As recently as the early 1990s, DUI was little more than a serious traffic ticket. The laws were sporadically enforced, and even if the case went to court, consequences were rather light. Then, the DUI crackdown began. Today’s laws are very tough, especially in Ohio. Once peace officers pull over a DUI suspect, an arrest is practically inevitable.
Because of all this, some lawyers quickly plead out these cases. The aggressive Warren County DUI attorneys at the Comunale Law Office never back down from a fight. Instead, we take a comprehensive approach to your defense. We find the weak spots in the state’s case and exploit them. If a lawyer can show reasonable doubt on even one point, the defendant is not guilty as a matter of law.
Many defendants, as well as many Warren County DUI attorneys, overlook the Administrative License Revocation hearing. At this hearing, if an administrative law judge determines officers had probable cause, the ALJ can suspend the defendant’s drivers’ license.
Probable cause is a lower standard than beyond a reasonable doubt. Nevertheless, the state must produce solid evidence of intoxication, such as a poor performance on the field sobriety tests. Anything less might not be enough. A no-probable-cause verdict at an ALR hearing usually means prosecutors will dismiss the case.
Even if the defendant loses this hearing, the defendant still wins. At the ALR hearing, a Warren County DUI attorney can cross-examine the officer under oath. If the officer’s subsequent testimony is inconsistent, even on a minor detail, an attorney can use that discrepancy to undermine the officer’s credibility. With public opinion of police officers at such a low level, officer credibility is already thin.
At both the ALR hearing and at trial, the three approved field sobriety tests are critical. At a minimum, and as mentioned, they establish probable cause for the arrest. Additionally, if the defendant does not provide a chemical sample, the prosecutor normally uses the FSTs to prove guilt. That is why the conviction rate in non-test cases is much lower than the conviction rate in test cases.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has approved three FSTs for use in court. They are:
Officers always testify that defendants “failed” these tests, even if it is on a technicality, like taking the wrong number of steps in the WAT. But the jurors also have a say as to whether the defendant failed the tests. Their opinion is the only one that counts. So, a Warren County DUI attorney must have a sound strategy for undermining the FSTs.
Defendants who provided a breath sample are not automatically guilty. These machines are technologically similar to a 1940s Drunk-O-Meter. As such, the breathalyzer has a number of possible flaws, such as:
The prosecutor has the burden of proof to show that the BAC level was accurate.
The harsh consequences of a DUI demand that you have the best lawyer possible. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Dayton, contact the Comunale Law Office. We routinely handle matters in Warren County and nearby jurisdictions.
Our personal injury lawyers at Comunale Law Office have litigated for their clients that have suffered from injuries from vehicle accidents, hazardous products, medical malpractice and dangerous job conditions successfully gaining compensation for any losses.