Tag: ovi defense

DUI Defense In “My Cousin Vinny”

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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. Consequently, comedy ensues.

Because of his inexperience, Vinny has a hard time at trial. Especially relevant is his lack of understanding of criminal procedure. However, he makes a comeback. 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. He testifies that the tire marks left at the scene of the crime match the tires of the vehicle driven by Vinny’s clients.  “Same tires,” says the prosecutor. In addition to the science, the witness has all of the traditional indicia of credibility due to 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 almost always faced with police officers and forensic experts who are clothed in the traditional indicia of credibility.  In addition, DUI 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! As a result, you need to have an attorney you can depend on.

I also take 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. Furthermore, 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.

I dedicate my practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio. I have the credentials and the experience to win your case. You can be sure that I want to be Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact me 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.  Finally, you should keep my motto in mind,  “All I do is DUI defense.”

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

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgHuber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

 

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Charles M. Rowland II, OVI Defense Attorney

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Charles M. Rowland II is 100 percent focused on OVI defense.

By concentrating exclusively on defending clients who are accused of drunk driving, he is able to provide the very best representation possible. He is:

Experienced – He has been practicing OVI defense law for 20 years and has attained certifications on the Intoxilyzer 8000 and the BAC DataMaster. He is one of only a handful of attorneys in the country to hold a Forensic Sobriety Assessment Certificate. He has received certification on the administration and evaluation of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and has been trained in the Drug Recognition Expert protocol.

A Former OVI Prosecutor – He served as City Prosecuting Attorney for the city of Xenia and has served as Special Prosecutor for Greene County and the City of Xenia. Early in his career he served as an Arbitration Judge for the Greene County Common Pleas Court.

A OVI Teacher – Twice yearly Charlie conducts a mock trial for the Greene County Police Academy focusing on the application of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. He is a sought after speaker on topics related to OVI and has written over 1000 scholarly articles on OVI topics on the DaytonDUI blog.

Award Winning – In 2013, Charlie was named a top OVI attorney by both “Time “Magazine and “Car & Driver” Magazine. He has been “Superb (10/10)” rated by the attorney rating service AVVO since 2008 and has been awarded Super Lawyer status in OVI defense since 2013. He is co-recipient of the Beavercreek Chamber of Commerce Public Education Award and a Fellow to the Ohio State and American Bar Foundations. Charles has also received a Community Service Award by the Ohio State Bar Foundation.   The DaytonDUI blog has been selected for inclusion in the prestigious American Bar Association Journal. Charlie is a two-time winner of a Distinguished Service award from TCN-BHS for service to those addicted to drugs and alcohol.

Cutting Edge OVI Defense – Charlie is a long-time member of the National College for DUI Defense, a founding member of both the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys and the National Association of DUI Attorneys. He is consulted as an “expert” making regular appearances on television and radio.

To protect your rights in an OVI case, call Charles M. Rowland II at (937) 318-1384 today.

Are You Hot? You Had Better Tell Your OVI Attorney

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OVI attorneySometimes having an experienced OVI attorney can make all of the difference.

Breath testing equipment assumes that ALL people have an expired breath temperature of a constant 34 degrees centigrade and a constant body temperature of 37 degrees centigrade.  So, what happens if these assumptions are just a little off?

The BAC will register 8.62% higher than normal for each degree that the breath temperature is above normal. So, a person registering a breath test of .143% with a body temperature of 104 degrees fahrenheit would actually have a BAC of .106%.  This means quite a bit as many prosecutors would be willing to give a person around a .10 a break, while conversely treating a .143 test as a n0-reduction result.

It is important to tell your OVI attorney if you had been dancing, sitting under a heater, having hot flashes, sick, feverish or just plain hot at the time you were picked up by police.  Some officers are known to put a suspect in the back seat with the heat turned way up so as to better smell any alcohol emitting from their bodies.

OVI attorney Charles M. Rowland II has been practicing since 1995. “All I do is DUI defense.” 

Top 10 Defenses to an Ohio OVI

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ohio oviWhen people need an Ohio OVI Attorney, the biggest challenge is knowing whether or not an attorney truly has the skills, knowledge, training, tools, resources, and strategies that are needed to successfully resolve and win drunk driving cases. Countless attorneys handle impaired driving cases,  but only a very small percentage have the skills, knowledge, training, tools, resources, and strategies that are needed to successfully resolve and win cases. Unfortunately for the public, even attorneys who have been practicing law for many years and devote a significant portion of their practice to OVI law, often don’t have the skills, knowledge, training, tools, resources, and strategies that are needed to successfully resolve and win DUI cases. Make sure your attorney is  familiar with these “TOP 10” defenses to an Ohio OVI.

1. Hire The Best DUI Attorney: The most important decision that you can make in defending your case is hiring the right OVI defense attorney.  OVI defense involves understanding Ohio’s complex impaired driving  laws, the Ohio Administrative Code, the breath test device, standardized field sobriety testing (administration and interpretation) and all manners of science which may affect your case. Defense begins with an attorney who has the experience to fight your case, the scientific knowledge to attack in the right places, and the skill to negotiate with the prosecuting attorney to secure the best outcome.  We have written “How To Hire An Ohio OVI Attorney” to help you understand some issues you may not consider.

2. Illegal Police Stop: If the officer lacked proper cause to initiate a traffic stop, your case may be dismissed.  The Fourth Amendment requires an officer have a reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed or about to be committed before making a traffic stop. Reasonable suspicion may consist of any minor traffic offense, such as speeding, weaving, an accident, expired plates, or a failure to activate headlights.  Upon being stopped the officer must establish an articulable reason to continue your detention to do an alcohol/drunk driving investigation.

3. Improper Administration of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests: If an officer improperly administers the field tests, gives faulty instructions, misunderstands how to administer the tests or holds the accused to impossible standards, then the botched tests amount to nothing more than “Stupid Human Tricks.”  Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) were developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to help determine the level of intoxication of a driver without chemical testing. When an OVI suspect refuses a chemical test, the tests can be substantial evidence of intoxication.  The NHTSA has guidelines as to how the standardized field sobriety tests must be given. If the arresting officer fails to substantially comply with the guidelines established by the NHTSA, then the results of the tests are not admissible as evidence against the defendant. Your Ohio DUI defense attorney will be familiar with the standardized tests, the NHTSA manual and have experience cross-examining an arresting officer.

4. Faulty Interpretation of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests: The officer may say all of the right things to get a valid field sobriety test, and still improperly interpret what he or she is seeing.  Your Ohio DUI defense attorney will review any video of the stop to make sure that your fields tests were fairly administered and properly scored.  Arresting officers can (and do) misinterpret the performance of the SFST’s, and determine the performance to be a failure. The dashboard video and aggressive cross examination of the arresting officers will determine whether a DUI defendant actually failed the SFST’s, or if the officer made a mistake. If the defendant did not fail the SFST’s, the results will serve as evidence that the defendant was not intoxicated.

5. Unlawful Arrest Not Supported By Probable Cause:  Assuming the officer has made a valid traffic stop, he or she must continue the investigation until probable cause exists for an OVI arrest.  Often, an officer intending to determine whether probable cause exists for an OVI arrest will make the arrest before this determination is made. When this happens, the officer has made an unlawful arrest, and all evidence obtained after the arrest may be deemed inadmissible in court.  Placing a suspect in a patrol car or ordering a suspect to follow directions before determining a suspect’s sobriety may constitute an unlawful arrest. If so, any evidence obtained regarding intoxication may be deemed inadmissible in court.

6. Officer Error Prior To Chemical Testing: If any statements are made after the accused is in custody, they may excluded unless a proper Miranda warning was given.  The officer must also satisfy a 20 minute observation period prior to administering an evidential breath test.  The breath test must be given within three hours of operation.  The officer must make sure that the testing conditions are free from radio frequency interference and that the testing location is not otherwise compromised.  Prior to requesting a suspect to submit to a chemical test, the arresting officer is required inform the driver of the consequences of submitting to the test, the driver’s right to refuse to submit to the test and the consequences for so refusing. If the driver submits to the test, he may be providing the State with evidence of intoxication. Failure of the arresting officer to advise the suspect of the above may render the results of the test, or the refusal inadmissible, and may fail to justify a license suspension.  Your Ohio DUI defense attorney should have a firm understanding of the Ohio Administrative Code and its requirements for a proper chemical test.

7. Bad Breath: A Flawed Breath Machine: Above we discussed defenses that arise prior to the administration of the chemical test.  There are also potential defenses present in the administration of the test. You Ohio DUI defense attorney will be familiar with the Ohio Administrative Code requirements regarding calibration and officer performance.  You should ask your Ohio DUI defense attorney to show you the “guts” of the tests that are available at the Ohio Department of Health website.  What is more, you should only hire an attorney who has become certified on the breath test machine or attended sufficient specialized training so that he or she can spot any issues with the results.  Machines, despite what some may say, are far from perfect and often a keen eye will result in a “Not Guilty.”

8. Discovery, Discovery, Discovery: Your Ohio DUI defense attorney cannot defend you against an issue he or she does not know exists.  An experienced DUI defense attorney will get proper discovery to explore every possible defense.  Filing motions for discovery, motions to preserve evidence and expeditiously obtaining the evidence is a good start.  In every DUI case, I submit a comprehensive discovery request for every type of evidence possible.   I contact the law enforcement agency directly to place it on notice to preserve evidence, such as dashboard videos and booking videos. These videos must be requested before they are destroyed. These videos can be indispensable in establishing exactly how a field test was administered, how a driver performed, and can also establish whether a driver’s speech was slurred. Often, these videos contradict an officer’s allegations and exonerate the driver.

9. Credibility Is King:  The coin of the realm in all plea negotiations is the credibility, experience and knowledge.  Credibility comes from presenting your case in a way that makes the prosecutor understand your arguments.  Experience is knowing when and where to be persuasive.  Most prosecutors distain whiners, bullies and bullshit artists, so don’t do it.  I always strive to earn the respect of every prosecutor I come into contact with.  Knowledge about Ohio DUI defense comes from being dedicated to learning as much as you can.  We once had a slogan that said, “Is your attorney thinking of DUI defense right now? If not call DaytonDUI.”  I have practiced DUI defense since 1995 and have practice DUI defense exclusively for many of those years.  I continue to try to establish myself as one of the best DUI attorneys in Ohio.

10. Noting Matters If You Won’t Fight: You can have the best defenses in the world, but they won’t matter unless you pursue them.  A good attorney will not only pursue the best possible plea, but will prepare for trial.  Your attorney should provide context and give you enough information to make a good decision.  Your attorney has an obligation to give you information and abide by your decision.  If you think you have a good chance of winning, make sure you hire an attorney who can execute and try your case.  In our office we say “good things happen at trial.”

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 on your Ohio OVI defense, please check out these city-specific sites:

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

 

Affirmative Defenses for Prescription Drug OVI Charges in Ohio

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prescription drug OVIDid you get a prescription drug OVI?  Do you have a valid prescription?

Ohio and the Ohio State Highway Patrol have made enforcement of DUI laws against illegal and prescription drugs a priority.  Throughout the state, this means that you now face arrest if you are taking many common prescription medications.  Given that upwards of 70% of Americans are taking a prescription medication, you need to know your rights.

Ohio provides an affirmative defense to an impaired driving charge if you have both a valid prescription from an authorized professional and you were taking your medication according to the directions provided. R.C. 4511.19(K)(1).

If you are found driving with the prescription or a metabolite of your prescription you can present proof of the prescription as an affirmative defense.  This affirmative defense also applies if you have a valid prescription, but the police find the medication in a different pill bottle or a pill box.  It is important that your obtain the services of an experienced OVI attorney to avoid a conviction.

The penalties for prescription drug OVI offenses are the same for first offense drunk driving offense.  Ohio has very harsh laws and you don’t want to find yourself facing a charge alone.

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

For more information on prescription drug OVI charges or affirmative defenses for a prescription drug OVI charge check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandalia, Miamisburg, Xenia, Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville