Tag: ohio ovi law

presumption of innocence

Presumption of Innocence? Not For OVI

00DUI & ALS Suspensions, DUI & College, DUI Case Law, DUI Trucking & CDL, DUI Under 21/Juvenile, VideoTags: , , , , , ,

The History of The Presumption of Innocence

The presumption of innocenceEi incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat, is the principle that one is considered innocent unless proven guilty. It dates back to the very foundations of western jurisprudence. The sixth century Digest of Justinian provides, as a general rule of evidence:”Proof lies on him who asserts, not on him who denies.” The presumption requires that the prosecution has the obligation to prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt and that the accused bears no burden of proof. More info

Driving Is A Right – Not A Privilege!

00DUI & Driving Privileges, Ohio BMV IssuesTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Driving Is A Right – Not A Privilege!

driving is a rightHave you ever been told that “driving is a privilege?” Bah! This author argues that case law needs to be expanded to include “driving” as a fundamental right under the First Amendment’s Freedom of Assembly. Thus, the analysis should be under the substantive due process analysis not simply under the procedural due process analysis.

Because the human rights of freedom of movement, right to earn a living and the right to peaceably assemble are only capable of being maintained with a valid driver’s license, the Court should require a more rigorous standard before depriving someone of this basic right. Driving is a right because the right to drive is a fundamental right that is deeply rooted in American history and tradition. Why is it important to establish driving as a fundamental right? Where the right is not a fundamental right, the court applies a rational basis test: if the violation of the right can be rationally related to a legitimate government purpose, then the law is held valid. If the court establishes that the right being violated is a fundamental right, it applies strict scrutiny. Strict scrutiny asks whether the law is justified by a compelling state interest, and whether the law is narrowly tailored to address the state interest.

I base this claim on cases decided in the United States Supreme Court. DUI case law analysis at the United States Supreme Court provides that driving is not “just” a privilege as alleged and assumed by most Ohioans. You may have heard the expression that a driver’s license is “a privilege — not a right”, and thus there were few effective remedies available to a driver who wished to contest a suspension. The U.S. Supreme Court changed that in Bell v. Burson, 402 U.S. 535 (1971), recognizing that a license’s “continued possession may become essential in the pursuit of a livelihood”. Because of their value, then, they “are not to be taken away without that procedural due process required by the Fourteenth Amendment”. The Court premised its opinion on the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments protections that neither the State or Federal government can deprive a person of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Without this decision it is likely that the police would confiscate your license without any recourse in or appeal. See also, Mackey v. Montrym (1979) 443 U.S. 1, involving a license suspension for refusing to submit to a DUI breath test. But they need to go further.

To understand why driving is a right in light of DUI case law, it is important to understand how the United States Supreme Court analyzes due process issues. “The Supreme Court has identified two distinct categories of fundamental liberties. The first category includes most of the liberties expressly enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Through a process known as “selective incorporation,” the Supreme Court has interpreted the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to bar states from denying their residents the most important freedoms guaranteed in the first ten amendments to the federal Constitution. Only the Second Amendment right to bear arms, the Third Amendment right against involuntary quartering of soldiers, and the Fifth Amendment right to be indicted by a grand jury have not been made applicable to the states. Because these rights remain inapplicable to state governments, the Supreme Court is said to have “selectively incorporated” the Bill of Rights into the Due Process Clause.

The second category of fundamental liberties includes those liberties that are not expressly enumerated in the Bill of Rights but which are nonetheless deemed essential to the concepts of freedom and equality in a democratic society. These unenumerated liberties are derived from Supreme Court precedents, common law, moral philosophy, and deeply rooted traditions of U.S. Legal History. The word liberty cannot be defined by a definitive list of rights, the Supreme Court has stressed. Instead, it must be viewed as a rational continuum of freedom through which every facet of human behavior is safeguarded from Arbitrary impositions and purposeless restraints. In this light, the Supreme Court has observed, the Due Process Clause protects abstract liberty interests, including the right to personal autonomy, bodily integrity, self-dignity, and self-determination. Id. Let’s get driving, freedom of movement and freedom of assembly to be included as a fundamental liberty.

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 argument that driving is a right not a privilege, check these city-specific sites at the following links:

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

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

Police Do Not Need To Know Law To Enforce It – Heien v. North Carolina

00DUI Case LawTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Heien v. North CarolinaNo. 13–604. Argued October 6, 2014—Decided December 15, 2014 ; another case giving police more power to stop and arrest and another body blow to the Fourth Amendment.

Heien v. North Carolina

In 2009, Nicholas Heien and a friend were traveling on a highway in North Carolina when they were stopped for having a broken tail light. Subsequently, a search of the car found a plastic bag containing cocaine. Where this case takes a turn is when we learn that the police had no legal right to stop the car because, under North Carolina law, having a single broken tail light is not an offense.  The police officer was ignorant of the law.

The defense argued that just as ordinary citizens cannot claim ignorance of the law as a defense, police can’t either, and because the traffic stop was illegal, the evidence from the search that followed should not have been permitted in evidence against him.

The United States Supreme Court disagreed. By an 8-1 vote, ruled that since the officer’s mistake was reasonable, it did not violate the constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. The maxim “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” does not apply here, Chief Justice Roberts maintained, because Heien “is not appealing a brake light ticket; he is appealing a cocaine-trafficking conviction as to which there is no asserted mistake of fact or law.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the lone dissenter.  She focused her concern on giving police a further ability to abuse their power. Traffic stops can be “annoying, frightening, and perhaps humiliating,” she observed. And permitting stops based on a mistaken reading of the law has “human consequences for communities and their relationships with the police.” The perverse effect of permitting police to go ahead with a mistaken reading of the law, she wrote, is to prevent or delay clarification of the law so that doubt continues to exist in the minds of the public or police about what is and is not legal.

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 case law like Heien v. North Carolina, check these city-specific sites at the following links:

Fairborn, Dayton, Springfield, Kettering,Vandalia,Xenia,Miamisburg, Huber Heights,Springboro,Oakwood,Beavercreek, Centerville

 

 

 

Holiday DUI Blitz Begins December 6th

00Holiday Messages, Other Areas & InterestsTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

holiday dui blitzThe Ohio State Highway Patrol announced its annual “Holiday DUI Blitz.”  The 6-State Trooper Project is a multi-state law enforcement partnership aimed at providing combined and coordinated law enforcement and security services in the areas of highway safety, criminal patrol and intelligence sharing.

The holiday dui  initiative will take place from Friday, December 5 at 12:01 a.m. through Sunday, December 7 at 11:59 p.m. This high-visibility enforcement effort will include the Indiana State Police, Kentucky State Police, Michigan State Police, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Pennsylvania State Police and the West Virginia State Police.

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 OVI 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 Ohio Holiday DUI law, check these city-specific sites at the following links:

Fairborn, Dayton, Springfield, Kettering, Vandalia, Xenia, Miamisburg, Huber Heights, Springboro, Oakwood, Beavercreek, Centerville

Keywords: Holiday DUI, Dayton DUI