Cleveland DUI Lawyers
When You Can't Afford an OVI & Need to Drive: Call for a Free Case Evaluation
If you are convicted of DUI / OVI, it can change your life forever. You will lose your license for a period of time. You face an almost certain fine, and you may spend time in jail. Arrests alone can ruin a professional career.
The state of Ohio takes OVI enforcement seriously, and our Cleveland DUI firm takes the fact that you have rights throughout the process just as seriously. Not everyone arrested for drunk driving is guilty, and not everyone charged with the offense deserves to lose their driving privileges. Our work is to protect your rights. The state is determined to secure a conviction in your case, and you owe it to yourself not to walk into that fight alone.
Our Cleveland DUI lawyers have experience in courtrooms across Ohio! Call (440) 709-8088.
DUI Matters We Handle
- Breath Tests
- DUI Checkpoints
- DUI Defense Strategies
- DUI Penalties
- Field Sobriety Tests
- License Suspension
- Multiple DUI
What Everyone Needs to Know About OVI in Ohio
We are almost always asked two questions when talking to a potential client who has been charged with OVI:
- How much will DUI defense cost?
- What can you do for me?
We understand why you want to know these questions. Nobody plans to get arrested for DUI, and no doubt you are wondering right now how you’ll get through this. That’s where we come in. Our firm is recognized as being one of the top DUI defense teams in Ohio, and we have a long track record of success with this type of case. Whether it’s a dismissal of charges, a favorable plea bargain, or an acquittal at trial, we are ready to fight, and we have a reputation for winning. Our fees are not the lowest in the area, but you get what you pay for. If you’re serious about fighting your charges and winning, we’re the firm for you.
OVI Defense Attorneys Protecting You from Drunk Driving Charges
Often, our clients will ask us "What can you do for me? I blew over the legal limit and got an OVI!"
We understand that your case might seem hopeless if you failed a breathalyzer or field sobriety test; however, simply failing either or both tests does not mean you are going to be convicted. This is why it is important to select a DUI attorney who has actual experience defending clients from these types of crimes. For example, many people do not know that there are two legal blood alcohol limits in Ohio. This should worry you, especially if your attorney does not know. The first legal limit is 0.08 and the second is 0.17. The penalties for these types of charges go up significantly if you test over the second legal limit (also known as a high tier test).
"I Was Drinking, How Can I Possibly Fight My Cleveland Area OVI Charge?" There are many different avenues to challenge an OVI:
- The first thing we typically look at is the reason you were stopped. A lot of the time, especially in cases where there is a dash camera, we analyze the footage to see why a defendant was stopped. Sometimes, allegations of the arresting officer are not visibly apparent and thus can be challenged. If the stop is bad, then everything that comes after the stop is bad as well.
- We can also challenge the reason the arresting officer removed a defendant from the vehicle to perform standard field sobriety testing. If there was no reasonable suspicion to remove a defendant from a vehicle, then everything after the wrongful removal is bad as well.
- Another thing that can be challenged is the field sobriety testing. Ohio universally recognizes the NHTSA as to how the field sobriety tests should be administered. If the tests aren't administered correctly, it can impact the way a defendant performs those tests. You can also challenge the alcohol testing, whether it be a blood, breath, or urine sample.
Tailoring Our Approach to Our Clients' Needs
We are not a plea factory. Many DUI lawyers will simply take clients and get a quick plea deal. We feel this approach has led to lawyers having a bad name. We instead fight aggressively for our clients, and we tailor our approach to what our clients want. Some clients want us to work out the best deal as fast as possible; others want us to challenge the evidence and attempt to secure an acquittal. It depends on the client’s situation. If you have a job that you need driving privileges for or that you cannot have a criminal conviction for, you might need to fight the charges. Our Cleveland DUI lawyers understand that.
What Happens If I'm Arrested for OVI?
If you are lawfully arrested for OVI, two processes take place. The first is the administrative, which is concerned with whether your driver's license should be suspended. The second is the criminal process, which is carried out to determine if you're guilty of the offense.
Upon a lawful OVI arrest, a police officer may request that you participate in a chemical test to determine your blood- or breath- alcohol level. If it's at or above .08, or if you refuse to provide a sample for analysis, the officer can immediately seize your driver's license, and your driving privileges will be suspended.
The immediate driver's license suspension is part of the administrative process. It's important to note that this sanction happens even before your criminal case is decided.
To reinstate your driving privileges after an administrative suspension, you must:
- Serve the suspension period
- Pay the reinstatement fee
- Provide proof of insurance
What Is the OVI Court Process?
After your arrest, you will be scheduled for an arraignment. During this proceeding, a judge will inform you of the charge brought against you. They may also set a bail, which is an amount you must pay to secure release from police custody. At the arraignment, the judge will ask you to enter a plea. If you plead guilty, you will be convicted of the offense. Entering a not guilty plea means your case will proceed, and you'll have the opportunity to challenge the prosecutor's accusations against you.
The next stage in the criminal process is a pretrial hearing. This proceeding is where your attorney meets with the prosecutor and presents facts/evidence to counter the opposition's. Depending on the specifics of your case, the prosecutor may offer a plea deal, such as reducing your OVI charge or recommending a lesser sentence. Most cases are settled during a pretrial hearing.
If your case is not resolved outside of court, it will go to trial. It is during this step that the prosecutor will attempt to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Your defense attorney will also present counterarguments to defend your innocence and protect your rights and freedom.
If the prosecutor prevails and you are convicted of OVI, your case will move onto the sentencing stage. It is here the judge will determine what term of incarceration and fines to impose.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An IID is similar to a breathalyzer. You are required to breathe into the device to start your vehicle. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above .02 percent, the vehicle will not start. Furthermore, the IID also requires random tests while the vehicle is in motion.
If the device detects alcohol, a company who monitors the IID will be notified of the failed result. IID violation can lead to license suspension for a longer period or a jail sentence.
Installation fees cost between $200 and $300, while monthly maintenance costs between $100 and $200. There is also a fee for removing the device once you serve your suspension period.
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in Ohio
Ohio drunk driving laws are among the toughest in the country and have been that way since the early 1990s. You will lose your license if you are convicted of OVI in Ohio. Period. How long your license is revoked depends upon the severity, and details, of your arrest. You will lose it immediately if you refuse to take a sobriety test or if the breathalyzer result is higher than the legal limit of 0.08% blood alcohol level (BAC). Authorities can also take your license plates and they may seize or disable your vehicle if you have multiple arrests for DUI.
Ohio DUI penalties are extremely serious:
- First OVI: At least 3 days in jail or a 3-day alcohol abuse program. Fine up to $1,075.
- Second OVI: A jail sentence of 10 days to 6 months or a combination of jail, house arrest with monitoring, and/or continuous alcohol monitoring. The fines can be $1,625.
- Third OVI: A punishment of 30 days to 1 year in jail. If your BAC was 0.17% or higher, the sentence is a minimum of 60 days. The fine can be $2,500 along with paying for an alcohol or drug treatment program. You will also lose your driver's license for 2 to 10 years. If your second OVI was less than 6 years prior to this arrest, throw out the above info because you are facing a felony now.
- Fourth OVI: Up to as much as 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine for a 4th conviction. Plus, you would be required to surrender the car you drive to the authorities. Some 4th offenders lose their licenses permanently.
- 5th OVI or More: Call me. We need to discuss what's coming.
How Long Will an OVI Stay on My Record?
Being charged with an OVI is serious. If you're convicted, the information will stay on your criminal record forever.
Ohio has a 10-year lookback period when it comes to OVI offenses. This means that if you are charged with a second or subsequent offense, the judge may look at your criminal history to see if you have any priors. If you do, and they occurred within 10 years of the current charge, they will be considered previous offenses for sentencing purposes.
Here's an illustration of how this works: If you're accused of a first OVI, you may face a mandatory minimum jail term of 3 days and a fine between $375 and $1,075. But, if this is your second OVI in 10 years, you could be sentenced to a mandatory minimum jail term of 10 days and/or a fine between $850 and $2,750.
DUIs & CDL Disqualification in Ohio
Many of our clients are individuals who own and operate their own truck companies—or single units. All these people have one thing in common: they have a CDL and without it, they are unable to work, function, and survive. We have often said that we believe DUI law impacts people holding special licenses more than those without, and it is certainly true when you talk about a CDL. If you have a CDL and are charged with an OVI/DUI in the Cleveland, Ohio area, you need to speak with a DUI attorney immediately. Call us at (440) 709-8088.
It is important to hire an lawyer who knows exactly how to both defend a DUI and protect your CDL. The Cleveland DUI attorneys at Patituce & Associates have handled a wide range of cases. We know how to find errors in police work, and we know how to exploit it to your advantage.
In one case, we secured a dismissal for an individual who was simply sitting in his vehicle when the police approached. We successfully convinced the court to throw out the entire DUI case without the need for a trial. The prosecutor wanted our client to serve a significant jail sentence, our client took our advice and we fought. We won and our client walked out with his license intact, no fines, no costs, and no jail time.
Call a Cleveland DUI Lawyer for Your Free Consultation
As a Cleveland, Ohio DUI attorney it would be my privilege to talk to you about your case. It is important that you speak with a lawyer fast if you have been charged with these crimes because facing a judge alone and entering a lousy plea, or working with a lawyer who does not practice in this area can have damaging results to your case.
We offer a free consultation to all of our clients who have been arrested for OVI. Simply call (440) 709-8088 today!
We Offer No-Cost, Confidential Phone Consultations.
Our Team Has Over 70 Years of Combined Experience.
Our Lead Attorney Is A Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney.
Our Attorneys Have Taken Cases to Jury Trials Over 200 Times.
We Are the Firm Other Attorneys, Police & Prosecutors Turn To.
We Are Available 24/7.