Can’t I Just Represent Myself?
There are many opportunities and much potential for Law Enforcement to make mistakes and/or violate your rights.
An OVI DUI typically begins with a traffic stop. If the traffic stop is not valid, then all the “evidence” collected by law enforcement after the stop can be suppressed so it cannot be used against you at trial.
Requesting Field Sobriety Tests Be Done
After a valid traffic stop, law enforcement must have a “reasonable articulable suspicion” to request that a person submit to field sobriety testing. If law enforcement cannot meet this standard, the field sobriety tests cannot be used against you in court.
Conducting Field Sobriety Testing
Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) have very specific guidelines that Law Enforcement must substantially comply with for the tests to be admissible and for them to be used as probable cause for arrest. Attorney Bucher is trained and certified in the same program utilized by law enforcement. These standards range from the appropriate conditions for testing, what must be said, specific questions that must be asked, what effect specific medical conditions have on testing, and how long the tests must take to name a few. An attorney that knows the tests well, to the smallest details, can identify mistakes and irregularities that display to the court that the “substantial compliance” standard was not met. Please click on the link to the left for more on Standardized Field Sobriety Testing
Breath Testing (“Blowing”)
Breath Testing is a heavily regulated area with a vast amount of standards to adhere to. Operators and Calibrators must be properly certified, the machines must be calibrated at minimum time intervals, calibration solutions must be stored in certain ways, tests must be done within certain time constraints, records must be properly maintained, a plethora of standards must be adhered to in taking individual tests (these machines are not the simple devices that are often seen in bars that give instant readings for a quarter), and even if all that is done correctly the machine must be monitored for scheduled maintenance and unscheduled repairs (sometimes very major repairs) that took place, OR SHOULD HAVE TAKEN PLACE, around the time of your test. There is much potential to attack breath testing which can result in suppression of the test result. This is a time of much change and upheaval in Ohio Breath Testing, please click the “Breath Testing” link on the left for more information.
Blood / Urine Testing
Blood and Urine testing is subject to not only regulations established by the Ohio Department of Health, but also to medical standards and laboratory standards. Identification of deviation from these standards can result in the test being suppressed at a pre-trial stage or the result’s reliability being undermined at trial. Please click the link tot he left for more information.
Your specific medical circumstance and physical limitations can cause both field sobriety testing and brethalyzation to be wildly inaccurate. Essentially a person can appear to be impaired when they are not and certain conditions can cause false increases in the BAC readings that the machine generate. You must have an attorney well educated in OVI / DUI matters to identify these issues.
While these are some of the major areas to look at, they do not create anywhere near an exhaustive list. There is specialized case law and established procedures regarding the handling of blood and urine when those testing procedures are utilized. Chains of custody must be established and maintained. Typical constitutional protections like Mirandizing (reading of rights) must be done appropriately or verbal statements can be excluded. Issues with video (typically dash cameras and personal audio recorders) have recently caused some changes in the case law regarding due process violations. The list goes on and on.
Without a competent OVI DUI Attorney, you will never know if these regulations were followed; if your test (if taken) was accurate; or if your rights were violated.
This can be the difference between an OVI, a reduction, or a dismissal. This is true in every case, even those where the client may think he has no chance.
There is no standard sentence or penalty for a first offense OVI — only mandatory minimum penalties that can include compulsory jail (not weekend program) time.
Convictions, even for a first offense, can result in suspension of your license for up to three years, jail time, increased rates of (or cancellation of) auto insurance, increased rates for life insurance, extensive periods with absolutely no ability to legally drive, restricted (yellow) plates, ignition interlock (blow to drive), and consequently, loss of employment or difficulty getting a new job. There is no “set sentence” for first offenders, only mandatory minimum sentences and penalties.
Your attorney must understand the intricacies of the law and the proclivities of the particular courts and jurisdictions in which you are going to have the matter heard. Understanding how this pertains to OVI – DUI cases is significant. Some courts place OVI offenders on active probations, some restrict the driving privileges further than the law dictates, some require restricted plates more readily than others. First time offenders are placed in JAIL in some instances, not just weekend programs.