Category: DUI Under 21/Juvenile

Juvenile DUI Offenses Cannot Be Used To Enhance Sentence

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If you have a juvenile DUI offense on your record, this is big!

juvenile duiIn a 4-3 decision impacting juvenile DUI cases, State v. Hand, Slip Opinion No. 2016-Ohio-5504, the Ohio Supreme Court declared that treating cases from juvenile court as prior convictions for adult-sentencing purposes is unconstitutional, violating the due-process clauses of the Ohio and U.S. constitutions, and is “fundamentally unfair.”

Writing For the Majority…

It was a close 4-3 decision. Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger, writing for the majority, said

Juvenile courts hold a “unique place in our legal system.” In re C.S., 115 Ohio St.3d 267, 2007-Ohio-4919, 874 N.E.2d 1177, ¶ 65. They are legislative creatures that “eschewed traditional, objective criminal standards and retributive notions of justice.” Id. at ¶ 66. The overriding purposes for juvenile dispositions “are to provide for the care, protection, and mental and physical development of children subject to [R.C. Chapter 2152], protect the public interest and safety, hold the offender accountable for the offender’s actions, restore the victim, and rehabilitate the offender.” R.C. 2152.01(A). In contrast, the purposes of felony sentencing “are to protect the public from future crime by the offender and others and to punish the offender.” R.C. 2929.11(A). In summary, juvenile adjudication differs from criminal sentencing—one is civil and rehabilitative, the other is criminal and punitive.

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justices Paul E. Pfeifer and William M. O’Neill joined Lanzinger in her opinion. Justice Terrence O’Donnell was joined by Justices Judith L. French and Sharon L. Kennedy in his dissenting opinion.

What Does It Mean For Juvenile DUI Cases?

The impact on DUI law in Ohio is apparent because the opinion specifically references a juvenile DUI analysis in a previous case. With that framework, a judge would be hard-pressed to argue that a juvenile DUI is not covered by the opinion. Given the nature of the punitive enhancements mandatory under most DUI sentences, this case is a big deal.

If you need an attorney who limits their practice to DUI and understands how to defend a juvenile DUI, contact Charles M. Rowland II (DaytonDUI) at (937) 318-1384 or 24/7 at (937) 776-2671.
All I do is DUI defense. 


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.

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.

Keyword – Ohio Alcohol Rules
traffic fatalities

New Restrictions For Juvenile Drivers In Ohio Begins Today

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Beginning July 1, 2015, juvenile drivers issued a probationary license will face restrictions on when they can drive and how many passengers are allowed in the car while driving based on experience instead of age. This change is a result of Ohio’s Drive Toward a Safer Ohio Initiative and is an effort to increase the level of experience for Ohio’s young drivers.

“The change in driving times and the passenger restrictions during the first 12 months of driving allows Ohio’s young motorists to gain more experience on the road, while reducing their risks,” said Karhlton Moore, Executive Director of the Office of Criminal Justice Services. “This will help them become safer drivers.”

Whether these measures will actually work is of little concern to Ohio lawmakers as juvenile drivers make up only 5 percent of all drivers. The legislature did make a change in the law that will allow teen drivers to drive past 10 p.m. and would not require an additional six months with a parent or guardian if the juvenile driver has a moving violation.

Probationary drivers under the age of 18 will have the following restrictions during the first 12 months with a license:

  • No driving between midnight and 6 a.m., unless that driver is accompanied by a parent or a guardian. Those with valid documentation from work, school or church allowing for travel for activities between these hours are exempt;
  • No driving with more than one non-family member in the car;
  • All passengers must wear safety belts at all times; and
  • No use of mobile communication while driving.

For more information on laws affecting juvenile drivers in Ohio, please contact us at (937) 318-1384.

Keywords: Juvenile drivers, ohio dui attorney, ohio ovi attorney, ohio dui lawyer, ohio ovi lawyer