Probable Cause in DUI / OVI Cases
If you are facing a DUI / OVI charge, chances are you have countless questions about how to protect your rights and the best way to ensure that you receive a fair outcome or even a dismissed case. One of the best ways to potentially defend against a DUI / OVI case is to determine whether the police or other law enforcement officers had probable cause to stop you and arrest you for drunk driving. Seasoned Cleveland DUI lawyer A. Dale Naticchia is available to serve clients throughout Akron and other areas of Cuyahoga County. He understands the importance of this situation for you and your family. A DUI /OVI can have serious impacts on your ability to drive, obtain employment, and even your personal life.Probable Cause in DUI /OVI Cases
Under Ohio law, a drunk driving criminal action is classified as operating a vehicle while intoxicated, or OVI. In order for the police to stop, search, and arrest you for this offense, they must have probable cause to believe that you are driving under the influence. This refers to a reasonable belief that you were engaging in criminal activity in some way at the time they encounter you, such as driving while under the influence. This is an important part of our legal system because it ensures that police only stop individuals for legitimate reasons. Still, probable cause in DUI / OVI cases is subjective to some degree. What one officer considers to be conduct rising to the level of probable cause may not be considered sufficient by another officer.
If an officer pulls you over and it is later determined that he or she did not have probable cause for the stop and arrest, any evidence obtained from the interaction must be suppressed as illegally obtained. This is why it is wise to have a seasoned Ohio criminal defense lawyer review your case to see whether there was sufficient probable cause for your charges. There are several factors that must be considered in assessing whether there was probable cause. A few examples include the location of the stop, the time of day, whether the driver was driving erratically or weaving, and whether there are signs of alcohol consumption.
There are also signs related to the driver’s conduct and demeanor that could determine whether probable cause exists in a DUI / OVI case. A strong order of alcohol coming from the vehicle or the driver, a disordered or confused demeanor, and any admissions about whether or not the suspect had consumed alcoholic beverages prior to driving can also be used to determine whether there was sufficient probable cause.
A field sobriety test is one of the ways that officers determine if the driver is under the influence. This test involves a number of motor skill assessments. Some examples of field sobriety test components include balancing on one foot for 30 seconds, reciting the alphabet, and an officer examining your eyes. If the officer did not perform the field sobriety test correctly, it may result in a finding of no probable cause. The officer will also be observing you from the very beginning of your interaction and looking for things like stumbling, slurring, whether the vehicle is left in gear, how you exit your vehicle, and your ability to respond to questions competently.Consult With a Dedicated DUI / OVI Lawyer in Cleveland
A DUI / OVI in Cleveland can be a life-changing event and it can be difficult to know how you should start protecting yourself from an unfair outcome. A seasoned attorney who has handled criminal defense cases involving DUI / OVI charges can help you prepare yourself for the legal process and what your options may be. Attorney Naticchia is available to serve clients throughout Parma, Berea, Rocky River, Bedford, Garfield Heights, Stow, and Barberton. Call our legal team at 216-520-5297 or contact us online to set up your appointment so that we can discuss whether we can assist you in your DUI / OVI defense.