Cincinnati DUI Lawyer
Serious DUI Defense On Your Side
An OVI or DUI charge is serious business, and you need a serious attorney on your side. Our Cincinnati DUI lawyers have substantial experience with drunk driving or under the influence cases.
An OVI or DUI charge is serious business, and you need a serious attorney on your side. Our Cincinnati DUI lawyers have substantial experience with drunk driving or under the influence cases.
If you’ve been arrested for an OVI or DUI in Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky, you need to speak with a DUI lawyer right away.
You may be feeling scared, overwhelmed, and alone right now. But don’t worry, our law firm is here to help. From negotiating for reduced charges to taking your case all the way to trial, we will work tirelessly to ensure that your rights remain protected under the law.
Our DUI lawyer is available 24/7 and has extensive experience and knows how to fight for your rights. We’ll do everything possible to get the best outcome for your case. It is important to remember that you have the right to a criminal defense attorney.
If you are facing a charge, hiring our experienced OVI defense lawyer at Minnillo Law Group can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. We’re ready and waiting to help you through this difficult time.
So, you want to fight your OVI or DUI citation? Our Cincinnati OVI attorney can look at every step of the case and determine if the prosecutor will have trouble proving the elements of the case against you.
The first step in any DUI case is fact-finding. The facts of a DUI case are in the police report/officer’s statement of facts, field sobriety test/intoxication report, police car video, police station video, and videos from other cars at the scene other than the arresting officer. There are many additional records that are part of a chemical test.
Sometimes the best results come from fighting cases that the prosecutor will agree to reduce. When you switch gears from negotiation to fighting the pressure is really on the state to prove its case. This will often reveal defects not apparent on the paperwork.
The main areas of attack in an OVI case are whether there was a good reason to stop you in the first place:
When you’re charged with an OVI, there are some ways to fight back against the breath test results. Ohio law says the tests have to be done the right way, and if they’re not, your lawyer can ask the court to throw out the results.
Your lawyer has to do this within 35 days of your arraignment, and there will be a hearing where the state tries to prove that they did the test the right way. If your lawyer doesn’t object in time, you can’t use this defense.
Other ways to defend against a DUI charge might need medical records or an expert. This can be expensive, so you should talk to your lawyer about if it’s worth it for your case. Every OVI case is different, so you need a lawyer who will take the time to look at your case and figure out what defenses might work for you.
Most OVI cases have a traffic offense listed on the ticket as the reason for the stop. You do not have to be cited for the reason the officer pulled you over. The Constitution prevents officers from pulling you over for just a hunch.
They also cannot pull you over for looking lost. They cannot stop you for going under the speed limit because they think you have something to hide unless there is a minimum speed posted or you are impeding traffic.
They will also need reasonable suspicion to ask you to perform field sobriety tests. This is because they are only allowed to detain you for a reasonable amount of time to issue a traffic citation. By extending the time allowed they will require an additional expectation that another crime is being committed. This can be an odor of marijuana coming from the car or an odor of alcohol from the driver or car.
They also look at where you are coming from. They want to know if you came from a place that serves alcohol. Unusual actions can be an indication of intoxication like not rolling the window down, not pulling over right away, rooting around inside the car, or nervousness/shaking/sweating.
Because they are familiar with the law and the local court system, our DUI lawyer can help you understand the OVI – DUI charges against you and the possible penalties. They can also work with the prosecutor to negotiate a plea agreement or to challenge the evidence against you.
If you entered a plea, the prosecutor will likely have offered you a reduction. A reduction is usually reckless driving or physical control. Reckless driving is usually a misdemeanor of the 4th degree when offered as a reduction from DUI. It carries a 6-month to 3-year suspension, up to 30 days in jail, and up to a $250 fine. It also carries 4 points on your license.
Another option for a plea will be physical control. This is not a moving violation and carries 0 points. However, it is an alcohol violation. It is a misdemeanor of the 1st degree punishable by up to a $1000 fine, 180 days in jail, and up to a 1-year license suspension.
We understand that this is a difficult time for you, and we will do everything we can to help you get through it. Our criminal defense attorneys have a proven track record of success in the Cincinnati DUI (OVI) courts and will fight tirelessly on your behalf. Call Minnillo Law Group now at 513-461-7588 in Cincinnati.
While no list of questions online could be complete, we have compiled a brief list of some of the more common questions people have about OVI and DUI charges:
OVI is specific to Ohio. Ohio’s DUI statute is in O.R.C. 4511.19 titled, “operating vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs—OVI.” In 2001 the Ohio legislature changed the definition of driving in the DUI statute to operating and modified the penalties.
DUI stands for “driving under the influence” and can include drugs as well as alcohol.
DWI, “driving while impaired,” is specific to driving while drunk from too much alcohol consumption.
On your citation or ticket, you will see the Under the Influence box checked in most cases and a separate charge if you tested over the legal limit or refused and have a prior OVI in the last 20 years.
You might also have a traffic violation on the ticket. Tickets in Ohio have changed recently, and you might find your next court date at the top or bottom. This date will be set within five business days from your ticket date. If your license is suspended from a test over the limit or refusal, you have a right to Due Process in the form of a hearing at the arraignment which will be done at the first court date.
There is no legal limit in Ohio. Ohio has prohibited concentrations of certain drugs or alcohol which can be tested in the blood, breath, or urine. Alcohol has a low and high tier limit which determines what penalties the judge will apply if you are found guilty. You can still be charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol even if you test under the legal limit in Ohio.
|Low Tier||≥ 0.08 grams/210 L|
|High Tier||≥ 0.170 grams/210 L|
|≥ 0.02 grams/210 L|
If you are under 21 and test over 0.08 grams/210 L of breath in Ohio, the police will often cite you with being over the limit just like if you were over 21. This might be less than one beer in most cases. This is very different from being under the influence. In fact, most of the field sobriety tests will not work in this case because they are only used to determine when a person has a chance of being over the limit of 0.08 BrAC.
However, the standard to arrest for this offense is much lower than for someone over 21 years old. Usually finding out that someone is under 21, a little bad driving, an odor of alcohol and admission of drinking is enough to support an arrest. The penalties are much higher for underage OVI offense.
The CDC defines a standard drink as being equal to 14.0 grams (0.6 ounces) of pure alcohol. Generally, this amount of pure alcohol is found in:
Figure one beer will add about 0.02 grams of alcohol to an average person’s body. It takes about an hour for the average person to get rid of 0.015 grams of alcohol. Alcohol concentration in the body is also changed by whether the person has eaten lately, their gender, and weight. It does not have anything to do with your tolerance or how you feel.
|Amphetamine||≥ 500 ng|
|Cocaine||≥ 150 ng|
|Cocaine Metabolite||≥ 150 ng|
|Heroin||≥ 2000 ng|
|Heroin Metabolite (6-monoacetyl morphine)||≥ 10 ng|
|L.S.D.||≥ 25 ng|
|Marihuana||≥ 10 ng|
|Marihuana Metabolite and under the influence||≥ 15 ng|
|Marihuana Metabolite||≥ 35 ng|
|Methamphetamine||≥ 500 ng|
|Phencyclidine||≥ 25 ng|
|Salvia||TBD by Ohio St. Board of Pharmacy|
Police will conduct standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) on DUI suspects.
There are three SFSTs called Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), Walk and Turn (WNT), and One Leg Stand (OLS).
HGN is a test for involuntary movement of eyes as they gaze to the side. It requires the officer to ask if you have any eye problems. Then they will tell you to look at a pen or finger in front of your face. They look to see if your pupils are equal in size. Unequal pupils are evidence of eye or head injury and invalidate the test.
Then they will move the finger or pen around to see if your eyes can track the stimulus equally. This is to rule out further eye problems that will interfere with the test. The officer should also face you away from traffic, moving objects, and flashing lights.
The HGN test looks for 3 clues in each eye for a total of 6 clues. The clues are for nystagmus while your eyes move horizontally, nystagmus while looking all the way to the side, and nystagmus before 45 degrees as your eyes look to the side. NHTSA publishes that 4 out of 6 possible clues can indicate that someone will test over the limit.
The WNT test has 8 clues. NHTSA says that any 2 of the 8 clues is an indication that someone will test over the limit. The test is basically walking heel to toe for 9 steps, turning as directed, and 9 heel-toe steps back.
The OLS test has 4 clues. NHTSA says that any 2 or more clues can indicate that someone will test over the limit. The test is performed with one leg raised off the ground 6 inches. The leg is held with the leg straight for 30 seconds.
These tests are highly regulated by NHTSA. Failure of the officer to give proper instructions or the making of inaccurate observations can cause the tests to be excluded.
Police will often use non-standardized tests. These tests are subject to suppression. This means that the law generally will prevent them from being used by the prosecutor against you at trial.
However, it should be noted that the officer will be able to talk about what was observed even if he cannot the words “test” or what it means to “fail” the test. The most common of these types of tests are counting, alphabet, finger to nose, and touching thumb to fingers while counting.
Counting tests can be counting up or down. They are usually done as a supplement when a suspect has some problem performing the SFSTs. NHTSA does spell out some regulations about how to perform the test.
They recommend that the number start with an unusual number like 68 and stop by counting down to another unusual number like 53. They look to see if you can count backward, miss numbers, add numbers, and start and stop at the right place.
Alphabet tests are usually the same as counting. They are used as a supplement when someone cannot do the regular field tests. Some officers use the whole alphabet and ask that you not sing it.
NHTSA will instruct that the tests start at a weird letter and stop at a weird letter such as starting at E and going to P. Officers want to see if the person will skip or add letters while simultaneously checking that they remember to start and stop at the right place.
Absolutely! If you are charged with an OVI conviction, had the police looking for you for questioning, or expect charges could be filed, call an experienced and competent lawyer. DUI lawyers can explain the charges and potential penalties in Hamilton County and surrounding areas.
Lawyers will tell you not to talk about your case, even if you are innocent. We know you want to tell your story. There will be a time for that. Be aware that anything you say can be used against you. Speaking with a lawyer will ensure the conversation is privileged.
Lawyers can help inform you about what to expect at each court date, evaluate evidence, and help you prepare a defense. Being charged with a crime can have life-altering consequences. Lawyers charge a lot of money to do what they do. They are so important that even if you cannot afford a lawyer, you will be appointed a public defender to represent you.
If you are being questioned by the police you have the right to remain silent and the right to have a lawyer. You should invoke both rights, and refuse any field sobriety or chemical tests until you speak to our Cincinnati DUI attorney.
Your lawyer will know the right mitigation to prepare to ensure the best possible chances of avoiding a tougher sentence if you are convicted. They can also help you if you have a probation violation after sentencing.
Lawyers will have the right motions to file to preserve the evidence. They also have motions to reduce the bond and exclude evidence and testimony. Specific motions need to be filed to require the prosecution to produce the evidence.
The judge, prosecutor, and clerk will not be able to give you legal advice on criminal law or help you. They must refer you to a public defender or privately retained lawyer for assistance.
Criminal defense lawyers can get your case called first so that you do not have to wait around all day for your case to get called. Generally, this will get you in and out of court more efficiently than just going to court on your own.
The right criminal defense lawyer will be someone you can talk to. Our criminal defense lawyer will give you their cell phone number and tell you to call them if you have questions. They can really set your mind at ease.
Knowledge and experience are worth their weight in gold. The best lawyers will likely have already handled a case like yours many times and be able to best help you out. Great lawyers don’t take no for an answer and know when to keep asking for a better deal for you.
You don’t always have to take the first deal offered. Sometimes things can get incredibly better.
Most police in Ohio will not tow your vehicle on a first offense without a crash. They will let you know if they must.
If the police tow your car after arrest for OVI or DUI they can impound or hold it until at least the first court date. A second or subsequent OVI arrest will cause your vehicle to be towed. Your copy of the suspension paper (ALS- yellow or white 8 ½” x 11”) in the bottom of the A section will indicate where it was towed or stored.
Otherwise, the police will ask your permission to park it legally where it can be obtained by a licensed driver later. On a first offense if the vehicle is towed you should be able to get it out without a court order if you pay the towing and storage fees. This can cost up to $3,000 if you leave a vehicle in storage for 90 days. Other judges will let you get the vehicle out by posting a bond of $500.
If you fail to tender your car for immobilization after conviction when ordered by the court and you get caught driving it, the police can seize the car and it is subject to forfeiture to the state! Most police officers will not fill out the proper paperwork and fail to comply with the notice requirements of vehicle impoundment. Your lawyer will be able to object to this in some cases the judge will not require 90 days of immobilization for second offenders.
Most tow companies will ask for proof of ownership like the registration or title and proof of identification or photo ID like a passport before releasing the vehicle. Some tow companies will advise people to go to the BMV to get a state ID since the police will take your license if you are suspended. In Ohio, you can only have a license or state ID.
When you are given the suspension paper after testing over the limit or refusing the test, the police take your license and your driving privileges are suspended. If you test over the limit after a Physical Control arrest you should not be suspended. You will not be suspended if you are arrested for an OVI or Physical Control and test under the prohibited limit for blood, breath, or urine.
Make sure your address is always current with the BMV. Once they get notice of any suspension, they will mail you a notice to the address they have on file. Once you are suspended in the system, you can go to the BMV and get a “Temporary” State ID Card that will not cancel your license, which can be used with the limited driving privileges if granted by the judge.
In any case, you will be given the 8 1/2” x 11” BMV form number 2255 titled “Report of the Law Enforcement Officer / Notice of Possible Administrative License Suspension or CDL Disqualification” which is yellow or white. The box on the left side in the “B” section has a check box placed under administrative suspension. This controls what the Ohio BMV does to your license as they will be sent a copy of this form with your license if seized. We shorten the administrative license suspension to ALS.
Remember driving is a privilege, not a right.
Ohio Code Section 4511.194 titled, “Having physical control of vehicle while under the influence” defines this. Most people other than those charged or OVI lawyers, prosecutors, and judges in Ohio have never heard of this. It basically means that you are in the driver’s seat with possession of the ignition key while you are under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of the two.
You can also be placed under suspension after an arrest for physical control. Physical control is where you are alleged to be under the influence and in possession of the car keys and in the car. This is like sleeping it off in the car with the keys in the ignition and you are in the driver’s seat.
If you refuse to take the test the officer will suspend your license. If you take the test and test over the limit, there is no suspension. This is different than what happens if you are arrested for OVI.
When you are arrested for an OVI in Ohio the police will ask you to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test. If you refuse or test over the legal limit you will be suspended administratively. This is referred to as an ALS.
The old law used to tell the BMV to wait for a conviction of the DUI before acting. Now the law has changed, and the ALS is the trigger, not the conviction. The ALS will cause a one-year out-of-service disqualification of your CDL on a first offense. A second ALS will cause a lifetime out-of-service disqualification.
The Court cannot grant driving privileges to drive a commercial vehicle. They can only grant privileges to drive a passenger vehicle. Another complication is that you might have a judge that grants driving privileges for your personal non-commercial vehicle with the restriction of an ignition interlock device.
Before issuing you the letter to drive, the clerk might require you to take a paper to the BMV and obtain a special Interlock License. This will cancel the CDL endorsements on your license. When your suspension is over you will have to reapply for a CDL.
The law also treats people differently if they are in a commercial vehicle when they get arrested. The legal limit is usually .08 for someone over 21. In a commercial vehicle, it is .04.
Ohio’s CDL Disqualification is explained in ORC Section 4506.16. Hopefully, you have a lawyer on board as soon as something happens. If not, get one a.s.a.p. as time may bar you from any recourse through the appeal process. A hearing may be requested within 30 days of the mailing of the notice of disqualification. If the hearing is granted the disqualification will be stayed pending the outcome.
|4506.16(D)5||Two serious traffic violations within a three-year period||60 days|
|4506.16(D)6||Three serious traffic violations within a three-year period||120 days|
|4506.15(A)2||BAC of .04% or more||1 year|
|4506.15(A)5||Under influence of controlled substance||1 year|
|4506.15(A)6||Using the commercial vehicle in the commission of a felony||1 year|
|4506.15(A)7||Refusing to submit to a blood, breath or urine test||1 year|
|4506.15(A)2||BAC of .04% or more||Life|
|4506.15(A)5||Under influence of controlled substance||Life|
|4506.15(D)||Leaving the scene of a traffic crash||Life|
|4506.15(E)||Using the commercial vehicle in the commission of a felony||Life|
|4506.15(F)||Refusing to submit to a blood, breath or urine test||Life|
|4506.16(B)4||First time commission of a felony with a controlled substance||Life|
|4506.15(A)7||First Violation of Out-of-Service||90 days|
|4506.16(A)2||Second Violation of Out-of-Service||1 year|
|4506.16(A)3||Third Violation of Out-of-Service||3 years|
|4506.16(B)1||First Violation of Out-of-Service||180 days|
|4506.16(B)2||Second Violation of Out-of-Service||3 years|
NOTE: Under Ohio’s commercial driver’s license law, any person who holds a CDL shall be deemed to have consented to such testing as is required of him/her by any state or jurisdiction. If any level of alcohol is detected, law enforcement can place a commercial driver out-of-service for 24 hours. It is illegal to operate a commercial vehicle with any alcohol in your system.
You probably have questions of your own relating specifically to your situation. In a free consultation, our experienced DUI defense attorney at one of our Cincinnati locations can answer your questions and explain how they can help you get the compensation you deserve.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.
A police officer is looking for specific things when they pull you over that will tip them off that you might be drunk. Most OVI or DUI arrests occur on a weekend and after dark, especially after bars close versus Tuesday at noon or during morning and evening rush hour. So what signs are police officers looking for?
It’s a normal Saturday evening. You are out with a few friends, unwinding from the workweek, or maybe it’s just you and your spouse treating yourselves to a well-deserved dinner at a local restaurant while a sitter watches the kids.
Maybe you consumed two glasses of wine. Maybe you consumed a couple of beers. Later, you begin your drive home. You see flashing lights in your mirror. What do you do? The way that you answer this question will change your future.
Your choices mean everything at this critical point. You’ll probably have a dozen questions running through your mind:
At Minnillo Law Group, our DUI attorney understands your fear. You are (most likely) not a lawyer. You cannot be expected to know the answers to these questions. Luckily, you are protected as long as you understand a few basic concepts.
Generally, you are not required to answer questions, submit to chemical tests, or perform coordination tests. The manner of your refusal(s) can be extremely important, however. Refusing any or all of the tests does not prevent an officer from arresting you and charging you with OVI.
First, you must understand that refusing a chemical test will result in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license for a period of at least one year. This is called an Administrative License Suspension, or as it is commonly known, an ALS suspension. There are limited ways to challenge this type of suspension once it is imposed.
Also, Ohio law allows for a forced blood draw under certain circumstances, meaning that a judge can sign an order (warrant) authorizing the taking of a sample of your blood whether you consent or not. (Missouri v. McNeely, U.S. Supreme Court No. 11-1425.) Though this rarely occurs, it is information worth knowing.
Next, you must understand that refusing these tests, both chemical and coordination, will very likely result in you being arrested for OVI. However, if you are at the point of being asked to take a breath test and coordination tests, this is a likely scenario either way.
It’s ESSENTIAL that you understand the following: if you admit to anything, the state of Ohio WILL use it against you. You ARE NOT REQUIRED to admit anything, as stated above.
The 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution affords you protection from making self-incriminating statements, meaning that you don’t have to admit to drinking or anything else for that matter. You have the right to remain silent. This is usually a good idea.
This information should not be construed to mean that you should never comply with any of the aforementioned requests. At times, a low breath test result or competent performance on the coordination tests can actually help a person’s case.
You should understand, however, there is great risk involved in such actions. If you submit to a chemical test, and that test exceeds the legal limit, the state of Ohio will use that test against you. Unless your attorney can prevent them from doing so by finding some fault with the machine used to perform the test – or the process of obtaining the test itself – this can be critically damning evidence, undermining any real chance of winning your case at trial.
In addition, many police vehicles are equipped with motor vehicle recording devices, commonly known as MVRs. Therefore, if a person attempts the coordination tests and stumbles, falls, or has other issues with motor coordination, this video evidence will be used by the state. This evidence often can make or break a case.
If you have had more than one OVI or DUI citation within the last 10 years, your options vary greatly depending on a number of factors. Ohio’s laws regarding multiple drunk driving convictions are strict, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any hope.
The pieces of evidence, or lack thereof, that our team will review include, but are certainly not limited to:
These cases can get quite complex, and it is important to get a qualified, knowledgeable attorney to review the facts of the case in detail, gather additional evidence, and provide you with the options for the best outcome possible.
The one thing you should keep in mind is that, although this is difficult and scary, you can have someone on your side to fight the battle for you. Contact our DUI attorney in Cincinnati today by calling us at 513-461-7588 in Cincinnati or by sending an email through this form.
There are myriad reasons your license is suspended:
The first step is to determine the reason your license is suspended, and that will determine the legal path we will need to follow. No matter why your license is suspended, seeking legal counsel can get the problem resolved faster than fighting this on your own. You probably need to get back to work or you have kids’ activities to get to, and not having a license is a hindrance. It’s important that you remember that driving with a suspended license could get you into even more trouble.