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If you are arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, you may feel that the situation is hopeless and that you have few options. A charge for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, or OVI, can have devastating consequences for your personal and professional life. Cleveland DUI defense lawyer A. Dale Naticchia proudly assists residents of Cleveland, Akron, and other areas of Cuyahoga County with understanding DUI/OVI laws and their legal options following an arrest for operating a vehicle under the influence. There may be certain defenses that apply in your situation or other procedural mechanisms that can be used to have the case dismissed or the charges reduced.Ohio OVI Laws Explained
If you are charged with operating a vehicle under the influence, you are essentially being accused of operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content in excess of 0.08%. If you are a commercial operator, the legal limit is 0.04%, and if you are under the age of 21, the legal limit is 0.02%. In order to determine whether you are over the legal limit behind the wheel, the arresting officers must perform a series of tests. Before this point, however, the officers must have a reasonable suspicion that you were engaged in a crime or traffic violation in order to pull you over. Common examples of conduct that could give rise to a reasonable suspicion include weaving, speeding, failing to use a turn signal, or reckless driving.
During the traffic stop, the police will typically look for signs of intoxication such as slurred speech, the odor of alcohol, blurry eyes, and lack of motor functions. The police may conduct a field sobriety test if they suspect that you are under the influence. They may also have you blow into a breathalyzer device to measure your current blood alcohol content. Although you have the right to refuse to submit to the breathalyzer test, or a blood/urine sample test, your license will be suspended for up to one year if this is your first OVI offense. After the first 30 days of your license suspension, you may be able to request special driving privileges to enable you to travel to school or work. If you have a previous OVI charge, or you have refused a breathalyzer test on another occasion, the penalties are stricter.Challenging an OVI/DUI Charge
If you are charged with a DUI/OVI and wish to fight the allegations, it is critical that you investigate your options with a seasoned criminal defense lawyer. There are many issues that you can investigate to determine whether the charge against you should be dropped or reduced. For example, showing that the police did not have a reasonable suspicion when they initiated the traffic stop may be a strong defense, or the police may have failed to properly perform a field sobriety test. If you can show that the police did not adhere to rules protecting your privacy rights, any evidence obtained during the stop cannot be used against you in the case. The charges can also be dropped if you can show that the breathalyzer was not calibrated appropriately or that the chain of custody for the evidence obtained against you was not maintained. A drunk driving defense lawyer can help you find all of the possible bases under the OVI laws for fighting your charge and protecting your rights.Enlist a Knowledgeable Attorney in Cleveland to Fight Your DUI or OVI Charge
Navigating a DUI case can be stressful and confusing, especially if this is your first experience with the legal system. At the Law Office of A. Dale Naticchia, we can ensure that you receive the attentive, responsive, and compassionate legal counsel that you deserve. Our team of legal professionals has handled DUI matters for people in cities such as Cleveland, Akron, Parma, Bedford, Berea, Rocky River, Garfield Heights, Stow, and Barberton. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 216-520-5297 or contact us online.