FAQ – Auto Accidents and DUI/OVI in Columbus & Central Ohio
A: If an officer investigates an accident and has reason to believe a driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the officer will investigate the driver for DUI (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio). The officer typically administers field sobriety tests, if the driver is physically capable of performing the tests. If the officer has probable cause to believe the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the officer arrests the driver and asks the driver to consent to a blood/breath/urine test. If the driver was taken to a hospital, the officer goes to the hospital to interview the driver and obtain a blood sample. If the driver does not consent to a blood test, the officer may obtain a search warrant to obtain the blood sample.Q: What Are the Possible Sentences for a DUI/OVI With Accident?
A: When a person is convicted of DUI/OVI and there was an accident involved, the possible sentences are the same as a DUI/OVI without an accident. However, there is a broad range of penalties, and the judge will consider the accident as a aggravating factor suggesting the sentence should be more severe than if there were no accident. For a full summary of possible penalties, see this site’s DUI/OVI Sentences page.Q: If a DUI/OVI Accident Results in Physical Harm or Death, Can There Be More Serious Charges?
A: Yes. If the DUI/OVI accident causes serious physical harm to another person, the driver may be charged with Aggravated Vehicular Assault. If the DUI/OVI accident causes the death of another person, the driver may be charged with Aggravated Vehicular Homicide. Unlike OVI, which is a misdemeanor, those charges are categorized as felonies.Q: Following an Accident, Can a Driver Be Charged With DUI/OVI And Also Be Sued?
A: Yes. All lawsuits involve a plaintiff and a defendant. In a DUI/OVI case, the plaintiff is the government. In a civil suit, the plaintiff is the injured person or the estate of the deceased person. The DUI/OVI case and the civil suit are separate cases (like the OJ Simpson criminal and civil cases). A civil suit is more likely to be filed if there is extensive property damage and/or bodily injury or death.Q: Can a Lawyer Help Improve the Outcome of a DUI/OVI Case With an Auto Accident?
A: Without a lawyer, a defendant is likely throwing himself/herself on the mercy of the court. If the defendant hires a lawyer, the lawyer will investigate the accident and the evidence of DUI/OVI. The defense lawyer will then challenge the evidence and seek to exclude damaging evidence from being admissible in court. Simultaneously, the lawyer will likely advise the client to engage in activities which mitigate the sentence. The defense lawyer will negotiate with the prosecutor to reach a favorable plea agreement. If a favorable agreement cannot be reached, the lawyer may take the case to trial and seek a Not Guilty verdict. Following this process typically improves the outcome of the case.Attorneys For DUI / OVI with Auto Accidents in Columbus and Central Ohio
The Dominy Law Firm has represented many clients who were charged with DUI / OVI following an auto accident. If you find yourself in this situation, we can help. More information about our firm is available on this site’s About Us page. You may also want to review our Case Results and Client Reviews. To discuss representation for your DUI / OVI involving an auto accident, you can schedule a free phone consultation by completing a CONTACT FORM or by calling 614-717-1177.