Frequently Asked Questions about DUI

What does DUI & OVI mean and is there a difference between them?

They are both acronyms. “DUI” stands for “Driving Under the Influence”, while “OVI” stands for “Operating a Vehicle while Impaired”. Both refer to drunk or impaired driving and there is no difference between them.

Can I be charged with DUI/OVI if the drugs were prescribed to me?

The short answer is yes. Whether the drugs are prescription, over-the-counter (OTC), or illegal, they may impair your driving ability due to side effects.  In the eyes of the law, it is your responsibility to know the effects of medication and whether they impair your ability to drive.

Will a DUI go on my permanent record?

Yes.  However, if you were arrested but the DUI charges were later dropped or reduced, only the dismissal or reduction will show.

How long will a DUI stay on my record?

In Ohio, a DUI conviction adds 6 points to your driving record. The points drop off after two years.  However, the DUI conviction itself remains on your record forever.  A DUI / OVI cannot be expunged under current Ohio Law.

Will a DUI conviction show up on my background check?

It depends. A DUI conviction will definitely be reflected in your traffic record. As a result, your car insurance provider will likely categorize you as a “high risk” driver. Your insurance rates typically increase, or your policy may be canceled or denied renewal. A DUI conviction may or may not show on a criminal background check, depending on the type of check that is run.

Do I need an attorney for a DUI charge?

Absolutely. Whether your charge is a misdemeanor or a felony, a conviction brings serious penalties. You face jail time, license suspension or revocation, fines, increased car insurance rates, and other collateral effects of which you may be unaware. At the very least, you should speak with an attorney prior to deciding how to proceed.

 

What if I can't afford to pay a DUI attorney?

If you qualify as indigent, the court will appoint a public defender at no charge to you. While public defenders are licensed attorneys, their large caseloads might prevent them from providing the attentiveness necessary to attain the best resolutions to cases.

Is it possible to win a drunk driving case after I was arrested?

Yes. Many charges are the result of faulty test results, faulty testing devices, and police mistakes. Police officers often improperly administer standardized field sobriety tests. Any of these can be a basis for excluding evidence to be used at trial.

 

I was never read my Miranda rights. Can my case be dismissed?

Unfortunately, your case will probably not be dismissed. However, once arrested, a Miranda warning must be given to if there is to be a legal interrogation while in police custody.  If you made harmful statements in such a situation without Miranda warnings we may be able to suppress the statements.  Suppressed statements cannot be used against you at trial.

Will I go to jail for a DUI conviction?

It depends. If this is your first offense, your chances of avoiding jail time are much greater. However, if you’re facing your second or subsequent conviction for multiple DUIs, Ohio law mandates a jail term. A case involving an injury or death also involves a jail or prison sentence. Even if there is strong evidence against you, an experienced DUI attorney may be able to negotiate a resolution that avoids a jail sentence.

Is it legal to obtain a driver's license in any state if your license is revoked in another state?

Each state has its own motor vehicle laws that need to be consulted to determine the impact of an Ohio suspension/revocation.  There are several states that do recognize revocations and suspensions issued in the State of Ohio.

Is the police issued breath test (Breathalyzer) accurate?

This is a highly disputed topic in the legal community.  There are many things that can affect the accuracy of a BAC machine. A person’s metabolism, medical conditions, machine calibration, are a few issues that may arise with regard to BAC machine accuracy. There are other reasons why breath tests could be inaccurate here.

Is the police issued blood test accurate?

It may not be. Here are many possible errors. An alcohol swab should not be used to clean the injection site. Blood must be drawn correctly and stored in an appropriate vial with an anticoagulant.  The blood must also be maintained at a proper temperature to ensure an accurate analysis.

I was charged with a DUI. What now?

This is perhaps the biggest reason to talk to us. We will explain to you what happens next and what can be done to achieve the best resolution for your case. Being charged with DUI does not make you a bad person; it makes you a person in need of legal assistance. Make sure you get the help you need by selecting Ohio’s leading DUI lawyer.

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