When you face an Operating a Vehicle while under the influence (OVI) charge in the Cleveland area, you are subject to Ohio’s harsh DUI laws. Even a first offense can having you facing jail time, heavy fines and a long-term suspension of your driver’s license. To minimize the damage, you need to build a solid defense before your day in court. There are simple and effective steps you can take to empower yourself and your defense team.
Don’t Assume Guilt
Even if your BAC test showed you were over the legal limit, you are innocent until proven guilty. It’s easy to be swept away with the process and assume the police are right about everything, but BAC tests can be inaccurate. They can also be deemed inadmissible for a number of reasons. If you believe you were not in the wrong, or even not intentionally in the wrong, you still have a case worth fighting. Even with a prestigious law firm behind you, not every case can be dropped and not every sentence can be minimized, but if you assume you are guilty, you’ll be likely to admit culpability and ruin an otherwise winnable case.
Write Everything Down
As soon as you are physically able, write down everything you can remember about the arrest and date it. If the case goes to trial, much of it will boil down to your word versus the police. Your word will carry more weight if your write facts down before you have time to forget details. Some things you should note are when you had your last drink, if you paid for drinks with a credit card, who you were with, why you were stopped and as detailed a timeline of the night (or day) as you can. Don’t make up facts, and don’t try to record details you don’t properly remember. If you really want to get proactive, you can talk to people who may have been around before you were arrested. Generally speaking, more information is better.
Hire an Ohio DUI Law Firm to Defend your Case
If you keep in mind that you aren’t automatically guilty and you took the time to write down details, then you are ready to fight. It’s time to bring out the big guns. A veteran attorney knows the system and will guide you down the best path to success. When you follow that guidance, your chances of getting a reduced or dropped sentence skyrocket. That is why you should have your attorney selected and ready to represent you before your arraignment, if possible. If not, you absolutely need to give them time to prepare if your case is going to trial.
With a lawyer behind you, you can learn the process ahead of you and prepare for the possible consequences. It is not always possible to avoid penalties after an OVI arrest, so you should have a plan prepared in the event you face the worst possible outcome. You lawyer will advise you in that just as they will take you through the entire defense process.