Ohio BMV Issues

Vehicle Forfeiture: Where Does The Money Go?

July 30th, 2014

vehicle forfeiture

Have you ever wondered where the money goes following a vehicle forfeiture?

Does your police agency have some really cool sports cars, tricked out SUVs or ruggedly expensive off-road vehicles?  Chances are they got it via Ohio’s vehicle forfeiture law.  Pursuant to R.C. 4503.234(C)(1), the agency that arrested a defendant has a virtual right of first refusal on any forfeited vehicle.  All they have to do is satisfy the lienholder or the innocent non-owners interest if they have protected their interest in the vehicle.

If law enforcement does not want the vehicle it will be sent to auction.  Prior to the sale the prosecuting attorney must give public notice of the proposed sale.  See R.C. 4503.234(C)(2).  At the public auction, the vehicle is sold to the highest bidder – cash only!  R.C. 4503.234(C)(2)  Interestingly, if the “blue book” value of the vehicle is under $2,000.00 the court is authorized to dispose of it in any manner it deems appropriate. R.C. 4503.234(G).

 

  • When the vehicle is sold the money goes to the following people:
  • to the costs associated the the seizure, storage, maintenance, security, and sale;
  • to the value of any non-owner interest established in the vehicle;
  • any remaining proceeds up to $1,000.00 to the law enforcement trust fund [R.C. 2933,43(D)(1)(c) and (2)];

 

Whatever proceeds are left after that go to the following people:

 

  • 50% to the reparation fund [R.C. 2743.191];
  • 25% to the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Fund [R.C. 4511.191(F)(2)(e)]; and
  • 25% to the law enforcement trust fund [R.C. 2981.13]

The law has two particularly ugly provision relating to passengers.  If you are a passenger in a vehicle and you knew or should have known that the driver was impaired you cannot get reparations for your injuries proximately caused by the driver.  See R.C. 2743.191 as amended by SB 153.   No compensation will be paid to a passenger under the influence who should have reasonably known, if that passenger would have been sober, that the driver was under the influence. R.C. 2743.06(B).

As you can see from the priority list above, the law enforcement agency benefits more when an expensive vehicle is forfeited.  Usually, we call this policing for profit when the property is targeted by police so that they can reap a benefit.  Unlike drug forfeitures, however, a vehicle forfeiture in an Ohio OVI case are caused by the actions of the accused driver not by motivated policing.

Much of the vehicle forfeiture information provided herein is set forth at Ohio DUI Law, Weiler & Weiler, 2013-2014 ed.

 

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 information about vehicle forfeiture contact me, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburg, Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

 

How Will A DUI Affect My Insurance Costs?

June 9th, 2014

how will a dui affect my insurance costsHow will a DUI affect my insurance costs?”  This is one of the most common questions we get at initial client conferences.  I have grown frustrated in trying to give a short answer that sufficiently covers the nuances of the situation, so – here is my long-winded multi-part answer.

How Will A DUI Affect My Insurance Costs (Part I)

Insurance company evaluators look at you as a risk. Your rates are based on a number of super-secret algorithms and proprietary factors. Having a DUI conviction is just one of many things they look at and consider. Depending on their factors, insurers may raise your rates require you to purchase “high risk” insurance, or cancel your coverage. Some insurers rank a drunk driving conviction as a lesser risk than an at-fault accident, multiple moving violations or a bad credit score. Some treat reductions to a lesser charge more favorably than others. One way of understanding this is to know that a DUI offender with a bad credit score and moving violations will pay more than a person with only a DUI conviction. How high your rates go depends on the driver, the company, whether or not you are an existing customer and whether or not you are willing to shop for quotes.

You can help lower your rates following a DUI if you drive for a few years without any moving violations. Improving your credit score, moving to a home in the suburbs, having kids, trading in that sports car for a minivan and simply getting older also help you lower your rates. Perhaps the most important factor, however, is your willingness to shop, shop, shop. My wife always calls at least five companies, gets three quotes and then uses one companies’ quote against the other offer.

How Will A DUI Affect My Insurance Costs (Part II)

It may happen that you are “dropped” by your insurance company. If this happens, the insurance company has made the decision that your circumstances create a risk too high for them to accept. Does this mean that you will be uninsurable? No. Taking action to change your personal risk factors and shopping wisely will help you find a reasonable insurance rate. Some insurers, agents or salesmen may try to convince you that “high-risk” is anyone who has a DUI and that you should accept this and re-up with your company at a higher rate. Don’t believe it! See above.

How Will A DUI Affect My Insurance Costs (Part III)

The most common element a DUI or DWI offender will encounter after their license and driving privileges have been reinstated is the SR-22 form. The SR-22 is a form that your car insurance company files with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  The form provides the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles with proof of financial responsibility by showing that you have the required insurance coverages in effect.  The filing acts as a guarantee to the Ohio BMV that an insurance company has issued at least minimum liability coverage for the person making the filing.  An SR-22 also requires the insurance company to notify the Ohio BMV if you cancel your coverage, thus creating a system of continuous monitoring.  The BMV usually requires that you file an SR-22 for a period of 3 years from the beginning date of your suspension. Some suspensions may have a 5 year period. The Ohio BMV will accept SR22 filings showing the purchase of either an Auto Liability Insurance Policy, for vehicle owners who want more than the minimum, or a Financial Responsibility Bond, designed for those who want just the minimum coverage.

The minimum mandatory liability insurance coverage required in the state of Ohio for private passenger vehicles is set forth at O.R.C. 4509.51. Ohio mandates the following liability coverage:

  • $12,500 bodily injury liability (BIL) per persson
  • $25,000 for two or more people in one accidents
  • $7,500 property damage liability (PDL) coverage

There are three types of Ohio SR22 certificates available:

  • Ohio SR22 Operators Certificate: 
This covers the driver for the operation of any non-owned vehicle they have been given permission to drive.
  • Ohio SR22 Owners Certificate: 
This covers the driver to drive any vehicles owned by the driver. The certificate may be issued with the details of the make and mode  of the drivers automobile or it may cover any vehicle owned by the driver.
  • Ohio SR22 Operators-Owners Certificate: 
This covers any vehicles owned by the driver and any vehicles that are not owned but the driver has been given permission to drive.

Any vehicle that is registered in Ohio falls under Ohio vehicle laws. R.C. 4509.101 requires that a vehicle’s owner maintain insurance or other acceptable form of financial responsibility coverage on a registered vehicle throughout the registration period of that vehicle.  If you have an out-of-state license and you have received a suspension in Ohio, Ohio has authority to suspend your right to drive in Ohio. This means you may no longer operate a vehicle in this state. Ohio will post your suspension on the National Driver Registry (NDR) and Problem Driver Pointer System. Your home state may check this Registry for suspensions, and may take its own action against your driver’s license. Some states will run NDR checks at the time of license renewal; others will run checks if a vehicle is stopped and the peace officer decides there may be a reason to run the check.  It is up to you to stay on top of all issues related to your SR-22 filing.  Most insurance companies send the Bureau SR-22/Bond filings electronically. These filings are usually processed the same day that they are received.  Some send paper copies of SR-22/Bonds which can take up to 72 hours to process.  We have seen some outrageous delays but it is seldom takes greater than five business days.  Sometimes SR-22/Bonds are rejected and returned to the insurance company because information is incomplete or incorrect.  To access your BMV records and stay on top of your SR-22, please visit HERE.

It is important that your Ohio DUI attorney show the Court your that you had insurance at the time of your alleged DUI offense.  Any driver and/or owner who fails to show proof that financial responsibility was in effect at the time of an accident/offense/random selection, will lose his/her driving and registration privileges for a minimum of 90 days.  Per Senate Bill 123, the length of the suspension will be 90 days for the first offense, one year for a second offense and two years for third and subsequent offenses committed within a five-year period, if the offense occurred on or after January 1, 2004.  The registration and license plates of the motor vehicle involved may be impounded when the defendant is the owner of the vehicle.  In order to regain driving and registration privileges, the individual must comply with the following requirements:

  • Serve out the suspension time, as outlined above;
  • File and maintain Financial Responsibility Insurance (Form SR-22 or Bond) for three years on a first offense, and five years on a second and subsequent offense;
  • Pay Reinstatement Fee. See Reinstatement Fee List for required fee amount.

There is a $50 non-voluntary surrender fee. If registration, license plates and driver license are surrendered within a specified time period (postmarked on or prior to suspension start date), the $50 non-voluntary surrender fee may be deducted from the amount owed. This fee reduction does not apply to individuals driving without a license because their license has expired or has been revoked, or to individuals who have never had a license.  Per House Bill 687, effective October 12, 1994, all driver licenses and license plates received by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will be destroyed. Duplicate driver license and license plates must be purchased by the driver and/or owner once suspensions end and all requirements are met.  Registration privileges and duplicate license plates can be issued prior to the ending date of the suspension if the necessary fees are paid and Financial Responsibility Insurance is filed.  Any party that is going to be placed under a Noncompliance Suspension, resulting from a Crash Report/Accident, UTT Ticket or Random Selection has the option to request an Administrative Hearing.

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 on, “How will a dui affect my insurance costs” contact me, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Ohio BMV License Suspension

March 20th, 2014

BMV License SuspensionThe most common reasons that a person will have a driver’s license suspension by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles include:

  • Accumulating 12 “points” for traffic violations
  • Driving Without Insurance
  • Operating a Vehicle Impaired (testing over .08 or refusing to test)
  • Drug Offenses
  • Out-of-State DUI/OVI or drug related offenses

If you would like an unofficial copy of your driving record or more information on your type of license suspension or reinstatement, you can visit the BMV web site by clicking HERE.

You should not ignore a notice of suspension because it does not go away unless and until you pay the required reinstatement fees to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. You can appeal your BMV suspension by filing a proper petition with your local municipal court which is also empowered to give you driving privileges during the pendency of your license suspension.   The only exception exists if your license is suspended due to a failure to pay child support.  In such cases, petitions for driving privileges will be handled by the county’s Domestic Relations/Family Court.  Once you submit the appropriate paperwork and pay your filing fee, your appeal will be assigned to a Judge. At this time, you can also present a driving permit to the Court for consideration by a Judge. You can request driving privileges for work, educational or medical reasons.

The court will also allow you t set up a payment plan should you not be able to pay off your reinstatement fee in a lump sum.  The Ohio BMV will offer a driver’s license reinstatement fee installment plan to those individuals who have met all their reinstatement requirements except for paying reinstatement fees. The plan will allow individuals owing $150 or more in reinstatement fee to become valid or eligible to retest for a driver license by paying only $50.00 or more every 30 days for as long as it takes to pay their reinstatement fees.

The license suspension appeal process can vary from court to court.  It is often a very good investment to have an Ohio traffic attorney help you through this process.  The attorney will be familiar with the court’s appeal process and the required paperwork.  You should be able to get guidance as to how to get the maximum number of hours allowed by the court.  Often, people will need to address travel needs or have to deal with a work schedule that changes every week.  Again, a good attorney can deal with these issues.  They can also help avoid trouble by filing and re-filing should your circumstances change. It is also important to consider that driving without a valid permit could result in a criminal charge of Driving Under Suspension, a first degree misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and the possibility of 180 days in jail.

OVI Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio and protecting you.  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.”

Ohio BMV license suspension information and other city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Is This The End of Drunk Driving Arrests?

