategy.  Talk to your Ohio OVI attorney at length if you think asserting an affirmative defense is in your best interest.

Ohio DUI 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.”

 Find information on an OVI affirmative defense and other city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville