On Friday, the OVI/DUI charges leveled against former Tribune Company CEO Randy Michaels in the Middletown, Ohio Municipal Court were dismissed following Michaels' guilty plea to driving on a closed street. Michaels was fined $30 and court costs.
In Ohio, there are many ways in which an experienced attorney can obtain a dismissal of OVI/DUI charges leveled against an individual, including:
1. Challenging The Underlying Traffic Stop And/Or Arrest
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from conducting "unreasonable searches and seizures" and requires that any search or seizure be based on probable cause. Any time a police officer stops your vehicle, you have been "seized" under the law, and the state is required to prove that there was "reasonable suspicion" to support the stop. Further, if the office later decides to arrest you, the state must show that there was "probable cause" to justify the arrest.
An experienced attorney will recognize a defective stop/arrest and challenge the grounds for said stop/arrest. For example, if an officer pulls you over without observing a traffic violation, there would be grounds to challenge the stop. Assuming that the stop itself was good, i.e. you were speeding, weaving, etc., you still may be able to challenge the officer's probable cause to arrest. Generally, one indicator of impairment alone, such as the smell of alcohol or glassy eyes, without additional evidence of intoxication, is insufficient to establish probable cause to arrest.
2. Challenging An Officer's Interrogation
If you are arrested, police officers are required to read you your Miranda Rights prior to questioning you. Miranda warnings must convey that you have the right to remain silent, anything you say can be used against you in court, and you are entitled to legal representation. Accordingly, if you are arrested and questioned without being read your Miranda Rights, your attorney should be able to suppress any statements you made to police during the interrogation.
3. Challenging Your Blood Alcohol And/Or Breathalyzer Test
One of the most common ways of contesting OVI/DUI charges is to challenge the blood alcohol or breathalyzer test(s) upon which the state relies to prove the accused's level of intoxication. The problems with blood-alcohol and breathalyzer testing have been addressed before on several occasions by this blog.
Ohio law requires that the state must show that there was substantial compliance with the provisions of Ohio Administrative Code § 3701-53, et seq., and Ohio Revised Code § 4511.19(D)(1) before the results of a blood test will be admissible in court. If the state fails to prove there was substantial compliance, the results of the blood test cannot be used as evidence at trial.
With regard to breathalyzer testing, there are various ways in which an attorney can challenge the results of such a test. Ohio requires that breathalyzer machines be maintained and calibrated every seven days and the failure to do so may result in the exclusion of the results of any testing done with the device. Further, as discussed by this blog, some Ohio courts have recently opened the door to previously precluded challenges to breathalyzer results obtained using certain breath-testing equipment.
4. Plea Bargaining
Although it is not always possible to get your case dismissed completely, often an experienced OVI/DUI attorney will be able to negotiate with the state to reduce the charge and/or penalties you are facing. Successful plea bargaining usually involves entering a plea of guilty to lesser traffic offenses, such as reckless operation, which carry substantially lesser penalties and have the added benefit of avoiding an OVI/DUI conviction on your record.
The experienced attorneys of DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder have helped numerous defendants get their OVI/DUI charges dismissed. If you have been charged with OVI/DUI in Ohio, a knowledgeable Criminal Attorney from DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder may be able to get your case dismissed. For further legal advice or information, contact, the attorneys at DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder today.