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DUI Law

WCPO I-Team Questions the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

“I would never recommend anyone take the field sobriety test. It’s designed to fail.”  That is the conclusion of Dr. Spurgeon Cole, a retired Clemson University psychology professor whose area of expertise is the study of measurements.  He says all ages are scored the same, and “whether you’re a good athlete or you’re a klutz, you get the same [test].”  This conclusion is set forth in the I-team investigation into the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests by WCPO, ABC 9 in Cincinnati. Full Story HERE.  Attorneys who defend the accused drunk driver agree. “They are setting you up to fail," MJ Donovan...

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The Prescription Drug Defense

While many people think of impaired driving as involving alcohol, we are increasingly seeing people accused of being impaired by prescription drugs.  Clients are surprised to learn that the same harsh penalties that apply to alcohol impairment also apply to prescription drug impairment.  You need an attorney who knows how to fight a drugged driving case.Drugged driving cases involving prescription drugs present a problem for law enforcement as indicators of prescription drug use are less apparent.  The standardized field sobriety tests are crude tools for detecting alcohol and may be useless in determining prescription drug impairment.  Challenging the officer's observations...

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Ohio’s Marihuana Possession Laws

Marihuana is illegal in Ohio.  See O.R.C. 2925.11.  While some states have taken steps to legalize, decriminalize or actively not enforce marihuana laws, Ohio maintains criminal penalties for possession of even small amounts of pot.  The Ohio State Highway Patrol has stepped up marihuana enforcement and local police, depending on the jurisdiction, are vigilant in enforcing marihuana laws.  Unlike many other states, Ohio’s penalties are based entirely on weight.  Even a trace amount of a controlled substance may be the basis for a drug abuse conviction. State v. Teamer (1998), 82 Ohio St. 3d 490.Possession of less than 100 grams is a...

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DUI Law and the Fourth Amendment: Is Your Home Your Castle?

The doctrine that “a man’s home is his castle” is enshrined in the Bill of Rights.  The Fourth Amendment to the United State Constitution embodies the principle and states that a home should be free from search without a warrant.  The Fourth Amendment states, “The right of the people to be secure in their person, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause * * *.” Furthermore, in United States v. United States Dist. Court for the E. Dist. of Michigan (1972) 407 U.S. 297, 313,...

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What Am I Required To Do Following An Accident?

The crime is referred to as Hit and Run, Leaving the Scene of and Accident, Hit/Skip or Failure to Notify.  Here is an overview of what proscriptions Ohio has adopted to punish persons involved in an accident who leave the scene.  Because of the serious nature of the offense you should seek a qualified and experienced criminal/traffic  attorney to help you combat this charge and give you advice.Ohio law, O.R.C. 4549.02, requires any person who is involved in an accident on public roads or highways to stop and exchange information with the other party.What information must I provide?  The statute...

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DUI Law: Is This Constitutional?

Even if you are found not guilty at trial, the Automatic License Suspension issued at the beginning of your case will remain in effect.  Yes, even if a jury of your peers concludes that you were wrongly arrested for OVI and exonerates you in court, the harsh ALS penalty will remain in effect.  Guilt or innocence does not matter.  How can this be?In State v. Lewis, 2010 Ohio 2872 the First District Court of Appeals found that Ohio DUI law calls for an automatic license suspension if a person refuses a chemical test and O.R.C. 4511.191(D)(1) specifically states that “[a]ny...

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Ohio DUI Law: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

Sometimes despite the best efforts of a skilled and competent DUI attorney, a client will be forced to endure an outcome they do not like.  When this happens there Is a natural and understandable desire to place blame.  We field many calls, mostly after a conviction, seeking an opinion about an attorney’s performance.  Some ask whether or not we would be willing to undertake an appeal.  To date, our answer has always been an emphatic “No!”The purpose of this article is two-fold; the first is to re-emphasize the importance of selecting the best attorney for your case right at the...

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Ohio Controlled Substances Act, Drug Schedules

If you get arrested for possession of a controlled substance, it feels like your world is falling apart.  If you are unfamiliar with the judicial system you are likely scared to death and wondering what will happen.  The first and most important decision you can make at this point is to hire an experienced and competent defender.  Charles M. Rowland II will file a motion to suppress, aggressively prepare for trial and present your best case to the prosecutor.  Preparation leads to better results including dismissal, a reduction in your charge, treatments in lieu of conviction, or an acquittal at...

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Ohio BMV Reinstatement Offices Expand Payment Sites

The Good News?  The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles is expanding the locations where you can pay your reinstatement fee.  The Bad News?  It is going to cost you.  Starting today, 179 Ohio BMV deputy registrar sites will accept payments on reinstatement fees.  The deputy registrar sites will also accept the documentation required for reinstatement.  According to the story in the Springfield News Sun, "[t]he bureau says that doesn't mean reinstatement would happen immediately. It might require more time to be processed. Customers also still would need to meet other reinstatement requirements, such as appearing in court or having proof of insurance,...

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DUI Law: What Should I Say?

If you are stopped by law enforcement on suspicion of drunk driving, the officer will ask "Have you had anything to drink tonight?"  Some officers ask a variant of this question by making it an accusation, "I smell alcohol, how much have you had to drink?"  We are often asked how best to answer this question.The short, best and most protective answer is to reply that you are uncomfortable answering any questions without an attorney present.  You have a Fifth Amendment Right to remain silent.  The police cannot punish you for exercising this right. USE IT!  So often a perfectly defensible case will...

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