DUI Court Process

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

“Plea Bargain” Is Not A Dirty Word

January 14th, 2014

plea bargain

Is a plea bargain in your best interest?  

A trial is a time consuming, expensive exercise for the State.  It consumes the energy of the judge, the court staff, eight jurors, the arresting and assisting law enforcement officers, expert witnesses and any number of lay witnesses who may testify.  As an example of the scale of the criminal justice system, in 2011, nearly 121,000 criminal and traffic misdemeanor offenses were filed in the Franklin County Municipal Court.  This court is a good example because, with 15 judges and 30 full-time dedicated prosecutors it is one of the biggest and most well-funded in the State. When you figure in that the judges, court staff and prosecutors must also handle civil cases and other matters, it becomes clear that it would not be possible to prosecute each case to trial.  Without additional resources the court would grind to a standstill.  Therefore it is in the interests of the state to consider a plea bargain in lieu of trial.

Making the decision about which cases will go forward to trial and which cases can be resolved is an important exercise of prosecutorial discretion.  Some prosecutors have a great deal of discretion in fashioning a plea bargain.  Some will only enter into a plea bargain in certain types of cases and not in others (like a DUI).  It is not uncommon for a prosecutor to not consider a plea bargain in a drunk driving case if the defendant has a prior offense.  Another common policy is to not consider a plea bargain in a case with a high test or accident.  Another consideration that the prosecutor must take into account is whether or not the judge will accept the plea bargain as proposed.  A judge will often accept the proposed plea bargain as a resolution to the case, but by no means is the court required to accept the deal.

Unlike on television, you will not be permitted to attend the pre-trial conference where the plea bargaining process takes place.  In most cases, you will wait in the hallway while your attorney goes into the prosecutor’s office to discuss your case.  In most cases your attorney will be provided “discovery” at the pretrial.  Discovery will include the officer’s version of events (the narrative report), the alcohol influence report, and any video tape of the arrest. Experienced trial counsel will have a knowledge of the court, the prosecutor and what can be accomplished at the pre-trial conference.  He or she will  point out any weaknesses in your case that would merit a reduction of the charge.  Obviously, this is the point where skill, experience and credibility can make all the difference.  The plea bargain is then presented to the attorney in the form of an “offer.”

Once you and your attorney have all of the discovery and the offer, you will be in a position to decide whether or not the plea bargain is in your best interests.  If it appears the evidence might not be sufficient to convince a jury, the prosecutor may offer an attractive plea bargain. Even if the prosecutor offers a good deal, your attorney may think the evidence is so weak that a jury would not convict.  In such a situation, the defense attorney may advise you not to take what, on the surface, looks like a good deal.  Take time to understand the offer and the ramifications of taking the offer.  Take the time to explore what it would look like to go forward to a motion to suppress and/or trial and what risk that would entail.  Long story short, you are in control and must make the decision.  The plea decision is based upon balancing the likelihood of a conviction (and the likely resulting penalty) if there’s a trial against the known penalty associated with pleading to the reduced charge. Learn more about the DUI process and plea bargain considerations by calling Dayton DUI.

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.”

Get plea bargain and other OVI information at the following city-specific links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

 

The Arraignment: Your First Appearance Before The Judge

November 20th, 2013

Arraignment

The following will happen when you appear for your arraignment

 

  1. The Judge, will explain the complaint to you which details the offense(s) you are charged with, and will explain it to you if you do not understand the nature of the charge(s). The Judge will also advise you of the potential penalties.
  2. You will have the opportunity to ask questions that you have on the rights explained here, the charge, or the maximum penalty possible under the law.
  3. You will have the right to retain an attorney even if you intend to plead guilty, and a right to a reasonable continuance to secure an attorney.
  4. If you do not intend to be represented by an attorney, you will be asked to sign a waiver form, if the potential sentence in your case carries possible jail time.
  5. Please do not make statements concerning the facts of your case until the Judge asks you for a statement. Any statements you make may be used against you at a trial if a plea of not guilty is entered.

 

You may choose to enter any of these pleas at your arraignment:

 

  • By pleading NOT GUILTY, you are denying the charge. The prosecution will be required to prove its case against you beyond a reasonable doubt at a trial.

 

  • The plea of GUILTY is a complete admission of your guilt. If you plead guilty, you will be permitted to give a statement or explanation to the Judge before the sentence is imposed.

 

  • The plea of NO CONTEST is not an admission of your guilt, but is an admission of the truth of the facts alleged in the complaint or citation, and the plea or admission shall not be used against you in any pending or subsequent civil or criminal proceeding.

It is of vital importance that you consult with an attorney prior to entering a plea.  Hiring counsel will also have the benefit of taking care of the arraignment process.  In most courts, an attorney is permitted to file papers with the court announcing his representation of the defendant, thereby vacating the need for a formal in-court arraignment.  Ask your DUI attorney if your attendance at the arraignment will be required.  If you do attend, the arraignment will be a very quick process wherein your attorney leads you to a podium, waives reading of the charge and enters a not guilty plea on your behalf.  Matters of bond may, or may not be addressed at an arraignment.  It is not common for your defense attorney to see the prosecutor who will handle your case and reach a resolution at the arraignment.  Usually, issues of discovery and plea negotiations will take place later at the pre-trial hearing.

Some people have preconceived notions about the arraignment.  For instance, some clients believe that it will be held against them if they do not attend the hearing.  I have never heard of this being the case.  If the court wishes for the defendant to attend, it will become part of the court rules.  Other clients think that the press will be present.  This is usually not the case and your attorney will be able to tell you if such press coverage could be expected.  Still other clients think that the judge will be rude, harsh or judgmental from the bench during the arraignment.  Again, this will rarely if ever happen.

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.”

 Find information about the arraignment process and city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville