Appealing a OVI Conviction in Ohio
Experienced St. Clairsville OVI lawyers are well aware of situations where the court reaches incorrect conclusions. It’s important to understand that being accused of OVI doesn’t automatically mean guilt. Many times, insufficient evidence exists to prove someone’s guilt. Keep in mind that OVI convictions in Ohio can be appealed under certain circumstances.
The Ohio justice system provides a mechanism for rectifying trial mistakes and ensuring fairness. One such mechanism is the court of appeals. When filing an appeal, a different judge or panel of judges reviews the case, examining any errors that may have occurred during the trial. If no mistakes are found, the conviction stands. However, if errors are identified, two outcomes are possible: the case may be sent back to the lower court for reconsideration, or the conviction may be overturned.
Several factors commonly contribute to mistakes in OVI cases, often leading to appeals, such as:
- The judge erroneously determined the presence of reasonable suspicion during the traffic stop.
- Allowing the use of breath or blood test results as evidence when they should not have been admitted.
- The judge mistakenly found that the police had probable cause to arrest you.
- Allowing the results of field sobriety tests to be used as evidence when they should not have been.
Remember, an appeal is based on the concept of legal errors occurring during your case. The appeals court reviews the evidence presented in your original trial and does not consider any new evidence that may arise. While an appeal can potentially lead to a new trial, it is not a trial itself.
By addressing these key points, it fosters a higher level of engagement and understanding for individuals involved in OVI cases.
Why Consider an Appeal?
Facing the consequences of an OVI conviction can significantly disrupt your life. If the court wrongly convicts you, you bear the burden for something you didn’t do, often leading to lifelong repercussions. A conviction for OVI can bring about any of the following undesired outcomes:
- Jeopardizing your employment
- Potential jail time
- Accumulating points on your driver’s license
- Losing your driving privileges
- Substantial fines
- Acquiring a permanent criminal record
- Vehicle immobilization or seizure
- Increased auto insurance premiums
Fortunately, a successful appeal can alleviate many of these issues, offering a glimmer of hope.
How Does the Appeals Process Work?
Once you decide to contest an OVI conviction, your attorney initiates the process by filing necessary documents with the appellate court. These documents include your court transcript for review by the appeals court.
Next, your attorney meticulously scrutinizes your case to identify potential errors, which are then documented in a brief. This brief provides an in-depth explanation of the mistakes made during your trial and the relevant laws that support the argument for overturning the conviction. Your attorney submits this brief to the appeals court, and the prosecution also presents their argument opposing the overturning of the conviction. Depending on the complexities of the case, additional written arguments may be filed.
The appeals court judges have the discretion to either schedule a hearing or make their determination solely based on the briefs submitted. If a hearing is scheduled, both your attorney and the prosecutor have the opportunity to present their respective points of view in person and address any queries raised by the judges.
Once all the details are carefully reviewed, the judges draft their decision, which can sometimes take a considerable amount of time, particularly for complex cases.
Why Do I Have to Have a Lawyer Help Me With This?
Appeals are exclusively grounded in the law and errors of law committed within a courtroom. Given the intricacies of numerous OVI laws, which are often unfamiliar to the general public, it is imperative to secure the services of a legal expert well-versed in this field. This can be the pivotal factor that determines whether your conviction is upheld or overturned.
While the attorney who initially represented you may assist you throughout the appeals process, you may opt for a different legal representative. Alternatively, if you did not have legal counsel previously, it is crucial to retain one now. The attorney you choose should have a successful track record of winning appeals in similar cases prior to yours.
Keep in mind that there is a limited timeframe within which you must file an appeal. If you are considering this course of action, it is imperative that you promptly seek the advice of an attorney.
At the St. Clairsville Criminal Lawyer Group, our team comprises highly skilled St. Clairsville OVI lawyers. Don’t hesitate to call us at (330) 992-3036 or reach out to us online to schedule a complimentary consultation, wherein we can discuss your case in detail.
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