Tag: what is community control

What Is Community Control?

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probation and community controlProbation is now called “community control” and provides for terms and conditions you must comply with in order not to go to jail.  Community control 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 a term of community control. 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.

Often, a court will only keep you on community control until you have paid all fines and costs and complied with the requirements of your punishments.  In Ohio 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 OVI 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;
  • 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.  If 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, which means they only have to prove that it is more likely than not that you violated probation.  You should be aware of the terms and 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.

OVI Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio and protecting you.  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.” law information and other city-specific info at the following links:

Community Control and other information can be found at these city-specific links

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Probation (by DaytonDUI)

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Most OVI (drunk driving) cases in Ohio are misdemeanor offenses which are litigated in a Municipal Court.  Given the multiplicity of Municipal Courts in the state, your probation experience may differ, but this article will address the generalities of probation (now called ‘community control’).  As always, please consult your OVI attorney about the court your case will be heard.  You attorney will give you information specific to your case.  This is an example of where your attorney’s experience with the court is important.

What is probation?

The Municipal Court’s Probation Department oversees all persons placed on probation as the result of a traffic or criminal conviction. It is the goal of probation to monitor compliance with the sentence imposed by the judge, thereby reducing involvement of further criminal activity.   Probation officers assess the needs of the defendant and monitor the compliance of their terms of probation, as determined by the court. Conditions of probation can include paying restitution, alcohol and mental health assessments, counseling and community service. Defendants are assigned to a probation officer who will supervise the conditions of their probation and provide assistance in complying with those conditions.

I was placed on probation, now what?

The first and most important obligation is keeping your appointment with your probation officer.  Some courts will require you to meet with a probation officer before you leave court following your disposition.  Other courts may make an appointment for you, or require you to contact the Probation Department to schedule an appointment. Getting off on the right foot with your probation officer will establish your credibility and may save you multiple problems down the road.  If you should miss your appointment, contact the probation department immediately explaining the reason for your absence and request a new reporting date.  It may also help to have your attorney contact the probation department on your behalf to explain your absence and reassure the probation officer of your cooperation.  If you missed your appointment or need to reschedule your upcoming appointment, you must speak directly with your probation officer during regular business hours for a new appointment. Leaving a message is unacceptable.

What should I tell my P.O.?

You must provide the probation officer with your address and telephone number.  If any of this information changes you must contact your probation officer and (in most cases) fill out forms attesting to your change of circumstances.  You must proactively inform your probation officer of any complications that may arise due to your particular case.  Inform you P.O. about your job, typical hours, driving requirements, child care arrangements, regularly scheduled doctor’s appointments, travel/vacation plans and/or treatment plans.  Let common sense be your guide.  The probation officer has a job to do and the easier you make his or her job, the more credibility you build.  Your probation officer is not your enemy and is not someone you want to make into an enemy.  If you have questions or problems, please notify your attorney immediately.

What are the rules?

Municipal Court have adopted “General Rules” for probation.  You must pay close attention to these requirements!  Failure to follow the rules of probation may result in incarceration.  In addition to the “General Rules” some judges will tell you of a specific expectation that applies to your case.  House Arrest, SCRAM monitoring and Ignition Interlock Devices are employed as terms of probation in some DUI/OVI cases.  Here is a SAMPLE of the standard rules of probation.  These are provided for your convenience, but you are urged to remember that these are the standard conditions and the judge may impose additional conditions.

  1. Probationer shall not violate any federal, state or local law which carries a possible jail sentence upon conviction.
  2. Probationer must notify the clerk of court and the probation officer of any change in probationer’s place of residence.
  3. Probationer must follow all of the probation officer’s instructions and rules, including attending all conferences on the date, time and place as set by the probation officer.
  4. Probationer must sign all necessary release of information forms in order to permit the counseling agencies involved with probationer’s terms of probation/sentence to provide proof of counseling to the court.
  5. Probationer agrees to submit to urinalysis, breathalyzer or blood test when requested to do so by the Municipal Court probation officer.
  6. Probationer may not operate a motor vehicle unless he/she has a valid operator’s license and current proof of financial responsibility.
  7. Probationer may not possess, use, distribute or have under his/her control any illegal drugs, narcotics, or other controlled substances or instruments for administering them except on the prescription of a licensed physician.
  8. Probationer may not own, carry or keep any firearm or any dangerous weapon while on probation.
  9. Probationer must pay his/her fines and costs as ordered by the court.
  10. Probationer must pay restitution to the victim as ordered by the court.
  11. Probationer must pay the costs of counseling as ordered by the court.
  12. Probationer must report to the appropriate jail to serve his/her sentence on the date and time as ordered by the court.

What is the worst that could happen?

If you violate the rules of probation you may be placed in jail.  You may also receive a notice telling you that a probation violation has been filed against you.  You must report for the hearing on the date and time stated on the notice. You are entitled to be represented by an attorney at the hearing and may request the appointment of counsel if you are unable to afford an attorney.  You can challenge the reason(s) for the violation or admit at a hearing before the judge of the Municipal Court.  If you are found to have violated your probation, you may be placed in jail for any jail time that was suspended at the time of your disposition.

How does house arrest work?

If you are placed on house arrest, you must remain in your residence, but may be released to attend work.  This is often a very favorable alternative to incarceration.  Most judges who place you on house arrest will require you to wear an electronic monitor to insure compliance with the restriction.  In many jurisdiction in the Miami Valley, the monitoring requires a “landline” service and cannot work if the only phone you have is a cell phone.  The costs and rules for house arrest vary from court to court but always require an installation fee and a per day cost.  Most courts will require payment of these fees in advance of letting you take advantage of the house arrest program.

What is the SCRAM unit? 

The SCRAM unit is an alcohol monitor worn on the your ankle which measures alcohol intake transdermally through your pores.  You will be  forbidden to drink while wearing the monitor under direct supervision of the court. The initial cost of the program can be expensive.  Costs include equipment rental, hookup and first week’s service, and a daily or weekly charge thereafter throughout the duration of the program. The equipment rental fee is refundable when the equipment is returned in the same condition as when it was obtained.

How does ignition interlock work?

The ignition interlock device is about the size of a typical cell phone which includes two main components that are hard-wired to your car’s ignition together; the programmed base unit and the breath sampler. The programmed base unit is most often mounted inside your glove box and out of view. The breath sampler component is mounted atop your car’s dashboard or conveniently integrated with your steering column.  Before starting your car, you will be required to provide a 1.5 liter of breath sample.  If the car breathalyzer detects a level within its programmed range, you can immediately start your vehicle and go about your business. If your blood-alcohol level is over the programmed reading, you will not be able to start your vehicle but you can do another test within approximately 15 minutes.  You will also be subjected to “rolling tests” to prevent consumption of alcohol subsequent to getting the car started.  Be aware; if you pull over to conduct the breath test and fail, you may be stranded at the location.  It is also important to understand that your car will not automatically shut down upon a failed test.

The device is not mandatory on a first offense OVI in Ohio.  Judges have discretion to require the ignition interlock device on first offenses, but on subsequent offenses the IID is mandatory.  It is important to speak with an experienced DUI attorney who is familiar with the Court/judge presiding over your case to get an idea of whether or not you will likely receive an ignition interlock device on a first offense.  Be sure to talk with your attorney about aggravating factors in your case.  Be aware that MADD is pushing for the requirement that all first-time DUI offenders must use an ignition interlock device in order to get the car to start.  MADD is seeking to implement this mandate in the same way it coerced the states’ into adoption of a .08 alcohol standard, which is to tie the ignition interlock to receiving highway funds.  The language stipulates that if states want about 5 percent of their regularly allocated safety money, they must enact a law that requires first-time DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device if they want to continue driving.  By seeking implementation in this way, MADD can avoid fights in more driver-friendly state legislatures.  Given the long history of pandering to MADD, this commentator is not hopeful of a pro-driver outcome.

DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboroHuber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville 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 Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook 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. “All I do is DUI”