Posts Tagged ‘DUI Lawyer’

Phase Two: The Personal Contact Phase

March 25th, 2014

personal contact phaseAn officer’s decision to arrest for DUI involves three steps: observing the vehicle in motion, observing the driver during a personal contact phase, and administering field sobriety tests.  Evidence is collected at each stage.  If, after conducting all three phases, the officer believes probable cause exists that you are impaired, you will then be arrested.  Probable cause is a flexible, common-sense standard. It merely requires that the facts available to the officer would ‘warrant a man of reasonable caution in the belief,’ Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132, 162 (1925), that you are impaired; it does not demand any showing that such a belief be correct or more likely true than false.  A ‘practical, nontechnical’ probability that incriminating evidence is involved is all that is required. Brinegar v. United States, 338 U.S. 160, 176 (1949).”

To collect evidence during the personal contact phase, an officer is trained to:

  1. observe and interview the driver; and
  2. observe the driver’s exit and walk when the driver is asked to step from the vehicle.

When observing and interviewing the driver, NHTSA  offers the following clues for the officer to observe and record at this point in the stop:

  • ” Sight-bloodshot eyes, soiled clothing, fumbling fingers, alcohol containers, drugs or drug paraphernalia, bruises, bumps or scratches, unusual actions
  • ” Hearing-slurred speech, admission of drinking, inconsistent responses, abusive language, unusual statements
  • ” Smell-alcoholic beverages, marijuana, cover up odors like breath sprays, unusual odors

It is up to you to prevent an over-eager officer from determining that your actions are caused by alcohol impairment and not normal day-to-day activities.  One way to do this is to have your documents in order.  No matter how dexterous, some officers will observe your attempt to withdraw your paperwork as inadequate.  We routinely see reports that say:

  • fumbled for license;
  • was slow and deliberate in looking for insurance;
  • unable to produce license and registration;
  • could not get his/her license from wallet;

While these “personal contact phase” observations may not be determinative of impairment, they go a long way in establishing the officer’s decision to place you under arrest for operating a vehicle impaired.  Here is what you can do during the personal contact phase to avoid an unnecessary arrest.

Here is a common sense tip:  just have your license, insurance information and vehicle registration in a place that makes them easily accessible.  Prior to the officer’s approach, have these items close at hand, so that you can provide them upon request.  If you are arrested, you attorney will make use of the fact that you produced these documents quickly.  Practice taking your license out of your wallet.  If it takes more than five seconds, make it easier to get to.  Put you license and insurance information in an envelope near the drivers compartment.  Officers are understandably concerned about their safety and will get suspicious if you dive toward the glove compartment prior to their vehicle approach.

At the conclusion of the personal contact phase, both you and the officer have a decision to make.  The officer must determine if he or she is going to remove you from the vehicle to take standardized field sobriety tests, and you must determine if you will take the tests.  As DUI attorney Bruce Kapsack quips, “If they ask you to get out of the car, they’ve already made their decision, so why give them more evidence to use against you?”  Taking practical steps to be prepared for an officer hell-bent on arresting people for drunk driving, can save you the embarrassment and expense of a DUI arrest.

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 more about the personal contact phase at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

DUI Blitz Planned Along I-75 Corridor

February 21st, 2014

DUIDUI Blitz – If you are driving along 1-75 this weekend, be prepared for an enhanced police presence.  The 6-State Trooper Project includes the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Kentucky State Police, Indiana State Police, Pennsylvania State Police, West Virginia State Police and the Michigan State Police.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol will be joining forces with other members of the 6-State Trooper Project to focus on crash causing violations.  Troopers will be targeting safety belt, aggressive driving, and OVI related violations along the Interstate 75 corridor.  The initiative will take place from February 21, at 12:01 a.m. through February 23, at 11:59 p.m.  This high-visibility enforcement effort will include the Michigan State Police, Kentucky State Police and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

 

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 Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have us at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonOVI smart phone app or have OVI information sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI to the following number: 50500.  Follow us 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.

DUI information and other city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Limited Driving Privileges Under Ohio Revised Code 4510.021

December 26th, 2013

limited driving privilegesQ. Can I get limited driving privileges during the pendency of my OVI case?

A court may grant limited driving privileges to a person who has had their license suspended pursuant to a pending OVI.  The Ohio Revised Code, 4510.021 limits driving to the following purposes: (1) Occupational, educational, vocational, or medical purposes; (2) Taking the driver’s or commercial driver’s license examination; and (3) Attending court-ordered treatment.  A court is granted broad discretion to impose restrictions so long as the restrictions are reasonable.  While most courts will not impose an ignition interlock devise or restricted “party” plates on a first offense OVI, the statute specifically grants them discretion to do so.  The statute also does not grant a right or requirement that the court grant limited driving privileges.  Some courts make obtaining privileges easy and some courts do not grant privileges prior to a plea.  Hiring an attorney who is familiar with the particular requirements for limited driving privileges will save you time and frustration during the pendency of your OVI case.

Q. When will I get limited driving privileges?

A court may not grant driving limited 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.

Q. Is there a way to avoid the ALS suspension and limited driving 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?

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. Limited driving privileges will be available during the pendency of the court-imposed suspension.  Again, be sure to ask your OVI attorney how your court typically handles ALS terminations and limited driving privileges.

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.”

Ohio Limited Driving Privileges information and other city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Snow: What is the Law in Ohio? (by DaytonDUI)

December 9th, 2013

English: Trees covered by snow in Boreal, Cali...

