Arrested for OVI? This Plan of Action Will Get You Ready To Defend The Charges
If you have just been charged with an OVI or other crime, you are probably anxious and nervous about the whole situation. You are probably asking yourself, What do I do now?
The first thing you need to know is that you cannot fight this alone, without representation. OVI cases are too complex and detailed to have any hope of successfully navigating the court system alone. If you go it alone, you will most likely be found guilty and at the mercy of the court as to your sentence.
At the Huey Defense Firm, the most important first step is for us to meet with you and learn more about you, like who you are, what is important to you, and what we can do to help you get the best resolution possible out of this incident. Contact us now so we can schedule an office consultation with you, and see below for how you can start helping yourself now!
How Can I Help Myself Now?
There are several steps you can take right away to help you prepare the best defense you can. See the 5 things I can do right now to help my defense. These 5 steps are part of the detailed process we walk you through when you first come into our office to meet with us. Reviewing these steps now can help you better understand our process and more about the case against you, and help us prepare the best possible defense for you. Our website has many of the resources you will need in following these 5 steps. You can also start our short intake form to schedule a consultation at any time. Start Now!!
Learn About the Charges Against You
The first thing you should do is review the ticket you were given and review the charges against you. Most of our clients are surprised or confused by the fact that they have often been charged with more than 1 type of OVI. In Ohio, there are more than 20 different ways to commit an OVI, and you can be charged with multiple types.
For example, nearly everybody charged with an OVI has been charged with a violation of RC4511.19(A)(1)(a). That offense is what we call the OVI- impaired, and it is the “old fashioned” type of OVI; the State will have to prove that you were actually under the influence and impaired by alcohol to convict you. If you have been charged with a violation of (A)(1)(b) through (e), that means you took a breath or other chemical test and were also charged with being over the limit. We call that a per se charge, because the State does not need to prove you were impaired, just that the test was accurate and you were at a prohibited level of alcohol. If you were charged with a violation of (A)(1)(f) through (i), that means you were charged with having a high tier chemical test — one that is more than double the legal limit. There are also multiple forms of drug OVIs and an enhanced OVI charged under (A)(2) if you refused and had a prior OVI conviction within 20 years. Check your ticket to see the exact types of OVI you were charged with.
Read More About The Charges Against You
Review the Penalties You Face
Understanding the potential OVI penalties is one of the most difficult aspects of any OVI case. The penalties change depending on the specific type of OVI you were charged with, whether you tested or refused, and the number of prior OVI offenses you have within 10 or 20 years. Luckily, here at the Huey Defense Firm, we have prepared detailed charts laying out all of the penalties you face on an OVI charge. See penalty charts now. As you can see from the charts, if you have been charged with a high tier chemical test or refusal with a prior, your possible jail time can double. We don’t mean to scare you, but an OVI conviction carries with it serious penalties, including the possibility of a lengthy license suspension. When you meet with us, we will discuss the potential penalties you face and your specific needs to help us prepare a defense to keep this OVI from ruining your life!
Understand the Evidence Against You
Another important consideration when evaluating an OVI case is the type of, and strength of, the evidence against you. Most of our clients are shocked the first time they read the police report and see all the seemingly innocuous actions that the officer thought was evidence of your impairment. Please read our evidence against you page for a detailed description of the types of evidence the police will use against you.
When we meet with you in our office, we like to discuss with you the specific details of your interaction with the police, including your performance on the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs). As you will read more about below, it is important to get your perspective on everything that happened roadside. Police officers are in the business of convicting you of OVI. Their report and actions are designed to show you in the worst possible light regarding the level of your impairment. We need your help in helping us understand what REALLY happened, so we can challenge the evidence appropriately. See #5, below, about how you can help yourself make a record of everything that happened to help us.
Familiarize Yourself with the Basic Process of the Court you are in
Navigating the court system can be a stressful experience if you aren’t prepared for what’s ahead. Here at the Huey Defense Firm, we have prepared a guide to help you understand the stages of the court system, what to expect at each stage, and what to expect from the different types of courts.
It is important for your lawyer to get involved as early in the process as possible, as there are actions we can take at every stage of the proceeding to make the process go smoothly and as stress-free as possible. To get started, all you need to do is fill out our short intake form to schedule an office consultation.
Prepare to Build your Defense
Finally, the last thing you can do now to help yourself is start building your defense now. Here at the Huey Defense Firm, we have a detailed process that helps us learn all about you, your needs, and your goals in life to make sure that we can help you achieve the best resolution possible. To help us with that, we have several documents that we ask you to prepare after you have met with us at the office. These documents include:
The Defense Report:
The defense report is a personal narrative by you to provide us with all the facts of the traffic stop and arrest. As we discussed above, the police are in this business to convict you of OVI. That means that the focus of their investigation and report are going to be on all the things they observed that made them believe you were drunk. Remember, OVI is a crime of opinion (that you are too impaired to drive), so the officer’s personal observations carry great weight. However, we know that the officer’s report and even the video is not going to tell us the whole story. Sometimes the officer takes you off camera, or records things that aren’t video-taped. To counter that, we need a narrative from you detailing what happened from your point of view.
We know that trying to sit down and type out everything that happened from memory is a nearly impossible task. That’s why we have created a template and instructions to walk you through the process for creating your narrative.
We will provide that template to you after our office visit; if you want to get started on it now, please see the client resources link to request access.
When you become our client, we become personally invested in making sure you get the best possible outcome. That means we want to get to know you on a personal level, so when we talk to the prosecutor, judge, or even jury they know that we know you and genuinely care about you, and that you just aren’t another nameless, faceless person or “client.” To help us with that, we ask you to provide a bio/background sheet, which tells us who you are and what you have accomplished.
More details on how to complete that will be provided to you or can be found once you request access to our client resources page.
We also have you fill out a medical questionnaire to provide us information on your medical history. This is crucially important to us, because a lot of the evidence that is used against you can actually be significantly impacted by your medical conditions. For example, the breath test machines basically assume you are in perfect health, and there are several medical conditions, including GIRD (gastro-intestinal reflux disease) and diabetes that can impact the machine. In addition, any medical conditions with your eyes, hips, knees, etc. can significantly impact the SFST tests. This information is used by our office to scan for anything that could potentially interfere with your test.
You can access an online version of this questionnaire through the client resources tab.
Driving Needs Form
Finally, we request a driving needs form. One of the most disruptive consequences for an OVI arrest is the immediate loss of license to the Administrative License Suspension. We need to know, right away, what your driving needs are so we can address them as soon as possible. Depending on the court and the specific facts of your case, we will fight to get you driving as soon as possible after your arrest, so you can continue on with your job and family necessities.