Breath Test Defenses!

by Joe Suhre on July 4, 2013

in Defenses,DUI Law,Uncategorized

If you are arrested for a Columbus, OH DUI / OVI and submit to a breath test – the prosecutor now may have some strong evidence against you. In Ohio, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a breath test that is .08 or greater at the time of operation.

The law provides that as long as the breath sample is taken within three hours of operation, the prosecutor can admit that test result and it can be used without an expert witness to establish the breath test result at the time of operation.

One of the defense available in a Columbus, Ohio OVI case is commonly referred to as reverse extrapolation. This occurs when a breath test taken at the police station, after the operation and the defense argues that the breath test result at the time of operation was below a .08. Or at least there is a reasonable doubt as to whether or not it was a .08 or greater.

This defense is valid and useful, but certain facts must be brought out during the trial before the argument can be made in closing. It may be possible to use the state’s witnesses as experts or it may be necessary to call an expert witness to testify during the defense’s case.

If you or a family member have been arrested for DUI or OVI in the Greater Columbus, Ohio area and need assistance with an upcoming court appearance give us a call at our 24 Hour Emergency Number at 614-827-2000 for affordable and professional help. Because now is the perfect time to put the experience of a former PROSECUTING ATTORNEY and former POLICE OFFICER to work for you.

Motion To Suppress.

by Joe Suhre on June 18, 2013

in Court Procedure,Defenses,DUI Law

A motion to suppress evidence will first have to be filed by your Columbus DUI or OVI Lawyer. If you case does not reach a satisfactory plea deal, the motion to suppress is the best way to determine what eveidence will come in at trial. In addition, it is an opportunity to ask the cop questions and “lock” him into his answers without the jury present.

You will have discussed the risk and benefit of testifying before hand with your Columbus, Ohio DUI lawyer. All witnesses who will testify are then sworn in.

You lawyer will have a chance to ask the police officers involved in the case questions about the stop, detention, field tests, arrest, and any chemical tests. The hope is that they will not be able to establish their burden of probable cause to arrest and that some or all of the evidence in your case will be excluded from admission at trial.

Any plea offers on the table before the motion will likely be off the table if you lose the motion in a Columbus OVI / DUI case. However, if you are successful at the DUI or OVI motion, then the state will may make you an offer to enter a plea to a non-OVI /DUI related offense.

The best result is that all the evidence is suppressed; thereby establishing that the State could not establish they had probable cause to arrest you. This means that the prosecutor will likely dismiss the case.

Your lawyer will then discuss with you the merits of the plea and risks of a trial. A lawyer that limits his practice to DUI and OVI defense will be able to best explain what you should do.

And remember, if you or a family member has been arrested for DUI in the Columbus Area – call the office of Suhre & Associates at 614-827-2000. We are available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Because now is the best time to put a team that includes a FORMER POLICE OFFICER and a FORMER PROSECUTOR to work… for you!

When you are pulled over in Columbus, Ohio for an OVI, you will most likely lose your license. The Officer will most likely give you an administrative license suspension or ALS.

This will be a 90 day suspension of your Ohio driver’s license, for a first offense, if you test over the limit. If you refuse the blood, breath or urine test, it is one year suspension.

You can ask the court for driving privileges after 15 days on a test over. If you refuse you have to wait 30 days before asking for privileges. This is known as a “hard” suspension.

However, your Columbus OVI / DUI lawyer will want to see the ALS form BMV 2255 that the Officer gives you. He or she will want to see if there are grounds for an appeal.

O.R.C. 4511.197 gives us the statutory grounds for appeal of the ALS. They are: 1.) no reasonable grounds for arrest for OVI, 2.) failure to read the advice on the back of the form, 3.) no test over the limit, and 4.) no valid refusal.

Your Columbus, Ohio DUI lawyer can see these or some other common defects on the ALS he can object at the initial appearance or arraignment. This can result in a stay or termination of the suspension.

So, if you are arrested for an OVI/DUI in Columbus, Ohio, give our office a call at 614-827-2000. Because now is the perfect time to put the experience of two former prosecuting attorneys and a former police officer to work for you. The call and initial consultation are free!

The Discovery Process!

by Joe Suhre on June 9, 2013

in Court Procedure

You have a right to see the evidence in your case. This is called the discovery process in a criminal case.

A request for discovery will ask for records and information specific to your DUI case whether it is a breath test, blood test, urine test, or refusal. It will also include the following basic information:

1) All police car and police station video and audio recordings relevant to the defendant’s arrest, charge, or processing.

