A DUI Lawyer's Breakdown of a DUI Case

In Columbus, an OVI commonly referred to as a DUI is a serious offense. If you are arrested for an OVI, you need to hire a DUI lawyer immediately.  Below you will find the breakdown of a DUI case.

The Traffic Stop

You will be stopped for exhibiting driving habits that cause law enforcement to suspect you of DUI/OVI. Some of the things police officers are looking for include:

  • Drifting in and out of lanes
  • Driving with headlights off at night
  • Almost hitting something such as a curb, or vehicle
  • Quick acceleration or deceleration

You will be asked to provide your license, insurance and registration. After that you will likely be asked to perform certain field sobriety tests. These test are meant to serve as evidence of your mental and physical state.

 The Breath or Blood Test

You will be asked to take a breath test or a blood test. On your first OVI offense, you can refuse to take the test without being charged with a separate offense. You can be charged with a misdemeanor however, if you refuse on subsequent offenses.

The Arrest

Should the police officer have probable cause to conclude you were driving under the influence of alcohol as a result of the field sobriety test or blood/breath test you will be arrested.

The Arraignment

You will go in front of a judge and enter a plea. If you plead guilty, the case is over and you will be sentenced.   However, if you enter a plea of not guilty a date will be set for your pretrial hearing.

The Pretrial Hearing

Pretrial hearing is a meeting with the judge that happens before trial. Negotiations can happen during this time so it is important to have a competent DUI lawyer. Your DUI lawyer will raise valid concerns about the evidence against you. This can get your case dismissed, or your charges reduced.

The Trial

At the trial, witnesses for the prosecution will be put on the stand, and be cross examined by your defense attorney. Your DUI lawyer might call expert witnesses who can call the prosecutor’s case against you into question. Your attorney will also raise valid questions such as:

  • Was the field sobriety test administrated properly?
  • Did a medical condition or a medication contribute to the events that resulted in an arrest?
  • Was the initial stop legal?
  • Could other conditions have caused the events that led to the arrest?

Remember the prosecutor must prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the DUI took place. After the prosecutor and defense attorney have presented their cases, a judge will decide if you are guilty or not.

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