The Stages of an Ohio OVI (DUI) Charge

OVI charges begin with a traffic stop and often proceed through roadside sobriety tests, breath tests, arraignments, motion hearings, and may culminate in a jury trial.  The DUI defense attorneys of Smith's Law Offices provide an overview of those steps here.

The Traffic Stop:

The police may stop you either through a reasonable suspicion stop or at a checkpoint.  At checkpoints, the police may regularly stop cars that pass and need not have any suspicions, though there are strict restrictions on how they choose who they stop.  Reasonable suspicion stops are those where the police must either see a problem with your vehicle, such as burnt out lights, or have a reasonable suspicion that you are breaking the law.  These reasonable suspicions often include crossing lines, swerving, speeding, driving with headlights off at night, failing to signal a lane change, running a red light, and such.  An experienced DUI attorney such as the those at Smith's Law Offices can put the State to the test – because if the police did not have sufficient reason to stop you in the first place, anything they found after, including the results of breath tests, may become inadmissible.

During the traffic stop, the police officer will make observations that may lead him to suspect you are under the influence.  He will use these observations to move forward with the OVI/DUI arrest and the prosecutor will use his observations during pretrials and trial.  The police will look for things such as bloodshot eyes, alcohol containers, slurred speech, the smell of alcohol or drugs, and of course what the driver and passengers say to him.

Your job during the traffic stop is to be polite, minimize conversation, never lie, but do not answer questions that would be incriminating.  If you do not want to answer a question, you might first attempt to change the conversation, such as asking the officer what you did wrong or how long you will be stopped.  If it becomes clear that the officer suspects you are intoxicated, tell him that you want to speak to an attorney before answering more questions.  Do not argue, as both prosecutors and juries will have little sympathy for an argumentative and disrespectful citizen.

Roadside Sobriety Tests (Field Sobriety Tests):

If the officer suspects that you have been drinking and are under the influence, he will ask you to get out of the vehicle and perform sobriety tests.  You should politely refuse to take the tests. The officer asking you to take the test is doing so because he already decided you are under the influence.  So guess how he is likely to score you?  Most likely not well.  His report, and perhaps video of you stumbling, may not be helpful at trial either. You do not have to take a field sobriety test, it is a losing game, so why help the officer build a case against you?  Do not argue - but do politely refuse.

These sobriety tests may include various standardized tests and non-standardized tests.  These tests are scored, but they are subjective and subject to weather conditions, the road conditions, and your own physical, mental, and coordination abilities.  The standardized tests may include the Horizontal Gaze Nysagmus, where the officer holds a pen or finger in front of your eyes as he watches for involuntary movement of the eye.  Another standardized test is the One Leg Stand Test, where the officer will ask you to stand on one leg and count as the other leg is raised about 6 inches off the ground.  The Walk and Turn Test involves walking nine steps, heal to toe, counting each step, turning and walking back in the same manner.  Each of these tests has rules for the officer as well as for you, are valid only when certain circumstances are met, and have rules with regard to how the instructions are given to you.  The OVI / DUI attorneys at Smith's Law Offices take the time to investigate how the tests were given to exclude any faulty test results from being used against you.

There are also various non-standardized test whose accuracy have not been determined to be sufficiently related to alcohol impairment, but the police officer may still ask you to complete some of them.  If you have not refused the field sobriety tests, you may be asked to touch your finger to your nose with your eyes closed and head tilted back, to count backward, to say portions of the alphabet, or to stand balanced with your feet together, head tilted back, eyes closed, and estimating when 30 seconds have passed.

Another test the police officer may ask you to take before arresting you is the Portable Breath Test.  This is NOT the Evidentiary Test discussed below, which would be given to you at a police station or medical facility.  You have every right to refuse the Portable Breath Test given in the field, without any implications to your license.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) describes the standardized field sobriety tests  (SFTS) in its manuals.  There was an update to the NHTSA manual in 2018 - https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/documents/sfst_full_participant_manual_2018.pdf. NHTSA's web page at http://www.nhtsa.gov/Impaired also includes general information about enforcement.

The Arrest:

If the officer believes he has sufficient information that you have violated OVI laws, he will arrest you.  That is, he will take you to jail where you will be asked to take an evidentiary blood alcohol test.  You will be held by the police until you post bail or are released on an own recognizance bond, which is a the legal way of saying that you are released without having to post bail.  During this entire process, you simply need to keep your mouth shut.  Do not assist the police in gathering their information against you.  If they have arrested you, it is inconceivable that you can say anything to help you at this point, though much of what you say will be used against you.  OVI charges are the same as DUI charges.  What used to be referred to as Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is now referred to as Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated (OVI) by the laws of Ohio.

The Evidentiary Test (Breath Test):

The police may attempt to test your blood alcohol content with a urine test, blood test, or much more likely with a breath test.  There are specific guidelines that are required for all of these tests.  There is no right answer to whether you should consent to the evidentiary test.  If you refuse, you will face a license suspension, but your lawyer may be able to avoid the OVI conviction.  If you take the test and score under, it will certainly help you, though the police officer may still charge you with an OVI or other offense.  Drivers with CDLs who refuse lose their CDL for a year, and if they refuse a second time they lose their CDL for life.  If you have prior OVI convictions or have refused in the past, a refusal today can affect you differently.  And more basically, it may depend on whether you had anything to drink and how much.  Generally speaking, it is appropriate to refuse if you have no other OVI convictions or refusals, do not carry a CDL, and would likely receive a high test if you did consent.

The rules with respect to giving these tests are extensive, related to how the test equipment is maintained, how often it is calibrated, how the calibration solution is maintained, the timing of the test must be within 3 hours of the violation but after a senior operator has observed you for twenty minutes, your mouth must be checked for any objects, and the Administrative License Suspension Form must be read to you before you decide whether to submit or refuse.  Additionally, challenges to the test may be made if you have certain health conditions, have belched or vomited during the observation period, if you have dentures or dental apparatus, and even if you are accused of refusing when you did not.

The Administrative License Suspension:

If an officer has reasonable grounds to believe you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a refusal to submit to the evidentiary test, or submitting but blowing over the limit, may result in an administrative license suspension (ALS) through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).  Depending on prior convictions and prior refusals, and the level of the test, these suspensions may be anywhere from 90 days to five years.  Administrative License Suspensions can be challenged, but you must do so immediately, and the Ohio DUI lawyers at Smith's Law Offices have the experience, knowledge, and skills to help you fight such ALS suspensions.

The Arraignment:

The arraignment is your initial appearance where you will be asked to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest in court.  If you wish to challenge your OVI/DUI charge, you should enter a plea of not-guilty and inform the court that you will be obtaining a lawyer.  Better yet, contact a lawyer immediately after your arrest and the arraignment may be avoided by the lawyer filing a not-guilty plea and entering a notice of appearance.  If you cannot afford an attorney and qualify, you may also ask the court to appoint an attorney (i.e., public defender) to you.

Pre-trials:

Once a not-guilty plea is entered, the court will typically schedule at least one pre-trial. This is simply a meeting with the prosecutor to discuss the case.  The prosecutor should share information they have and their position. If there is any outstanding discovery material, your attorney will discuss this with the prosecutor. During those discussions your attorney will see if it is possible to reach an agreement/resolution that is acceptable to you. 

What you can expect is to check in with the clerk when you arrive and to have a seat in the waiting area.  Your attorney will arrive and talk with you before meeting with the prosecutor.  This might happen in a room or at the prosecutor's desk in the courtroom.

Your attorney should then share the progress of those discussions with you.  If they are able to get the prosecutor to make an offer to resolve your case, they should discuss that offer with you. You will be able to ask questions and let your attorney know whether the offer is acceptable to you.  If an agreement is reached, the court might have you go in front of the judge to confirm you reached an agreement.  

If an agreement is not reached, the court will typically schedule another pretrial or give the opportunity to file a suppression motion.  These are motions to try to keep out information the police are planning to use against you. Here is an overview of what to expect at pre-trials - https://youtu.be/Y4g9f38OX6I

Suppression Hearings:

Evidence that was unlawfully or inappropriately obtained against you should be suppressed so the jury never sees or hears it.  This requires a motion to suppress be filed as well as a suppression hearing. The Ohio Judicial Conference published a Motion to Suppress Checklist that reviews some typical OVI suppression issues. Suppression hearings may have a significant impact on your case, if not lead to resolving it completely. The DUI attorneys at Smith's Law Offices can bring their experience and skills to put the State to the test through a suppression hearing.

Trial:

Not all attorneys are trial attorneys, in the sense that many attorneys do not go to trial at all.  They simply plea all of their cases, and even if faced with an occasional trial, they do not have the experience necessary to properly carry the case through trial.  The lawyers at Smith's Law Offices are not just Ohio DUI Lawyers, they are also Trial Lawyers ready, willing, and able to take your case through trial if needed.

Driving Privileges:

Much discretion is left to the trial court to issue driving privileges if your license has been suspended.  These are not limited to just driving back and forth to work, but may also include other daily activities such as driving to school, to doctor appointments, or taking your children to school or day care.

Recent Cases/News

Second-in-Ten OVI Charges Dismissed:
By investigating the breath tests being used against our client, we discovered that the breathalyzer that was used was not properly maintained and calibrated. Using this evidence, our client avoided second-in-ten OVI charges and the mandatory penalties that would have come with those charges.
  
Ottawa County Municipal Court
June 16, 2022
Over-the-Limit OVI Charges Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an OVI after the police initiated a traffic stop for a burnt out headlight and alleged improper turn, completing field sobriety tests, and obtaining a breath test that was over the limit. We aggressively defended against the charges raising issue with the traffic stop, obtaining a dismissal of the OVI charges.
  
Rocky River Municipal Court
June 14, 2022
Second OVI in Ten with Urine Test Results Dismissed:
After our client was stopped for not having his headlights on, he quickly found himself subjected to field sobriety tests, arrested and providing a urine same that showed positive for alcohol. We raised issues regarding the lack of signs of impairment, the field sobriety tests and the reliability of the urine test result that also showed positive for glucose. When glucose is present, there is the possibility that the sample can ferment and create alcohol. As a result of these challenges, an agreement was reached to dismiss the OVI charges with our client pleading to a non-moving citation instead.
  
Fremont Municipal Court
May 31, 2022
Marijuana OVI Charges Completely Dismissed:
After our client's car got stuck, he found the police were called, he was arrested, and he was subjected to a urine test. Casual users of marijuana, even if they have a medical card, often find themselves subjected to OVI charges when urine test results come back showing use - even though not use on the day of citation. Through a thorough evaluation of the urine test results and raising issues with the tests, we were able to obtain a complete dismissal of all OVI charges against our client.
  
Oberlin Municipal Court
May 18, 2022
OVI Charges Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an OVI after she tested over-the-limit on a breath test. We obtained an agreement to dismiss the charges with her pleading to a non-moving citation instead. This saved her from points to her license, the impact to her auto insurance, from a year-long license suspension and from having to attend the driver's intervention program.
  
Rocky River Municipal Court
May 5, 2022
Over-the-Limit OVI Charges Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an OVI after a traffic stop in the winter during which she agreed to perform field sobriety tests in her socks as opposed to her boots. We fought the charges, filing a suppression motion and scheduling a hearing. We raised issues regarding the reason for the stop, whether there was a reasonable suspicion sufficient to justify expanding stop into an OVI investigation, whether the field sobriety tests were performed correctly given the circumstances, and whether the breath test result was reliable and admissible. As a result, we obtained dismissal of all OVI charges.
  
Rocky River Municipal Court
April 28, 2022
Assault Charges Completely Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an assault after an altercation, during which the police relied entirely on the other person's version of events. By raising several evidentiary issues with the case, we obtained a dismissal of the charges for our client.
  
Ottawa County Municipal Court
March 30, 2022
Over-the-Limit OVI Charges Dismissed:
After our client was stopped by the policy, they immediately suspected that she was impaired despite having a medical condition that could present symptoms that could be confused with impairment. However, she was arrested for an OVI and provided a breath test that was over-the-limit. Through leveraging missing information in the police reports and explaining how the medical condition could have affected the officer's interpretation of events, we obtained a dismissal of the OVI charges.
  
Ottawa Municipal Court
March 22, 2022
OVI Charges Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an OVI and an over-the-limit test, but through our representation, we obtained a dismissal of the charges.
  
Rocky River Municipal Court
March 1, 2022
OVI With Over-the-Limit Test Dismissed:
Our client was pulled over after a caller made a tip and he found himself ultimately charged with an OVI after providing an over-the-limit test. He, like many, had Great Lakes Christmas Ale, which is a stronger beer. In the end, the OVI was dismissed with a plea to a non-moving violation.
  
Huron Municipal Court
February 15, 2022
High BAC OVI Dismissed
After being stopped for having a license plate light out, our client found herself subjected to field sobriety tests, placed under arrest, given a breath test, and charged with an OVI. As a result of our representation, the OVI charge was dismissed.
  
Rocky River Municipal Court
January 25, 2022
Over-the-Limit OVI Charge Dismissed:
Our client was stopped for a marked lanes violation. Rather than simply issuing a citation, the police expanded and prolonged the traffic stop to investigate a suspected OVI based solely on our client's bloodshot eyes. We raised arguments with respect to whether this was sufficient cause to expand and prolong the determination while we also challenge breath test results based on the maintenance and calibration of the breath test machine. As a result, the OVI charges were dismissed.
  
Ottawa County Municipal Court
January 24, 2022
OVI Charges with Urine Test Results Dismissed:
After our client was involved in an auto accident, he found himself arrested and charged with an OVI. He also provided a urine sample to evaluate. The OVI was ultimately dismissed and our client received only a non-moving citation instead.
  
Euclid Municipal Court
January 19, 2022
Marijuana OVI Charge Dismissed:
After being pulled over for having a headlight out, our client found himself being asked to submit to field sobriety tests, arrested, and providing a urine sample. The state, however, failed to provide the urine test results until five days before the trail. After motions to compel and motions to exclude evidence of the late urine test and other evidence, we obtained a dismissal of the OVI. This saved our client from an OVI conviction on his record, six points to his driving record and a year-long minimum license suspension.
  
Norwalk Municipal Court
January 6, 2022
Second-in-Ten OVI Charges Dismissed:
After experiencing a flat tire, our client found the police arrive to put him through field sobriety tests and have him submit to a breath test that resulted in a high reading. Facing a mandatory minimum of twenty-days of jail for a second-in-ten OVI, he contacted us for help. In addition to arguing his case, we showed that the prior OVI was from another state and Ohio could not show it was an actual DUI conviction. As a result, our client avoided a second-in-ten OVI and any jail time.
  
Elyria Municipal Court
January 4, 2022
OVI Charges Dismissed - CDL Saved:
Our client faced a disqualification of his CDL after being charged with an OVI. Through aggressive representation, we achieved a dismissal of his OVI charges and resolved the case with no license suspension and no loss of his CDL.
  
Ottawa County Municipal Court
December 22, 2021
OVI Charges Dismissed:
After our client was charged with an OVI, we obtained a copy of the police reports and videos that showed very few signs of impairment. We used this evidence to push forward in obtaining a dismissal of the OVI charges.
  
Erie County Municipal Court
December 22, 2021
Commercial Drivers License Saved after OVI Charge:
Our client carried a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) for work. CDL's are disqualified for one-year after a first-time OVI and for life after a second-time OVI. When our client was charged with an OVI, we worked diligently with the prosecutor and court to obtain a dismissal of the OVI charges as well as getting his administrative license suspension vacated to save his job and CDL.
  
Ottawa County Municipal Court
November 29, 2021
OVI Charges Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an OVI after a traffic stop and refusing to take a breath test. By proceeding with great care, we were able to reach a dismissal of the OVI charge, saving our client from a year-long license suspension and high points to her license
  
Strongsville Mayor's Court
November 23, 2021
OVI Charges Dismissed:
Although our client was stopped for speeding and ultimately provided an over-the-limit breath test, we worked his case to the fullest extent possible to obtain an agreement to dismiss the charges with a plea to a non-moving citation instead. As a result, he was saved from points to his license and a year-long license suspension.
  
Sandusky County Court - Clyde
November 18, 2021
OVI Charges Dismissed and Driver's License Suspension Avoided:
Our client was charged with an OVI after submitting to both breath and urine tests. Through researching the discovery material from the State, proactive steps and negotiations with the prosecutor, and agreement was reached to dismiss the OVI charges saving our client from the strict OVI penalties and avoiding any license suspension
  
Olmsted Falls Mayor's Court
November 2, 2021
Marijuana OVI Charges Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an OVI, for testing over the limit for THC metabolites, possession of marijuana, paraphernalia and speeding in a school zone. Through researching her case and analyzing the reports, video and testing results, we raised several legal arguments for her that lead to a dismissal of all of these charges, with her instead pleading to a non-moving violation. Her license suspension was also vacated.
  
Sandusky County Court - Woodville
October 27, 2021
Refusal OVI Charges Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an OVI after a traffic stop, standardized field sobriety tests, and refusing a breath test. Through extensive negotiations, we prevailed in obtaining a dismissal of the OVI charge with our client accepting a plea to a lesser citation and without the harsh penalties and effects of an OVI conviction.
  
Elyria Municipal Court
October 7, 2021
Refusal OVI Charges Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an OVI, and refused a breath test, after the police got involved because his vehicle was stuck off the side of the road. Through extensive negotiations and planning, an agreement was reached to dismiss the OVI charges with our client pleading to a non-moving citation instead.
  
Vermilion Municipal Court
October 5, 2021
Over-the-Limit OVI Charges Dismissed:
A police officer initiated a traffic stop after allegedly receiving a telephone call reporting an impaired driver. The traffic stop resulted an OVI charges that would have brought a mandatory one-year license suspension and the potential for jail time. However, we obtained a dismissal of the charges with our client pleading to another traffic offense. This avoided an OVI on his record and year-long license suspension.
  
North Ridgeville Mayor's Court
September 15, 2021
OVI with .232 BAC Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an OVI after a traffic stop and providing a breath test result that the police alleged to be .232, well over the legal limit. However, after extensive negotiations an agreement was reached to dismiss the OVI, with our client agreeing to a non-moving citation instead, preventing a year-long license suspension and points to his driving record.
  
Cleveland Municipal Court
August 31, 2021
OVI Charges Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an OVI after failing field sobriety tests and refusing a breath test. However, through researching the reports and body cam, and through negotiations with the prosecutor, we achieved an agreement to dismiss the OVI in exchange for a plea to a non-moving violation with no license suspension, no points to her license, no jail, and no drivers intervention program.
  
Parma Municipal Court
August 23, 2021
OVI Charges Dismissed - Saving Military Career:
By raising issues with respect to a traffic stop, we were able to reach an agreement that avoided an OVI charge or any alcohol related charge, which would have caused our client a great deal of concern with his military career and security clearances.
  
Erie County Municipal Court
August 4, 2021
OVI Charges Dismissed:
After raising several evidentiary issues, we were able to persuade the prosecutor and judge to agree to a dismissal of the charges with our client pleading to merely a minor misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $150.00, no license suspension, no jail, no probation, and no driver's intervention program.
  
Sandusky County Court - Clyde
August 3, 2021
Third in 10 OVI Dismissed:
Our client was charged with a third-in-ten OVI, which carries with it for a refusal case 60 days of jail, forfeiture of the vehicle, mandatory license suspension and high fines. However, by raising evidentiary issues regarding proof of his operating a vehicle and taking other proactive steps, an agreement was reached to dismiss the OVI charges with our client pleading to a non-moving citation instead.
  
Elyria Municipal Court
July 12, 2021
Hit and Skip Penalties Avoided:
Our client was charged with a violation of Revised Code 4549.02, a hit and skip statute, after an accident involving a fire hydrant and bushes. That statute, however, applies only to accidents on the road. Because it carries with it 4 points, a mandatory license suspension and the possibility of up to 6 months in jail, he chose to hire use to help protect himself. We addressed the issue that he was charged under the wrong statute through extensive negotiations and legal briefs. On the day of trial, we prevailed with our arguments and our client escaped this ordeal with a fine of $350, but no license suspension, no jail time and no probation.
  
Avon Lake Municipal Court
July 8, 2021
OVI Charges Dismissed:
Through extensive negotiations, we were able to obtain a dismissal of OVI charges against our client.
  
Huron Municipal Court.
June 29, 2021
OVI Charges Dismissed:
Despite having an over-the-limit test, we succeeded it getting OVI charges against our client dismissed on the first court date.
  
Painesville Municipal Court
June 22, 2021
Over-the-Limit OVI Charges Dismissed:
Our client was cited for an OVI when he tested over the legal limit during a traffic stop. Through extensive preparation and negotiations, we reached an agreement with the prosecutor to dismiss the OVI charges with a plea to a non-moving citation instead, which saved our client for a year-long license suspension, points to his license and the implications of an OVI conviction on future job opportunities.
  
Lorain Municipal Court
June 16, 2021
OVI Charges Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an OVI after being involved in an auto accident on slushy roads and testing over the legal limit. We raised arguments, pointing out that many clues of impairment were missing. As a result, an agreement was reached to dismiss the OVI charges.
  
Elyria Municipal Court.
May 26, 2021
OVI Charges Dismissed:
After extensive preparation and negotiations in this case, on the morning of the trial, an agreement was reached from the State to dismiss the OVI charges against our client with him agreeing to plead to a non-moving citation instead.
  
Cleveland Municipal Court
May 24, 2021
OVI DUS Dismissed:
Our client was charged as the result of driving under an administrative license from an OVI charge. Such a driving under an OVI suspension carries with it mandatory jail time, an additional license suspension and high fines. We showed the court that there were problems with the citation that was issued and argued that he should not have been placed under the license suspension to begin with. As a result, the prosecutor offered to dismiss the OVI charge and have our client agree to a minor misdemeanor charge with only at $100.00 fine. Our client and agreed and the case was resolved in his favor.
  
Ottawa County Municipal Court
May 21, 2021
OVI With Breath Test Dismissed:
Despite the fact that the police obtained a breath test showing our client over the legal limit, though negotiations an agreement was reached to dismiss the OVI charges with our client pleading instead to a non-moving citation.
  
Vermilion Municipal Court
May 18, 2021
Second in 10 OVI, Two Attempted Drug Possession Charges, and Drug Paraphernalia Charge Dismissed:
Our client was charged with a second-in-ten OVI as well as two first-degree misdemeanor drug possession charges and a drug paraphernalia charge after a police officer initiated a traffic stop due to an alleged marked lanes violation. After receiving discovery, reviewing video of the traffic stop and completing suppression motions, an agreement was reached to dismiss all of these charges in exchange for a plea to a fourth-degree misdemeanor reckless op charge. Our client was pleased to accept this offer to ensure they were protected from mandatory jail time, a mandatory license suspension, high fines and the potential of six months in jail.
  
Rocky River Municipal Court
May 4, 2021
First-Degree Misdemeanor Hit/Skip Charges Dismissed:
Our client was charged with a hit and skip after he was involved in a single-vehicle accident. In addition to high fines and jail time, the charges brought with them the possibility of a license suspension. Through negotiations with the prosecutor; however, we were able to show that our client was not guilty of the charge. As a result, the charge was dismissed.
  
Oberlin Municipal Court
April 22, 2021
Telephone Communications Charge Dismissed:
Our client was charged with telephone communications harassments. The contact was friendly, was not repetitive, and was non-harassing, we argued to the prosecutor. They agreed to dismiss the charges.
  
Ottawa County Municipal Court
April 14, 2021
OVI, Child Endangerment and Driving Under an OVI Suspension Dismissed:
Our client received multiple charges including an OVI, child endangerment and driving under an OVI suspension. After raising issues about the State's failure to preserve all video and evidentiary issues - including about who was operating the vehicle - an agreement was reached dismissing the charges. By pleading to a simple traffic offence, our client was saved from any jail time, from having to complete a drivers intervention program, from high points to his license, a damaging criminal record, and high fines.
  
Ottawa County Municipal Court
March 24, 2021
Assault Charges Dismissed:
Our client was charged with a fourth-degree misdemeanor assault after an altercation at a store. Though the incident was captured on video and defenses were tenuous at best, extensive negotiations were held that led to a dismissal of the assault charges with our client entering a plea to a much lower disorderly conduct charge. This saved our client from up to six-months in jail, up to a $1,000.00 fine, the impact to his criminal record and potential loss of his job.
  
Euclid Municipal Court
March 17, 2021
OVI Charges Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an OVI after the police observed him get into a vehicle, start it and turn on the lights. We prevailed in showing that an OVI conviction requires actual movement of the vehicle, which did not happen in this case. As a result, the OVI charges were dismissed with our client entering a plea to a non-moving citation instead.
  
Fremont Municipal Court
March 16, 2021
Second Time High Test OVI Dismissed:
Our client was charged with a second-time OVI and a high tier test reading. Through extensive negotiations, we were able to achieve a dismissal of the OVI with our client pleading to a reduced charge of reckless op. This saved our client from high points to her license and harsh OVI mandatory minimums.
  
Painesville Municipal Court
March 16, 2021
OVI Charges Dismissed Due to Medical Issues:
Our client was charged with an OVI. Despite showing some signs of impairment and damage to his vehicle, he submitted to a breath test that showed no alcohol. A search of his vehicle was done that showed no drugs. We presented evidence that he may have been experiencing a medical issue, and as a result the OVI charges were dismissed with him pleading to just a non-moving citation.
  
Rocky River Municipal Court.
March 11, 2021
Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed:
After an argument erupted between our client and his girlfriend, he found himself charged with domestic violence. After obtaining discovery material from the state and thoroughly researching the allegations, we met with the prosecutor and reached an agreement that included a dismissal of the domestic violence charges.
  
Vermilion Municipal Court
February 16, 2021
OVI Charges Dismissed:
Our client was pulled over for speeding and then subjected to field sobriety tests and a chemical test that indicated she was over the legal limit. However, after reviewing discovery material and attending pre-trials, we were able to persuade the prosecutor and judge to agree to dismiss the OVI charges with our client pleading instead to a non-moving traffic citation, saving her from points, jail, a license suspension and high fines.
  
Cleveland Municipal Court
February 10, 2021
ALS Vacated - CDL and Job Saved After OVI Charges:
Our client held a commercial driver's license (CDL) for his employment. After being charged with an OVI, he needed to not only achieve a reduction of the OVI but his administrative license suspension (ALS) needed to be vacated. We achieved exactly that, preserving his CDL and his job.
  
Cleveland Municipal Court.
February 5, 2021
OVI Charges Dismissed:
We represented our client for OVI charges and achieved a dismissal of the charges through intensive negotiations with the prosecutor.
  
Cleveland Municipal Court
January 12, 2021
Second Lifetime OVI with Refusal Dismissed:
Our client was charged with a second lifetime OVI and a refusal. After working with our client, obtaining discovery and negotiating with the prosecutor, an agreement was reached to reduce the OVI to a traffic citation saving our client from high points, jail time, high fines and the impact of an OVI to his driving record and insurance.
  
Huron Municipal Court
November 24, 2020
Second OVI With Over-the-Limit Breath Test Reduced:
Our client was charged with a second OVI with a breath test that was nearly twice the legal limit. However, after successfully presenting both legal challenges and mitigating circumstances, and agreement was reached to reduce the OVI to a non-moving violation, saving our client from high points to his license, jail and a license suspension.
  
Parma Municipal Court
November 18, 2020
Over-the-Limit OVI Reduced:
Our client was cited with an OVI, with an over-the-limit test, after a caller reported him and he was involved in a minor traffic accident. Through meeting with the prosecutor, obtaining and evaluating the police reports and video, we raised issues with regard to the field sobriety tests and breath test. As a result, our client accepted an offer to reduce the OVI to a traffic citation to avoid a year-long license suspension, high points and high fines.
  
Bellevue Municipal Court
November 16, 2020
OVI Dismissed:
Our client was cited with an OVI and for speeding after a traffic stop where the state trooper chose not to provide all of the available field sobriety tests, indicated reasons why the one test that was offered was unreliable, and then failed to offer a breath test or urine test. After pursuing a suppression motion laying out the legal deficiencies of the traffic stop and lack of evidence for the charges, an agreement was reached to dismiss both the speeding ticket and the OVI with our client pleading to a minor misdemeanor traffic citation with a minimal fine and no license suspension.
  
Erie County Municipal Court
November 9, 2020
OVI Charges Dismissed:
OVI charges dismissed against our client, saving them from a license suspension, points to their license and high fines.
  
Put-in-Bay Mayor's Court
September 8, 2020
Resisting Arrest, Drug Paraphernalia and Littering Charges Dismissed:
Our client received a string of charges, including a first-degree misdemeanor resisting arrest charge, after a visit to the islands. We achieved an agreement for our client to plead to a minor misdemeanor charge with a fine of $150.00 in exchange for a dismissal of all other charges.
  