2) Written summaries of any oral statement, or copies thereof, made by the defendant to a prosecuting attorney or to any law enforcement officer.

3) Recorded testimony of the defendant made before a prosecuting attorney or to any law enforcement officer.

4) Pursuant to Crim.R. 16 (c): Books, papers, documents, photographs, tangible objects, buildings or places, or copies of portions thereof, available to or within the possession, custody or control of the state, which are material to the preparation of the defense, or are intended for use by the prosecuting attorney as evidence at the trial, or were obtained from or belonging to the defendant.

Pursuant to Crim. 16(d) Reports of examination and tests: which states; “Upon motion of the defendant the court shall order the prosecuting attorney to permit the defendant to inspect and copy or photograph any results or reports of physical or mental examinations, and of scientific tests or experiments, made in connection with the particular case, or copies thereof, available to or within the possession, custody or control of the state, the existence of which is known or by the exercise of due diligence may become known to the prosecuting attorney.”

Now, once you request this information the prosecutor will typically give your attorney what they have from the police. This may or may not be everything that you want to see.

The benefit of evaluating all of the evidence is that you can identify defects in the state’s case. If you are able to show a defect on just one element of the offense against the defendant, the State will be unable to get a conviction against you at trial.

As previously discussed, you have a right to this information. Is it important? Yes. Can there be risks in pushing for it? YES!

One risk of getting the evidence at all costs is that the prosecutor may refuse to offer a plea. It may also cause a plea to come off the table if one has been previously offered.

The prosecutor may also tell you that they asked the police for the evidence, and you have what was sent to them. You are welcome to call the cops for more.

If you call the cops and they happen to remember something bad about that arrest, like the defendant was uncooperative, they may call the prosecutor and object to any plea. They may also find some info that they forgot to send to the prosecutor that is going to further help the prosecutor fix a defect in their case. This can also uncover a hostile witness they were previously unaware of.

What your attorney can do that you cannot is have a working knowledge of the process, the cops, and the prosecutor in your case. He or she will know how to deal with each in regard to the facts of your particular case.

One other note is that most police are trained to send information a defense attorney requests to the prosecutor’s office and NOT the defense attorney only. At the very least you should expect that a copy of what you received will be sent to the prosecutor in the case for good or bad.

It is very important for a lawyer to know why he is requesting information in a case, its importance, and what it is expected to show. This means thoroughly discussing the facts of the case prior to filing for discovery or it could cause more damage than good.

And remember, if you or a family member has been arrested for DUI in the Columbus Area –give our office a call at 614-827-2000….24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Because now is the perfect time to put a team that includes a former police officer and a former prosecutor to work….for you!

People always ask me why it takes so long to get the evidence in a Columbus, Ohio DUI or OVI case. It is evidence of a crime and not subject to public record.

This means that your lawyer will have to file a motion for discovery in order to get a copy. The first pretrial appearance is a good chance for your lawyer to get what the prosecutor has. He will also evaluate what is missing.

The first appearance on your DUI will most likely result in driving privileges if this is a first offense. If you have priors in 6 years you will have to wait until a hearing on the appeal of the pretrial BMV suspension called an ALS, or until the hard time of the suspension has run. “Hard time” means the court cannot let you drive yet.

The missing evidence can usually be produced without much difficulty at one or two additional pretrial appearances. This is depending on the complexity of the evidence being asked for, compare a refusal with no video to a case with multiple officers, an accident, and a blood test with hospital records and coroner’s lab records.

The former might be completely available at the first court appearance, the latter might take over 80 days to get.

Be safe and remember, if you or a family member has been arrested for DUI or OVI in the Columbus Area – call Suhre & Associates at 614-827-2000. We are available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. IT is very important that you call right away because now is the perfect time to put a team that includes a FORMER POLICE OFFICER and a FORMER PROSECUTOR to work… for you!

The Court maintains jurisdiction over you with a period of probation. This means they can impose any jail time or fines that were initially suspended for a violation of the terms and conditions of your sentence or probation.

Probation is the way the Court makes sure you comply with the sentence. If you have done everything it shows the Court that you do not need further looking after.

After all requirements are completed, your attorney can file a motion to mitigate you off probation. Granting a motion for mitigation is discretionary. However, if granted, it means that you are no longer under the authority of the Court.

This should be a reward for good behavior for someone who can show the Court they will not get in trouble again. It will also have the added bonus of removing you from any risk of suspended jail time or fines that that can be imposed if you get in trouble again.

And remember, if you or a family member has been arrested for DUI in the Columbus Area – give our office a call at 614-827-2000….24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Because now is the perfect time to put a team that includes a former police officer and two former prosecutors to work….for you!

