DUI / OVI Overview
A DUI is a criminal conviction that cannot be expunged (meaning it stays with you for the rest of your life), and it must be disclosed on job, housing, and financial applications. Typically DUI is a First-Degree Misdemeanor, which is the highest level for a misdemeanor in Ohio-one level below a felony. If someone was injured as a result of the drunken driving accident, it is possible the defendant will be charged with a felony (and if the victim dies, the driver may be charged with vehicular manslaughter). Further, a DUI conviction will likely be raised to a felony if it is the driver's fourth DUI offense in six (6) years, sixth conviction in twenty (20) years or the driver has had a prior felony DUI offense within 10-years of the new charge.
There are often issues to address in these cases regarding the officer's observations of the defendant, the field sobriety tests, the breath test, and possibly blood or urine tests. A knowledgeable DUI attorney will know how to spot and raise these issues.
One common issue is regarding whether or not the field sobriety tests were administered correctly. Sometimes this can be due to poor administration of the tests in that one instance by the officer, and sometimes it can be because the officer was not adequately trained or updated in his training to administer the field sobriety tests. There are also a number of issues to address regarding the chemical test results (breath, blood, or urine). For more information about these issues, see the links below: