DUI: 8 Vital Things to Remember

DUI: 8 Vital Things to Remember

Memorial Day is upon us. The unofficial “official” start of summer. This time of year sees a dramatic increase in DUI arrests. Between backyard barbecues and pool parties, many people are less vigilant about staying sober when they know they’ll be driving, or refusing to drive at all when they have been drinking.

Of course, the best way to avoid a DUI is to avoid drinking at all, but if you find yourself facing a DUI charge, here are some things you’ll want to know.

1.You can get a DUI even if you don’t feel drunk.

There is no scale that tips when your blood alcohol content goes from 0.07 percent to 0.09 percent. You don’t suddenly feel drunk or start falling over. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the difference between a BAC of 0.05 and 0.08 includes effects like:

  • Difficulty detecting danger
  • Impaired self-control
  • Diminished muscle coordination
  • Problems controlling speed

These are hardly measurable effects, and there may still be no outward or visible indication of intoxication, even at 0.08 percent. Because of this, people might feel completely comfortable having another drink. In the eyes of the law, someone who is just barely over the legal limit can face the same penalties as someone who is clearly displaying signs of intoxication. However, breath and blood tests can be wrong. Read more about their possible inaccuracies here.

2. Be Polite

If you’re pulled over by a police officer under suspicion of driving under the influence, it is imperative that you be polite with him or her at all times. Even if you are severely intoxicated, you should do your best to comply with the officer’s requests. Do not argue with a police officer under any circumstances. Remember that poor behavior can affect you adversely later in court.

3. Your car might be towed

If you’re charged with a DUI, the officer will transport you to the police station in a patrol car. Your vehicle will probably be towed at your expense, and you’ll be notified as to which company has towed your vehicle and will be given the contact information to retrieve it. Contact the towing company that impounded your vehicle as soon as possible and arrange for it to be picked up and pay all towing costs.

4. Booked, processed, contact your lawyer.

After you arrive at the police station, you can expect to wait for up to several hours before being processed. If this is your first offense, the process will take longer. Your fingerprints and mugshot will be taken and an investigator or other police officer may ask you questions about the circumstances of your driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You will be given the opportunity to contact your attorney if you feel you are being wrongly accused. This is extremely important…ask for a lawyer. Contact DUI Defense Attorney Nathan Akamine.

5. You may be incarcerated, you may be released.

The length of time you stay at the police station depends on several factors, including the location of your DUI, your age, your criminal record, the severity of your intoxication, as well as other factors. If you’re to be released on bond, you will be given the opportunity to contact a bondsman, friend, or relative to arrange for the amount to be paid and for someone to pick you up from the police station. In some cases, you will be incarcerated immediately. Nevertheless, be prepared to remain at the police station for a minimum of several hours before the logistics of your DUI charge are settled.

6. You’ll go before a Judge.

If charged with a DUI, you will likely have to appear in court to receive your sentencing. You will have the option of using your own attorney or being appointed one by the court. Remain calm and respectful during the court proceedings at all costs. Answer any questions truthfully and make sure you do so with your attorney by your side. If you fail to appear in court the judge will most likely issue a warrant for your arrest.

7. Community service and/or fines.

Some drivers who are convicted of DUI are required to complete community service or court referral programs. If you’re one of them, complete these programs as soon as possible so that it can be reported back to the court that you have fulfilled your sentencing. Remember to pay any fines in full as soon as you are able. Typically, there are payment plan options available.

8. Long-term consequences.

If you get a DUI, the charge will likely stay on your record for several years, if not permanently. Potential employers will be able to view these records before they hire you, so if you’re planning to look for a new job in the near future, be upfront and honest about your DUI charge. It’s better to explain the situation beforehand than appear to be covering it up.

Of course, be careful this summer. Use Uber, Lyft, or a designated driver. However, should the worst happen and you do get arrested for a DUI, contact DUI attorney Nathan Akamine as soon as possible for legal help.

 

More DUI articles you might like…

Common Mistakes After DUI Arrest

Common Mistakes After DUI Arrest

An arrest for suspected drunk driving can have severe consequences so you must respond aggressively. A guilty verdict can result in the loss of your driver’s license, your employment, an increase in insurance premiums, or even jail time.

Most people don’t know how to respond after a DUI arrest, which can lead to mistakes that make conviction far more likely. Here are the top mistakes people make after being arrested for a DUI.

Avoid Making These Mistakes After A DUI Arrest:

1. Don’t provide the police with evidence.

Don’t answer questions or volunteer information. Ask for a lawyer then remain silent – it is your Constitutional right. Following your arrest, be careful what you post on social. If your friends can see it, the Prosecutor will see it.

2. Make sure to request a hearing within 30 days following your arrest.

Refusal to take a blood-alcohol concentration or BAC test, or testing higher than .08, will result in an automatic driver’s license suspension. You have 30 days to request an Administrative Hearing to try to protect your license.

3. Don’t assume that a failed BAC test means a conviction is inevitable.

If you undergo a chemical test and are found to have drugs or alcohol in your system, you still have options. The Prosecutor still has to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and there are ways to introduce doubt about whether the chemical test was accurate. It may also be possible to prevent the failed test from being used against you (e.g., your Constitutional rights were violated during evidence collection).

4. Immediately hire a lawyer.

Choose a lawyer who is experienced in DUI and OVI defense and a law firm where the lawyer will speak with you personally. The sooner that you are represented, the better chance you have of minimizing or dismissing the case.

Make smart and informed choices and ensure that you do everything possible to try to avoid a conviction.

Should juveniles be allowed to waive miranda rights?

Should juveniles be allowed to waive miranda rights?

“You have the right to remain silent…..” chances are you know the rest. You don’t have to be involved in a crime to have heard it, thanks to crime TV shows. These are Miranda Rights and although many people can recite them, not everyone understands what they mean.

Miranda rights offer protection.

A law enforcement officer is legally obligated to read the Miranda rights to each suspect (defendant) at the time of his/her arrest and essentially, they state;

  1. You are not required to speak to the police or any law enforcement officer.
  2. You are permitted to have an attorney present to advocate on your behalf throughout police questioning.

A defendant can choose to uphold these rights or waive them. If the defendant chooses to waive their Miranda rights and speak directly to law enforcement officers without the presence of an attorney, such correspondence is not coerced or involuntary. 

Juveniles Miranda rights.

Law enforcement officers must also read Miranda Rights to juveniles. However, juveniles may not fully understand the Miranda rights and the implications of waiving them. Because of this, the rate of juveniles choosing to waive their rights is alarmingly as high as 90%.

Why?

According to a Harvard Law publication; Interrogation coerces by design.3 We regulate interrogation because it can go too far, harming suspects and producing unreliable confessions.4

Common sense backed by brain science leaves no doubt that juveniles are often more vulnerable to the pressures of police questioning.5 Protective procedures designed for adults offer limited help.

Younger juveniles misunderstand Miranda warnings at alarming rates,6 and developmental psychologists question whether minors are ever competent to make “knowing, intelligent, and voluntary” waivers of their rights.7

For child victims and witnesses, police, and judges have developed extensive protocols to ensure that statements are reliable, but there are no similar safeguards for juvenile suspects.8

Instead, to take advantage of psychological reality, interrogation training instructs officers to treat children no differently than they do adults, except when employing strategies for manipulating children’s special sensitivities.9 These methods work. As a matter of course, questioned minors waive their rights and make incriminating statements.10 “[Y]oung people are especially prone to confessing falsely.”11 Juveniles account for as much as a third of documented false confessions. 12

Minors waving their Miranda Rights

On one hand, some cases dispute whether a juvenile actually waived his or her rights at all. On the other hand, are cases that dispute whether the rights were said in a way to make the minor understand what rights were actually protected.

Some states are currently considering revising the Miranda standard. Processes that would address some of these concerns include:

  1. Implementing a version of Miranda specifically for juveniles that are much easier to understand.
  2. Making it so that juveniles below a minimum age limit would be legally unable to waive their Miranda rights, make a confession, or even speak to a police officer in the absence of a parent or guardian.

If your child or the minor of a loved one has been arrested, please seek legal help. Call Akamine Law today. Your call is free.

 

 

6 See Thomas Grisso, Juveniles’ Capacities to Waive Miranda Rights: An Empirical Analysis, 68 CALIF. L. REV. 1134, 1166 (1980)

7 Barry C. Feld, Police Interrogation of Juveniles: An Empirical Study of Policy and Practice, 97 J. CRIM. L. & CRIMINOLOGY 219, 228 (2006)

8 See Tamar R. Birckhead, The Age of the Child: Interrogating Juveniles After Roper v. Simmons, 65 WASH. & LEE L. REV. 385, 420–27 (2008)

9 See FRED E. INBAU ET AL., CRIMINAL INTERROGATION AND CONFESSIONS 298–303 (4th ed. 2004)

10 See BARRY C. FELD, KIDS, COPS, AND CONFESSIONS 170 (2013)

11 Christine S. Scott-Hayward, Explaining Juvenile False Confessions: Adolescent Development and Police Interrogation, 31 LAW & PSYCHOL. REV. 53, 61 (2007)

12 Steven A. Drizin & Richard A. Leo, The Problem of False Confessions in the Post-DNA World, 82 N.C. L. REV. 891, 944 (2004)

Can a social media post result in criminal charges?

Can a social media post result in criminal charges?

