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Dublin Criminal Defense Law Blog

Answering seemingly innocent questions could lead to OVI charges

Law enforcement officers here in Ohio and elsewhere are taught how to ask questions to elicit information from drivers that they might not ordinarily provide. During an investigation into a suspected OVI incident, drivers ought to expect these types of questions. Otherwise, they could find themselves under arrest and facing charges for drunk driving, among other things.

For example, troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol approached a man carrying a laundry detergent box on an Interstate 90 exit ramp. They asked him if he had been involved in a crash near that area involving an Ohio Department of Transportation pickup truck. He told officers he was just panhandling.

How Ohio's hunters can reclaim their gun rights

Ohio’s hunters know that gun rights are about more than self-defense. They’re about tradition, familial bonds, and the chance to take a break from the everyday bustle. They’re about heading into the woods and finding a connection to nature that’s almost spiritual. So losing those rights can hurt.

The Ohio Constitution and the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution both grant you the right to keep and bear arms, but those rights can be revoked. If you’re ever charged for a drug felony or a violent crime, the state may strip you of your guns. Fortunately, there is a way to clear your name and reclaim your Second Amendment rights: expungement.

Car accidents could result in OVI charges

Motor vehicle accidents happen. Even so, most of them are ruled preventable because the at-fault driver was distracted, fatigued, impaired or otherwise failing to obey the rules of the road. When a driver is suspected of drunk driving at the time of a crash by an Ohio police officer, OVI charges could follow.

An Ohio grandmother could face such a charge, in addition to others, after an accident involving a police officer on a motorcycle. Reports indicate that it was around 9:30 p.m. when the motorcycle officer attempted to pull over a vehicle. The grandmother had stopped at an intersection at the same time that the officer approached it.

Does a badge supersede your rights?

Before you got your driver’s license, you learned that being in control of a motor vehicle could be extremely dangerous. And while you know you could face serious consequences for driving recklessly, exceeding the speed limit or operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI), are you familiar with your rights during a traffic stop?

Getting pulled over by a law enforcement officer (LEO) can be intimidating under any circumstances. And if a LEO stops your vehicle after you consumed alcohol or drugs, it may be even scarier. But regardless of your circumstances, you have rights.

Yet another reason to challenge an Ohio OVI charge

Ohio residents are aware that there are criminal repercussions for drunk driving. What they may not realize is other areas of their lives are also affected. Depending on the circumstances, an OVI conviction can affect the ability to keep or obtain a job, the ability to go to college or receive a scholarship, or even affect finding a place to live. There is also another aspect of a person's life affected by such a conviction -- auto insurance.

Anyone found guilty of OVI knows that it comes with certain financial consequences. However, he or she may not have immediately considered how it would affect auto insurance premiums. Even though insurance rates may not rise as much here in Ohio as they do elsewhere across the country, for anyone who relies on a budget to meet his or her financial obligations each month, any increase could result in serious monetary issues.

Man charged with OVI refuses to submit to chemical test

Even though drivers do not have to legally participate in field sobriety tests, the same cannot be said of a chemical test. Ohio's implied consent laws require that drivers consent to a chemical test at a certified medical facility to determine impairment. Refusal to participate in such a test comes with significant administrative penalties in addition to OVI charges.

A man recently arrested on suspicion of OVI could face both criminal and administrative penalties. When pulled over, he refused to participate in field sobriety tests because he said it could cause him to experience an epileptic seizure. For the same reason, he asked the officer not to shine his flashlight in his face and refused to submit to a chemical test.

Suspicion of OVI often arises out of driving behaviors

Driving too fast or too slow on an Ohio roadway draws attention. So does drifting out of the lane of travel or stopping in the middle of an intersection for no apparent reason. These are driving behaviors that often arouse suspicion of OVI from other drivers and law enforcement officers.

Erratic driving behaviors aroused the suspicion of a family living on a farm here in Ohio. Periodically, people drive onto their land to kick up some dirt with a new vehicle even though it is private property. A talk with the driver usually resolves the problem, but not this time. When one family member's vehicle approached the trespassing vehicle, the driver never had a chance to ask the other driver to leave because the vehicle sped away.

Some Ohio gun owners could face weapons crimes for concealment

It is permissible in Ohio to carry concealed firearms as long as the individual doing so has a valid license. Unfortunately, last year, authorities discovered that two firearms instructors here in the state allegedly falsified records that resulted in numerous gun owners receiving a concealed carry permit illegally. Some of those owners could end up facing charges for weapons crimes if they carry their weapons concealed without a valid license to do so.

Reportedly, the number of license revocations went up dramatically in 2018, and that trend may continue this year due to this situation. Evidence seems to indicate that one of the instructors no longer had the requisite qualifications to train others in the use of firearms, let alone to sign off on concealed carry licenses. One source says this affects at least 270 people while another says it affects closer to 700 people, if not more since the total number is not yet known.

Ohio accident results in OVI charges for one driver

Motor vehicle accidents most often occur due to driver error. One question that arises in many crashes is whether the mistake or series of mistakes that led to the accident warrant criminal charges. When police officers suspect something such as alcohol or drugs contributed to an accident, a driver could face charges for OVI, which is Ohio's version of driving under the influenced and stands for operating a vehicle while impaired. 

In a recent crash, responding police officers suspected one of the drivers of OVI and placed him under arrest. Preliminary reports indicate that driver failed to obey a stop sign and entered an intersection already occupied by another vehicle. The driver's vehicle struck the driver's side of the other vehicle. Reports did not indicate whether any injuries occurred, let alone whether they were serious.

An OVI can significantly impact an individual's employment

Every Ohio resident's life would sustain some form of repercussions from a conviction for drunk driving. Even so, for some people who work in certain professions, those penalties are even harsher. For instance, a police officer charged with OVI, or operating a vehicle while impaired, may not even make it to court before losing his or her job or being suspended for an indefinite amount of time.

Some officers, such as one recently in the news, may get the chance to resign before being terminated. Colleagues arrested the 27-year-old former police officer on Jan. 27 on suspicion of drunk driving and leaving the scene of an accident. Even though they were simply upholding the law, the chief of police in that city still felt the need to justify his department's actions in arresting the officer.

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