Tag: ovi arrest

What Happens At A DUI Arraignment?

00DUI Court ProcessTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

DUI ArraignmentThe following will happen when you appear for your DUI arraignment.

The Judge, will explain the complaint to you which details the offense(s) you are charged with, and will explain it to you if you do not understand the nature of the charge(s). The Judge will also advise you of the potential penalties.

You will have the opportunity to ask questions that you have on the rights explained here, the charge, or the maximum penalty possible under the law.

You will have the right to retain an attorney even if you intend to plead guilty, and a right to a reasonable continuance to secure an attorney.

If you do not intend to be represented by an attorney, you will be asked to sign a waiver form, if the potential sentence in your case carries possible jail time.

Please do not make statements concerning the facts of your case until the Judge asks you for a statement. Any statements you make may be used against you at a trial if a plea of not guilty is entered.

You may choose to enter any of these pleas at your arraignment:

By pleading NOT GUILTY, you are denying the charge. The prosecution will be required to prove its case against you beyond a reasonable doubt at a trial.

The plea of GUILTY is a complete admission of your guilt. If you plead guilty, you will be permitted to give a statement or explanation to the Judge before the sentence is imposed.

The plea of NO CONTEST at your DUI arraignment is not an admission of your guilt, but is an admission of the truth of the facts alleged in the complaint or citation, and the plea or admission shall not be used against you in any pending or subsequent civil or criminal proceeding.

It is of vital importance that you consult with an attorney prior to entering a plea. Hiring counsel will also have the benefit of taking care of the arraignment process. In most courts, an attorney is permitted to file papers with the court announcing his representation of the defendant, thereby vacating the need for a formal in-court arraignment. Ask your DUI attorney if your attendance at the arraignment will be required. If you do attend, the arraignment will be a very quick process wherein your attorney leads you to a podium, waives reading of the charge and enters a not guilty plea on your behalf. Matters of bond may, or may not be addressed at an arraignment. It is not common for your defense attorney to see the prosecutor who will handle your case and reach a resolution at the arraignment. Usually, issues of discovery and plea negotiations will take place later at the pre-trial hearing.

Some people have preconceived notions about the DUI arraignment. For instance, some clients believe that it will be held against them if they do not attend the hearing. I have never heard of this being the case. If the court wishes for the defendant to attend, it will become part of the court rules. Other clients think that the press will be present. This is usually not the case and your attorney will be able to tell you if such press coverage could be expected. Still other clients think that the judge will be rude, harsh or judgmental from the bench during the arraignment. Again, this will rarely if ever happen.

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 talk about your DUI arraignment contact me, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburg, Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

 

should i blow

When Stopped On Suspicion of DUI – Should I Blow?

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should I blowWhen you are stopped on suspicion of DUI the question becomes – “Should I Blow?”  Unfortunately, the answer is “maybe” and involves a very complicated investigation of the facts of your case and your personal history.  You should NEVER refuse the test without understanding how a refusal would affect YOU.  No attorney can know all of the circumstances of your arrest and your personal history, always ask to speak to an attorney when making this decision.

Can you answer “TRUE” to ALL of the following questions? If so, you can politely DECLINE any police test(s) of your blood, breath, or urine with minimum impact.  Be prepared and know your rights.

  1. Iaman Ohio license holder, 21 years or older; AND
  2. I wasnotinvolved in an accident involving possible death or to serious injury to ANYBODY, even members of my family, pedestrians or passengers; AND
  3. I do not have a commercial driver’s license (CDL);AND
  4. No matter where I currently have a license to drive, I have hadno prior drunk driving convictionsor deferred pleas for DUI in ANY state within 6 years (from the date of conviction until now).

Refusing a chemical test can result in harsh penalties which includes a one-year license suspension, but your attorney can fight to get this reduced.  In some courts your refusal may be held strictly against you and in others you may be able to get a reduced suspension despite your refusal.  In State v. Hill, 2009-Ohio-2468, the Appellate Court upheld the right of a trial court to enhance a penalty based on a refusal to take the chemical test. In most circumstances, a refusal to take a chemical test will result in a longer hard-time suspension (30 days rather than 15 days without any driving privileges). [see the Automatic License Suspension section of this blog].  You should also engage in an honest assessment of your alcohol consumption. If you risk testing over Ohio’s “super-OVI” threshold (over a .17% BAC) you may do harm by taking the test.  Take these factors into account when making your decision to blow or not to blow.

Should I blow, Now you know! Any criminal defense attorney would rather have less evidence against you rather than more, but giving blanket advice to refuse the chemical test is a mistake.  Be prepared to make the best decision for you.  You can also plan ahead by storing my contact information in your smart phone: (937)776-2671.

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 the question, Should I Blow, check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburg, Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Keywords: Should I Blow

Christmas DUI Blitz Along Rt. 4 Announced

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Christmas DUIThe Ohio State Highway Patrol will be conducting a Christmas DUI enforcement action along Rt. 4 beginning this weekend.

The OVI Task Forces of Clark County, Hamilton County, Butler County, Montgomery County, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol will conduct an Christmas DUI enforcement blitz along State Route 4 this Friday and Saturday.  In addition, the Ohio Investigative Unit will have agents working in the same area during the Christmas DUI blitz.  Other Task Force member departments that are not situated along SR-4 will also have extra officers working in their areas and searching for impaired drivers.

