Tag: ovi

Admitting OVI Blood Tests Made Easier By Ohio Supreme Court

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blood test

A REVIEW OF BLOOD TEST REGULATION IN OHIO

In Ohio, a blood test is administered by a crime lab or the collecting health care agency. The blood must be drawn by a licensed medical professional.  In cases where blood tests are administered by a crime lab, the Ohio DUI driver’s blood sample must be drawn within three hours of the perceived infraction.  In addition, it must be tested in compliance with regulations drafted by the Ohio Department of Health. Because of their complexity, an attorney focusing on DUI defense exclusively should be considered.

Please consult the articles on the ODH rules on this blog. The regulations include rules for collection and handling of blood samples, testing techniques, laboratory operations, permits, and records maintenance. In cases where DUI blood tests are administered by a hospital expert testimony regarding the blood test and how the result relates to impaired driving ability.

Ohio law requires you to take a blood, breath, or urine test if you are arrested for an OVI. Ohio’s “implied consent” law says that if you are lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe that you have been operating under the influence, then you consent to taking a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining your blood alcohol content (BAC).  The test must be taken within two hours of driving and the officer gets to choose which test you take. The question is, how strictly will the courts enforce the two-hour limit.  

OHIO SUPREME COURT ADDRESSES BLOOD TEST ADMISSIBILITY

The Ohio Supreme Court clarified their position on the refrigeration of a blood sample. They address whether strict compliance is required. Answer, no! They also clarified, with great deference to the prosecution, what substantial compliance means. Spoiler alert: it is a quickly eroding standard. In State v. Baker, Slip Opinion No. 2016-Ohio-451 the Ohio Supreme Court ruled on the admissibility of a blood test samples.  In this case a Trooper left the sample unrefrigerated in his patrol car for over four (4) hours.  The Ohio Supreme Court opinion reversed a lower court decision. The lower court ruled because the state did not strictly comply with the refrigeration requirement, the sample could not be used against the defendant. This case arose from a 2011 OVI charge that arose from accident that killed a pedestrian.

While giving lip service to the fact that strict compliance with the refrigeration rule is preferable, the Court recognized logistical issues of gathering and submitting samples may make strict compliance unrealistic in all cases. Citing State v. Plummer, where the Court in 1986 held that the failure to refrigerate a urine sample for four hours did not render the test results inadmissible, and State v. Mayl, a 2005 decision that cited Plummer, the Court determined that the failure to refrigerate a blood sample for as many as five hours substantially complied with the refrigeration requirement, permitting the sample to be used as evidence. The failure to refrigerate the defendant’s specimen for four hours and 10 minutes substantially complied with the rule and did not make the test results inadmissible per se.

OHIO SUPREME COURT CLARIFIES BLOOD TEST ADMISSIBILITY PROCEDURE

In this case, the court clarified the procedure for admitting blood-alcohol test results into evidence as established in the Court’s 2003 State v. Burnside decision.  Burnside states that to challenge a blood test result, the defendant must file a motion to suppress.  After the filing of a motion to suppress it becomes the responsibility of the state to demonstrate it substantially complied with the administrative rule. If the state proves substantial compliance, the burden then shifts back to the accused to show the failure to strictly comply made the test unreliable and prejudicial.

In opposition, a dissenting opinion was written by  Justice William M. O’Neill. While he acknowledge that strict compliance is not always realistic or humanly possible, he concluded the majority decision makes the substantial compliance standard too low for such serious cases. Therefore, he stated the decision allows for the rule to be ignored.  This blog has long argued that the “substantial compliance standard” is a fast-eroding standard that allows the court to admit evidence if the police try their best, or demonstrate a good faith effort, effectively shifting the burden of proof from the government to the defendant.

CONTACT CHARLES M. ROWLAND (DAYTONDUI) TODAY!

If you have questions about your  blood test case, please contact me at (937) 318-1384. Also, you can also hear me lecture on this topic. I will be speaking on behalf of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys in November. In addition to these cases, I will be giving an update on Ohio OVI law. I hope you can be there. If not, please visit the DaytonDUI blog for all things OVI. Learn about city-specific OVI courts. Due to their complexity, review the law on blood, breath and urine testing. Stay abreast of developments in the law. As a result of my focus, I hope to have the most up-to-date information. I work hard to be the best DUI in Ohio. In conclusion, I take great pride in my work.

 

Drugged Driving – Dude, I’m Injured Not Stoned

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DRUGGED DRIVING – IS THIS PERSON INJURED OR STONED?drugged driving

When a law enforcement officer comes upon a crash scene he or she may suspect illicit drug use. Their training, the  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration manual and common sense dictate that no suspicion of drug use be  assumed without evidence. When a case involves medical problems, a drug investigation (DRE, drug recognition expert evaluation) should not be performed. This is the rule per NHTSA. The government wants to avoid confusing possible drug use with the observations really being medical issues. Where the NHTSA manual states in a situation like this, “your primary purpose at this time is to look for any evidence of a medical complication that would warrant terminating the examination and summoning medical assistance since there is always the possibility that a person suspected of drug impairment is actually suffering from an illness or injury requiring medical attention.”

This is another example of how an experienced drugged driving attorney can help. When you come to your consultation, be prepared to talk science. 

DRUGGED DRIVING – HOW WILL THE POLICE REACT?

What we suspect will happen upon implementation of Ohio’s Medical Marijuana law is that law enforcement will take action. Will their opposition to the law manifest in more questionable drugged driving arrests? How can they not be biased? Can an officer instructed to be on alert for drugged driving approach the suspect with the requisite open-mindedness needed to conduct an investigation. In short, will the police officer be fair?

I am reminded of the quote by Maslow, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, ever problem is a nail. 

DRUGGED DRIVING – DAYTON DUI IS PREPARED

As this blog has warned for the past years, the next phase of the government’s WAR ON DRUGS is the DRE protocol allowing roadside police to determine if a person is impaired by prescription or illicit drugs.  Consequently, while it may make no sense that a police officer is turned into a roving drug scientist, the government is allowing this approach. If you are accused of driving while impaired by drugs, call me. I have studied and been certified in drug recognition training. I’m ready! It is imperative that your attorney be familiar with police tactics.  Without the knowledge, you will have no defense. In additoin, I want you to have a plan of attack. Call me to discuss what I can do. What’s more, it is free! Call me at (937) 318-1DUI or visit www.DaytonDUI.com.

What Is Probation Like?

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Probation and Community Control

Probation in Ohio is now called “community control.” It provides for terms and conditions you must comply with in order not to go to jail.  The system requires you to work with a “probation officer” (P.O.) for a given period of time as set by the court.  A common misconception is that the probation officer will actively work against you in an effort to return you to jail.  Most of the time, the probation officer is working to make sure you comply with the court order and stay out of jail.  It is up to you to show up and make sure the probation officer is kept aware of your circumstances.  You should maintain contact with your trial attorney as may problems can be solved if there is good communication.

Most experienced attorneys can advise you about how to navigate the courts probation department and successfully complete probation. Under Ohio law, you cannot demand to serve jail time instead of being placed on community control in misdemeanor OVI cases, see State v. Walton (2000), 137 Ohio App. 3d 450, 457 — “…(A) misdemeanor offender has no right to refuse probation and to demand to serve her sentence of imprisonment.” Unlicensed driver was headed to prison for eight months and wanted six month traffic sentence served concurrently. Instead, the judge put her on probation. Experienced attorneys can help. If you need treatment, your attorney can have you do it prior to being placed on probation. Likewise, if you need to fix license issues.  These are the little things that make a difference in your court case.

When Do I Get Off Probation?

Often, a court will only keep you on probation until you have paid all fines and costs and complied with the requirements of your punishments.  In DUI/OVI cases, the probation department is responsible for setting up the 72 hour Driver Intervention Program and will make sure you attend and complete the program.  Work with your Ohio DUI attorney to learn about how to comply with the terms and conditions of probation (now called “Community Control Sanctions”).  Depending on the court, you may face any or all of the following probationary conditions:

  • No new DUI or serious traffic arrests;
  • Alcohol Assessment and/or Follow Up Alcohol Counseling;
  • Random Urine Screens;
  • Restrictions on driving times;
  • No “Refusals” of blood, breath, or urine tests if arrested for DUI;
  • No odor of alcohol while driving a vehicle;
  • Pay fines and court costs;
  • Attend MADD’s Victim Impact Panel;
  • Attend probation officer meetings;

In addition a court may require you to install Ignition Interlock (breath tester in the vehicle); Continuous Alcohol Monitor (ankle bracelet); Restrictions on travel outside of Ohio or the county; Electronic Home Monitoring or House Arrest; Work-Release or Community Service.  As you can see, the probation department and your probation officer have a great deal of power over your life while you are on community control.  Your DUI attorney should be a continued resource available to help you with issues that arise while on community control.

What Happens If I Violate The Terms of Probation?

probationIf you have been arrested for violating probation, you will have a hearing in front of  the judge. Since you have already been sentenced to probation for committing a crime, you will not be entitled to a jury to determine whether or not you have violated the terms of your probation.  The sentencing judge will hear the facts of your alleged violation, and determine if you did in fact violate any of the terms or conditions. A probation violation is not like a new criminal charge, you can be forced to testify against yourself and witness testimony can be used against you.  In most courts violations of the terms of your probation are very serious matters.  Unlike criminal matters, prosecutors are not bound by the “beyond a reasonable doubt standard.

Under Ohio law, prosecutors need only show that there exists a “preponderance of the evidence” that a violation has occurred. This means they only have to prove that it is more likely than not that you violated probation.  You should be aware of the terms.  Ask questions if you have any confusion.  A violation of technical terms (such as changing your address without informing the court, failing to pay on time and not showing up for your probation appointment) are as serious as the violation of a more substantive term.

Being charged with a new crime can result in a revocation of probation even if you are not convicted due to the lower preponderance of the evidence standard.  You could not only face jail time on the new charge, but face the time previously suspended from your earlier offense.  The charges need not be in the same court to invoke the court’s community control jurisdiction.

Contact Charles Rowland at (937) 318-1384

 

Springfield OVI – What To Expect

00Clark County, Springfield DUI AttorneyTags: , , , , , , ,

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 3.01.34 PMfirst offense Springfield OVI is defined at O.R.C. 4511.19 as a DUI with no priors within 6 years.  A first offense OVI can be charged in three ways.  The first charge is caused by testing over the legal limit of .08% B.A.C. (example O.R.C. 4511.19(A)(1)(d)).  These types of offenses are also referred to as “per se”  violations.

A second way to be charged is for violating the high-tier provision of Ohio’s OVI law.  Ohio has also created a per se “high-tier” limit of .17% BrAC, sometimes referred to as a SUPER-OVI.  The per se high-tier limits for a first offense OVI are set forth at O.R.C. 4511.19(A)(1)

  • (f) The person has a concentration of seventeen-hundredths of one per cent or more by weight per unit volume of alcohol in the person’s whole blood.
  • (g) The person has a concentration of two hundred four-thousandths of one per cent or more by weight per unit volume of alcohol in the person’s blood serum or plasma.
  • (h) The person has a concentration of seventeen-hundredths of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of the person’s breath.
  • (i) The person has a concentration of two hundred thirty-eight-thousandths of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per one hundred milliliters of the person’s urine.

Appreciable Impairment Offenses:

If you refuse to take a chemical test, the State might still be able to prove you guilty of a first offense OVI if they prove (beyond a reasonable doubt) that you  operated a motor vehicle after having consumed some alcohol, drugs of abuse, or a combination of the two and their ability to operate the motor vehicle was appreciably impaired.  How does a jury determine “under the influence?”  The following is an excerpt from the Ohio Jury Instructions:

“Under the influence” means that the defendant consumed some (alcohol) (drug of abuse) (combination of alcohol and a drug of abuse), whether mild or potent, in such a quantity, whether small or great, that it adversely affected and noticeably impaired the defendant’s actions, reaction, or mental processes under the circumstances then existing and deprived the defendant of that clearness of intellect and control of himself/herself which he/she would otherwise have possessed. The question is not how much (alcohol) (drug of abuse) (alcohol and a drug of abuse) would affect an ordinary person.

What Was The Effect?

The question is what effect did any (alcohol) (drug of abuse) (alcohol and a drug of abuse), consumed by the defendant, have on him/her at the time and place involved. If the consumption of (alcohol) (drug of abuse) (alcohol and a drug of abuse) so affected the nervous system, brain, or muscles of the defendant so as to impair, to a noticeable degree, his/her ability to operate the vehicle, then the defendant was under the influence. The Ohio jury Instruction cites language from State v. Hardy (1971), 28 Ohio St.2d 89, 57 O.O.2d 284, 276 N.E.2d 247; and State v. Steele (1952), 95 Ohio App. 107, 52 O.O. 488, 117 N.E.2d 617.

The “appreciable impairment offense” is set forth at Ohio Revised Code 4511.19(A)(1)(a) which states,

(A)(1) No person shall operate any vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley within this state, if, at the time of the operation, any of the following apply:

(a) The person is under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them.

First Offense OVI Penalties:

The following penalties are reserved for first offense Springfield OVI offenders.  Obviously, it is in your interests to hire counsel who can assess your case and provide you with an honest assessment of your case.  In addition, be sure to discuss not only the mitigating factors that your attorney should know, but the not-so-good aspects of your case.  Judges have discretion to look at many factors in fashioning a remedy and your attorney should be able to give you an idea of how to approach your case so as to minimize any potential penalties.  Here are the range of possible penalties for a first offense OVI.

  • Jail – 3 Days Minimum up to 6 Months or,
  • Driver Intervention Program – For 3 Days
  • Jail – 6 Days (If Blood Alcohol Concentration .17 or Above)
  • License Suspension – From 6 Months to 3 Years
  • Reinstatement Fee – $475.00
  • Fine – From $375 to $1,075

 

Hiring Your Springfield OVI Attorney

Obviously, if you were to lose your job and/or your career because of a Springfield OVI conviction the lifetime costs skyrocket.  Insurance premiums, damages caused by personal injury or costs of restitution for property damages also cause the costs to climb.  In addition, some of the expenses highlighted above can take years to come to fruition. The lingering effects of having a drunk driving conviction may be with you for life.  The good news is that a good OVI attorney can significantly curb the financial detriments incurred in a OVI case.

While predicting what an attorney can save you is just as wildly speculative as predicting costs, it is common for many of the costs to be subject to negotiation and/or reduction.  Furthermore, a reduction of the charge will lower the possible maximum fines. The reduction can also get rid of ugly mandatory punishments required by Ohio’s OVI statute. O.R.C. 4511.19.  The best way to explore how much a vigorous OVI defense will costs in your case, contact Charles M. Rowland for a free consultation at (937) 318-1384 or 888-769-5263. For over twenty years, I have represented clients in Springfield. I work hard at what I do. I limit my practice to OVI defense. Finally, thank you for considering me for your defense.

Charles Rowland, your hometown attorney, limits his practice exclusively to OVI defense.

Dayton DUI – No Expungements

00DUI Court Process, DUI PenaltiesTags: , , , , ,

Dayton DUI

Choose Dayton DUI at (937) 318-1384

One of the reasons I am proud to defend Dayton DUI cases, is that these cases are unduly stigmatized.  For example, if you punch someone in the nose your friends will say, “Wow, what happened?” If, however, you say you were charged with a DUI, they will say, “Oh, I’m sorry.”  It is this assumed guilt that is like no other criminal offense.  It erodes at our Constitutionally guaranteed right to be presumed innocent. What makes this presumption particularly frustrating is that DUI cases are notoriously hard for the prosecution to prove. An experienced attorney can find multiple defenses.  I look at the stop, the decision to remove you from the car, the administration of the field sobriety tests and the totality of the circumstances leading to your arrest. In addition, we apply the science. If you test, there are a myriad of ways to fight a chemical test.

The current expungement law makes choosing the right Dayton DUI attorney of paramount importance. 

Another reason to make Charles M. Rowland II, Dayton DUI, your first choice for DUI defense is that Ohio does not allow expungements in drunk driving cases.  If you make a mistake when you are a young person, the stigma of a DUI conviction will follow you for the rest of your life. In 2014, Ohio decided to expand the ability of Ohioans to apply for an expungement and get a fresh start. It was decided that DUI offenders did not deserve a break under the new law.

I have been fighting for the accused drunk driver since 1995. I have the experience and credentials necessary to fight and win your case. When you come for your free consultation, I will give you a real price and a real plan.  If you hire me, you get me at every stage of your case – not an associate. You get my 24 hour number and you get a staff that is 100% dedicated to DUI defense. Need more information? Call me at (937) 318-1384 or, to learn more, visit www.DaytonDUI.com.