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Can I Appeal My DUI/OVI in Ohio?

Can I Appeal My DUI/OVI in Ohio?

Can I Appeal My DUI, My Administrative License Suspension or My One Year Suspension?

What Are My Rights During a Traffic Stop?

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”  U.S. Const. amend. IV.  This portion of the Bill of Rights gives you the right to refuse an officer’s request to search your vehicle.  This right does have limitations though.  For example, if the police officer sees something illegal in your car in plain view, then the police officer can search your vehicle despite your refusal.  Another example of the right’s limitations is that a police officer can search your vehicle without your consent if the police officer has probable cause to believe that there is evidence of a crime within the vehicle.

The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution states that no person shall “be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.”  U.S. Const. amend. V.  In other words, you do not have to answer a police officer’s questions during a traffic stop.  However, you do have to show a police officer your license, registration, and proof of insurance upon request.

Once you are arrested, you have Miranda rights.  Your Miranda rights come from the Miranda rule, which is “the constitutional requirement that a person who is detained or taken into custody by any law enforcement officer must be advised of his or her constitutional right to remain silent and to representation by an attorney before any questioning or prior to making any statement.”  If you are arrested and charged with a DUI (OVI) violation, you should remain silent and only speak to ask for a lawyer.  Once you ask the police officer for a lawyer, then he or she must stop questioning you and allow you the opportunity to speak to a lawyer.

What Is an Administrative License Suspension?

If a driver is arrested and charged with a DUI (OVI) in Ohio, he or she can have his or her license suspended for ninety days. This type of suspension is called an Administrative License Suspension.  It is important to note that an Administrative License Suspension is separate from your DUI (OVI) charge.  The Bureau of Motor Vehicles is who suspends your license rather than the court. This information correlates to one DUI charge, if there have been more offenses, this could change.

When Can I Legally Drive Again?

 If you consent to a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Test and your BAC level does not meet or exceed the legal limit, then you will not receive a formal administrative license suspension and you can legally drive again immediately.

If your BAC level meets or exceeds the legal limit at the time you consent to a BAC test, then you will not be able to legally drive for fifteen days following your arrest.  You may be able to receive limited driving privileges after the fifteen-day suspension.

If you refuse to consent to a BAC test, then you will not be able to legally drive for thirty days following your arrest.

What are Limited Driving Privileges?

Limited driving privileges are privileges permitted based on the judge’s discretion.  These limited driving privileges are generally granted for work, medical, educational and/or vocational reasons.

If you have an administrative license suspension due to a DUI (OVI) conviction, then you have cannot receive limited driving privileges for a certain period of time.  As previously mentioned, on the one hand, you may be able to receive limited driving privileges after the fifteen-day suspension for consenting to a BAC test and having a BAC level at or above the legal limit.  If, on the other hand, you refuse to consent to a BAC test, then you are not eligible for limited driving privileges for at least thirty days.

A judge may also grant you limited driving privileges in order to attend court-mandated treatment or to retake a driver’s examination.

Can I Appeal My Administrative License Suspension?

 An administrative license suspension can be appealed as early as the initial appearance on the charge or within 30 days following the initial appearance on that charge.  Despite the ability to appeal an administrative license suspension, there are limitations.  You can appeal this suspension to determine whether one or more of these conditions have been met:

  • Whether the arresting officer had reasonable ground to believe the arrested person was in operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence and whether the person was in fact placed under arrest
  • Whether the arresting officer requested the arrested person to submit to the chemical tests or other designated tests
  • Whether the arresting officer informed the arrested person of the consequences of refusing to submit to the chemical tests or other designated tests
  • See Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 4511.197.

Furthermore, you need to make sure that even if you are found not guilty of the criminal charge of OVI, you still need to appeal the administrative license suspension, or it will stand.  It is best to appeal this suspension from the onset of the charge.

What Happens When the Administrative License Suspension Period Is Over?

When your administrative license suspension period terminates, you are able to get a new license.  First, you must pay a license reinstatement fee of $475 to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  You must also show proof of car insurance.

However, most times the administrative license suspension is removed at the conclusion of your DUI (OVI) case.  It is advisable to consult with an attorney before you pay the reinstatement fee to check if such payment is legally necessary.

Can I Reverse the One Year Suspension for Refusing to Submit to a BAC Test?

A guilty or no contest plea to your DUI (OVI) charge may allow the refusal to be set aside.  While your license must be suspended for six months for a DUI (OVI) conviction, you could potentially avoid the full year suspension.  However, if you plead guilty or no contest to a DUI (OVI) charge, the judge could choose to impose a license suspension anywhere from one year to three years.  Thus, hoping for a shorter suspension may not be worth a possible two years longer suspension.

Can I Appeal My DUI?

The simple answer is yes.  However, in reality, the answer is it depends.   If you want to appeal your DUI conviction, it is important to contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.  The ability to appeal expires quickly and your lawyer will need to conduct the necessary research and file the proper paperwork.

An appeal is a request for another judge or judges to review what happened in your case in hopes of reversing a previous error by the trial court.  Your appeal lawyer will need to file an appeal notice with the appellate court.  Your appeal lawyer will spend time reviewing your case and noting any potential errors.  Your appeal lawyer will prepare a brief for the appellate court outlining the perceived errors and supporting case law.  The prosecution also will prepare a brief opposing the new trial and supporting the procedures and outcomes of the trial court.  The appellate judges then determine whether to grant your appeal hearing.

It is important to be aware that while the time to file an appeal is quite short, the appeals process can be lengthy and daunting.  Do not hesitate to reach out to us for more information and have one of our lawyers help you determine whether an appeal is worth your time and expenses.  Contact our offices today for advice on your specific appeal and what your next step should be.