If you’ve spent any time on social media, it’s likely that you read abusive and oftentimes offensive statements posted or left as comments. Most people are under the assumption the things said online are without repercussions. However, that may not be the case.

Perhaps you remember hearing about Justin Olsen, an 18-year-old Ohio man who was arrested last year on federal charges after investigators claimed that he made multiple entries online posting his support of mass shootings, and cited a target of Planned Parenthood.

Regardless of Olsen telling the FBI that his posts were “only a joke”, he was booked on state charges of telecommunications harassment and aggravated menacing, and the federal charge of threatening a federal law enforcement officer.

Although Olsen’s charges are considered to be severe for online behavior, a malicious or threatening post may qualify as defamation. Defamation is the publication of a statement about someone that hurts their reputation in the eyes of members of society.

Online actions can have severe consequences.

You may remember a case where social media played a major part in a case against two football players who were eventually found guilty of raping an intoxicated 16-year-old girl.

The victim says she doesn’t remember much of what happened the night when Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’lik Richmond, 16, assaulted her at a friend’s party, and that she only became aware of it after a video surfaced on social media. A key piece of evidence was an Instagram photo of the boys carrying the girl out of the house by her arms and legs.

That being said, photos and videos, whether posted publicly or obtained by police, have to meet certain criteria:

  • They must be authenticated, meaning the prosecutors have to prove the images are what they seem and have not been altered or staged;
  • they can not be shown out of context

Additional charges were later brought against two teenage girls in the same case after police were shown twitter posts threatening the physical harm to the victim if she didn’t drop the charges.

Can I be arrested for posting a video?

Richard Godbehere uploaded a 5-minute video of himself driving, cracking open a beer, then proceeding to take a drink. He then stated “We all know drinking and driving is against the law. You’re not supposed to do that. But they didn’t say anything about driving and then drinking.”

A joke, maybe. Against the law, definitely. He was surprised when the police showed up at his house prepared to arrest him on charges of consuming alcohol while operating a vehicle.

He stated the video was meant as a parody and claimed there wasn’t actually beer in the bottle, to which Police Chief Darryl Perry stated: “Our traffic laws are in place for a reason, and Mr. Godbehere’s blatant disregard for those laws is the type of behavior that won’t be tolerated.”

The moral of the story, be careful what you say online. It can, and will be used against you in a court of law.

If you or someone you love is in need of an experienced and aggressive criminal defense lawyer, call Nathan Akamine.

What happens if I’ve been falsely accused of domestic violence?

What happens if I’ve been falsely accused of domestic violence?

According to the CDC**, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men experience some form of physical violence by their partner at some point during their lifetimes. About 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men experience sexual violence during their lifetimes.

Note: This article has no intention of dismaying or minimizing the serious nature of valid domestic violence charges, nor undermining the suffering of victims of intimate partner violence (IPV). It is intended to raise awareness and address the plight of the falsely accused.

Domestic Violence extends beyond physical harm.

Charges can result from physical, emotional, sexual, financial, mental or psychological, destruction of personal property, stalking, and cyberbullying. Whether the charges are misdemeanors or felonies depends on the allegations, the age of the individuals, and whether there were weapons involved.

Under duress, it is not uncommon for one party to call the police and fabricate a story in order to end a heated argument, retaliate, or try to gain an edge in pending child custody hearings. Once the charges are filed, they can not easily be retracted (dropped), and can adversely affect the life and future of the accused. The decision to go forward with charges is completely up to the State Prosecutor on the case.

Is Domestic Violence a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

Domestic Violence can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the seriousness of the charge, and both are separated into degrees, First Degree being the most serious. For an offense that has caused physical harm to the alleged victim, a defendant can be charged with anything from a 1st-degree misdemeanor to a 3rd-degree felony. The threat of physical harm against an alleged victim can result in being charged with anything from a fourth-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree misdemeanor.

What are the Penalties of Domestic Violence in Ohio?

  • 1st-degree misdemeanor – up to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1000
  • 2nd-degree misdemeanor – up to 90 days in jail and fines up to $750
  • 3rd-degree misdemeanor – up to 60 days in jail and fines up to $500
  • 5th-degree felony – 6-12 months in prison and fines up to $2500
  • 4th-degree felony – 6-18 months in prison and fines up to $5000
  • 3rd-degree felony – 9 months -3 years in prison and fines up to $10,000

If the victim was pregnant at the time of the offense – minimum 6 months-1 year in prison
*depending on the severity of the incident

Hire an Experienced Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

Attorney Nathan Akamine is an experienced criminal defense lawyer that will work to dismiss or lessen the charges against you. As a private practice litigator and former Franklin County Prosecutor, he knows how to mitigate your charges and will personally work with you from start to finish.

** https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/fastfact.html