DUI Lawyer in Mansfield, Ohio
If you are charged with a DUI (driving under the influence) in Ohio, you should immediately hire a trained, experienced attorney.
Ohio Revised Code (R.C.) 4511.196 requires that a person charged with DUI (or physical control) have an initial appearance within five (5) days of arrest or issuance of citation. At the initial appearance, the judge or magistrate will arraign the person and review whether there are grounds for an Administrative License Suspension (or ALS Suspension). Even if the person's license is not suspended, the judge or magistrate is permitted to suspend your license if the judge or magistrate determines that your continued driving is a threat to public safety. Therefore, it is very important to hire counsel immediately.
Administrative License Suspension
As mentioned, most DUI charges include an ALS, and there are a limited number of ways to appeal an ALS. R.C. 4511.197(A) only gives a person thirty (30) days to appeal an ALS Suspension, so again, time is of the essence to act when charged with a DUI. Perhaps even more importantly, a person becomes eligible for occupational driving privileges as early as fifteen (15) days after an ALS suspension, so if your license has been suspended, acting quickly can enable you to begin driving to work, school, court, and the doctor's office, among other places.
Hiring counsel can also mean attending fewer court appearances. Depending on the jurisdiction, having counsel can mean the difference between going to court only once, versus going to court 3 or more times. More significantly, a trained, experienced attorney knows how to effectively argue with the prosecutor about the case. There are a variety of legal and factual issues that can arise in a DUI traffic stop, and having the right attorney could mean the difference between being convicted of a DUI versus a lesser charge.
Jury Trial/Plea Bargain
In many situations, a DUI charge can be plea bargained to a lesser offense. Of course, if the parties cannot reach an appropriate agreement to resolve your case, you have the constitutional right to proceed to jury trial. It is important for an attorney who handles DUI charges to have actual jury trial experience. Many times, a DUI cannot be won on a "technicality," but the facts that led to the charge, when considered by a jury, may not demonstrate that you were guilty of a DUI beyond a reasonable doubt.
Finally, if you are convicted of a DUI or a lesser offense, it is important to understand what to expect at sentencing. In Ohio, a DUI carries minimum mandatory penalties that affect your freedom, your driver's license, and your wallet. At sentencing, a driver's intervention program can be requested to avoid jail. Additionally, reduced charges don't carry the same minimum mandatory jail and fine, and they have different driver's licensing consequences. Additionally, some reduced charges, such as a physical control, don't have the same negative impact on a person's driver's license. Additionally, some charges involve a greater likelihood of the imposition of probation and/or alcohol counseling, so an attorney can highlight the facts that are important for the court to consider in sentencing.
DUI Case Considerations:
In conclusion, there are a variety of legal considerations that comprise a DUI case. To recap, they are as follows:
- Initial Appearance
- Administrative License Suspension (ALS) Appeal
- Occupational Driving Privileges
- Court Appearances
- Pretrial Negotiation/Suppression Issues
- Jury Trial Strategy
- Sentencing Considerations
- Mandatory Jail
- Mandatory Fine
- License Suspension
- License Points
- Alcohol Counseling
If you ever face DUI charges, hopefully you understand the importance of having legal counsel. Please feel free to contact my office to schedule a free initial consultation. There is no obligation to retain my services. I want everyone with whom I meet to understand the charge and the facts that are important to their particular legal situation.
-John A. Boyd
Go to Criminal Defense
Go to Blog