Category: Physical Control

physical control

No, A Physical Control Does Not Count As A “Prior Offense”

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We get this Physical Control Question Quite a Bit!

A physical control conviction (R.C. 4511.194) does not count as a “prior offense” for purposes of enhancing a subsequent OVI (drunk driving) charge.  This principle is spelled out in case law and in statute.  R.C. 4511.181 sets forth the offenses that count as prior convictions.  It does not list a violation of physical control (R.C. 4511.194) as a predicate offense.  It does not matter if the prior conviction  was charged under R.C. 4511.194 or as a violation of a municipal ordinance. This is set forth at R.C. 4511.182(A) and in State v. Schultz, 2008-Ohio-4325 (Ohio Ct. App. 8th Dist. Cuyahoga County 2008). If you have questions about Ohio OVI laws, please give us a call.

What is a Physical Control Violation? Is It Better Than An OVI?

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Why should I consider a reduction to Physical Control?

physical controlWhile a “physical control” conviction (O.R.C. 4511.194)  is similar to an OVI conviction (O.R.C. 4511.19) in that both are alcohol-related first degree misdemeanors, the PC conviction does not carry mandatory minimum penalties. In fact, a court may give proportionally lighter penalties due to the fact that you did not operate your vehicle and place others at risk.

There are many reasons why an attorney may seek a physical control charge as a reduction from an OVI (drunk driving) charge.  Firstly, a subsequent OVI charge will carry significantly reduced ramifications. Whereas prior OVI convictions trigger enhanced minimum penalties for future OVI convictions, prior physical control convictions would not trigger those enhanced penalties for future OVI convictions. For example, if you are convicted of OVI and you have had a prior OVI conviction within the last six years, your minimum jail time will jump from three days to 10 days. If you are convicted of OVI and have a prior PC conviction, the minimum jail time is still only three days.

A PC charge also carries zero (0) points on your Ohio license. Not having points is important if you have had prior traffic convictions and may save you significantly on your auto insurance rates.  In addition, a PC  may not count as a “major incident” on a commercial driver’s license (CDL) due to the fact that it is a non-moving violation.

Pleading guilty to a physical control charge will require you to pay a $475.00 reinstatement fee to the Ohio BMV.

Most importantly, being convicted of “physical control” does not carry the stigma of an OVI conviction and may save you untold ramifications in the future.  Call Charlie at (937) 318-1384 to discuss your case.

A Physical Control Conviction Is Not A Prior Offense

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physical controlA physical control conviction does not count as a “prior offense” for purposes of enhancement.  This principle is spelled out in case law and in statute.  R.C. 4511.181 sets forth the offenses that count as prior convictions.  It does not list a violation of physical control (R.C. 4511.194) as a predicate offense.  It does not matter if the prior conviction  was charged under R.C. 4511.194 or as a violation of a municipal ordinance. This is set forth at R.C. 4511.182(A) and in State v. Schultz, 2008-Ohio-4325 (Ohio Ct. App. 8th Dist. Cuyahoga County 2008).

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 physical control or DUI 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 info on the physical control law, check these city-specific sites at the following links:

Fairborn, Dayton, Springfield,Kettering,Vandalia,XeniaMiamisburg,Huber HeightsSpringboroOakwood,Beavercreek, Centerville

 

Can I Get An ALS Suspension On A Physical Control Charge?

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physical control If you are found drunk in a non-moving car, you may be charged with a violation of O.R.C. 4511.194, Physical Control of an Automobile While Impaired instead of drunk driving (O.R.C. 4511.19, OVI, DUI, OMVI).  The arresting officer, on behalf of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (hereinafter BMV), imposes an Administrative License Suspension at the time of arrest for OVI, or OVUAC when the driver refuses to take the chemical test or takes it and has an alcohol concentration in his whole blood of .08%, blood serum or plasma of .096%, breath of .08%, or in his urine of .11 grams.

The BMV imposes an Administrative License Suspension at the time of arrest for a violation of 4511.194 when the driver refuses to take the test. If the driver takes the chemical test, no Administrative License Suspension is imposed. ORC §4511.191(C)(1).  So go ahead and take the test only if you are sure that you are not being charged with DUI!

Physical Control of a Vehicle While Impaired (O.R.C. 4511.194) is the offense of being intoxicated while in control of a car, but not having caused the vehicle to move. If you are under the influence and the prosecutor can prove that you “operated” your car and were not simply in “physical control” of your car, you may face a charge of OVI/DUI (drunk driving). Thus the legal analysis will turn on whether on the prosecutor can prove you “operated” your car. “Operation” includes causing or having caused a vehicle (such as a car, truck, RV, bicycle or motorcycle) to move. See Cincinnati v. Kelley, 47 Ohio St. 2d 94, 351 N.E.2d 85 (1976).

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 schedule a free physical control  consultation contact me, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Top Ten Rules for Partying in Ohio

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In light of the arrest made following the University of Dayton’s victory, we offer college students these rules for partying (legally) in Ohio.

Rule #1: Don’t Drink and Drive

Ohio has some of the most stringent drunk driving laws in the county.  A first-time offender faces 180 days in jail and a one thousand seventy-five dollar fine, loss of their driver’s license for up to three years and enhanced penalties upon subsequent convictions.  A DUI (called an OVI in Ohio) is not subject to expungement, meaning it will be on your record forever, and subjects an offender to a six (6) year look-back period for enhancements and up to twenty (20) years for enhanced punishments for refusing an officer’s request to provide a breath, blood or urine sample.  In addition to the penalties you will face in court, you may face suspension from your school or other discipline. (Ohio Revised Code 4511.19)

Rule #2: Don’t Drink If You Are Under 21

It is illegal in Ohio for anyone under 21 to purchase, possess or consume an alcoholic beverage.  A conviction of Underage Consumption is a first degree misdemeanor and carries a maximum fine of $1,000.00 and/or up to six months in jail.  Despite efforts to lower the drinking age, the law remains rigidly enforced.  Athletes, students on scholarship and students who live in on-campus housing may face additional harsh penalties for underage drinking and be particularly vulnerable to the penalties that are sure to follow an arrest.  Ohio Revised Code Section 4301.69 contains most of the information concerning underage alcohol possession and use. Penalties are in Ohio Revised Code Section 4301.99.

Rule #3: Don’t Furnish Alcohol to Minors

Furnishing someone under 21 with alcohol is a first degree misdemeanor.  If you are providing the alcohol, make sure you know where it is going.  You may be responsible if an underage person consumes the alcohol and face harsh punishments.  Ohio regularly receives funding for programs aimed at curbing underage drinking and uses these funds to go after people providing the booze.  The bigger your party the more likely it is to draw attention from law enforcement.

Rule #4: Don’t Use a Fake ID

Just possessing  a fake ID is illegal in Ohio and is classified as a first degree misdemeanor.  Using the fake ID to purchase alcohol is punished by a mandatory $250.00 fine and may result in a 3 year driver’s license suspension.  A popular enforcement method is for police officers to serve as vendors in drive-through establishments:  “COPS IN SHOPS”

Rule #5: Don’t Drink Where You Shouldn’t

Ohio has an open container law.  It is a minor misdemeanor to possess in public an open container of an alcoholic beverage.  You are subject to a fine of up to $150.00 (a minor misdemeanor).  Possession of alcohol while in a car bumps the charge up to a fourth degree misdemeanor and subjects the offender to 30 days in jail. 4301.62 Opened container of beer or intoxicating liquor prohibited at certain premises.

Rule #6: Don’t Be Drunk In or Near a Car

Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 4511.194 (effective Jan. 1, 2005), it is illegal to be in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence. “Physical Control” is defined as being in the driver’s seat of a car and having possession of the vehicle’s keys.  Physical Control does not require that the vehicle have ever been driven or even started.  Under the statute, having the keys within reach will satisfy the definition of having “physical control.”   The crime is one of potentiality, (i.e. you are so close to driving that we will punish you) and speaks to the growing neo-prohibitionist tendencies in Ohio law.

Rule #7:  Don’t Be Disorderly

Disorderly conduct can occur from simply being intoxicated in public.  Officers are given a great deal of discretion in determining what constitutes disorderly behavior.  Disorderly conduct occurs when one recklessly causes inconvenience, annoyance or alarm to another due to offensive conduct. Disorderly conduct also occurs when one makes unreasonable noise in such a manner as to violate the peace and quiet of the neighborhood or to be detrimental to the life and health of any individual.  While normally a minor misdemeanor ($150.00 fine) a disorderly conduct can be enhanced to a fourth degree misdemeanor (30 days jail/$250 fine) if an officer tells you to stop the behavior and you persist. See O.R.C. 2917.11 Disorderly Conduct.

Rule #8: Don’t burn stuff

Intentionally setting fire to property that might endanger other or their property, in fact damages the property of another and/or preventing police, fire or EMS personnel from doing their job is a violation of O.R.C. 2909.01 to 2909.0.  Students at public universities in Ohio who are found guilty of these crimes will lose all state-funded financial aid for two years.

Rule #9: Disperse When Instructed

Failure to disperse is also a crime in Ohio.  You should begin walking away and/or go indoors upon such an order. You must obey all lawful orders given by such persons at an emergency site.  A recent revision in the law makes a failure to disperse in situations such as campus area riots an offense for which you can be arrested and jailed. If you actively hamper police officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, and other public officials while they are doing their jobs you subject yourself to the charge of Misconduct During An Emergency.

Rule #10 Don’t Riot

The party is getting out of control.  If more than five people are engaging in disorderly behavior the party may be deemed a riot under Ohio law.  Your participation in a riot may subject you to criminal penalties. If there is violence involved the rioting gets bumped up to aggravated rioting.  Aggravated rioting is a felony level offense.  Those found guilty of rioting and aggravated rioting must be dismissed from their university and are not permitted to enroll in any state-supported institution of higher education for one year.

DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in Dayton, Springfield, Kettering, Vandalia, Xenia, Miamisburg, Huber Heights, Beavercreek, and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself the Miami Valley’s choice for DUI defense.  Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263).  For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter @DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook, www.facebook.com/daytondui and on the DaytonDUI channel on YouTube.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.comor write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.