If you are like most, you have been warned about getting pulled over for a DUI or OVI. You can probably picture a police officer pulling over a suspected driver and having them walk in a straight line. While there are common ideas about driving or operating a vehicle under the influence. However, many times, people and the media misrepresent the truth about these offenses. At The Koffel Law Firm, we believe that you should be aware of your rights at all times. That is why we tackle some myths and facts about OVIs in Columbus, Ohio.
Myths About OVIs
1.You Must Take Field Sobriety Tests
One common misconception is that individuals must take the field sobriety tests. These tests include horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk and turn test, and one-leg stand test. As an Ohio citizen, you have the right to refuse. However, you should know that if you refuse, your license would likely be suspended for a year. This is because Ohio is an “implied consent” state.
2.You Must Answer All the Officer’s Questions
When speaking with the authorities, it can be quite frightening. You might believe that because they are officers, you have to answer all of their questions. That is not true! You have the right to remain silent, especially if what you have to say can be incriminating.
3.You Can’t Be Arrested If You Are Sober
Often, people assume that if you can pass the field tests, it shows sobriety. That is not true. Even if you are sober and the officer has probable cause against you, you can still be taken in for questioning.
Facts About OVIs
1.You Can Be Charged with A DUI, Even If You’re Not Driving
This fact may leave some people scratching their heads, but you can be charged with a DUI even if you were not the one driving. Ohio law articulates that anyone who operates a vehicle, while under the influence, is breaking a law. That means even if you are simply holding on to the steering wheel while drunk, you can be charged.
2.You Have a Right to Trial by Jury
As a misdemeanor charge, if your case goes to trial, you have the right to a trial by jury. In this case, all eight people must agree in order for you to be convicted.
3.OVI Penalties Become Harsher If Repeated
In order to dissuade people from driving under the influence, the penalties for an OVI become stricter the more often someone commits the offense. This include heftier fines, license suspension, and longer jail time.
OVIs are serious matters. If you or a loved one has been charged, contact The Koffel Law Firm immediately. We have years of experience handling similar cases. We will review your case and strategize a plan with your best interests in mind. Call today to schedule a consultation.