Getting stopped or – worse yet – being arrested and charged with OVI is a stressful and confusing experience. It is important to understand your rights under the circumstances and to exercise them wisely. Always cooperate with law enforcement. However, you should do so in ways that will not incriminate yourself.
If you are stopped and suspected of OVI in Ohio, law enforcement is required to follow specific procedures set forth by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) and related state regulatory authorities to investigate and ultimately charge you for OVI. The procedures are mandatory and must be followed substantially to support the charging decision and ultimately hold up in court.
If any of the steps have not been substantially performed, the legal case against you becomes weaker and may be subject to being thrown out. The more steps that are improperly conducted, the weaker the case. Evidence obtained incorrectly may be suppressed and the entire charge may have to be dismissed.
So, just because you have been arrested and charged with OVI does not mean that your case will ultimately hold up in court. Keep in mind that law enforcement officers are human – they make mistakes, and some of them make multiple mistakes. You need one of our experienced attorneys to handle your case to determine if mistakes were made, and how many of them were made, and what that means for your OVI charge. We are very experienced in reviewing all the facts and evidence to determine if there were any improper actions or overlooked details that might help to reduce any charges or penalties.
When you are stopped, you need to understand that the officer is INVESTIGATING YOU AT ALL TIMES. He or she is not interested in making friends or interested in how your evening has been. The officer is COLLECTING EVIDENCE TO USE AGAINST YOU. You have the absolute right to refuse to answer questions even though the officer will not read Miranda warnings to you. In fact, Miranda warnings are only required to be given when you are arrested and never before.
Some of the techniques law enforcement use to arrest and charge you for OVI include:
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