Law enforcement must have probable cause to stop, detain, or arrest you for an OVI. Probable cause simply means that enough reliable information exists to support a reasonable belief that a person was operating a motor vehicle while under the influence. Did police officers observe you driving as if impaired— swerving across the road, driving erratically, or driving through a stop sign or traffic light? The best criminal defense attorney will be able to analyze whether there was probable cause. If not, your case may get dismissed.
There may have been misconduct when you were stopped at a checkpoint. A criminal defense attorney will challenge whether the officer followed the very strict guidelines and rules that are a part of all checkpoints in Ohio.
The best thing to do is NOT take a field sobriety test. But, if you did, even if you didn’t have one drink, the testing could come back positive. Maybe you were tired or you have medical conditions and are taking medications that would give a false positive, or maybe you were just too nervous. Skilled criminal defense attorneys will be able to put a defense together to prove the results were unreliable.
The Bottom Line: Even though police officers can pull you over for basic traffic offenses, police officers can’t use traffic stops as a “pretext” to launch investigations. Law enforcement is not flawless. If at any point before, during, or after your arrest, the officer cannot establish to the court that there was probable cause to continue to the next phase of the investigation, your attorney should attempt to have the evidence suppressed. If your evidence is not suppressed, it is still a good opportunity for the best criminal defense attorney to cross-examine the officer and discover weaknesses in the prosecution’s case in order to get your charges dismissed or reduced later on in the proceedings. 513-260-2099