2018-Recent Case Results (January-June)
High Test DUI / OVI Dismissed In Accident Case. A motorist reported my client was all over the road and struck a guardrail. An officer observed my client reportedly vomiting and obviously under the influence. The officer administered sobriety tests and arrested my client. My client took a breath test, and the result was .216, so my client was charged with OVI ‘per se’ (high test), OVI ‘impaired’, and Failure To Control.
We investigated the case and found some discrepancies in the reported facts. We also found an unusual reading for the breath-testing machine. The charges of OVI ‘per se’ (high test) and Failure To Control were dismissed, and my client pled guilty to the charge of OVI ‘impaired’. Therefore, my client avoided three mandatory days in jail, yellow license plates, and the ignition interlock device.
My client pled Not Guilty. We reviewed the evidence and filed a motion to suppress both the field sobriety tests and the urine test. The prosecution was unable to introduce the testimony and documents necessary for the urine test to be admissible. Without that evidence, the prosecution’s case was weaker. Accordingly, the OVI charge was amended to a charge of Physical Control (with no license suspension), which does not trigger a CDL disqualification.
Reduction For Second DUI / OVI Offense With Refusal Charge. My client was pulled over for failing to signal and committing a marked lanes violation. The officer notices the strong odor of alcohol, glass/bloodshot eyes, and bar entry wrist bands. Based on those observations, the officer had my client perform field sobriety tests. The officer arrested my client, and my client refused the breath test. My client had a prior OVI conviction in 2014. Based on the prior conviction and refusal, my client was charged with Test Refusal With Prior Conviction, OVI, Failure To Signal, and Marked Lanes.
We pled not guilty and reviewed the evidence. The evidence showed the driving was not as bad as it sounded on paper. The field sobriety tests, likewise, did not look as bad on video as the officer made them sound on paper. In addition, the officer made mistakes in the paperwork for the Administrative License Suspension. Based on those circumstances, the prosecution dismissed the charge of Test Refusal With Prior Conviction, Failure To Signal, and Marked Lanes. In addition, the prosecutor stipulated the OVI was a first offense within ten years, so my client’s sentence was significantly less than it would have been with the original charges.
College Student’s Underage Alcohol Possession Dismissed. My client was at a sorority event when liquor control agents entered the private event and checked identifications. My client, under age 21, was in possession of alcohol, as well as a fake identification. My client was charged with Prohibition (underage alcohol consumption or possession) and Certain Acts Prohibited (possessing a fictitious identification card). My client completed an underage drinking education program and some community service, and the case was dismissed.
Theft Charge Dismissed. My client was apprehended for shoplifting in Columbus, Ohio. We requested that the prosecution screen my client for the shoplifting diversion program. Simultaneously, we demanded discovery from the prosecution in case diversion was not granted. It turned out my client was approved for diversion, so after my client completed the program requirements, the case was dismissed.
Nurse’s Third DUI/OVI Offense Dismissed. My client was charged with OVI, and she had been convicted of two prior OVIs in the past ten years. That meant she was facing at least 30 days in jail, a license suspension for 2-12 years, and forfeiture of her vehicle. In addition, she was a nurse, so her professional license was in jeopardy. Her urine test showed multiple drugs in her system. She hired me, and we entered a plea of Not Guilty. After receiving the evidence from the prosecutor, we filed a motion to suppress the evidence.
At the hearing on our motion to suppress, the prosecution would not negotiate, so the hearing was held. At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge found the officer did not have a reasonable suspicion my client was under the influence, so the officer removing my client from the vehicle was a violation of her Fourth Amendment rights. As a result, all evidence obtained after that was suppressed. Without that evidence, the prosecution could not go forward, so the OVI was completely dismissed.
Questionable Stop Leads To DUI/OVI Reduction. A police officer observed my client driving in a parking lot with no headlights, turn on the headlights, and drive onto the road. The officer reportedly observed a Marked Lanes violation and stopped my client. My client performed field sobriety tests but refused a breath test. The officer charged my client with OVI ‘impaired’.
We obtained the cruiser video, and it showed the stop may not have been justified. The law requires headlights only on public roads, so the lack of headlights in the parking lot would not justify a stop. The video was inconclusive on the issue of the alleged Marked Lanes violation. Rather than litigate the Marked Lanes issue, the prosecutor amended the OVI to a non-moving violation.
Evidence Destruction Aids OVI/DUI Defense. My client ran a red light and was pulled over by a police officer. The officer observed signs of intoxication and had my client perform field sobriety tests. After performing poorly on the tests, my client blew a .158 on the breath test. My client was charged with OVI ‘per se’ and OVI ‘impaired’, as well as a stop sign violation.
We requested discovery and specifically requested the video from the police station where my client took the breath test. After our request, the police station video was destroyed. We filed a motion to dismiss the case, and the prosecution filed a memorandum opposing our motion. Just before starting a hearing on our motion to dismiss, we reached an agreement in which my client pled guilty to a no-points violation with no jail, no license suspension, and no probation; just a fine and court costs.
Not Guilty Verdict In Trial For Domestic Violence. My client argued with his live-in girlfriend. She escalated the argument, and he pushed her as he was trying to get away from her. She fell and suffered minor injuries. She later called the police, so my client was arrested and charged with Domestic Violence. The prosecutor did not offer to dismiss or reduce the charge, so we had a jury trial.
At the trial, both the complaining witness and my client testified. She said my client physically picked her up and threw her across the room. He said she came at him three times, and he pushed her in an effort to get away from her. He did not expect her to fall and be injured. The jury deliberated for a very short time and found my client not guilty.
Prescription Drug OVI Resolved Favorably. My client was involved in a two-car accident which resulted in property damage and minor injuries to the other driver. Officers and medics went to the scene, and my client appeared to be obviously intoxicated. My client admitted taking prescription medications that morning, and a urine test was positive for alprazolam and clonazepam. My client did not have a prescription for either.
In the court process, we took a two-part approach. On one hand, we challenged the results of the urine test and presented the possibility of a medical defense. On the other hand, we provided mitigating evidence, including proof that my client was paying for the other driver’s property damage and medical bills. My client pled guilty to the OVI but received the minimum mandatory sentence, despite the aggravating factors.
Felony Theft Case Dismissed. My client was charged with theft of benefits from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The allegation was my client obtained the government assistance by deception. The theft charge was a third degree felony, so my client was facing up to 36 months in prison.
We obtained over 1,000 pages of discovery from the prosecution. There was no evidence that my client ever signed any of the documents making assertion’s about her family’s financial circumstances. They were all signed by her husband, who was the financial person in the family. After nearly two years of the litigation, the case was finally dismissed.
Favorable Resolution For Two OVIs In Same Night. My client was involved in a single car accident and left the vehicle at the scene. He returned to the scene, driving another vehicle. Unfortunately for him, there were police officers at the scene. The officers administered field sobriety tests and arrested my client. The officers charged my client with two separate OVIs: one for operating a vehicle under the influence when the accident occurred, and a second one for operating a vehicle under the influence when he returned to the scene. We ultimately got one OVI dismissed, and my client pled guilty to the other OVI.
OVI Amended In Case With Car On Railroad Tracks. Law enforcement officers were informed a car was stuck on the railroad tracks, and a train was coming. The officers found my client in the driver’s seat of his car. He tried to explain to them he was not driving, and the person driving fled the scene. The officers did not believe my client and arrested him for OVI.
We obtained discovery from the prosecutor and prepared for a trial. In negotiations with the prosecution, the prosecutor acknowledged there would be some difficulty in proving my client ‘operated’ the vehicle. Even though the prosecutor felt he could prove my client was under the influence and in the driver’s seat, he was not sure he could prove my client moved or caused movement of the vehicle. As a result, the prosecutor amended the OVI charge to a charge of Physical Control, a no-points offense.
OVI / DUI Reduced In Refusal Case. My client was pulled over because an officer saw my client travel outside the marked lane and then fail to signal a lane change. After stopping my client, the officer noticed evidence of intoxication: slurred speech, poor coordination, red eyes, and the strong odor of alcohol. The officer administered field sobriety tests, on which my client reportedly performed poorly. The officer arrested my client, and my client refused the breath test. My client was charged with OVI ‘impaired’ and was subjected to a one-year Administrative License Suspension.
We pled Not Guilty and reviewed the evidence. It showed my client performed better on the field sobriety tests than the officer reported. It also showed my client’s balance and coordination were better than reported. My client intended to take the case to trial but was moving out of the state before the trial would have occurred. My client accepted the prosecutor’s offer and pled guilty to Reckless Operation with a six month license suspension rather than the one year Administrative License Suspension.