I am 19 and live in Ohio I got pulled over for ovi a bac of 1.5 I was at a party when a friend of mine got in a altercation I left the party to take them home I got pulled over for my expired insurance I need guidance I have no idea what to do it's my first ilegal charge
1 Answer from Attorneys
Under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, before the police in Ohio can pull you over, they have to have "reasonable suspicion" that you were violating the law. Not sure how the police officer could tell that your insurance was expired from watching you driving around. Perhaps you were also speeding or failed to use a turn signal?
Once they get you pulled over, the standard goes up from "reasonable suspicion" to "probable cause if they want to arrest you and take you back to the station to blow into their machine. That means that they have to have enough information that you probably committed an actual identifable crime. They get probable cause from asking you questions about whether you had been drinking earlier in the evening, smelling alcohol on your breath, watching you to see if you are staggering, and/or listening to see if you are slurring your words. There are other things too like disorientation or other indicia of consumption of alcohol.
If the police had did not have reasonable suspicion to pull you over, then all of the evidence they gathered after that point would be suppressed, meaning that it would not be allowed to be used against you and the jury would never get to hear it. The same thing is true if they did not develop probable cause.
An attorney will file a Crim. R. 16 discovery request and upon doing so, the prosecutor will have to turn over all evidence of the stop and arrest, in addition to all of the device measurements of your blood alcohol content. Your attorney will also inspect the records of the device you were tested upon to make sure that all of the testing was done properly and that it was properly tested and calibrated. If the attorney finds out that this was not done properly, then the result can be thrown out of evidence.
Usually, if your attorney can find enough problems with the case to make the prosecution nervous, the prosecution will offer a deal to you like pleading guilty to reckless operation or having physical control of a vehicle while intoxicated. These are lesser crimes and do not carry the stigma or enhancing effects upon a second drunk driving conviction.
Your next step is a court date which will typically be held within 5 days of your stop. At that court date, you will want to plead not guilty and ask to be heard on bond, asking for a Recog bond (meaning you don't have to pay any money) and then a pre-trial conference will be set. That is when you will typically get the Crim. R. 16 information outlined above.
If you need an attorney's assistance in this, I have been doing drunk driving cases for 27 years. You can reach me at [email protected]. I don't charge anything to talk to you on the phone to see if I can help. If you decide to hire me at that point, we can talk about what it would cost.