Put-in-Bay Mayor's Court
September 4, 2020
OVI, Hit-and-Skip, Seatbelt, and Resisting Arrest Charges Dismissed:
Our client received several first-degree misdemeanor charges (OVI, Hit-and-Skip, Resisting Arrest). However, as we argued her case we also argued that the state failed to provide body cam footage that it had available. As a result, all of the charges were dismissed in exchange for a plea to a non-moving traffic citation.
  
Put-in-Bay Mayor's Court
September 4, 2020
OVI Dismissed - No License Suspension:
Our client was charged with an OVI due to a suspicion of driving while under the influence of narcotics. We showed the prosecutor and judge that this was only a suspicion, lacking of sufficient evidence to prove our client was impaired. An agreement was reached to dismiss the OVI, with our client pleading to just a traffic citation. This saved our client from high points to his license, a license suspension and high fines.
  
Norwalk Municipal Court
September 2, 2020
OVI Dismissed and CDL Saved:
Our client was a CDL driver, who had only 90 days to resolve a license suspension imposed as a result of an OVI, else he would lose his union job. We were able to reach an agreement to have our ALS appeal granted - thereby saving his CDL and job. We also had the OVI reduced in exchange or a citation for a non-moving violation.
  
Brooklyn Mayor's Court
July 14, 2020
OVI with Over-the-Limit Test Dismissed:
The police charged our client due to a suspicion of impaired driving and as a result a breath test was conducted that resulted in an over-the-limit test. We filed a suppression motion to keep out the breath test, raising arguments about the stop, field sobriety tests and breath test. As a result of raising those arguments and through negotiations, an agreement was reached to dismiss the OVI charges, with our client pleading to a non-moving citation and simple traffic ticket instead.
  
Rocky River Municipal Court
July 2, 2020
OVI Charges Dismissed:
Although our client was charged with an OVI, we successfully raised issues regarding whether the State could prove that he was actually operating a motor vehicle. After extensive negotiations with the prosecutor and discussions with the judge, and agree was reached for the State to dismiss the OVI charges in exchange for a plea to a non-moving violation.
  
Euclid Municipal Court
July 1, 2020
OVI Charges Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an OVI after a third party made a report of drunk driving. During negotiations with the prosecutor, we argued that the State's evidence was almost entirely dependent upon the unreliable testimony of a lay witness. The prosecutor and judge ultimately agreed, result in an offer and acceptance of a complete dismissal of the OVI charges.
  
Rocky River Municipal Court
June 23, 2020
OVI Charges Brought After an Accident Dismissed:
Our client was accused of being involved in a single car accident. The police arrived at our client's home after the accident and charged her with an OVI because they believed she had drinks. We argued that the police had no evidence to show that she did not have a drink AFTER the accident when she got home. Consequently, the OVI charges were reduced to a non-moving violation, saving our client from points to her license, jail, high fines, points to her license and an OVI on her record.
  
North Ridgeville Mayor's Court
June 17, 2020
Over-the-Limit OVI Dismissed:
Our client was pulled over due to an alleged marked lanes violation and ultimately cited with and OVI as well. After extensive negotiations and a suppression motion raising issues regarding the reason for the traffic stop, cause for expanding the stop, probable cause for arrest, and issues with the field sobriety tests, we were able to obtain a dismissal of the OVI. Instead there was a plea to a non-moving violation. This saved our client from an OVI on her record, a year-long license suspension, a mandatory drivers intervention program, jail time, points to her license and a high fine.
  
Rocky River Municipal Court
June 2, 2020
OVI Dismissed:
After our client was charged with a traffic citation and an OVI, we aggressively argued her case with the State and were able to obtain a dismissal of the OVI charge, saving our client from high points, jail time, having to attend a drivers intervention program and from any license suspension.
  
Portage County Municipal Court - Kent
May 27, 2020
OVI With Head-on Collision Reduced:
Our client was involved in a head-on collision, after which she was charged with an OVI and tested over-the-limit. Although many factors weighed against her, we fought for her and obtained a reduction to a reckless op charge. This lead to an immediate return of her license, vacating the $475 reinstatement fee, avoiding high points to her license, and without any requirement for her to attend jail or a drivers intervention program.
  
Sandusky Municipal Court
May 22, 2020
Accident OVI Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an OVI after a car accident. After extensive negotiations at the Mayor's court and then the Municipal Court, an agreement was reached to dismiss the OVI with a plea to a non-moving violation instead. This saved our client from jail, points to her license, a lengthy license suspension, and the impact to her job.
  
Parma Municipal Court
May 18, 2020
OVI, Possession and Paraphernalia Charges Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an OVI, drug possession and drug paraphernalia charges after an accident. Negotiations with the prosecutor and discussions with the judge resulted in a dismissal of the drug possession and paraphernalia charges and an agreement to reduce the OVI to a simple motor vehicle equipment violation, saving our client from high fines, high points to his license, disqualification from student aid, a license suspension and other implications.
  
Sandusky Municipal Court
May 6, 2020
Second OVI in Ten and Refusal Dismissed:
After our client was charged with a second OVI in ten years, with enhanced penalties due to a refusal to submit to a breath test, we provided an aggressive defense by demanding all reports, videos and documentation and used that evidence to craft a suppression motion detailing significant issues with the State's case. We arrived at the court the day of the suppression hearing ready to pull apart the State's case, though further negotiations resulted in an offer for a plea to a reduced traffic charge saving our client from all mandatory jail time, another OVI on his record, high fines, high points to his driving record, and potential loss of his job.
  
Ottawa County Municipal Court
April 17, 2020
Wrong Way Driver OVI Dismissed:
Our client entered the wrong road to a state park and was ultimately charged with an over-the-limit OVI after urine test results were returned. After filing a suppression motion raising issues regarding whether the one-way road was properly marked and whether the police had sufficient suspicion of impairment to justify expanding and prolonging the traffic stop, the State agreed to dismiss the OVI charges with our client pleading to a traffic offense. This saved our client from high fines, from a one-year license suspension, six-points to his license, and due to our client's need for security clearances it saved him his job.
  
Ottawa County Municipal Court
April 16, 2020
Over-the-Limit OVI Dismissed:
Our client was charge with a regular OVI and an over-the-limit OVI after she was pulled over for a headlight issue and given a breath test. After attending a pre-trial, filing a suppression motion, and attending a hearing; the prosecutor and judge agreed to an offer to dismiss the OVI charges in exchange to a plea to a traffic charge. Important in this case was an argument about the State Trooper prolonging the detention to investigate an OVI with little evidence of an OVI, and the Trooper's claim that our client's speech was slow and slurred despite the video showing clear, articulate and responsive speech.
  
Ottawa County Municipal Court
March 16, 2020
Over-the-Limit OVI Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an over-the-limit OVI and traffic citations. After reviewing several issues with the prosecutor, an agreement was reached to dismiss the OVI charges, with our client pleading instead to two traffic citations.
  
Huron Municipal Court
March 13, 2020
Third Lifetime OVI Charges Dismissed:
Our client was charged with a third-lifetime OVI charge with the police officer claiming he failed all field sobriety tests. By raising legal arguments with respect to each of the tests and probable cause to arrest, an agreement was reached at a suppression hearing to dismiss the OVI charges with our client pleading to a reckless op. charge instead. By doing so, we were able to help our client keep his job.
  
Ottawa County Municipal Court
March 9, 2020
Second OVI Within 10 Years Dismissed:
Through extensive discussions with the prosecutor, an agreement was reached to dismiss OVI charges for a second-in-ten with an over the limit chemical test, agreeing to a non-moving violation with no points and no jail time instead.
  
Cleveland Municipal Court
February 18, 2020
OVI Charges Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an OVI after allegedly failing two of three field sobriety tests and providing a breath test that was over the limit. After reviewing the police reports and video, we were able to argue that the State had issues with its case. As a result, an agreement was reached to dismiss the OVI charge, with our client pleading to a non-moving traffic citation instead.
  
Cleveland Municipal Court.
February 18, 2020
Drug OVI Charges Dismissed:
Our client was subjected to a urine test for suspicion of drugs and charged with an OVI. After conducting a thorough investigation into the case, we raised evidence that our client was not, in fact, impaired. The prosecutor ultimately agreed to dismiss the OVI charges, accepting a plea to a minor misdemeanor instead with only a small fine.
  
Western Ashtabula County Court
February 18, 2020
OVI Charges Dismissed:
After reviewing discovery responses including police reports and video, we met with the prosecutor and persuaded him to dismiss OVI charges against our client, resulting in an immediate return of her drivers license.
  
Norwalk Municipal Court
February 11, 2020
OVI Charges Dismissed While License and Job Saved:
Our client was a CDL holder and charged with an OVI. We initially persuaded the the court to stay the administrative license suspension so our client could get back to work. When then persuaded the court to dismiss the OVI and vacate the administrative license suspension to save our clients CDL and job.
  
Bedford Municipal Court
January 28, 2020
OVI Completely Dismissed:
Our client was pulled over for speeding and not wearing a seatbelt. He was ultimately arrested and charged with an OVI as well. We challenged the state's failure to preserve video from back-up state troopers who arrived, achieving a ruling that the four back-up officers could not testify as a result. The State threatened additional felony charges from an allegation that our client got a replacement driver’s license while his was suspended. We responded that this was coercion, designed to pressure our client into a plea. While awaiting the jurors to be called in for trial, we achieved a complete dismissal of the OVI, promise not to bring other charges, and a waiver of costs for calling in a jury.
  
Cleveland Municipal Court
December 16, 2019
OVI Charges Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an OVI; however, after extensive negotiations the OVI charges were dismissed.
  
Huron Municipal Court
December 10, 2019
Over-the-Limit OVI Dismissed:
Although the State had a BAC test to use in their case, we reached a resolution resulting a dismissal of OVI charges, saving our client from a mandatory one-year license suspension, high fines and jail.
  
Elyria Municipal Court
October 24, 2019
Another OVI Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an OVI even though his breath test was slightly under the legal limit. The police can do this if they believe they have sufficient evidence of impairment regardless of the breath test results. We were able to argue that the other evidence in this case was weak, and as a result an agreement was reached to dismiss the OVI, thus saving our client from any license suspension and from high fines and high points to his license.
  
Vermilion Municipal Court
October 22, 2019
High Tier OVI Dismissed:
Our client was charged with a high tier OVI after she blow over 0.17 during a traffic stop; however, we reached an agreement for her to have the OVI dismissed, leaving only a non-moving citation. As a result, she was saved from points to her license, the impact to her auto insurance and mandatory jail time.
  
Sheffield Village Mayor's Court
October 17, 2019
Second OVI in 10 Dismissed:
Our client was charged with a refusal second OVI in ten years, which would have carried with it a mandatory twenty days in jail. We pushed forward with evidence that she was not actually the operator of the motor vehicle and reached an agreement for her to have the OVI dismissed, receiving only a non-moving citation instead.
  
Sandusky Municipal Court
October 11, 2019
OVI Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an OVI after allegedly rolling through a stop sign and marked lanes violations. We obtained an agreement for her to have the OVI dismissed with just a traffic citation instead. She was happy to have been saved from a non-expungable OVI on her record, high points to her license, and other implications of an OVI.
  
Ottawa County Municipal Court
October 7, 2019
OVI With Pedestrian Accident Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an OVI after a pedestrian accident that resulted in no injuries, even though our client took a breath test that showed he was under the limit for alcohol. The State then claimed that he was impaired due to prescription medications. After raising arguments through pre-trials and motions regarding the State's need to show a nexus between the prescriptions and any impairment, we were able to get the OVI dismissed and the license suspension terminated.
  
