If you are charged with a DUI in Ohio, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend you in court. The charge is complicated and involves many circumstances from your blood chemistry to the equipment that law enforcement used to recover your BAC level, to procedures they used when they pulled you over.
The prosecution has the burden of proof to convict you of a DUI in a trial. They must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and you are presumed innocent at the trial even if you failed a field sobriety test. Never assume you are going to be convicted – with the help of the best criminal defense attorney representing you and bringing up the circumstances and evidence that will make it hard for the prosecution to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Their focus is usually:
- When you were pulled over, how were you driving?
- Did law enforcement observe driving characteristics considered consistent with someone who may have been drinking? Did you not have full control of your car? What were the traffic infractions that resulted in you being pulled over? Was there a legally sufficient reason to stop your car? People are pulled over all the time for traffic infractions and none have anything to do with being under the influence. You could be a distracted driver, but it does not mean you were impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- How was your behavior when you were pulled over? Were you questioned?
- The prosecutor will have law enforcement testify on your appearance when you were stopped. They will ask if your speech was slurred when answering questions and if your eyes were able to focus. Were your eyes red or watery?Most people have red, bloodshot eyes late at night; lack of sleep, long periods of driving or long work hours. That and even a smell of alcohol does not mean you are impaired. How would an officer know your speech is slurred and not simply the way you speak, always? There is no way he knows how many drinks you have had and who isn’t nervous when they are pulled over by police leading to answering questions wrong, stuttering, etc.
- What were the results of the field sobriety test?
- The prosecutor needs to prove that the machines used were accurate and reliable and that the procedure to use them was done properly. These tests often are set up for you to fail and a good criminal defense attorney will be able to make sure the jury understands this. Often anyone over 65 years old, 50 pounds or more overweight or existing medical conditions are not good candidates for any tests.
The Bottom Line: A DUI defense, while complicated, can be done to raise reasonable doubt in almost all cases. There are so many factors, and I will work tirelessly to pull it all together. If you are pulled over and have answered questions, taken tests or done everything against all advice you have ever heard to do; it’s still not over. You are still innocent until proven guilty. Call me. 513-260-2099