With the return of winter weather, we have received some questions about what constitutes a snow emergency and under what authority a snow emergency can be deemed to exist.  We have also counseled clients who wanted to know what law would circumscribe their behavior during a snow event.  Here is what we learned:

A county sheriff may, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code sections 311.07 and 311.08, declare a snow emergency and temporarily close the state roads and municipal streets within his/her jurisdiction when such action is reasonably necessary for the preservation of the public peace. Ohio Attorney General’s Opinion 97-015, issued April 1, 1997, concluded that this authority includes state roads, county and township roads and municipal streets.

Ohio law provides for three levels of snow emergency.

Snow Emergency Classifications

LEVEL 1: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be icy. Motorists are urged to drive very cautiously.

LEVEL 2: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be very icy. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roads. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work. Motorists should use extreme caution.

LEVEL 3: All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be driving during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel or a personal emergency exists. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roads may subject themselves to arrest.

Ohio Revised Code 2917.13 sets forth the crime of “Misconduct at an Emergency.”  Any person who knowingly hampers or fails to obey a lawful order of the sheriff declaring a snow emergency and temporarily closing highways, roads and/or streets within his/her jurisdiction may be subject to criminal prosecution under Ohio Revised Code Section 2917.13, “Misconduct at an emergency” or other applicable law or ordinance. A violation under that section is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, punishable by a jail sentence not to exceed 30 days and/or a fine not to exceed $250. If the misconduct creates a risk of physical harm to persons or property, it is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by a jail sentence not to exceed 180 days and/or a fine not to exceed $1,000.  Below is the full text of the statute.

ORC 2917.13. Misconduct at emergency.

(A) No person shall knowingly do any of the following:

  • 1. Hamper the lawful operations of any law enforcement officer, firefighter, rescuer, medical person, emergency medical services person, or other authorized person, engaged in the person’s duties at the scene of a fire, accident, disaster, riot or emergency of any kind;
  • 2. Hamper the lawful activities of any emergency facility person who is engaged in the person’s duties in an emergency facility;
  • 3. Fail to obey the lawful order of any law enforcement officer engaged in the law enforcement officer’s duties at the scene of or in connection with a fire, accident, disaster or emergency of any kind.

(B) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit access or deny information to any news media representative in the lawful exercise of the news media representative’s duties.

(C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of misconduct at an emergency. Except as otherwise provided in this division, misconduct at an emergency is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If a violation of this section creates a risk of physical harm to persons or property, misconduct at an emergency is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(D) As used in this section:

  • 1. “Emergency medical services person” is the singular of “emergency medical services personnel” as defined in section 2133.21 of the Revised Code.
  • 2. “Emergency facility person” is the singular of “emergency facility personnel” as defined in section 2909.04 of the Revised Code.
  • 3. “Emergency facility” has the same meaning as in section 2909.04 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 03-22-2004

To view the state’s weather-related road closures and restrictions, visit the Ohio Department of Transportation’s traffic Web site at www.buckeyetraffic.org.

DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in Fairborn, Dayton, Springfield, Kettering, Vandalia, Xenia, Miamisburg, Springboro, Huber Heights, Oakwood, Beavercreek, Centerville 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 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. “All I do is DUI”

Is Your DUI Attorney The Cleanest Pig In The Pen?

October 30th, 2013

cleanest pig in the pen“Well, aren’t you just the cleanest pig in the pen?”

That was my father’s reaction when I relayed to him what I considered to be a fine piece of attorney-ing.  I was a new lawyer assigned a high-profile home invasion robbery case.  The newspaper detailed that my client faced decades behind bars if convicted.

After plea negotiations with the prosecuting attorney I was able to secure a plea to one felony count and an agreed sentence of “only” five years in prison.  I was proud of the work I’d done and felt that my client was lucky to have me.  I  also arrogantly assumed that I had done better than any other attorney could have done with the case. But was that a proper measure?

My father had hit upon a logical flaw which I have hereafter called the “Cleanest Pig In the Pen Fallacy.”  We, as attorneys, often justify our actions, our plea deals and our advice based on what we have seen other attorneys do and experience.  We base our decisions on the context, providing our clients with a risk assessment based on our (limited?) experience. Being a competitive lot, we feel good when we perceive our result better than the “average” attorney.  Thus we are happy being the “cleanest pig in the pen.”

Our clients do not care who the cleanest pig in the pen is.  They view our actions from a very different perspective.  To them, all that matters is the result of their case.  They are looking at the “pen” from the outside.  My father’s wisdom led me to the understanding that to someone going to prison, be it for one day or ten years, all of us attorneys are pigs covered in shit!  Whether we did better than the average attorney is irrelevant!

Since that time I have told this story countless times.  Whenever I relate a pre-trial offer to a client I tell them that the offer should be evaluated from all possible perspectives.  I impose upon myself a strict self-regulation not to view the offer only from the limited perspective of how I feel about the offer.  By looking at an offer from all sides I am able to provide a full context and look at the case through my client’s eyes, the prosecutor’s eyes, the judge’s eyes, etc.  Being aware of the “cleanest pig in the pen fallacy” has made me a better attorney.  I offer this story here as a reminder that we, as attorneys, have an obligation to not judge ourselves by any standard other than our client’s.

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 “cleanest pig in the pen” stories and other city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville