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Dayton DUI Attorney Charles Rowland > Posts tagged "trial attorney"

A Trial Attorney’s Creed.

A Trial Attorney's Creed! When someone asks, "How can you defend drunk drivers?" I respond with this quote from Don Quioxte.  I think it is the perfect creed for a trial attorney. “It is not the responsibility of knights errant to discover whether the afflicted, the enchained and the oppressed whom they encounter on the road are reduced to these circumstances and suffer this distress for their vices, or for their virtues: the knight's sole responsibility is to succor them as people in need, having eyes only for their sufferings, not for their misdeeds.” ― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don QuixoteTrial attorney Charles...

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A Prosecutor’s Voir Dire Advantage: The Primacy & Recency Effect

In Ohio, the prosecuting attorney in a DUI/OVI trial gets to make the first presentation in voir dire, has the first opportunity to do opening and closing, and also has a rebuttal that follows the Defendant's closing argument.  Why is this a big advantage?Psychologists tell us that there is the tendency for the first items presented in a series to be remembered better or more easily, or for them to be more influential than those presented later in the series. If you hear a long list of words, it is more likely that you will remember the words you heard first...

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The Trial Attorney Creed (from Don Quixote)

“It is not the responsibility of knights errant to discover whether the afflicted, the enchained and the oppressed whom they encounter on the road are reduced to these circumstances and suffer this distress for their vices, or for their virtues: the knight's sole responsibility is to succour them as people in need, having eyes only for their sufferings, not for their misdeeds.” ― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote...

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DUI Trial Techniques (Voir Dire)

If you see me trip over a crack in the sidewalk, you would consider me to be clumsy or uncoordinated.  If, however, you trip over a crack in the sidewalk you are much more likely to blame the crack.  The same is true for most people. This discrepancy is called the actor–observer bias.In social psychology, the fundamental attribution error (also known as correspondence bias or attribution effect) describes the tendency to over-value dispositional or personality-based explanations for the observed behaviors of others while under-valuing situational explanations for those behaviors. The fundamental attribution error is most visible when people explain the...

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Arrested for DUI? You Are Innocent.

If you tell your friends that you were arrested for punching someone in the face, their overwhelming reaction will be, "Wow, what happened?"  If, however, you tell them that you were arrested for DUI, those same friends will say, "Oh, I'm so sorry."  What is the difference?  When a person is facing a DUI charge, guilt is assumed.  How in the world did this happen?  How did our presumption of innocence, so valued in the American tradition of law, become so cheapened?  Perhaps we can look to the politically charged nature of the crime of drunk driving.  We can blame...

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Affirmative Defenses to a Driving Under Suspension Charge

Ohio law provides two affirmative defenses to the crime of driving under suspension.  Ohio Revised Code section 4510.04, Affirmative defenses to driving under suspension or cancellation, provides in pertinent part, It is an affirmative defense to any prosecution brought under section 4510.11, 4510.14, 4510.16, or 4510.21 of the Revised Code or under any substantially equivalent municipal ordinance that the alleged offender drove under suspension, without a valid permit or driver’s or commercial driver’s license, or in violation of a restriction because of a substantial emergency, and because no other person was reasonably available to drive in response to the emergency.It is an affirmative defense to any...

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Standardized Field Sobriety Tests: The One Leg Stand Test

The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) are a battery of three tests administered and evaluated in a standardized manner to obtain validated indicators of impairment and establish probable cause for arrest. These tests were developed as a result of research sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and conducted by the Southern California Research Institute. A formal program of training was developed and is available through NHTSA to help law enforcement officers become more skillful at detecting DWI suspects, describing the behavior of these suspects, and presenting effective testimony in court. Formal administration and accreditation of the program is provided through the...

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Distracted Driving or Drunk Driving?

Often, an officer's testimony of erratic driving is the most devastating piece of evidence against a person charged with DUI.  Just as often, DUI defense attorneys will overlook this evidence or make the decision not to cross examine on the issue, lest attention of the bad driving be highlighted before the jury.  This article will examine ways to attack "bad driving" and place it in a proper context so that the jury will see the defendant's actions as normal.Distracted driving has become a major issue in America.  Newer cars are loaded with complex audio systems, compact disc changers, navigation systems,...

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Ohio DUI Law: Failure to File a Motion To Suppress

Should You File A Motion to Suppress?In State v. Thomas, 2011-Ohio-1987 (2nd Dist. Ct. App. 2011), the Defendant was convicted of felony OVI after a jury trial.  No motion to suppress was filed and it was determined during the jury trial that the officer wasn't sure whether he turned off his overhead lights during the horizontal gaze nystagmus portion of the standardized field sobriety tests, but stated that it was normal to do so.  An argument exists that doing the test in this manner should result in suppression of the test as the phenomenon of optokinetic...

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DUI Law: Appellate Review & Motion to Suppress

I have written extensively about the importance of filing a motion to suppress to challenge the evidence that the State can use against a defendant in a DUI case.  Counsel can use the motion to suppress as an informal discovery tool, as an informal deposition of the State's witnesses, as a dry run of your scientific defense, or as a method of attacking the State's witnesses.  Whatever your strategy, the goal is to win.  But what if you don't?A defendant has not direct appeal from a decision overruling a motion to suppress because an adverse ruling is not considered a...

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