Category: DUI Under 21/Juvenile

presumption of innocence

Presumption of Innocence? Not For OVI

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The History of The Presumption of Innocence

The presumption of innocenceEi incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat, is the principle that one is considered innocent unless proven guilty. It dates back to the very foundations of western jurisprudence. The sixth century Digest of Justinian provides, as a general rule of evidence:”Proof lies on him who asserts, not on him who denies.” The presumption requires that the prosecution has the obligation to prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt and that the accused bears no burden of proof. More info

juvenile dui

Ohio Supreme Court Address Juvenile Prior OVI Offenses

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In State v. Bode, 144 Ohio St.3d 155, 2015-Ohio-1519, the Ohio Supreme Court decided an issue affecting juveniles and the ability of the state to enhance a DUI charge based on prior juvenile adjudications.

As a juvenile, the defendant was arrested for violating an equivalent offense 4511.19(A)(1)(a), colloquially referred to as a DUI charge. He was not represented by counsel. By 2011 Bode had been convicted of three more DUI charges. In 2011, Bode was indicted for and convicted of felony DUI charges. The cases were felonies because of Ohio enhancement statute R.C. 4511.19(G)(1)(d), which relied on his prior juvenile offense to enhance his charged to a felony. In Ohio, if you accumulate “five or more” DUI offenses within a twenty (20) year period, you may be charged with a felony of the fourth degree.  Here, the government was attempting to use his juvenile offenses as one of the “five or more.”

The defense argued that because he did not waive his right to counsel at his 1992 juvenile adjudication, the state should not be allowed to use that disposition against him. In a narrow 4 to 3 decision, the Ohio Supreme Court agreed. Relying heavily upon well-recognized Due Process cases, the court did not accept the state’s argument that since he was not incarcerated in the 1992 adjudication, he should not have been afforded counsel. The opinion, in dicta, also shows continued life for the collateral attack of a prior sentence under the State v. Brooke, 113 Ohio St.3d 199, 2007-Ohio-1533 analysis.

This case highlights the necessity of hiring an experienced and credentialed attorney who practices in the field of DUI defense. At DaytonDUI, Charles M. Rowland II has over 20 years experience helping people accused of driving under the influence. Call today!

underage drinking law

Drinking Underage In Ohio – What Are The Consequences?

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Underage possession or consumption of beer or intoxicants is a serious crime in Ohio. The charges are first-degree misdemeanors carrying a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and up to a $1,000.00 fine. Worse yet, a conviction may leave you with a “criminal record” which is much more serious than a fine or costs. Fear, shame or guilt may compel you to want to plead guilty to put the charge behind you, but that decision may have long-lasting and unintended consequences.

If you are under 21 years old, drinking alcohol is illegal in the State of Ohio. Ohio Revised Code 4301.69(E)(1) provides that “No underage person shall knowingly order, pay for, share the cost of, attempt to purchase, possess, or consume any beer or intoxicating liquor in any public or private place. No underage person shall knowingly be under the influence of any beer or intoxicating liquor in any public place.”

The same section provides for three recognized exceptions to the law, they are set forth below:

If the person is in the “presence of their parent, legal guardian or spouse who is over 21 years old;”
If the alcohol is consumed as part of a recognized religious service; and
If the alcohol is prescribed for medical treatment.
Section 4301.69(E)(2), sets forth a diversion program for underage offenders. It states, “[i]f the child completes the diversion program to the satisfaction of the court, the court shall dismiss the complaint and order the child’s record in the case sealed under sections 2151.356 to 2151.358 of the Revised Code. If the child fails to satisfactorily complete the diversion program, the court shall proceed with the complaint.” A child is ineligible for diversion if he or she has previously been diverted.

O.R.C 4301.69(A)-(C) also contain harsh penalties for furnishing alcohol to minors or providing them accommodations in which the “owner or occupant” allows a person to remain while the person is possessing or consuming alcohol. Many times police will target the owner of a home, apartment or dorm room wherein minors are drinking.

If you are under 18 at the time of your arrest, your case will be prosecuted in the Juvenile Court. Person under 21, but older than 18 will have their cases heard in the Municipal Court. Often, resolving the matter in court is not the end of the process. Most university students face a disciplinary hearing before a university review board or student government panel. We know how to help you in court and how to help you stay in school.

teen drivers

Ohio’s Rules For Obtaining A License (Teen Drivers Beware)

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Obtaining a license has changed for teen drivers in Ohio. Ohio employs a three-step process to obtaining a license.

The first step begins when you turn 15 1/2. At this time you may apply for a temporary permit and take the drivers license knowledge exam and the eye test.  If you pass you will receive a confirmation number to present to your local BMV. You are required to bring a copy of your birth certificate and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

When you are  driving with a temporary permit, you must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or licensed driving instructor seated in the front passenger seat until you turn 16 years old. At 16, you can  drive with a licensed driver age 21 or older seated in the front passenger seat. You must carry your temporary instruction permit identification card (TIPIC) with you while driving.

