By: Brian Cook
Although it may seem like a common, straight forward charge, operating a vehicle under the Influence of alcohol and/or drugs (OVI) is a serious crime. Known in some states as DUI or DWI, an OVI charge can lead to a relatively lengthy legal process. To ensure that you understand the charges you are facing, as well as your legal rights, it is important to retain an attorney who specializes in OVI cases as soon as possible.
Why hire an OVI Attorney
Driving under the influence is a risk to the driver as well as everyone else on the roadway. Since impaired driving puts so many lives at risk, you may be facing series charges that could result in jail time and/or large fines. Hiring an experienced OVI attorney can help you reduce the charges or sentencing. In some cases, an attorney can even have an OVI charged dropped entirely.
An experienced OVI attorney will have strong understanding of state and local OVI laws. This is essential to helping you understand the charges you are facing and your options during each stage of the criminal proceedings. OVI attorney’s also study legal precedents that will strengthen your case. Without an attorney in your corner, the likelihood of having your sentence reduced or charges dropped are very slim.
Although never advisable, some cases can be handled without legal representation. Often, these are cases where it is the individual’s first offense, there were no injuries or deaths, and there is substantial evidence to support the charge.
If you are facing charges that include any of the following, an OVI attorney should be contacted as soon as possible.:
• You have been arrested for an OVI before.
• Another person was injured or killed as a result of your OVI.
• You are a commercial driver.
• You believe that you are innocent of the charges, or you think the charges should be reduced to reckless driving or physical control.
What to look for an OVI Attorney
When hiring an OVI attorney, you want someone who is experienced in local OVI law. This will ensure you have representation that has specialized knowledge of every aspect of an OVI charge, including breathalyzers, blood test and chemical test procedures.
An OVI attorney will also have experience handling a variety of cases involving OVI arrests and other drunk-driving offenses. They will have a track record of:
• Reducing or eliminating jail time;
• Negotiating plea bargains;
• Eliminating a revoked license and reducing OVI charges to lessor offenses.
Your OVI/DUI defense begins as soon as you are pulled over. When you are arrested, you should immediately contact an OVI attorney who can advise you of your options.