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

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Nonstandardized Field Sobriety Tests

00Field Tests (SFSTs), Illegal Police StopsTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ohio has adopted the three-test field sobriety protocol as set forth in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) manual for training law enforcement officers.  The three tests adopted by NHTSA all survived scientific scrutiny as being indicative of impairment.  The tests are: (1) horizontal gaze nystagmus, a test of the subject’s eyes; (2)  walk & turn; (3) one-leg-stand.  The officer is trained to administer the tests in a standardized fashion and record “clues” of impairment as evidenced by the subject’s performance on the tests.

Often, you will encounter a circumstance where the officer employs an non-standardized field sobriety test.  These tests may include nonscientific “techniques”, some of which are described in the NHTSA manual, and can include a finger dexterity test, an alphabet test, a counting test or some other form of confusing coordination test.  Some jurisdictions still employ a thoroughly discredited test which requires the subject to tilt their head back and touch the tip of his finger to the tip of his nose.

The first step in challenging the officers decision to employ non-standardized tests is to determine why the officer is employing the tests.  Ohio has set forth eleven (11) factors that courts consider in determining whether or not the officer has established reasonable and articulable suspicion of drunk driving sufficient to request that the suspect step from the car.  See State v. Evans, citation omitted.  It is appropriate pursuant to the NHTSA manual to employ the above-described “techniques” at this phase of the officer’s investigation.  Your DUI attorney will know how to use cross examination to establish that there were omissions in the officers investigation, or that the officer lacked the legal standard necessary to ask you to step from the car.

If, however, the officer is using the tests to establish probable cause for an OVI arrest, he or she is on a faulty scientific footing.  Your DUI lawyer will challenge these tests as not probative of intoxication and that they are irrelevant for purposes of determining impairment.  At least one case, Rocky River v. Horvath, 2002 WL 538755 (Ohio Ct. App. 8th Dist. Cuyahoga 2002) has decided that these non-standardized tests are improper because they have no standardized application and they have not been approved by NHTSA. [Note: this opinion was written by now-Supreme Court Justice Terrence O’Donnell].  The Second District Court of Appeals has ruled that non-standardized tests can come in under the totality of the circumstances used to reach a probable cause determination. State v. Rajehel, 2003-Ohio-3975.  The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that the tests may be used as lay evidence of intoxication. Brooklyn Hts. v. Yee, 2009-Ohio-4552.

If you find yourself needing the assistance of a qualified Ohio DUI lawyer, contact Charles M. Rowland II at (937) 318-1DUI or 1-888-ROWLAND.  Charles Rowland has taken the same NHTSA approved training as law enforcement, is Ohio’s only Forensic Sobriety Assessment certified attorney and has honed his skills as both a defense attorney and a prosecuting attorney.  Please visit www.DaytonDUI.com to find out more.

Defending The Accusation Of Slurred Speech (by DaytonDUI)

00Field Tests (SFSTs), Illegal Police StopsTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A very common observation by law enforcement in an impaired driving investigation is the presence of “slurred speech.”  Experience trial counsel will look to the totality of evidence to combat the damning accusation of slurred speech.

Many traffic stops are now captured on video tape.  As the quality of the recordings has improved we are often able to hear exactly what the officer is hearing.  Reasonable people can disagree as to whether or not the speech on a video is “slurred” and whether or not it was fair for the officer to describe the speech as slurred.  Another, more subtle method is to cross-examine the officer on his or her ability to obtain evidence based on the suspect’s answers.  It is logical to conclude that the suspect’s speech was not so slurred that the officer was not able to gather evidence. Another point that can be made is that the officer notes impaired speech at the one and only location the officer  is trained to note it in his or her training.  And at no other time does the speech appear in the officer’s report.  This evidence of absence is enhanced if the jury is given a narrative that the officer was rushing to confirm an erroneous conclusion that the suspect was impaired.

It is also fair to point out that there are other causes of slurred speech besides intoxication.  The medical term for slurred speech is  ‘dysarthria’ and, like other clues of impairment, can be attributable to multiple causes.  Being pulled over by law enforcement is a very stressful situation.  According to the medical site Health Guidance, slurred speech can be caused or enhanced by anxiety.

Anxiety

If you have ever been in a highly stressful situation then you might have noticed it becoming increasingly difficult to get your words out (which doesn’t help). This is a result of stress hormones and can be particularly bad in cases of anxiety disorder.

Another argument that can be used to combat the accusation of slurred speech is that the officer has no “baseline” observation upon which to base an accusation.  This is likely the first, and only, opportunity that the officer has to speak with the suspect.  As one client testified in court, “He just don’t know that’s how I talk.”  People who are familiar with the suspects speech pattern may be called to testify.  They can refute the accusation by offering their opinion on whether or not the suspect’s speech was impaired.  The DaytonDUI app which is available (for free) on Android has a function that will allow an accused driver to make a contemporaneous recording.  This recording will serve as a record of the defendant’s voice and can be used in court to fight the charge of DUI.

DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in Fairborn, Dayton, SpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgHuber HeightsBeavercreekCenterville, Springboro, 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.