Akron Municipal Court
October 7, 2019
Over-The-Limit OVI Dismissed:
Our client was charged with an over-the-limit OVI as well as other traffic citations. After raising evidentiary issues through a suppression motion and negotiating with the prosecutor, and agreement was reached to dismiss the OVI and traffic citations in exchange for a plea to a non-moving violation. Our client was protected from an OVI on his record, increased auto-insurance rates and other implications of an OVI.
  
Fremont Municipal Court
October 1, 2019
Second in 20 Refusal OVI Reduced
After much discussion and negotiation, as well as a suppression motion, we are able to reach an agreement to reduce a second in twenty OVI, with an alleged refusal, to a reckless op. charge. We were additionally able to vacate the administrative license suspension saving our client from the reinstatement fee.
  
Norwalk Municipal Court
August 28, 2019
OVI, Marked Lanes and Speeding Charges Reduced to Non-Moving Violation:
After extensive negotiations and taking steps to mitigate the charges, a resolution was reached where charges of an OVI, marked lanes and speeding were reduced to a non-moving violation, saving our client from jail, points to their driving record, a reinstatement fee to the BMV, and a one-year license suspension.
  
Sheffield Village Mayor's Court
August 23, 2019
Hit & Skip Charges Dismissed:
Our client was alleged to have violated the law by hitting a fence post and leaving the scene. After arguing that the correct statute provides twenty-four hours to report an accident involving property other than another motor vehicle and demonstrating that our client's driving record was otherwise clean, an agreement was reached to dismiss the hit and skip charges entirely.
  
Middleburg Heights Mayor's Court
August 21, 2019
OVI Dismissed
Our client was charged with a second lifetime OVI among other citations. After negotiations with the prosecutor and a motion for discovery sanctions, the court agreed to dismiss the OVI charge resulting in a plea to a non-moving violation with no jail, no drivers intervention program and no points to his drivers license.
  
Norwalk Municipal Court
July 19, 2019
OVI and Possession Charges Dismissed
After extensive negotiations with the prosecutor, it was agreed to dismiss OVI, possession and paraphernalia charges in exchange for a plea to a non-moving violation, saving our client from high fines, points to his license and jail time.
  
Shaker Heights Municipal Court
July 1, 2019
OVI Charges Entirely Dismissed:
Our client was observed in a parked vehicle and cited with an OVI because the police officer believed sitting in a running vehicle was operating for the purposes of an OVI. After demonstrating that "operating" requires actual movement of the vehicle, and therefore being parked in a vehicle is not an OVI, all charges were dismissed entirely.
  
Norwalk Municipal Court
June 20, 2019
OVI Dismissed - No License Suspension:
Discussions with the prosecutor resulted in a dismissal of the OVI, saving our client from a license suspension, points to his license, high fines and jail time.
  
Rocky River Municipal Court
May 28, 2019
Second Lifetime OVI Dismissed:
Our client was stopped for allegedly failing to use a turn signal on a small residential street. The traffic stop escalated, ultimately resulting in his second lifetime OVI charge. After raising issues with respect to the stop through a suppression motion, an agreement was reached to dismiss the OVI with our client agreeing to a reckless op. charge instead, saving him from jail time, a long license suspension, six points to his driving record and a non-expungeable second OVI conviction.
  
Painesville Municipal Court
May 7, 2019
OVI, Drug Paraphernalia and Traffic Charges Dismissed:
Our client was stopped by the police for failing to display a license plate, even though she had appropriately and legally displayed her temporary tags in her rear window. She was ultimately charged with a drug OVI, drug paraphernalia and failing to display her license plate. After negotiations with the prosecutor and discussions with the judge, an agreement was reached to dismiss the OVI, drug and license plate charges in exchange for a plea to a traffic citation - protecting our client from any license suspension, high fines and jail.
  
Erie County Municipal Court
April 10, 2019
Aggravated Menacing, Domestic Violence and TPO Violation Charges Dismissed:
While appearing for a trial, we made clear that for the second time the prosecution was unable to proceed with their case. As a result, the State dismissed all charges against our client.
  
Rocky River Municipal Court
April 2, 2019
Drug Charges Dismissed:
Our client was charged received two drug charges and an underage possession of alcohol charge. We negotiated a dismissal of all drug charges and a diversion program for the remaining misdemeanor charge. Once our client completes the diversion program, the misdemeanor charge will also be dismissed and sealed protecting , his clean criminal record while avoiding jail and high fines.
  
Rocky River Municipal Court
March 12, 2019
Second OVI and Administrative License Suspension Dismissed:
At a suppression hearing, it was agreed that the State could not make its case that the police had a lawful reason to initiate a traffic stop for an alleged marked lanes violation. As a result, the OVI charges and all traffic charges were dismissed and the Administrative License Suspension was vacated.
  
Avon Lake Municipal Court
February 27, 2019
Administrative License Suspension Appeal Won:
Administrative License Suspensions ("ALS") should only be imposed when the police have probable cause to arrest an individual for an OVI or physical control and that person either refuses a chemical test or takes the test and scores over the legal limit. In our case, the individual took a urine test and the police, without yet receiving any results from the test, placed the person under an ALS. We were able to get the ALS thrown out (vacated) in an attempt to help our client get back to driving and avoid reinstatement fees.
  
Erie County Municipal Court
February 25, 2019
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While we typically encourage and provide free consultations every day, Mr. Smith will be unavailable to provide consultations until August 3, 2021. He will be available for free consultations after that time.

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Please keep in mind that the success of any legal matter depends on the unique circumstances of each case and we cannot guarantee particular results for future clients based on successes we have achieved in past legal matters.

Main Office:
20545 Center Ridge Road, Ste. 215
Rocky River, OH 44116