March 4th, 2014

drunk driving arrests

Will there still be drunk driving arrests in the future?  This is the question raised by Money Watch and CBS in the article about autonomous cars, “Will Your Car Be Driving Itself By 2020?”  According to the article,  “[i]t all sounds like science fiction: cars that drive themselves, navigate streets and avoid crashes. But last week Nissan said it would have such “autonomous cars” to sell by 2020. And General Motors chimed in that it may have a similar model by then.”  The government is not as convinced. “The car–no matter how automated–is not yet ready to be more than a co-pilot,” said National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland in a statement.  There are also significant consumer issues.  “A recent Kelley Blue Book poll found 53 percent of respondents said they would never buy a self-driving car while only 18 percent said they would consider one now if it were available. Twenty percent said they might consider buying if the technology improved in five to 10 years.”

 The implications of these changes could be enormous for attorneys.  If cars can be truly autonomous in the next ten to twenty years will that mean the end of personal injury attorneys? Will it spell the end of drunk driving arrests? It also raises practical concerns over MADD’s legislative agenda.  MADD has been working with major insurance companies and automobile manufacturers to get a passive alcohol system (called DADDS) as mandated equipment in every automobile in the world.  In 2008, at MADD’s urging, the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety entered into a $10 million agreement with the federal government to develop such a technology. This system would  search every driver (not just convicted DUI offenders) every single time they started their car.  This year, MADD’s power as one of the nation’s leading lobbying groups resulted in a provision in the Senate transportation bill to ““more widespread deployment of in-vehicle technology” that would prevent drunken driving.  The research will be carried out by the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, a collaboration between NHTSA and the automobile industry.  It will be interesting to see if MADD is looking for a solution or more drunk driving arrests.

If you think the self-driving car is a pipe dream consider this: Nevada, Florida and California have passed laws allowing self-driving cars on their roads for testing with certain safeguards.  The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S class can brake and steer itself for a few seconds under certain conditions. Mercedes, BMW, Lexus and some other luxury brands have implemented automated cruise control that keeps your car a safe distance behind the one ahead and if the radar system senses an imminent crash, puts on the brakes.  The tech giant Google has also put resources behind developing the technology. Analysts believe Google, if successful, would try to sell the system to the auto industry rather than build cars itself.

 

Dayton 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 drunk driving arrests and other city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

 

Will I Be Required To Use Restricted Plates (A.K.A Party Plates)?

October 2nd, 2013

restricted platesWhen will you be required to use restricted plates?

If you thought that public shaming was a barbaric practice relegated to the distant past, you have not been driving through Ohio.  Ohio was the first state in the country to adopt a form of public humiliation by adopting special license plates (called restricted plates) for drunk driving offenders.  Use of the “scarlet letter” restricted plates became mandatory in 2004. O.R.C. 4507.02(F)(2) and 4503.231.  These bright yellow restricted plates with prominent red lettering (often referred to as “party plates”) are an indelible record of your offense and will not be easily forgotten by friends, family, customers and clients.  At DaytonDUI we are opposed to “branding,” “shaming,” and/or “humiliation” as a method of punishment and will fight to keep these abominations off your vehicle.

When are yellow DUI plates required?  If you are convicted of OVI in Ohio, yellow “restricted plates” are required in certain circumstances.

  • If you are convicted of OVI as a first offense, the judge has discretion to order restricted plates as a condition of granting you limited driving privileges.
  • If you are placed under and administrative license suspension, a judge has discretion to order restricted plates as a condition of granting limited driving privileges.
  • If you are convicted of O.V.I. as a first offense that involves a “high test”, the judge must order restricted plates as a condition of limited driving privileges.
  • If you are convicted of OVI as a second offense or more within six years, the judge must order restricted plates as a condition of limited driving privileges.
  • If you are convicted of O.V.I. as a fourth offense or more within 20 years, the judge must order restricted plates as a condition of limited driving privileges.

In addition to the problems of living with the plates is the inconvenience of obtaining the plates.  If you are required to use these plates, you must surrender your plates to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles who, in turn, will give you the restricted plates.  The restricted plates must remain on your vehicle for the duration of any license suspension imposed by the court and/or during the duration of the administrative license suspension.

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 OVI  or restricted plates information and other city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville