Tag: ALS suspension

Why The ALS Suspension Is Unconstitutional

00DUI & ALS Suspensions, DUI Case LawTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ALS SuspensionWe are often asked how the arresting officer is authorized to take a persons’ license under the ALS suspension, and whether or not this is constitutional.  The dilemma presented by Ohio DUI Law is this: If I am innocent until proven guilty, how can they punish me by immediately taking my license when I am accused of DUI?  This site takes the position that the current law is unconstitutional.  But before we jump into the argument, it is important to understand how the current law works.

If you are stopped for an OVI, DUI or drunk driving and you refuse to take a chemical test (breathblood or urine), or if your test results exceed the legal limit of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), the police officer can and will take your driver’s license on the spot causing your drivers license to be suspended immediately.  This pre-conviction suspension is called the ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE SUSPENSION. The ALS suspension is a suspension imposed by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles and not a suspension imposed by the court, but a penalty imposed under civil/administrative law.  For constitutional purposes, the entirety of the ALS scheme depends on the penalty being construed as a civil penalty.

Dept. of Revenue of Mont. v. Kurth Ranch

The United States Supreme Court has addressed a very similar distinction between a civil penalty and a criminal penalty in Department of Revenue of Mont. v. Kurth Ranch, 511 U.S. 767 (1994).  In this case, the Defendant was both tried for selling marijuana — and then charged civilly for a failure to pay a tax on that marijuana. The Supreme Court held that it was a violation of the Constitutional prohibition against Double Jeopardy: The fact that one proceeding was criminal and the other civil did not matter, the Court said, as long as they both involved the same offense and both were intended as punishment.

United States v. Halper

The Kurth Ranch decision upheld a previous ruling in United States v. Halper, 490 US 435 (1989) the United State Supreme Court addressed a civil penalty being used as a punishment.  In this case, Irwin Halper, the manager of a company that provided medical services to patients eligible for Medicare benefits, was charged and convicted in criminal court of submitting 65 separate false Medicare claims. He was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $5,000. This was the criminal penalty.

The United States then brought additional civil charges under the False Claims Act, which authorized it to collect $2000 for each offense in addition to attorney’s fees and twice the damages sustained. In this case the actual damages were just $585, but because of the number of offenses the total penalty was more than $130,000. The District Court, however, ruled that the penalty was “entirely unrelated” to the government’s actual damages and would therefore be a second punishment for the same offense, violating the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The penalty was therefore limited to double the amount of actual damages and attorney’s fees. The government appealed the decision directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. Quoted from Oyez HERE.

Justice Harry Blackmun, on behalf of a unanimous Supreme Court, wrote that while previous cases had held penalties under the Act to be civil in nature, that did not foreclose the possibility of the penalty being so extreme and so unrelated to the actual damages as to constitute “punishment.” Because Halper had already been jailed and fined, additional punishment in a separate proceeding would violate the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The Court remanded the case to the District Court so that the government could challenge the original assessment of its attorney’s fees.

So: The ALS Suspension Is Unconstitutional, Right?

 

These cases have repeatedly been cited in DUI cases as authority for the proposition that the State cannot both criminally prosecute for driving with over .08% blood alcohol and civilly suspend the individual’s driver’s license for the same offense. Although there have been federal court decisions taking this position, to date state courts have not accepted this reasoning and the U.S. Supreme Court has not addressed the issue in a drunk driving context.

As regular readers of this blog know, I am always looking for a way to change the most harsh and unreasonable aspects of DUI law that hurt innocent people.  There is no “penalty” more severe than immediately losing your license and having to scramble to arrange to put your life back together.  I hope to be in a position to challenge the constitutionality of the Ohio ALS scheme.

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 info on the ALS suspension, check these city-specific sites at the following links:

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

Driving Privileges: Hard Time

00DUI & ALS Suspensions, DUI & Driving Privileges, Ohio BMV Issues, Prior OffensesTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

15 days if you took the test, 30 days if you did not (First Offense)

Seal of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Source

If you are stopped for an OVI, DUI or drunk driving and you refuse to take a chemical test (breath, blood or urine), or if your test results exceed the legal limit of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), the police officer can and will take your driver’s license on the spot causing your drivers license to be suspended immediately.  This pre-conviction suspension is called the ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE SUSPENSION. The ALS is a suspension imposed by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles and not a suspension imposed by the court.  A court may not grant driving privileges for a certain period of time following the imposition of an ALS. O.R.C. 4510.13(A).  The amount of time between the imposition of the ALS suspension and the time you are eligible for limited driving privileges is called “hard time.”  How long the hard time lasts depends upon whether the person has any prior offenses and whether or not the person took the test or refused the test.

First Offense Midemeanor OVI Failed Chemical Test R.C. 4511.191(C): Occupational driving privileges cannot be granted during the following periods in test cases:

  • First 15 days of suspension on a first offense
  • First 30 days of suspension on a person who had a prior OVI or refusal within 6 years.
  • First 180 days for a person who has had 2 prior OVI/refusals within 6 years.
  • First 3 years of suspension on a person who had 3 or more previous OVI/refusals within 6 years

First Offense Misdemeanor OVI Refusal R.C. 4511.19(B): Occupational driving privileges cannot be granted during the following periods in refusal cases:

  • First 30 days of suspension on a first offense.
  • First 90 days of suspension on a person who had a previous refusal within 6 years.
  • First year of suspension on a person who had 2 previous refusals within 6 years.
  • First 3 years of suspension on a person who had 3 previous refusals within 6 years.
  • A person, who within the preceding 7 years, has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to 3 or more OVI violations cannot be granted limited privileges.

One of the first conversations you should have with your OVI lawyer will involve wether or not grounds exist for an appeal of the ALS.  You will discuss the limited circumstances under which an Administrative License Suspension can be challenged.  The court must hold the administrative license suspension hearing within five days of arrest.  You only have 30 days from your arraignment to file an appeal of the Administrative License Suspension. The scope of appeal is confined to four issues:

 1. Was your arrest based on reasonable grounds? 

2. Did the officer request that you to take a test? 

3. Were you made aware of the consequences if you refused or failed the test? 

4. Did you refuse or fail the test?

Charles M. Rowland II is familiar with the case law relevant to determining if an ALS appeal would be beneficial in your case.  He will check to see if the 2255 form (the yellow piece of paper you were given) was notorized.  The BMV must receive a notarized sworn copy of the 2255.  If the form is not executed as required by law, then he can bring that to the court’s attention and request that the ALS be terminated or stayed.  It is important to discuss whether or not you were able to produce the requested sample.  If you have a verifiable medical condition the Administrative License Suspension may not be plausible in your case.  No matter what the circumstances, Charles M. Rowland II will help secure you limited driving privileges for work or for school after the HARD TIME has passed.

Much confusion is caused by the fact that the Administrative License Suspension is a pre-trial suspension generated by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  The warnings given by the arresting officer are misleading.  Often a client will come to our office under the misimpression that the worst case scenario will be a 90 day suspension.  If our client refused a chemical test, they believe they are condemned to a one year suspension.  This is not usually the case.  Upon a plea to a reduced charge (such as Reckless Operation) or to an OVI,  the Administrative License Suspension will be terminated and the court will impose its own suspension.   The minimum mandatory suspension for a first OVI offense is six months.  This will horrify the person who believed that they were facing 90 days, but a welcome relief to people who thought they were going to have a one year suspension.

According to the Ohio BMV, the ALS Refusal Suspension will be terminated by the registrar upon notice that:

  • The person entered a plea of guilty to OVI and the refusal suspension arose from the same incident.
  • The person entered a plea of no contest to OVI, was found guilty and the refusal suspension arose from the same incident.

To make matters even more confusing, any suspension ordered by the Court is given a “class” numerical representation and any suspension given by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles is given a “letter” designation.  Here are the lists of the different “CLASSES” of suspensions in Ohio. See R.C. 4510.02(A) and R.C. 4510.02(B).

COURT SUSPENSIONS

  • Class 1: Lifetime
  • Class 2: 3yrs to life
  • Class 3: 2 – 10yrs
  • Class 4: 1 – 5yrs
  • Class 5: 6mos. – 3yrs.
  • Class 6: 3mos – 2yrs.
  • Class 7: “a definite period” – 1yr

BMV SUSPENSIONS (Note: all for a fixed length)

  • Class A: 3 yrs
  • Class B: 2 yrs
  • Class C: 1 yr
  • Class D: 6 mos
  • Class E: 3 mos
  • Class F: until conditions are met

It is advisable that you speak with Charles Rowland at the imposition of your suspension as many courts offer programs (at little or no cost) that help you get valid.  DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in Fairborn, Dayton, SpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgHuber HeightsBeavercreekCentervilleSpringboro, Franklin 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 Twitterupdates 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.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.

Ohio OVI Penalties

00DUI Penalties, Prior OffensesTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The only

Ohio’s legislature is constantly tinkering with the OVI statute, R.C. 4511.19.  This can be tough on attorneys trying to provide information in the internet age as internet articles and blog posts are not bio-degradable.  The law changes and old posts do not.  One site that provides constant updates on the current OVI penalties is Judge Jennifer Weiler’s site at the Garfield Heights Municipal Court.  Her charts are used in every courtroom in Ohio to keep legal professionals current on Ohio’s OVI law.  She has provided an invaluable service. You can find information on Ohio’s OVI penalties by clicking here:

The first page details the penalties for the offenses of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, underage operating under the influence, and physical control. The second page concerns the length of administrative license suspensions imposed upon arrest and the process for appealing such suspensions.

On a second chart, entitled “Ohio Driver’s License Offense Penalties, ” Judge Weiler provides a chart listing the penalty provisions for common offenses such as driving under suspension, driving without a license, and wrongful entrustment. The second page also has a summary of when driving privileges may be granted and the requirements for the same.

Driving Under Suspension in Ohio

00Driving Under Suspension, DUI & Driving Privileges, DUI Out-of-State, DUI Penalties, DUI Trucking & CDL, DUI, Drugs & Driving, Ohio BMV Issues, Ohio Traffic LawTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Ohio’s Driving Under Suspension (DUS) law is formidable.  The statutory scheme encompasses over 20 different types of suspensions ranging from Automatic License Suspensions for DUI offenses to suspensions for failing to purchase adequate insurance coverage. Please click on the links below for specific information. If you need additional information on Ohio’s DUS law, or if you find yourself charged with Driving Under Suspension or any of the myriad offense that require contact with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, please contact Dayton traffic attorney Charles M. Rowland II at (937)318-1DUI [318-1384] today.

Types of Suspensions in Ohio