2020-Recent Case Results (January-June)
DISCLAIMER: These are actual results from the Dominy Law Firm's DUI / OVI cases and criminal cases in Columbus, Ohio and the central Ohio area. However, the results achieved in past criminal defense cases and drunk driving defense cases is not necessarily indicative of the results which may be achieved in your case because the facts of every case are unique.
Second-Offense Refusal DUI/OVI Reduced. A law enforcement officer pulled-over our client for Marked Lanes and speeding. As our client pulled over, the car's tires went up on the curb. The officer initiated contact with our client and noticed the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage. The officer had our client exit the vehicle, and our client had balance problems while exiting. The officer administered field sobriety tests and arrested our client. Our client then refused to submit to a breath test. Our client had a prior DUI/OVI conviction, so the officer charged our client with Test Refusal With Prior Conviction, second-offense DUI/OVI, and Marked Lanes.
We pursued the defense that our client was exhausted, not under the influence. We obtained employment records indicating our client worked excessive hours that week and had been up for two days. The prosecution dismissed the charges of Marked Lanes and Test Refusal With Prior Conviction, and the prosecution stipulated the charge of OVI was a first offense.
First-Offense DUI/OVI Amended To Non-Moving Violation. A police officer was behind our client and watched as our client drove out of the marked lane and failed to signal a lane change. The officer stopped our client and observed the odor of alcohol, glassy/bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech. The officer administered field sobriety tests and reportedly observed many ‘clues’ on the tests. The officer arrested our client, and our client refused a breath test. The officer charged our client with a first-offense DUI/OVI, as well as Marked Lanes and Turn Signal.
We reviewed the evidence, including the cruiser video. The cruiser video showed our client did not look or sound obviously intoxicated. Although there were technical ‘clues’ on the field sobriety tests, our client looked good on the tests from a common sense perspective. The prosecution dismissed the charges of Marked Lanes and Turn Signal, and amended the charge of OVI to a non-moving violation with the agreement our client would complete a Driver Intervention Program.
DUI/OVI Reduced In Head-On Collision Case. Our client drove the wrong way on a round-a-bout and collided head-on with another vehicle. Police officers responded to the accident scene and noticed out client had slurred speech and the odor of alcohol. Our client admitted having too much to drink, the officers administered field sobriety tests, and our client was arrested. Our client took a breath test, and the result was .151. Our client was charged with Wrong Way Driving, OVI ‘Impaired’, and OVI ‘Per Se’.
We entered a plea of Not Guilty and investigated the case. We filed motions to suppress evidence and requested a motion hearing. Although the prosecution’s case was fairly strong, the prosecution had difficulty with witnesses appearing for the motion hearing. The prosecution dismissed the charge of Wrong Way Driving, dismissed the charge of OVI ‘Impaired’, and amended the charge of OVI ‘Per Se’ to a no-points offense.
Positive Outcome for High-Test Second DUI/OVI. A law enforcement officer encountered our client after he flipped his car and rolled off the road. The officer observed the odor of alcohol and glassy/bloodshot eyes. Our client declined field sobriety tests but submitted to a breath test, which yielded a result of .186. Our client had a prior OVI conviction, so he was charged with a second-offense OVI High-Test, a second offense OVI ‘Impaired’, and Failure To Control.
We contested the case and reviewed the evidence. The evidence showed the prosecution’s ability to prove our client’s guilt was questionable. The prosecution dismissed the charge of Failure to Control and High-Test OVI, and the prosecution stipulated the OVI was a first offense. Our client plead guilty to the OVI as a stipulated first offense and received the minimum mandatory sentence.
*Our firm resolved NO cases in May, 2020 due to court closures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
*Our firm resolved NO cases in April, 2020 due to court closures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
*Our firm only resolved ONE case in March, 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in court closures.
Reduction In Second-Offense DUI/OVI With Accident. Our client was involved in and accident, and a law enforcement officer responded to the accident scene. The officer noticed the odor of alcohol and administered the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test. Our client declined to do the other standardized field sobriety tests due to a leg injury from the accident. The officer placed our client under arrest, and our client refused a breath test. The officer charged our client with OVI (second offense within ten years), OVI ‘Test Refusal With Prior Conviction’, and Failure To Control. Our client was facing at least 20 days in jail, as well as other penalties.
We contested the case and reviewed the evidence. The evidence showed that, although the officer observed the odor of alcohol (and our client acknowledged consuming alcohol), the officer did not observe clues of intoxication during the interaction with our client. We filed a motion to suppress evidence, arguing the officer did not have a legitimate justification for conducting an OVI investigation. Just before the hearing on our motion to suppress, the prosecution offered a favorable plea agreement, and our client accepted. Our client pled guilty to one charge of Reckless Operation, and the other charges were dismissed.
Second-Offense DUI/OVI Reduced. Our client had a prior conviction for OVI within the last ten years when he was pulled over for going left of center and failing to stop at a stop sign. The officer approached the vehicle and noticed vomit on the outside of the vehicle and on our client’s pants. The officer observed signs of alcohol impairment and had our client get out of the vehicle. Our client performed the eye tests but declined to perform other field sobriety tests because he had to urinate. The officer arrested our client, and our client refused a breath test. The officer charged him with Left of Center, Stop Sign, OVI, and OVI Test Refusal With Prior Conviction. Our client was facing a minimum of 20 days in jail, a license suspension up to seven years, vehicle impoundment for 90 days, yellow license plates, and an ignition interlock device.
We contested the case. The results of the eye tests indicated our client did not ingest a high dose of alcohol for him, and there was no indication of drug use. There were no other field sobriety tests, and our client’s balance and coordination appeared fine on the cruiser video. The prosecution dismissed the charges of Left of Center, Stop Sign, and OVI Test Refusal With Prior Conviction. The prosecution also stipulated the OVI charge was a first offense within ten years. Our client served no jail time and did not incur the vehicle impoundment, yellow license plates, or ignition interlock device
Refusal DUI/OVI Amended. An officer observed our client drive over the lane line on a curve. The officer conducted a traffic stop and saw signs of intoxication. The officer administered field sobriety tests and arrested our client. Our client refused a breath test, was subjected to a one-year Administrative License Suspension for the refusal, and was charged with Marked Lanes and OVI.
We pled Not Guilty and obtained discovery from the prosecution. The discovery showed our client’s mental faculties and overall appearance were generally inconsistent with being under the influence. In addition, there were errors in the administration of the field sobriety tests. On the other hand, our client was facing the one-year driver license suspension even if found Not Guilty. We reached an agreement with the prosecution which included a reduction in the OVI charge and a license suspension for six months rather than one year.
DUI/OVI Charge Amended For Client With Asperger’s. Our client was pulled over by a police officer for speeding and weaving. The officer observed common clues of alcohol consumption: bloodshot/glassy eyes and the odor of an alcoholic beverage. The officer also saw that our client had difficulty retrieving requested documents. At some point, the officer became aware that our client had Asperger’s Syndrome. They engaged in dialogue, and our client acknowledged having four or five drinks, but our client did not perform field sobriety tests. The officer arrested our client, and our client’s breath test result was .102. Our client was charged with two OVI offenses, Marked Lanes, and Speed.
We entered a plea of Not Guilty and obtained the cruiser video. The video showed the appearance of impairment could have been due to our client’s medical condition. There was also an argument that our client’s breath alcohol concentration was not ‘over the limit’ at the time he operated the vehicle. Ultimately, the prosecution dismissed the charges of Marked Lanes and Speed and amended the OVI charges to one no-points traffic offense.
Charge Reduced In DUI/OVI Involving Diabetes. Our client was stopped for a Marked Lanes violation. The officer noticed an odor of alcohol and glassy/bloodshot eyes, so the officer administered field sobriety tests. Our client performed poorly on the tests, and the officer placed our client under arrest. Our client informed the officer of the diabetic condition and the need for insulin. The officer asked our client to take a breath test, and our client declined, so the officer initiated a one-year Administrative License Suspension.
We investigated the case, obtained medical records, and obtained articles about the symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). The symptoms of hypoglycemia are essentially the same as the symptoms for alcohol intoxication. Rather than have a trial, the prosecution amended the OVI charge to a non-moving violation, and the one-year license suspension was reduced to a six-month suspension.
Charge Amended In Drugged Driving OVI. A motorist reported our client as a reckless driver, and an officer observed our client weaving. The officer stopped our client, observed evidence of intoxication, and administered field sobriety tests. The officer arrested our client, and our client submitted a urine sample. The urine test identified a prescription medication which could impair driving, and our client was charged with OVI.
We pled not guilty and obtained discovery from the prosecution. While the prosecution’s evidence probably could have proven impaired driving, the admissibility of the urine test and the connection between the driving and the medication was unclear. The prosecution amended the OVI charge to a non-moving offense.
Reduction In Breath-Test OVI. Our client was stopped after driving on the wrong side of the road. The officer observed the odor of alcohol and bloodshot/glassy eyes, so the officer administered field sobriety tests. The officer arrested our client, and our client’s breath test result was .083. Our client was charged with OVI ‘per se’ (based on the breath test), OVI ‘impaired’ (being under the influence), and a Marked Lanes Violation.
We contested the case. Based on factors affecting test result variability, the breath test would not prove our client’s breath alcohol concentration was above .080 at the time of operating the vehicle. Our client ‘passed’ one field sobriety test, and the two other standardized tests were conducted improperly. The prosecution dismissed the charge of Marked Lanes and one charge of OVI. The prosecution amended the remaining charge of OVI to a no-points offense.
Case Of Sleep-Driving OVI Resolved Favorably. Officers were dispatched on a call regarding a driver who hit three parked cars in a residential neighborhood. The officers found our client at the scene, and our client was obviously intoxicated. A breath test showed our client’s breath alcohol concentration was .169. Our client was charged with OVI, and our client had a prior OVI conviction.
We pled not guilty and investigated the case. We obtained medical records showing our client had a long history of sleeping problems and was prescribed Ambien. We also obtained witness statements indicating our client drank at a restaurant, Ubered home, took Ambien, and went to sleep. Our client had no recollection of the incident. We prepared a defense that our client’s driving was not a voluntary act because he was ‘unconscious’ at the time of driving. Ohio law requires a voluntary act for criminal liability. Ultimately, our client was given the minimum sentence for a first-offense OVI, despite the property damage and prior conviction.
Felony Drug Possession Charges Reduced. Our client was involved in a collision and was investigated for OVI. The officer searched our client’s car and seized two suspected illegal drugs. The drugs were analyzed by a crime lab, and the results showed both were Schedule 1 substances. Our client was charged with two counts of felony drug possession.
We entered a plea of Not Guilty and obtained discovery from the prosecution. The discovery showed there was a question about the validity of the search and possibly an issue with whether the drugs were ‘knowingly’ possessed. The felony charges were reduced to misdemeanors, and our client was sentenced to probation.
Third OVI Offense: Program Instead Of Jail. Our client was stopped for running a stop sign and speeding. The officer noticed signs of intoxication and administered field sobriety tests. The officer arrested our client, and our client’s breath test result was .313. This was our client’s third OVI offense within ten years, so with a ‘high test’ (over .170), our client was facing at least 60 days in jail.
We contested the case and simultaneously investigated ADAP (Alcohol & Drug Addiction Program). Our client was accepted into the program. Our client had to forfeit his vehicle as part of the agreement, but his conviction was treated as a first offense, and he served NO jail time.