These additional rules apply to temporary (TIPIC) drivers:

  • You may not drive with more passengers than the total number or originally installed seat belts and all passengers must be wearing seat belts.
  • You may not drive between midnight and 6 a.m. unless accompanied by a licensed parent, guardian or legal custodian.
  • You must receive a minimum of 24 hours of classroom instruction and eight hours of behind-the-wheel instruction in driver training.
  • You must complete 50 hours of driving with a parent or legal guardian, including at least 10 hours of nighttime driving. Your parents or guardians must verify the hours in writing.

After turning 16 and having had your temporary permit for 6 months, you will be eligible to go to your local BMV to take the driving test and a second vision test. At this time you will present proof that you completed 50 hours of driving time. Upon completing these steps you will be issued your probationary license. Make sure a parent comes with you to sign the application form or get your parent’s notarized signature on the form ahead of time.

Now that you have a probationary license, you are allowed to drive without a parent.  But certain restrictions still apply.  If you have held a probationary license for less than 12 months, you may not drive between midnight and 6 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. You can drive to and from work but you must have in your possession written documentation from your job. You can also drive to or from a school activity, or in an emergency. You may also not drive with more than one passenger who is not a family member unless accompanied by a parent, guardian or legal custodian.

After you have driven for one year under the probationary license, Ohio extends your curfew (but not by much). You may not drive between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or guardian with the same exceptions as above. You may not have more passengers than the total number of originally installed seat belts and all passengers must be wearing seat belts. The probationary license is valid until age 18.

At age 18, teen drivers are eligible for a full license if they have successfully completed the probationary license requirements. License applicants age 18 or older who fail the required road or maneuverability test must take an abbreviated driver training course prior to attempting the test a second or subsequent time.

But what if you break the rules?

If you are under 17 and have a probationary license, and if you are convicted of having committed a moving violation during the first 6 months of license issuance, you must then only drive when accompanied by a parent or guardian for the next 6 months or until you turn 17, whichever comes first. Your temporary permit or probationary license can be suspended for periods of up to one year if you are convicted of multiple moving violations or any alcohol-related offense. If your temporary permit or probationary license is suspended, you must meet a number of requirements before your permit or license can be returned, including completion of a juvenile driver improvement program and retaking the driver’s examination.  Ohio’s “zero tolerance” law makes it illegal for teen drivers (under age 21) to drive with a blood alcohol content of .02 or greater.

Teen drivers facing an Ohio OVI offense, please give us a call!


Ohio Alcohol Rules: How Can A Parent Promote Moderation?

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Ohio Alcohol Rules Allow For Drinking In The Home

ohio alcohol rulesIt is commonly asserted that under-age drinking laws make it illegal for anyone in the US under the age of 21 to drink alcohol. However, that is simply not true. Mothers Against Drunk Driver (MADD) has made it their mission to prohibit all underage drinking, but many parents advocate an approach which teaches children to use alcohol in a moderate and responsible manner. This myth about under-age drinking laws intimidates many parents into not teaching their children how to drink safely and in moderation and is thus seen as counterproductive.

A government report to Congress identified the conditions in which so-called underage persons can legally drink alcoholic beverages. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Report to Congress on the Prevention and Reduction of Underage Drinking 2013. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2013 (December). Publication ID: PEP13-RTCUAD.

According to research, many groups around the world have learned how to consume alcohol widely with almost no problems. Those familiar to most Americans include Italians, Jews, and Greeks. The success of such groups has three parts: 1) beliefs about the substance of alcohol, 2) the act of drinking, and 3) education about drinking.

In these successful groups:

  • the substance of alcohol is seen as neutral. It is neither a terrible poison nor is it a magic substance that can transform people into what they would like to be
  • The act of drinking is seen as natural and normal. While there is little or no social pressure to drink, there is absolutely no tolerance for abusive drinking
  • Education about alcohol starts early and starts in the home. Young people are taught — through their parents’ good example and under their supervision — that if they drink, they must do so moderately and responsibly

This three-part approach has enabled many groups to avoid the alcohol abuse problems that have plagued our society. Yet our federal government and others fail to learn from the experience of successful groups, opting instead to portray alcohol as a “dirty drug” to be feared and avoided; to promote abstinence as the best choice for all people; and to work toward reducing all, including moderate and responsible, consumption of alcohol beverages.

Ohio alcohol rules allow for this approach. And while campaigns like “Parents Who Host Lost The Most” is meant to intimidate, you still have the right to teach your children in the manner you see fit.  In Ohio, an underage person can consume alcohol with either parent/guardian or spouse. If you feel this method is for you, please consider all of the consequences and the messages it will send to your child. If both parents are not 100% in agreement about their messages about alcohol, you can be setting everyone up for failure.

Alcohol use in the home is a very controversial topic so put thought into how you will treat it in your house. Ohio alcohol rules frequently change, so talk to family, friends, professionals, and others to make sure you are complying with the rules.

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