Recent Case Results

DISCLAIMER: These are actual results from attorney Shawn Dominy'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.

FEBRUARY, 2017

Client With Prior DUI / OVI Conviction Gets Charge Reduced.  My client was pulled over for speeding on the freeway, and the officer observed signs of intoxication.  The officer administered the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test but did not administer the other standardized field sobriety tests because my client had problems with his knees and ankles.  The officer arrested my client and charged him with OVI.  My client had a prior DUI/OVI conviction outside of six years.

We contested the case and obtained the evidence.  The cruiser video was more favorable to my client than the prosecution.  Although there were some signs of intoxication, the totality of the circumstances left doubt about whether my client was under the influence.  Despite my client’s prior DUI/OVI conviction, the prosecution reduced the OVI to Reckless Operation to avoid a trial.  Avoiding a trial was also on my client’s mind.  Although my client felt good about the case, he concluded trial outcomes are not guaranteed, and he chose the guaranteed outcome of a Reckless Operation rather than an OVI.

Not Guilty Verdict In DUI / OVI Trial With Breath AND Urine Tests.  My client was pulled over because one of his headlights was not working.  The officer administered field sobriety tests and arrested my client.  The officer administered a breath test, and the result was .069.  The officer suspected my client had smoked marijuana, so the officer had my client submit a urine sample.  The urine test showed no marijuana metabolite but also showed a urine alcohol level of .138.  My client was charged with two counts of OVI ‘per se’:  one count based on the breath test, and one count based on the urine test.

At the trial, the prosecution went forward only on the charge based on the urine test.  The prosecutor essentially told the jurors to ignore the result of the breath test and convict my client of OVI because the urine test was over the limit.  The prosecutor’s ‘expert’ witness, however, undermined the prosecution’s case.  The ‘expert’ testified that a urine test may show a higher alcohol level than simultaneous blood and breath tests if the subject has not urinated recently.  My client had not urinated recently.  Therefore, it seemed likely the breath test was a more accurate measurement of my client’s alcohol level at the time he operated the vehicle.  The jurors understood this and found my client Not Guilty.
*More details about this case are available in this blog post.

JANUARY, 2017

Questionable Stop Leads To Reduction In Repeat DUI / OVI Offense.  A motorist called 911 and reported my client was driving all over road on I-71.  An officer followed my client and made a traffic stop.  The officer observed the usual signs of alcohol consumption:  odor of alcohol, glass/bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech.  My client performed field sobriety tests and blew .159 on a breath test.  My client was charged with OVI and already had two prior OVI convictions:  one within six years and one older than six years.

We pled not guilty and obtained discovery from the prosecuting attorney.  The cruiser video revealed the officer did not observe any traffic violations before making the traffic stop.  The written materials revealed the identity of the 911 caller was unknown.  We filed a motion to suppress all evidence obtained after the traffic stop on the basis the traffic stop was not justified.  Without the testimony of the anonymous 911 caller, it was likely the judge would grant our motion.  Rather than having a hearing on the motion, the prosecutor reduced the OVI to Reckless Operation, despite my client’s prior convictions.

Charge Reduced In DUI / OVI With Accident.  My client backed into another car in the parking lot of a bar.  Officers came to the scene and talked with the other driver first, who said my client was under the influence.  An officer administered field sobriety tests and arrested my client.  My client refused the breath test.  My client was charged with OVI and Backing Without Safety.

We entered a plea of Not Guilty and filed motions to suppress evidence.  The judge held a hearing on our motions and ruled against us on every issue.  The ruling gave us a couple good issues for appeal.  Rather than going through an appeal, the parties reached an agreement.  The charge of Backing Without Safety was dismissed, and the charge of OVI was amended to a non-moving / no-points offense. 

Diversion Granted In Marijuana Possession Case.  My client was stopped because his headlights were not on.  During the stop, the officer saw marijuana paraphernalia in plain view, and my client admitted having both paraphernalia and a small amount of marijuana.  My client was charged with both offenses in a mayor’s court.  Although most courts have some type of diversion program for these types of case, this particular mayor’s court did not.  When the court personnel realized we were going to exercise my client’s right to appeal the case to the municipal court, the case was transferred without us having to appeal.  In the municipal court, my client was granted diversion.  After he completes the requirements of the diversion program (substance abuse education, etc.), the case will be dismissed, and my client will be eligible to have the case records sealed.