Tag Archives: OVI attorney

The Importance of the Burden of Proof

burden of proofWe want our judges to stand up for the highest tenets of justice and apply the burden of proof in a fair and impartial way – especially when the pressure is on.  Here is a very pertinent quote from the Charlotte Observer.

The law presumes every citizen innocent, even when charged with DWI. A judge violates the judicial oath when he or she presumes that a citizen charged with DWI is guilty, gives greater weight to the state’s evidence, is predisposed to find for the state, or looks for ways to assist the state in the prosecution of a case. Judges with high conviction rates are NOT fair and impartial but proxies for the prosecution or result-oriented interest groups.

The law imposes the highest burden of proof in criminal matters — proof beyond a reasonable doubt of every element of the offense. Judges who lower this high burden in DWI cases make it probable that innocent people will be convicted, robbed of their liberty, their property, and their rights. When we permit or encourage judges to lower the burden of proof, we embark upon a slippery slope where expediency and results, rather than justice and law, guide decisions.

Source: Rawls, Eben. The Intoxilyzer isn’t perfect: Judges in DWI trials must stand for justice despite pressure from public. Charlotte Observer, August 20, 2004.

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.  Email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

For more information on the burden of proof check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburg,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

 

 

Alcohol And Your Body: A Primer

alcoholAbout 20% of the alcohol (actually the impairing substance is ethanol) in your beverage is absorbed in the stomach and the remaining 80% is absorbed in the small intestine.  How fast it is absorbed is dependent on various factors.

  • The higher the percentage in the beverage, the faster the absorption;
  • Are you mixing? Carbonated beverages tend to speed up absorption;
  • Hungry? Food in your stomach slows down the absorption;

When it is absorbed it looks for the water in your blood and body.  Fat does not matter as ethanol does not dissolve in fat. The inebriating effects are present when the concentration in the blood reaches an impairing point. That is why we talk about a prohibited blood alcohol concentration (BAC).  It is common for the BAC to rise significantly within 20 minutes of having your first drink.  BAC can continue to rise for a period of time after the last drink is consumed.  The rate at which ethanol in the beverage  is metabolized is the same for virtually everyone regardless of their height, weight, sex, race or other such characteristics.  Alcoholic beverages don’t discriminate.  It is metabolized at the rate of .015 of (BAC) every hour. Carroll, Charles R. Drugs in Modern Society. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2000 (fifth edition).  To avoid hangovers keep BAC low, no higher than about .05 to .06.  See How Alcohol Afects Us: The Biphasic Curve (http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/HealthIssues/1100827422.html).

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.  Email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

For more information on alcohol and your body check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburg,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

 

Determining Probable Cause For An OVI Offense

probable causeA warrantless arrest must be supported by probable cause in order to be constitutionally valid. State v. Timson, 38 Ohio St.2d 122, 67 Ohio Op.2d 140, 311 N.E.2d 16 (1974).  In order to make a finding that probable (more likely than not) cause existed the court must look at the totality of the circumstances surrounding the arrest. State v. Miller,  117 Ohio App.3d 750, 691 N.E.2d 703 (11th Dist. Court of Appeals 1997), State v. Brandenburg, 41 Ohio App.3d 109, 534 N.E.2d 906 (2nd Dist. Court of Appeals, Montgomery County 1987). “[B]ecause of the mosaic which is analyzed for a …probable cause inquiry is multi-faceted, ‘one determination is seldom useful precedent for another.'” State v. Anez, 108 Ohio Misc.2d 18, 27, 738 N.E.2d 491 (2000) citing Ornelas v. United States, 517 U.S. 690, 698, 116 S.Ct. 1657, 1663, (1996) quoting Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 280, 103 S.Ct. 2317, 2332 (1983).

In an OVI case filed pursuant to O.R.C. 4511.19, the court must consider the following in making a determination:

  1. whether at the moment of arrest;
  2. the police had sufficient information
  3. derived from a reasonably trustworthy source of the facts and circumstances
  4. sufficient to cause a prudent person to believe
  5. that the suspect was driving under the influence

These factors are set forth at State v. Homan, 89 Ohio St. 3d 421, 427, 2000-Ohio-212, 732 N.E.2d 952 (2000), superseded by statute, State v. Bozcar, 2007-Ohio-1251, 113 Ohio St.3d 148, 863 N.E.2d 155 (2008) citing Beck v. Ohio, 379 U.S. 89, 91, 85 S.Ct. 223, 225 (1964); State v. Timson, 38 Ohio St.2d 122, 127, 311 N.E.2d 16 (1974).  It is clear from these cases that probable cause is a high standard that the government must meet in order to prosecute an OVI offense.

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 probable cause contact me, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburg, Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

A Motion To Suppress Is Vital In An Ohio DUI Case

motion to suppressIn State v. French, 72 Ohio St. 3d 446, 1995-Ohio-32, 646 N.E. 2d 887 (1995), the Ohio Supreme Court held that a pretrial motion to suppress is the only way to challenge the admissibility of a chemical test.  If not filed, the results will be automatically admissible at trial.  The prosecuting attorney will not need to lay a foundation and any objection by the defense as to their admission will be overruled by the judge.  This makes choosing an experienced DUI attorney vital to your case as they will know what to challenge in a pretrial suppression motion.

A motion to suppress is one of the most important tools in a DUI attorney’s arsenal. It’s purpose is to render “the state’s proof … so weak in its entirety that any reasonable possibility of effective prosecution has been destroyed.” State v. Davidson, 17 Ohio St.3d 132, 135, 477 N.E.2d 1141 (1985). If successful, a motion will likely end the case in favor of the defendant.

The motion is the defendant’s challenge to crucial aspects of the State’s case, which may include challenges to:

  • the reason for the initial police contact;
  • the reason for asking the defendant to exit the car;
  • the reason for administering the standardized field sobriety tests;
  • the administration of the field sobriety tests;
  • the 20 minute observation period before the chemical test;
  • the administration and time frame of the chemical test; and
  • the results of the chemical test.

Ancillary benefits of a motion to suppress include the ability to see and hear the officer testify about the arrest. The officer may be an exceptionally good or bad witness. The state may or may not choose to pursue certain aspects of the case based on the testimony. Further, the motion hearing may prove to be a valuable discovery tool. From a purely strategic standpoint, a motion to suppress demonstrates to the State that you are committed to your client’s position and will do whatever it takes to prevent a DUI conviction.

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.”

For more information about a motion to suppress contact me, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburg, Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Methods for Obtaining A Test Under Ohio’s Implied Consent Law

 

implied consent law

 

When you drive on Ohio’s roadways you are assumed to have consented to a search of your blood, breath, plasma or urine if you are arrested pursuant to the Ohio Drunk Driving statute, R.C. 4511.19(A) or R.C. 4511.19(B). Ohio Revised Code 4511.191(A)(2) is Ohio’s Implied Consent Law. It states, in pertinent part,

 

“Any person who operates a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley upon a highway or any public or private property used by the public for vehicular travel or parking within this state or who is in physical control of a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley shall be deemed to have given consent to a chemical test or tests of the person’s whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine to determine the alcohol, drug of abuse, controlled substance, metabolite of a controlled substance, or combination content of the person’s whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine if arrested for a violation of division (A) or (B) of section 4511.19 of the Revised Code, section 4511.194 of the Revised Code or a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance, or a municipal OVI ordinance.”

 

The first of three methods officer’s use to obtain a test is submission by a defendant. This is a typical scenario wherein a person is observed driving and arrested for OVI. At the station the officer reads the warnings on the SR-2255 form and requests that the defendant take a chemical test. The statutory authority for this method of obtaining a test is set forth at R.C. 4511.19(A)(2). It is necessary that a defendant be placed under arrest prior to the officer’s request to submit.

 

Section 4511.191(A)(4) applies the implied consent statute to persons who are dead or unconscious at the time a blood breath or urine sample is requested. It states,

 

“Any person who is dead or unconscious, or who otherwise is in a condition rendering the person incapable of refusal, shall be deemed to have consented as provided in division (A)(2) of this section, and the test or tests may be administered, subject to sections 313.12 to 313.16 of the Revised Code.”

 

Issues over this method of obtaining a test are often invoked in serious accident cases. Questions of fact about whether the person was semi-conscious, fully conscious or able to give consent are common. Due to the unusual circumstances of this type of case, an arrest is not necessary prior to the chemical test.

 

The third method for obtaining a chemical test under the implied consent provisions of Ohio law is the controversial forced blood draw.  Ohio adopted a “no refusal” forced blood draw statue at R.C. 4511.191, which states, “if the person refuses to take a chemical test the officer may employ whatever reasonable means are necessary to ensure that the person submits to a chemical test of the person’s whole blood or blood serum or plasma.” [emphasis added]. Obviously, the McNeeley decision places this law in jeopardy.  When a person refuses to voluntarily submit to a chemical test for BAC, if time permits, a warrant should be obtained.  In State v. Hollis, 2013-Ohio-2586, the Fifth Appellate District was faced with an appeal of a decision from the Richland County Common Pleas Court. The case was the first forced blood draw decision following the United States Supreme Court ruling in Missouri v. McNeeley, which held “that in drunk-driving investigations, the natural dissipation of alcohol in the bloodstream does not constitute an exigency in every case sufficient to justify conducting a blood test without a warrant.  The decision of the court used the previous rules for exigent circumstancesas set forth in Schmerber v. California and does not address or rely upon the McNeeley ruling.  Instead, the court (relying on Schmerber) finds that exigent circumstances existed justifying the blood draw. Defendant was constructively arrested at the hospital after wrecking his car and likely being under the influence. The blood draw at the hospital was reasonable and with exigent circumstances. The court credits that it would have taken “hours” to get a warrant.

 

 

 

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 Ohio’s Implied Consent law contact me, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburg, Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville