Stay Safe This Memorial Day: Avoid DUI Arrests

Stay Safe This Memorial Day: Avoid DUI Arrests

Memorial Day weekend is a time for family, friends, and fun as we honor the brave men and women who have served our country. However, it’s also a time when DUI arrests spike significantly. Between backyard barbecues, pool parties, and other celebrations, many people become less vigilant about staying sober if they know they’ll be driving, or they fail to avoid driving altogether after drinking.

Remember: The safest choice is not to drink if you plan to drive. But if you find yourself facing a DUI charge, here are some essential things to know:

1. You Can Get a DUI Even if You Don’t Feel Drunk

There’s no clear line where your blood alcohol content (BAC) suddenly makes you feel drunk. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that even a BAC of 0.05 to 0.08 can impair your ability to:

  • Detect danger
  • Maintain self-control
  • Coordinate muscle movements
  • Control your speed

These effects might not be obvious to you, which can make having that “one last drink” seem harmless. However, legally, a BAC over 0.08 percent can lead to the same penalties as more severe intoxication. Be aware that breath and blood tests, although critical in determining BAC, are not infallible. Learn more about their potential inaccuracies here.

2. Be Polite

If you’re pulled over under suspicion of DUI, always be polite and cooperative with the officer. Even if you’re highly intoxicated, comply with all requests and avoid arguing. Good behavior can positively influence your case in court later on.

3. Your Car Might Be Towed

When charged with a DUI, you’ll be taken to the police station, and your vehicle will likely be towed at your expense. You’ll receive information about which company towed your car and how to retrieve it. Contact them promptly to arrange pickup and settle towing fees.

4. Booked, Processed, Contact Your Lawyer

At the police station, you’ll undergo booking and processing, which can take several hours, especially if it’s your first offense. Your fingerprints and mugshot will be taken, and an officer might ask questions about your DUI circumstances. Crucially, you have the right to contact an attorney—exercise this right to ensure you receive proper legal guidance. Reach out to DUI Defense Attorney Nathan Akamine for assistance.

5. You May Be Incarcerated or Released

Your detention length depends on factors like your DUI location, age, criminal history, and intoxication level. You might be released on bond, allowing you to contact a bondsman, friend, or relative to arrange payment and pickup. In some cases, immediate incarceration is possible, so be prepared for a potentially lengthy stay at the police station.

6. You’ll Go Before a Judge

A DUI charge typically requires a court appearance for sentencing. You can choose to hire your own attorney or have one appointed by the court. During proceedings, remain calm, respectful, and truthful, always with your attorney present. Missing your court date can result in a warrant for your arrest.

7. Community Service and/or Fines

If convicted, you might need to complete community service or court referral programs. Complete these obligations promptly and report back to the court. Ensure you pay any fines as soon as possible—payment plans are often available.

8. Long-Term Consequences

A DUI charge can stay on your record for years, impacting job prospects. Be upfront with potential employers about your DUI to avoid the appearance of concealment.

Stay Safe This Memorial Day

This Memorial Day, prioritize safety. Use Uber, Lyft, or a designated driver. If you do face a DUI arrest, contact DUI attorney Nathan Akamine immediately for legal assistance.

Stay safe, honor our heroes, and enjoy your holiday responsibly.

Can I Be Charged with Assault if it Was Self-Defense?

Can I Be Charged with Assault if it Was Self-Defense?

As a criminal defense attorney serving the Columbus area, I’ve had countless clients ask me a burning question: “Can I be charged with assault if it was self-defense?”

It’s a valid concern, and today, I’m diving into the legal nitty-gritty to give you the lowdown on how self-defense plays out in Ohio’s legal landscape.

What Exactly is Self-Defense?

Imagine you’re in a situation where your safety, or that of someone else, is under threat. It’s your legal right to protect yourself from harm when faced with imminent danger or the threat of it. But—and this is crucial—your response must be reasonable and proportional to the threat at hand.

Ohio’s Stand Your Ground Law: Standing Firm on Your Rights

Ohio doesn’t mess around when it comes to self-defense. We’re a “stand your ground” state, meaning you don’t have to beat a hasty retreat before defending yourself if you’re somewhere you have a right to be. If you reasonably believe your life or bodily integrity is in jeopardy, you’re within your rights to stand your ground and defend yourself.

The Castle Doctrine: Your Home, Your Sanctuary

Ever heard of the phrase “my home is my castle”? Well, in Ohio, it’s more than just a saying—it’s the law. The Castle Doctrine extends your right to self-defense to your home, vehicle, or occupied vehicle. If someone’s unlawfully barging into your sanctuary, you’re entitled to use force—yes, even deadly force—to keep yourself and others safe.

But What About Assault Charges?

Here’s where it gets tricky. While Ohio recognizes your right to defend yourself, there’s a fine line between self-defense and assault. Your response must fit the threat. If it goes beyond what’s considered reasonable or proportional, you might find yourself facing assault charges—even if you were just trying to protect yourself.

Why Reasonableness Matters

In the eyes of the law, reasonableness is key. If you claim self-defense, you’ve got to show that your actions were justified given the circumstances. This means gathering evidence, painting the full picture of what went down, and demonstrating that you acted in self-defense to the best of your ability.

Seeking Legal Backup

Facing assault charges is no joke, especially when you were only trying to defend yourself. That’s why it’s crucial to have a savvy criminal defense attorney in your corner. We’ll sift through the details, gather evidence, and craft a defense that stands strong in the face of legal scrutiny.

Know Your Rights, Protect Your Future

Remember, while Ohio law has your back when it comes to self-defense, crossing that line into excessive force can land you in hot water. Understanding the ins and outs of self-defense laws and having a legal ace up your sleeve are your best bets for safeguarding your rights and navigating assault charges.

If you’re staring down assault charges or have questions about self-defense laws in Ohio, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here to lend an ear, offer guidance, and fight tooth and nail for your rights. Your future is worth defending, and we’re here to help you do just that.

What proof is needed for a restraining order in Ohio?

What proof is needed for a restraining order in Ohio?

James, a client of mine, recently ended a toxic relationship with the mother of his child. In what he believed was a scorned woman’s attempt to have him arrested, she filed for a restraining order. If granted, the restraining order could have forced James to leave his home, lose temporary custody of his child, and even interfere with his job.

So, how can James protect himself?

While getting a restraining order is important if you feel threatened, Ohio courts require clear evidence before any restrictions are put in place. If you’re the one being accused, it’s essential to know what proof is required and how to respond.

Types of restraining orders and what you need to show.

There are two main types of restraining orders in Ohio:

Temporary Ex Parte Protection Order:

  • Given on the same day a petition is filed.
  • A judge decides if there’s a good reason for immediate protection.
  • Examples considered include threats or harm, sexual abuse, and the accused person’s past convictions for domestic violence.
  • Not much evidence is needed at this stage, and the accused person isn’t there to defend themselves. The order lasts until the full hearing, usually 7 to 10 days later.

Civil Protection Order (CPO):

  • Can last up to five years.
  • Established after a full hearing where both parties present their case.
  • Evidence must convincingly show genuine fear of harm or harassment by the accused person.

Evidence that supports a protection order.

Evidence from the person seeking the order can take different forms:

  • Witness Testimony: Statements from people who witnessed abusive behavior.
  • Photographic Evidence: Photos of injuries caused by violence, with timestamps.
  • Text Messages or Emails: Messages with threatening language or detailing abuse.
  • Video Footage: Strong evidence of abuse or threats was recorded.

How to defend yourself against a restraining order. 

If you’re facing a restraining order, there are ways to defend yourself:

  • Present Evidence Contradicting Claims: Use records of messages or social media to dispute the accuser’s claims.
  • Provide an Alibi: Show proof you were somewhere else during alleged incidents, like receipts, videos, or timestamps.
  • Witness Testimony: Get witnesses who can contradict the accuser’s story.
  • Show No Genuine Fear: Demonstrate that the accuser didn’t see you as a threat, possibly through friendly interactions.


If you’re dealing with a restraining order, give us a call. We will guide you through the process and make sure your rights are protected. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation.

Should I Use a Public Defender or Hire a Private Defense Attorney?

Should I Use a Public Defender or Hire a Private Defense Attorney?

Facing criminal charges can be an intimidating and overwhelming experience, and one of the most critical decisions you’ll have to make is choosing between a private defense attorney or a public defender to represent you. Both options have their advantages and limitations, and it’s crucial to understand the differences to make an informed decision. In this article, we’ll explore the factors you should consider when choosing a private for-hire attorney or a public defender.

1. Expertise and Resources:

Private Defense Attorney:
Private criminal defense attorneys often have specialized expertise in specific areas of the law. They can choose their cases, allowing them to focus on their strengths and build a strong defense tailored to your situation. They also have access to a network of experts, investigators, and resources that can be crucial in building a strong defense.

Public Defender:
Public defenders are committed legal professionals, but they often have heavy caseloads and limited resources. While they possess valuable experience, they might have less time to dedicate to your case, which can impact the depth of their investigation and preparation.

2. Personalized Attention:

Private Defense Attorney:
Hiring a private attorney typically means receiving more personalized attention. Your attorney can give your case the time and dedication it deserves, addressing your specific needs and concerns.

