Implied Consent in St. Clairsville
Any reputable St. Clairsville OVI lawyer will inform you that after being arrested for driving under the influence, law enforcement officers typically request a breath, blood, or urine test to determine your alcohol consumption level. Ohio law stipulates that operating a vehicle within the state implies your consent to these tests. Failure to comply leads to an Administrative License Suspension (ALS), resulting in an automatic driver’s license suspension by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
The Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.191 outlines the criteria for refusing to undergo chemical testing, where strict adherence by the arresting officer is crucial for a refusal to be considered valid. Furthermore, you implicitly agreed to these tests when you accepted your driver’s license.
Upon detaining you for OVI (operating a vehicle while intoxicated), the arresting officer is obligated to recite the implied consent warning specified in the law. Your response, whether affirmative or negative, guides the subsequent course of action.
In addition to the aforementioned ALS, refusing to submit to a chemical test carries criminal penalties. Prosecutors can utilize your refusal as evidence, arguing that it reflects your awareness of guilt for OVI, anticipating that the test would reveal a BAC exceeding the legal limit.
I’ve Refused to Submit Once Before… What Now?
According to Ohio law, if you decline chemical testing upon OVI arrest for the second time within 20 years (having previous convictions), you may face additional charges as outlined in the Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.19(A)(2).
Defenses for Refusal to Submit
While it’s never advisable to refuse chemical testing, there could still be options available for you. It’s worth noting that there are various reasons why a police officer might believe a suspect refused, even when that’s not the case.
For instance, individuals with COPD or asthma may struggle to provide a deep breath for breathalyzer machines. Those with hearing impairments might have difficulty understanding the officer’s instructions, and non-native English speakers may also face language barriers.
In some instances, a person with a speech impediment may have actually agreed to testing, but the officer misinterpreted the response as refusal. Similarly, individuals with neurological disorders or learning disabilities may experience confusion or anxiety, leading officers to wrongly perceive a refusal.
It’s important to remember that the law enforcement officer must follow strict protocols without making any errors. It’s possible that during your arrest, the officer overlooked crucial details that could challenge their assertion of your refusal.
Regardless of the circumstances, mistakes can happen. Merely because law enforcement believes you refused chemical testing doesn’t necessarily mean you did. Sean Logue, a highly skilled St. Clairsville criminal lawyer, possesses in-depth knowledge of the intricate aspects of OVI law from his decade-long experience defending clients.
When you choose to engage the services of Sean Logue, he will thoroughly discuss your arrest, the alleged refusal, examine the evidence against you, and design a solid defense strategy. With his expertise, he can effectively counter the charges. Contact Sean Logue today at (330) 992-3036 for trusted legal representation.
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