The law in Ohio provides for limited driving privileges when you are under a suspension for a DUI. You are eligible for privileges after any hard suspension time.
Once eligible, you can get privileges for the following reasons: Occupational, Educational, Medical, and Vocational.

Part 4 of this blog series is devoted to clients who ask about whether they can get privileges for vocational reasons. Privileges are given at the discretion of the Judge and there is no right to them. Privileges for vocational reasons will be granted on a case by case basis.

First though, we need to analyze what they are since this is a grey area in most Judges’ minds.
Black’s Law dictionary defines “vocation” as a person’s calling, business, occupation, or profession. This does not give much guidance since we already know we can get privileges for occupational reasons.

Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines “vocational” as training in a skill or trade to be pursued as a career. They define “vocation” as a divine call to the religious life, the work in which a person is employed, or a particular occupation.

This still does not help us fully understand what vocational privileges are more than something between a job, training for a job, and a calling wherein the person devotes time to something that does not necessarily result in income.

My common advice to people is that it can be used for things that you do other than your job that is a benefit to the community. Say for instance, volunteering at your local hospital, coaching, job training, etc.

As with all privileges, they are discretionary. The more a Judge finds the idea a benefit to other people, the more likely that they will be granted. Understand that the more you stray from the common privileges for your job, school, and medical necessity, the less likely they are to be granted.

And remember, if you or a family member has been arrested for DUI in the Columbus Area – give our office a call at 614-827-2000….24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Because now is the perfect time to put a team that includes a former police officer and a former prosecutor to work….for you!

The law in Ohio provides for limited driving privileges when you are under a suspension for a Columbus DUI. You are eligible for privileges after any hard suspension time.

Once eligible, you can get privileges for the following reasons: Occupational, Educational, Medical, and Vocational.

Part 3 of this blog series is devoted to clients who ask about whether they can get privileges for medical reasons. Privileges are given at the discretion of the Judge and there is no right to them.

Privileges for medical reasons will almost always be granted. Appointments vary so much by day and times that the privileges are usually very broad.

Due to the variety of schedules a person will have with each doctor, most Courts will require a person to carry proof on their person. This is done with an appointment card.

One thing my client’s ask about frequently is whether they can get privileges for the medical needs of a parent, child, or other family member. I tell them that it depends on the Judge,the relation to the person, and that person’s ability to get to the doctor by other means.

The theory being that the more distant the relationship and the better the person is able to make other arrangements the more difficult it is to get privileges. If the person is dependant on your care and unable to make other arrangements you stand a good chance of getting the privileges.

And remember, if you or a family member has been arrested for DUI in the Columbus Area – give our office a call at 614-827-2000….24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Because now is the perfect time to put a team that includes a former police officer and a former prosecutor to work….for you!

The law in a Columbus, Ohio DUI / OVI case provides for limited driving privileges 15 -30 days post arrest on a first time OVI charge. Once eligible, you can get privileges for the following reasons: Occupational, Educational, Medical, and Vocational.

Part 2 of this blog series is devoted to clients who ask about whether they can get privileges for medical reasons. Privileges are given at the discretion of the Judge and there is no right to them.

Privileges for medical reasons will almost always be granted. Appointments vary so much by day and times that the privileges are usually very broad. Due to the variety of schedules a person will have with each doctor, most Courts will require a person to carry proof on their person of the medical appointment by carrying an appointment card.

And remember, if you or a family member has been arrested for DUI in the Columbus Area – give our office a call at 614-827-2000….24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Because now is the perfect time to put a team that includes a former police officer and a former prosecutor to work….for you!

The law in Ohio provides for limited driving privileges when you are under a suspension for a Columbus, Ohio DUI. You are eligible for privileges after any hard suspension time. This may be 15 or 30 days on a first time offense depending if you took a chemical test.  Once elligible, you can get privileges for the following reasons: Occupational, Educational, Medical, and Vocational.

Privileges are given at the discretion of the Judge and there is no absolute right to them. Privileges to look for a job will be granted depending on the attorneys ability to convince the judge that you will ACTIVELY be seeking a job. If granted they will most likely only be during regular business hours 9-5 Monday to Friday with proof of interview / appointment.

Remember, if you or a family member has been arrested for DUI / OVI in the Columbus, Ohio area – give our office a call at 614-827-2000….24-hours a day, 7 days a week. The call and the initial consultation are FREE!

Because now is the perfect time to put a team that includes a former police officer and a former prosecutor to work….for you!