Posts Tagged ‘Ohio DUI Defense’

DUI Defense In “My Cousin Vinny”

August 4th, 2014

dui defense attorney

DUI defense is never far from my mind.  I was reminded of this last weekend watching one of my favorite movies, “My Cousin Vinny.” In the movie a novice New York attorney (Joe Pesci) heads to the deep south to defend his cousin and his friend in a high-profile murder case.  He is met with a hostile judge and a pompous attorney who are hell bent on seeing the two kids put away for murder. Comedy ensues.

In the course of the trial the prosecutor call George Wilbur (James Rebhorn) as an expert for the State.  Vinny objects.

Vinny Gambini: I object to this witness being called at this time. We’ve been given no prior notice he’d testify. No discovery of any tests he’s conducted or reports he’s prepared. And as the court is aware, the defense is entitled to advance notice of any witness who will testify, particularly to those who will give scientific evidence, so that we can properly prepare for cross-examination, as well as to give the defense an opportunity to have the witness’s reports reviewed by a defense expert, who might then be in a position to contradict the veracity of his conclusions.

[there is a short pause as Judge Haller appears caught off-guard by Vinny's sudden compentence with knowledge of the law]

Judge Chamberlain Haller: Mr. Gambini?

Vinny Gambini: Yes, sir?

Judge Chamberlain Haller: That is a lucid, intelligent, well thought-out objection.

Vinny Gambini: Thank you, Your Honor.

Judge Chamberlain Haller: [firm tone] Overruled.

The State’s witness is the special automotive instructor of forensic studies for the FBI, who testified that the tire marks left at the scene of the crime match the tires of the vehicle driven by Vinny’s clients.  He has all of the traditional indicia of credibility, an outstanding education and an authoritative command of the courtroom.  The only problem with his testimony is that he is DEAD WRONG!  In the movie the kids are saved by out of work hairdresser Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei) whose real world expertise proves that the car did not match the tire tracks left at the scene.

In DUI defense we are often faced with forensic experts who are clothed in the traditional indicia of credibility.  Defense attorneys also face a machine that the state of Ohio has exempted from scientific challenge. The only thing that our clients have going for them is us!

I take great pleasure in proving the machine and the State’s witnesses wrong.  It is said that DUI is the most frequently mis-charged crime in the United States.  When you can get a jury to see an error it is as dramatic as anything Hollywood can produce. It is a feeling that most attorneys, especially me, strive to have as much as humanly possible.  Maybe one day I will have the opportunity to deliver the opening statement that Vinny Gambini uses in the movie…

Vinny Gambini: [opening statements] Uh… everything that guy just said is bullshit… Thank you.

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 learn more about DUI defense check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgHuber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

 

A Trial Attorney’s Creed.

June 18th, 2014
trial attorney's creedA Trial Attorney’s Creed!

When someone asks, “How can you defend drunk drivers?” I respond with this quote from Don Quioxte.  I think it is the perfect creed for a trial attorney.

“It is not the responsibility of knights errant to discover whether the afflicted, the enchained and the oppressed whom they encounter on the road are reduced to these circumstances and suffer this distress for their vices, or for their virtues: the knight’s sole responsibility is to succor them as people in need, having eyes only for their sufferings, not for their misdeeds.” 
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

Trial attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio and fighting Ohio red light cameras.  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 Trial Attorney Charles Rowland check these city-specific sites at the following links:
FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Top Ten Rules for Partying in Ohio

March 31st, 2014

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.

Alcohol Is A Central Nervous System Depressant

February 18th, 2014

central nervous system depressantAlcohol is classified as a Central Nervous System Depressant for its effects on the human body.  It is listed as such for purposes of DUI investigations in the 2013 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (hereinafter NHTSA) “DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing” Participant Guide. See NHTSA, HS 178 R5/13.  CNS Depressant type drugs (see below) slow down the operations of the brain, and usually depress the heartbeat, respiration, and many other processes controlled by the brain. The most familiar and ubiquitous Central Nervous System Depressant is alcohol.

Other Depressants of the Central Nervous System include:

• Barbiturates (such as Secobarbital (Seconal), and Pentobarbital (Luminal))
• Non-Barbiturates (GHB-gamma-hydroxybutyrate and Soma)
• Anti-Anxiety Tranquilizers (Such as Valium, Librium, Xanax, and Rohpynol)
• Anti-Depressants (such as Prozac and Elavil)
• Muscle relaxants and many other drugs (Soma)

Depressant drugs usually are taken orally, in the form of pills, capsules, liquids, etc.  In general, people under the influence of any CNS Depressant drugs look and act like people under the influence of alcohol.  General indicators of Central Nervous System Depressant include, but are not limited to the following types of behaviors:

• “Drunken” behavior and appearance
• Uncoordinated
• Drowsy
• Sluggish
• Disoriented
• Thick, slurred speech

Eye indicators of Central Nervous System Depressant influence are:

• Horizontal gaze nystagmus usually will be present
• Vertical nystagmus may be present (with high doses)
• Pupil size usually will not be effected, except that Methaqualone and Soma may cause pupil dilation

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.”

Central Nervous System Depressant information and other city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Ohio Felony DUI Law: Aggravated Vehicular Homicide

February 13th, 2014

aggravated vehicular homicideThe most tragic cases we handle are cases involving a charge of aggravated vehicular homicide.

Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, O.R.C. 2903.06,  is a crime that results from the death of another caused by the defendant’s operating a vehicle while impaired (a violation of R.C. 4511.19)  or while driving negligently or recklessly.  The aggravated vehicular homicide statute  encompasses driving an automobile recklessly or negligently (called Vehicular homicide) whether or not alcohol played a part in the death.  Often, defendants are indicted for multiple counts, with additional counts for each victim of the accident.

Under the reckless section of the statute you will be found guilty of a third degree felony which rises to a second degree felony if the driver is under suspension at the time of the offense.  Aggravated vehicular homicide, when impaired as defined in R.C. 4511.19, is a second degree felony which rises to a first degree felony if the driver was under suspension at the time of the offense. Penalties include mandatory prison terms with a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine for the 1st degree felony and prison up to 8 years and a fine up to $15,000 for the 2nd degree felony.  If drunk driving (now called OVI; operating a vehicle while impaired)  has been charged as the proximate cause of the death, the penalties become mandatory and are very difficult to get reduced or lowered.  Often, these cases are high-profile cases engendering much prejudice toward the defendant.

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.”

Aggravated Vehicular Homicide information and other city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville