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If you are pulled over, and the police begin investigating you for drunk driving, it can be a stressful and anxiety-inducing experience. Knowing your legal rights and remembering a few key tips can help make the experience go more smoothly and may help your case in the long term should the police arrest you for driving under the influence. Cleveland DUI defense lawyer A. Dale Naticchia has over 30 years of experience assisting residents of Cleveland, Akron, and other areas of Cuyahoga County with defending a DUI (OVI) charge. Even if you have already spoken with the authorities or undergone a hearing in your case, it is never too late to seek guidance from an attorney. Call us now to start learning about your legal rights and options.Ohio OVI/DUI Laws
According to Ohio law, the act of driving while intoxicated is legally defined as operating a vehicle under the influence. According to statutes, if you are operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more, you are operating a vehicle while intoxicated. If you are a commercial operator, the limit is reduced to 0.04%, and if you are under the age of 21, the limit is 0.02%. Unlike some other states, Ohio has rules regarding the chemical testing that can be done to determine your blood alcohol content, such as urine tests and blood tests.
There are both criminal penalties and administrative penalties that you may face after being arrested and convicted of drunk driving, including a suspension of your driver’s license. For your first offense, you face 3 days to 6 months in jail, as well as a fine of up to $1,000. Your license can be suspended for 6 months to 3 years. When it comes to administrative penalties, you face a minimum of 6 points assigned to your driving record and a 90-day suspension of your driver’s license for your first offense. The penalties increase substantially with additional offenses. The police and DMV can look back 10 years into your driving record to determine whether any prior OVI offenses warrant increased penalties, such as the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.Know Your Rights During a DUI/OVI Stop
Knowing your rights when you are facing an OVI charge or speaking to police who believe that you may be intoxicated behind the wheel is critical. First, you have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test, urine test, or blood test. It is important to note that if you refuse to submit to the test, however, your license can be suspended for one year. If this is the second time that you refuse to submit to a blood alcohol test of any type, the fines are even more severe.
You also have the right to remain silent after you are arrested. It may be tempting to speak to the police in an attempt to explain the situation or to absolve yourself, but this could end up making the situation worse. There is a fine line between protecting your rights and being your own attorney. Also, writing your own version of the facts or recollection of the events leading up to the arrest is a good way to ensure that you have a clear picture of what happened. The officers involved in the arrest will write their own version of the situation in a police report, so it is helpful to do the same from your point of view. A seasoned drunk driving lawyer can assist you with articulating your own version of events. The sooner that you contact an attorney, the better are your chances of protecting your rights.Consult a Diligent Drunk Driving Lawyer in Cleveland
If you are facing an OVI or DUI charge, it is essential that you consult a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you are treated fairly. At our firm, we offer each client the personalized attention and respect that they deserve during this difficult time. Assisting drivers in cities such as Cleveland, Akron, Parma, Bedford, Berea, Rocky River, Garfield Heights, Stow, and Barberton, we offer a free consultation to help you learn more about how we can assist you. Call us now at 216-520-5297 or contact us online to get started.