Public Defender:
Public defenders may have numerous cases to handle simultaneously, which can limit their ability to provide the same level of individualized attention. While they will work diligently to represent you, their caseloads may affect the depth of their involvement in your case.

3. Costs and Fees:

Private Defense Attorney:
Hiring a private attorney involves costs, which can vary significantly based on the complexity of your case and the attorney’s experience. However, many private defense attorneys offer payment plans or accept legal aid if you qualify.

Public Defender:
Public defenders are provided by the state or federal government, so their services are typically free if you meet the eligibility criteria. This makes them an accessible option for individuals who cannot afford private representation.

4. Decision-Making Control:

Private Defense Attorney:
When you choose a private attorney, you have more control over the direction of your defense. You can make decisions about plea bargains, trial strategies, and other aspects of your case.

Public Defender:
Public defenders are obligated to act in your best interests, but their ability to make strategic decisions may be influenced by the policies of their office and their caseload. You still have a say, but you may have less control over the direction of your defense.

The choice between hiring a private defense attorney and using a public defender is a critical decision that should be based on your specific circumstances and needs. Private attorneys offer expertise, personalized attention, and flexibility, but they come at a cost. Public defenders provide legal representation without direct fees, but their caseloads may limit their ability to dedicate as much time to your case.

Ultimately, the decision should align with your financial situation, the complexity of your case, and your comfort level with your chosen attorney. Consult with a legal professional to make an informed choice that will best serve your interests in your criminal defense case.

Looking for legal help? Call Akamine Law for a FREE case review.

Can I Fight A Probation Violation Charge?

Can I Fight A Probation Violation Charge?

Probation serves as an alternative to incarceration, offering individuals a chance to rehabilitate and reintegrate into society while under court supervision. Unfortunately, probation violations can happen, and these can lead to legal consequences. If you face a probation violation charge in Ohio, you might wonder if you can fight it. In this blog, we’ll explore the process of challenging a probation violation in Ohio and the key factors to consider.

Understanding Probation Violations in Ohio

Probation in Ohio typically involves a set of conditions that you must adhere to while serving your probation term. Common conditions include regular check-ins with a probation officer, abstaining from drugs and alcohol, maintaining employment, and avoiding any new criminal charges. When you fail to meet these conditions, it’s considered a probation violation.

Probation violations can be categorized into two types: technical violations and substantive violations.

  • Technical Violations: These involve breaking the rules of probation that do not involve new criminal activity. For example, missing a meeting with your probation officer or failing a drug test could be a technical violation.
  • Substantive Violations: These involve new criminal activity while on probation. Committing a new crime, no matter how minor, can result in a substantive violation.

Fighting a Probation Violation

If you’re facing a probation violation in Ohio, you have the right to challenge the charges. The process involves several steps:

  1. Notice of Violation: You will receive a notice of violation, detailing the alleged violations and the potential consequences.
  2. Hearing: You have the right to a hearing where you can present your case. It’s important to understand that the burden of proof is lower in probation violation cases compared to regular criminal trials. Instead of “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the standard of proof is typically “preponderance of the evidence,” meaning that it’s more likely than not that you violated your probation.
  3. Legal Representation: It’s highly advisable to seek legal representation. An experienced attorney can help you build a strong defense, challenge evidence, and present your case effectively.
  4. Evidence and Witnesses: Gather evidence or witnesses supporting your case. This may include alibis, character references, or proof that you were making a genuine effort to meet your probation conditions.
  5. Negotiation: In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate with your probation officer or the prosecutor to reach an agreement. This could involve modifying your probation conditions rather than facing more severe consequences.

Possible Outcomes

When fighting a probation violation in Ohio, there are several potential outcomes:

  • Dismissal: If you successfully challenge the violation, it may be dismissed, and you can continue your probation as originally ordered.
  • Modification: In some cases, the court may modify your probation conditions or extend the probation term.
  • Revocation: If the court finds you in violation of your probation, it can revoke your probation and impose more severe penalties, such as incarceration.

Challenging a probation violation charge in Ohio is possible, but it can be a complex and challenging process. It’s crucial to take the situation seriously, seek legal representation, and be prepared to present a strong defense. Additionally, always aim to comply with your probation conditions to avoid future violations, as maintaining a positive record can be crucial to your success in these cases.

Remember that the outcome of your probation violation hearing will depend on the specific circumstances of your case and the evidence presented. If you’re facing a probation violation, consult with an experienced attorney to guide you through the process and advocate on your behalf.

If you or someone you love has been accused of violating probation, don’t face the charges alone.

Defense attorney Nathan Akamine will help you. He is a former Franklin County Prosecutor and he has successfully defended clients at probation violation hearings for 20+ years.