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Change in medications = dismissal

A pharmaceutical company stopped making a drug which had been prescribed to my client.  His doctor ordered another drug in its place.  An unforeseen interaction resulted in my client being found sleeping in his car in a gas station parking lot.  He was charged with physical control.  I was able to show evidence that it was not physical control but a medical emergency that caused my client to appear drunk.  The case was dismissed.


OVI:  Second offense driving while intoxicated reduced

After a prior arrest for driving while intoxicated, my client pled guilty at his arraignment and did all that the first court asked.  When arrested again the client came to me.  He faced the longer second-offense mandatory jail time.  Here he would have been required to serve ten consecutive days.  I was able to show that there was no evidence that during the first sentencing his rights were properly explained to him.  This led to a reduction of his charge back to a first offense and my client escaped jail time.  He instead attended the standard 72 hour class for first offenders.

 

Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drug of Abuse

Poor documentation of

Cleveland drunk driving arrests


This is NOT an attack on CPD.  CPD has good officers.  CPD has really great officers.  The problem is that the CPD procedures allow OVI (drunk driving) arrests that are almost entirely undocumented.  They don't do reports.  They don't have video.

Cleveland OVIs are very poorly documented.  Discovery of the evidence they collect gives you no more than basic paper that is needed.  For example, in order to impose an automatic license suspension, the officer must complete a form known as a 2255.  Sometimes, though not that often, you can obtain a copy of that.  Never mind the suspension is in place.  The ticket that is inserted into the machine that does the breath test is required.  That can sometimes be found.  Sometimes not.  A report?  I haven't seen such a thing on a typical OVI.  Maybe they exist ... somewhere.

Compare that to, say, North Olmsted's OVI.  You get a report, you get impound sheets, you get booking photos, you get cruiser video, you get booking video, you get Datamaster printouts, you get you get a significant amount of evidence that documents what the officer accomplished.  North Olmsted is far, far, far, far better prepared both in pretrial and trial.

Does that mean the officer is at fault?  Normally not.  I have had a range of officers and more than one had an excellent grasp on what was required to arrest and what happened at that particular scene.  Other times the officer shows reflection and indecision to a request for facts.  That shows the officer would have been much better served by having a report, a few facts jotted in a notebook ... something!

If you ask them why, they say they don't have the time.  It's a traffic ticket.  It's only six months in jail for the defendant.  Seems they should make time.

What does it mean to you

Cleveland's lack of documentation means that

  1. Your defense attorney has to plan to issue a motion to suppress as that is about the only way to get even the little paperwork that exists.

  1. You will have to attend at least two, three or more pretrials waiting for things to show up.

  1. In a case that has strong evidence against you, you will not know about that evidence until much later in the process.

Back to the OVI page


Cleveland Click-It-Or-Ticket OVI dismissed

My client was stopped at a sobriety check point.  Having an attorney that understands the workings of these check points is vitally important.  In this case, my client was cited for having a blood alcohol reading of 0.48 grams per 210 liters of breath.  You are normally dead if your BAC hits 0.35.  You're in a coma long before that.  Never mind, the operator of the testing device had to operate the machine while talking on a cell phone.  That's a big problem as their machines cannot have radio frequency interference in the area.  Never mind the one officer was going to release my client but was countermanded by his sergeant.  The list of errors went on and on.  In the end, my client plead to a no-point seat belt violation, paid his $170.00 and went home.  He really wasn't wearing his seat belt.

If you have a "Click it or Ticket" OVI, make sure you get an attorney.  My experience, both as a defense attorney and through my thirty-two years as a police officer, is that these are assembly line operations that greatly increase the chance of error.  Also, if they aren't getting enough tickets to pay for the cost of the check point, it appears they lower their standards and start arresting borderline cases.  In the above case, my client's actual BAC was 0.048, not 0.480.  A reading of 0.048 proves his blood alcohol is well under the legal limit of 0.08.


1 in 7 Drivers Convicted of Driving Impaired

The Akron Beacon Journal published an article which reports that one out of every seven Ohio drivers have been convicted of driving while impaired.

If you've been charged with OVI, you are not alone.  In 2010 there were 58,279 arrests.

The Akron article can be found here A PDF of the article was saved here.

Thanks the Akron Beacon Journal for bringing this to light.


Trooper fails, client wins OVI dismissal

My client was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.  The trooper's video showed the only weaving was when the aggressive trooper weaved his cruiser into the lane being used by my client, forcing my client off the side of the road.  The trooper's instructions to my client were garbled.  All of the required field tests were done wrong.  On the day of the suppression hearing I was able to demonstrate first to the prosecutor and then to the magistrate that the stop was unconstitutional, the tests were not admissible and all evidence should be suppressed.  We didn't even need a suppression hearing.  They dropped the OVI.  My client was valid that same day.