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“Weed Day” How Did 420 Get It’s Name?

April 20th is Weed Day. I am fascinated by the origin of the term "420" and how it became associated with marijuana.  There are as many stories about its origin as there are people you ask.  Just a short search on Google leads to the following "Weed Day" origin stories. It’s the number of active chemicals in marijuana. It’s teatime in Holland. It has something to do with Hitler’s birthday. It’s those numbers in that Bob Dylan song multiplied. It was like a police code for smoking in progress or something. In 2003, when the California Legislature codified the medical...

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DUI Process Overview: What Does Your Attorney Do Prior To Trial

DUI Process Overview - What Does Your Attorney Do? To understand your case, we offer this DUI process overview. It will help you understand what your attorney does. It also lets you participate in your case. You are in charge. An attorney will spend a great deal of time listening to your version of events. He will scrupulously track down potential witnesses and talk to every person who was with you on the night you were arrested. If possible, the attorney will get a copy of your bar bill to show exactly what you had to drink. Your attorney will also explain...

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Felony OVI – Aggravated Vehicular Homicide (VIDEO)

Felony OVI - Aggravated Vehicular Homicide Felony OVI -Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, O.R.C. 2903.06, is a crime that results from the death of another caused by the defendant’s operating a vehicle while impaired. (a violation of R.C. 4511.19 -OVI) You can also be charge for driving negligently or recklessly under the law. The aggravated vehicular homicide statute encompasses driving an automobile recklessly or negligently (called vehicular homicide) whether or not alcohol played a part in the death. Often, defendants are indicted for multiple counts, with additional counts for each victim of the accident. Felony OVI - Penalties The penalties for an Aggravated Vehicular Homicide...

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SFST Clues: What Makes You Fail The Field Tests?

SFST Clues: What Makes You Fail the Field Tests? Often, at an initial interview, I will have a client tell me that they "aced" the field tests. One of the most common comments is, "I followed his pen perfectly."  Spoiler Alert: if you took the tests it is very likely that the officer observed "SFST clues" of intoxication.  It is important to realize that you do not have to take the standardized field sobriety tests. Why would you? If an officer makes the determination that you are drunk by getting you out of the car, why would you think you could...

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CDL Disqualifications: New Rules In Ohio

CDL Disqualifications: New Rules in Ohio Recently, the BMV has changed their rules with respect to CDL disqualifications.  The new CDL rules make it very difficult for drivers to keep their job. The rules apply when the BMV receives notice of a refusal or positive chemical test. Under the old rules, if you attorney was able to stay the Administrative License Suspension (ALS), the CDL disqualifications would be put on hold.  They would remain on hold until the end of the OVI case.  If you were able to receive a reduction to Physical Control, R.C. 4511.194 and terminate the ALS you would...

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Advanced OVI Seminar, 2018

Advanced OVI Seminar I was proud to attend the Ohio Academy of Criminal Defense Lawyers (hereinafter OACDL) Advanced OVI Seminar last week.  The area of DUI defense is vast. It encompasses forensic science, spectroscopy, gas chromatography, standardized field sobriety tests, standardized field sobriety test studies, breath test science, trial techniques, criminal administration, criminology, traffic law, police procedure, etc...

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Prior OVI Convictions: State v. Brooke

Do You Have A Prior OVI Conviction? We Can Help With That In State v. Brooke (2007), 113 Ohio St.3d 199 the Ohio Supreme Court addressed the issue of a prior OVI conviction. Via Justice Lanziger held the state to its burden in proving the voluntariness of waivers of counsel in prior OVI convictions.  The State will be required to show more than that a conviction was recorded and, when challenged, carries the burden of proving the waiver of counsel was voluntary and complied with applicable law.  If you face a 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th DUI make sure your attorney makes the...

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SCRAM! Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring

SCRAM! Secure. Continuous. Remote. Alcohol Monitoring. SCRAM bracelets attach to a person's ankle and look for the presence of alcohol in sweat. These bracelet programs are a form of continuous alcohol monitoring. In addition, they come with the benefit of not requiring frequent in-person check-ins. Ohio judges order or allow use of a SCRAM bracelet as a condition of parole, probation, or early release of those convicted of driving under the influence. Most often, judges order monitoring for repeat DUI offenders. For a long time, judges have ordered certain DUI offenders not to drink any alcohol, particularly those who have shown a severe problem with alcohol....

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Appreciable Impairment Offenses – You Look Drunk!

Appreciable Impairment Offenses:  If you refuse to take a chemical test, the State might still be able to prove you guilty of an OVI if they prove (beyond a reasonable doubt) that you  operated a motor vehicle after having consumed some alcohol, drugs of abuse, or a combination of the two and their ability to operate the motor vehicle was appreciably impaired.  How does a jury determine “under the influence?”  The following is an excerpt from the Ohio Jury Instructions regarding appreciable impairment cases: “Under the influence” means that the defendant consumed some (alcohol) (drug of abuse) (combination of alcohol and...

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The Finger Dexterity Test

The Finger Dexterity Test, "Damn, Your Drunk Tests Are Hard." In the movie, The Man With Two Brains, Steve Martin's character is subject to ridiculous roadside sobriety tests. Some of the tests to which Ohio drivers are subjected are also suspect.  One such test is the Finger Dexterity test. The Finger Dexterity test is not a Standard Field Sobriety Test. It has not been recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is arbitrary and of little value. However, this test is a favorite amongst Ohio law enforcement officers.  Try the test yourself. I have administered this test on countless individuals...

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