Should I plead guilty or not guilty to my OVI charge? And what are the likely sentences I will receive?

Asked 12 months ago - Columbus, OH

I was recently pulled over and arrested for an OVI. It was 1:30 in the morning and I was pulled over for my license plate light being out. I had to do field sobriety tests and then was handcuffed and taken to the police department. When I got to the station I took a breathalyzer test and I blew a 0.23. My arresting officer was shocked at how high the test was, I am 5'7'', female and weigh 130 lbs. He even stated that he didn't know how I was functioning so well with that high of a result. He went on to say how he has seen grown men passed out and unable to function at that level. Could it be possible that the breathalyzer gave a faulty result? Is this something I could use in court? No prior record, was very polite and compliant. Should I hire a lawyer? How should I plea?

Attorney answers (8)

  1. Chester Leroy Palumbo

    Contributor Level 12

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to plead NOT GUILTY and hire a good OVI attorney. When you blow over a .17 the mandatory jail time goes from 3 days to 6 days. Meaning you would do at least 6 days in jail and up to 180 days if you just pled guilty. An OVI can never be expunged. Yes, there very well may be problems with the breath test machine that a good OVI attorney could bring up. You are facing a mandatory license suspension as well as 6 points on your record. I would Call Tim Huey, John Saia or Cleve Johnson in that area.

    Chet Palumbo Chet Palumbo, Attorney at Law, LLC 1800 Lyons Rd Dayton OH 45458 (937) 435-8100 www.palumbodefense.com
  2. Terrence Robert Rudes

    Contributor Level 11

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Plead NOT GUILTY. You can always plead guilty or no contest later, but it sounds like there is something not right with your case. Get a GOOD OVI attorney to fight the case. The charge cares mandatory 6 days in jail as a minimum up to 6 months in jail and up to a 3 year license suspension. You won't likely get any where near the maximums, but it is possible. The breath testing machines are just dumb boxes and there are several things that will cause a falsely high reading. Your attorney will be able to determine if the test is accurate or what went wrong. Don't go cheap on an attorney, you will get what you pay for.

  3. Christopher Lee Beck

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 100% certainly you should hire a lawyer. A good one too. You are charged with what is known as a high tier ovi. This is anything above a .169 breath alcohol test. This means that all of the minimum penalties are doubled. A first time low tier ovi carries a minimum of 3 days in jail or driving program up to 180 days in jail. The high tier, which you are charged wtih, carries a minimum of 6 days in jail up to 180 days in jail. Your license can be suspended for a very long time and without a good attorney would probably be. Although .23 is high I have seen grown men and women function fairly normally well above that number. There is a possibility that the machine was malfunctioning. Two of the best DUI attorneys are in Columbus and I suggest you hire one of them. Those are Jon Saia or Tim Huey. Do not try to go at this alone. This can impact the rest of your life so you need a good attorney to help you.

    Attorney Chris Beck
    Beck Law Offic,e L.L.C.
    1370 North Fairfield Road
    Suite C
    Beavercreek, Ohio 45432
    (937)426-4000 phone
    attycbeck@gmail.com
    www.becklawofficellc.com

    The responses of Attorney Chris Beck to any questions posed on Avvo do NOT establish an Attorney-client... more
  4. Robert William Dziech

    Contributor Level 7

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Breath tests, like computers or any other piece of equipment, are subject to malfunctions and test problems. You need a good lawyer who REGULARLY handles DUI matters to assist you. There may be many issues for motion. Plea NOT guilty and get competent representation.

  5. Corey J. Grimm

    Contributor Level 5

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should absolutely hire an experienced OVI lawyer and if you are unable to do so before your arraignment you should enter a plea of not guilty. .23 is considered a "high tier" OVI offense and carries harsher penalties. There is always a possibility of a faulty breathalyzer result and an experienced OVI attorney will have the ability to challenge the breath test result among other procedures that must be complied with in respect to the stop and the arrest.

    You are not my client and I am not your lawyer. The answer given above is simply a general opinion and is not... more
  6. Shawn Richard Dominy

    Pro

    Contributor Level 7

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This is a great question. The 'right' answer varies from person to person. Generally speaking, pleading not guilty is a better strategy because it will give you time to investigate the details of the case. If you plead not guilty at the first court appearance (the arraignment), you can always plead guilty at a later court appearance. However, if you plead guilty at the arraignment, you will be sentenced (you will go to jail, and you will have yellow license plates), your case will be done, and you cannot change your mind later. I answered this question on my website, and the link to the answer is below. I also wrote a consumer guide that answers this question in more detail. If you'd like a free copy, you can email me through my Avvo profile.

  7. Phillip Louis Harmon

    Contributor Level 3

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As the others have properly stated, this is a case in which competent legal counsel is essential. The "high test" result does carry enhanced penalties.

  8. Jesse Alexander Atkins

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Attacking the validity of the breathalyzer results is something a good defense attorney will likely suggest. Doing so may cost more than merely filing suppression motions, but OVI cases are often lost or won based on contesting these results. Call a local defense attorney if you have not already done so.

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