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Driving while intoxicated is perhaps the most common charge that Ohio residents may face. Under Ohio law, this crime is technically called operating a vehicle while intoxicated, or OVI. If you were recently charged with an OVI, you may be uncertain about what you should do or not do to protect your rights. At the Law Firm of A. Dale Naticchia, we provide reliable legal counsel to people in Cleveland, Akron, and elsewhere in Cuyahoga County. We handle not only first-time DUI charges but also repeat DUI cases and special contexts such as underage drivers and commercial operators. Cleveland DUI lawyer A. Dale Naticchia can represent you in all aspects of your matter, including communicating with law enforcement and the courts as well as investigating the results of any tests. There are many procedural and evidentiary rules that are crucial to understand in determining a strategic way to fight the charges. Contact us today to start learning about how we can help you protect your rights.Understanding OVI Laws in Ohio
In Ohio, an OVI is considered a serious offense, even if it is your first offense. An important aspect to investigate is the exact sequence of events leading up to the charge. Understanding the steps that the police used when pulling you over, questioning you, and administering a field sobriety or breath test will help determine whether they followed the appropriate procedures. There are also certain documents that the police must fill out when they make an OVI arrest, which can provide helpful information for defending against the charge. Although you may feel pressure to enter a plea to resolve the situation as efficiently as possible, you should speak to an experienced DUI attorney in Cleveland beforehand in order to ensure that any decisions that you make are in your best interests.
There are a wide variety of penalties associated with an OVI charge, and they escalate with each subsequent offense during a certain timeframe. For a first offense, the defendant will typically be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor that carries a $1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail. The judge can also require you to undergo probation, complete community service, install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, or go through a license suspension period. A second OVI offense within the same 10-year period carries a mandatory 10-day jail sentence that can be extended to up to six months. In situations in which the defendant’s blood alcohol content was 0.17 or more, these penalties can be doubled.Defending Against a DUI/OVI Charge
Just because you were arrested and charged with an OVI does not mean that you have no options. There are many different defenses that a Cleveland DUI attorney potentially can assert on your behalf. First, if the police did not follow appropriate search and seizure rules, any evidence obtained as a result of the encounter should be thrown out and should not be used against you. If the police did not have a reasonable suspicion that you committed or were committing a traffic violation, but they stopped you anyway, they violated your right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Also, it is important to obtain information about the maintenance, calibration, and use of the breathalyzer machine used in your breath test. If it was not calibrated appropriately, the results may be erroneous, and you may not have been driving with an illegal blood alcohol content level. There are also specific procedures that the police must follow when administering a breath or field sobriety test. If the officer makes a mistake, the results can be misleading and should not be trusted. If there is any video footage obtained from the stop, it can help show whether the police followed the appropriate protocols.Retain a Trustworthy DUI Lawyer in the Cleveland Area
If you are facing a DUI or OVI charge, we are here to provide you with the dedicated and comprehensive legal representation that you deserve. At the Law Office of A. Dale Naticchia, we have advised drivers in Cleveland, Akron, Parma, Bedford, Berea, Rocky River, Garfield Heights, Stow, and Barberton regarding their legal rights and options. We understand how disconcerting and unnerving this situation can be, and we will fight zealously to ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the process. To schedule your free consultation, call us now at 216-520-5297 or contact us online.