At Mastandrea Law, LLC, we understand individuals' complexities and concerns when dealing with charges related to Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI) in Ohio. One critical decision drivers may encounter during an OVI stop is whether to submit to a breath test. This choice can significantly impact the outcome of your case. In this blog post, we talk about the implications of refusing a breath test for OVI in Ohio and explore potential defense strategies.
Understanding Ohio's Implied Consent Law
In Ohio, operating a vehicle means you've already given your implied consent to submit to chemical tests if lawfully arrested for OVI. This typically includes breath, blood, and urine tests. Refusing these tests could lead to automatic penalties, regardless of whether you're ultimately convicted of OVI. It's important to note that refusing a test does not guarantee avoiding a conviction; however, it might affect the evidence against you.
Immediate Consequences of Refusal
Refusing a breath test triggers a series of administrative penalties that could impact your driving privileges. Your license might be suspended longer than if you had taken the test and failed. The first offense carries a one-year suspension, while subsequent refusals result in longer suspensions. This administrative suspension is separate from any criminal penalties imposed if you're convicted of OVI.
Useful Defense Strategies
Choosing to refuse a breath test doesn't necessarily mean you're defenseless. Experienced legal representation can help you build a strong defense, focusing on various aspects of your case:
- Validity of the Stop: Your attorney might challenge the legality of the traffic stop itself. If the officer lacked probable cause or reasonable suspicion to stop you, any evidence collected afterward could be suppressed.
- Field Sobriety Tests: Challenging the accuracy and validity of field sobriety tests is a common defense tactic. These tests are subjective and can be influenced by various factors, leading to inaccurate results.
- Accuracy of Breath Test Equipment: Even if you refused a breath test, your attorney could examine the maintenance and calibration records of the testing equipment. If irregularities are found, it could cast doubt on the reliability of the test results.
- Miranda Rights Violation: If you were not informed of your rights during the arrest process, any statements you made afterward might be inadmissible in court.
- Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions and medications can skew the results of a breath test. Your attorney could argue that these factors influenced the test outcome.
- Rising Blood Alcohol Content (BAC): In some cases, your BAC might have been below the legal limit at the time of driving but rose to an illegal level by the time the breath test was administered. This could be used as a defense strategy.
Making an Informed Decision
It's crucial to understand the potential consequences before refusing a breath test. While it might seem like a way to avoid evidence against you, it can lead to its own set of problems. Legal guidance from experienced OVI attorneys like us at Mastandrea Law, LLC, can help you navigate this decision and its aftermath.
If you've refused a breath test and are facing OVI charges in Ohio, seeking legal representation is imperative. The skilled attorneys at Mastandrea Law, LLC, are well-versed in Ohio's OVI laws and can guide you through the legal process. We'll analyze the details of your case, determine the best defense strategies, and work tirelessly to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome.
Refusing a breath test for OVI in Ohio is a complex decision with significant implications. The experienced legal team at Mastandrea Law, LLC, is here to provide the guidance and support you need during this challenging time. Remember, every case is unique, and having the right defense strategy can make all the difference in securing a favorable outcome.
Contact Mastandrea Law, LLC today to schedule a consultation!