Ohio Pretrial Process for OVI/DUI Charges
Most driving under the influence (DUI) or operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI) cases do not go all the way to trial, so it is important to focus your understanding on the pretrial process for OVI/DUI charges.
The first pretrial stage when you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI or OVI is the arraignment. You will be arraigned usually within five days following your arrest. The arraignment is your first court appearance, and it is at this point where you will enter your plea to the charges – either guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Using the intervening time between being arrested and charged and when you are actually arraigned to identify an attorney to represent you in this proceeding is the best possible use of your time.
If you have hired your attorney prior to the arraignment, your attorney can enter the plea of “not guilty” and you do not need to attend the arraignment hearing. Keep in mind that if you plead “guilty” the court will schedule a sentencing hearing. At the arraignment, your attorney will also file a request for discovery, asking the state to provide all the evidence against you, which includes police reports, any tests that were conducted, and a DVD if available of the stop and arrest. Also during the arraignment, your attorney will request a stay of the automatic administrative license suspension or limited driving privileges.
The second stage of the DUI court process is the pre-trial hearing. Your attorney will have reviewed the discovery information requested at the arraignment, and this review will enable him or her to challenge the evidence by filing motions to suppress the evidence. Your Columbus OVI/DUI defense lawyer will advocate for you in plea negotiations at this point. Your attorney will help you analyze the prosecuting attorney’s offer and decide whether it is in your best interests, weighing all the factors in your particular case. If you do accept the prosecutor’s offer, the next step is a hearing before a judge to formalize the agreement. The judge pronounces the sentence, unless the case is dismissed, and the case is concluded.
If there is no plea agreement, the next step is the motion hearing where the court considers the various aspects of the case against you. Your attorney may work to have the evidence suppressed or thrown out entirely at this point. Participants in the motion hearing include you (the defendant), your attorney, the prosecutor, the arresting officer, and the judge. If your attorney successfully argues against the validity of the evidence, the evidence is suppressed. Without evidence your case will be dismissed. If evidence is not suppressed, your attorney may attempt to plea bargain for reduced charges in exchange for a guilty plea. If this is not successful, the next step is to go to trial.
Do You Need an OVI/DUI Defense Attorney in Columbus, Ohio?
If you have been arrested and charged with operating a vehicle while impaired or driving under the influence, you are facing very serious consequences that can color your future in a very negative way. Court processes are technical and complex, and you need and deserve the experienced, qualified assistance of an OVI/DUI lawyer. The skilled, trusted legal representation at Probst Law Office offers the help you need to be sure you have the representation you deserve. Get the experience, skill, and knowledge you need when you hire Michael Probst as your attorney. Contact Michael today for your free consultation, or call now at 614-232-8890.