Arrested for OVI?
Not only must the police officer have had a valid and legal reason to stop you in the first place, but in order to legally arrest you and to ask you to take a chemical test, the officer must have probable cause to believe that your ability to operate a vehicle is impaired due to alcohol and/or drugs.
There are a number of factors that courts look to when deciding whether a police officer has probable cause to arrest for OVI. To help you develop a strong defense on your behalf, retaining a Columbus DUI lawyer from James D. Owen, LLC should be done immediately to provide us with the time needed to establish your defense.
When your charges for an Ohio DUI arise from a suspected illegal arrest, you must be able to prove that there was not enough evidence generated prior to the arrest to allow that arrest in the first place.
When you are arrested for OVI the circumstances and evidence that manifested prior to your arrest are what the court will take into consideration. The arresting officer must have had probable cause to arrest you prior to doing so. Just reasonable suspicion that you were drunk at the time of the arrest is not enough to justify the actual arrest, even if later testing proves it.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of some of the factors that courts commonly consider when deciding this issue:
- The time and day of the stop (Friday or Saturday night as opposed to Tuesday morning; holidays or other events commonly associated with drinking);
- The location of the stop (whether you were stopped coming out of a bar or in the area of an establishment that sells alcohol);
- Signs of erratic driving before the stop that may indicate a lack of coordination, such as weaving, unusual braking, wide turns, etc.
- Whether there were reports made to the police that you may be intoxicated;
- The condition of your eyes (bloodshot, glassy, etc.);
- Impairments of your ability to speak (slurred speech, overly deliberate speech, etc.);
- The odor of alcohol coming from inside of your vehicle, or from your person or breath;
- The intensity of the odor of alcohol (although almost every officer will claim that there is a “strong” odor);
- Your demeanor (belligerent, uncooperative, argumentative, etc.);
- Any physical actions by you that may indicate a lack of coordination (dropping your keys, falling over, stumbling, problems getting out your wallet or driver’s license, etc.);
- Admissions to drinking alcohol, the number and type of drinks, the amount of time in which the drinks were consumed, etc.; and
- Your performance on any field sobriety tests.
Columbus OVI Defense Attorney
It is important to hire an experienced OVI/DUI attorney who knows how to investigate, analyze, and attack the legality of the arrest. If it can be shown that the officer lacked probable cause to arrest you for OVI/DUI, it is possible to have the evidence flowing from the illegal arrest suppressed.
This means that blood and alcohol tests administered back at the police station are invalid as evidence, even if they are found to prove you were above the legal limit.
Contact a Columbus OVI Lawyer if you need an effective defense when charged with DUI.