Facing DUI or OVI charges in Cleveland?

If you have been arrested on DUI or OVI charges in Ohio, it is essential that you seek DUI defense immediately. These are significant charges that need to be taken seriously. If you have already taken a breath, blood, or urine test and your results were over the .08 Ohio legal limit, there are still a number of ways that you can fight the charges. However, working with an experienced DUI lawyer will be your best bet in getting your charges dropped.


While the justice system is intended to maintain law and order, the system is not infallible. There is always a chance of improper procedure or simple human error that can derail the true intentions of the justice system. If you have been unfairly charged with an Ohio DUI or OVI, this should not be taken lightly. There is simply too much at stake when dealing with this charge. You need to know your rights and work with experienced lawyers who can provide the defense to get your charges reduced or even dismissed.

The following are some potential OVI and DUI defense reasons that may be used to get your charges dropped or reduced.


Failure to Read Miranda Rights after Arrest

The legal system in the United States protects you from having to answer law enforcement questions that could compromise your legal defense through self-incrimination. If an officer questions you before reading you your Miranda rights first, any answers you gave may be inadmissible in a court of law.


An Unlawful Stop by Law Enforcement Officers

The Fourth Amendment in the United States Constitution protects all individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. If an officer pulls you over without probable cause, this can be used as an oversight in your defense strategy.


Driver Did Not Have Physical Control of the Vehicle

An Ohio police officer does not have to prove the driving aspect of a DUI. Under Ohio law, the state only needs to prove that a citizen had actual physical control of the car while under the influence. Having the keys in your hands and sitting in the passenger seat can still place you in the category of having physical control of a vehicle while under the influence. However, an experienced DUI attorney will be able to help make against not having physical control of a vehicle if you were not driving at the time of the arrest.


Weaknesses in Blood, Breath, or Urine Testing or Field Sobriety Tests

An experienced DUI attorney will also be able to help make the case against any potential weaknesses in the findings of field sobriety tests. Some common errors in blood, breath, or urine tests are contamination of the samples, lack of sample refrigeration, improperly calibrated machinery, and failure to properly document evidence. Any errors can be used to your advantage in developing a favorable motion for your case.

Top-Rated Cleveland Criminal Defense Attorney

125+ Five-Star
Google Reviews & Avvo Reviews


If you ever stopped by the police on suspicion of driving under the influence or operating a vehicle impaired, there are certain steps you need to take to avoid further charges or complications.

  • Demonstrate Compliance

Always demonstrate compliance when being pulled over. For your safety, it is essential to cooperate with officers even when you believe you have done nothing to warrant being pulled over.

  • Avoid Volunteering Information

If you are pulled over by an officer, avoid volunteering any information that would have the potential of incriminating you.

  • Refuse Roadside Tests

You are never required to take roadside tests. However, if an officer asks you to get out of your vehicle, you must comply.



It will always in your best interest to obtain legal counsel upon being charged with an Ohio DUI or OVI. Working with an experienced lawyer will help you to avoid unfair incarceration. Each case is different, and only an experienced DUI defense lawyer will have the knowledge to help you reach the best possible outcome for your specific situation.

Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer


If you’re confused about the difference between an Ohio DUI and OVI charge, you’re not alone. However, the simple answer is that there is very little difference between the two. Even though they are different acronyms, both refer to operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In Ohio, you will most likely be charged with an OVI, rather than a DUI, if you were found sitting in a vehicle while under the influence with the keys in your possession. An experienced DUI defense lawyer will be able to help you further understand the small differences between these charges.


Driving or being in control of a vehicle while under the influence is a serious offense. Being charged and convicted with a DUI or OVI could result in severe consequences both in the present and in the future. If you have been charged with a DUI or OVI, it is essential to contact an Ohio DUI and OVI defense attorney to reach the best possible outcome for your case. This is not something that should be left up to chance. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.


Process step-by-step

  • 01.
    Initial Arrest

    01. Initial Arrest

    The process to charge someone that’s been accused of a crime begins with an arrest. If the police have reason to believe that someone has committed a crime, the accused can be taken into custody. Police will usually start by asking basic questions like name and address to identify a person, and then they’ll often pivot to more specific questions related to the incident. At some point during this, you should have been read your “Miranda warnings.”

  • 02.
    Reading Your Rights

    02. Reading Your Rights

    You have the right to remain silent to avoid disclosing evidence that could potentially be self-incriminating, as well as the right to an attorney to defend you in court. Those are your unwavering rights that must be recited upon taking someone into custody. Take note of when these rights are read to you, as it could be helpful information for your attorney.

  • 03.

    03. Booking

    When you’ve been taken down to the station, police will fingerprint you and get your photograph to update their records. Once this is done, you should be granted the opportunity to contact your criminal defense lawyer. If you don’t have a lawyer, get a loved one to book a consultation with a lawyer on your behalf. It’s important that you do NOT disclose any details about your case over the phone with your loved ones, as those calls are monitored.

  • 04.

    04. Investigation

    After you’ve made it through the booking process, the police may begin conducting their investigation with you. Depending on the situation, this might include a personal search, collecting samples, interviewing/interrogating, police lineups, etc.

  • 05.
    Court Appearance

    05. Court Appearance

    You’ll be held at the station until you can be brought before a judge. The initial court appearance will happen within 48 hours or less of the arrest. Here, the judge will review the case and decide if there’s any reason to keep you in holding or if bail can be granted. If bail is granted, you’re allowed to be released upon certain conditions.

  • 06.

    06. Hearing

    Depending on the seriousness of your allegations, you may have a preliminary hearing at which a judge can determine whether enough evidence exists to charge you with that level of crime. You’ll be able to plead “guilty” or “not guilty.” If you plead not guilty, your case will be sent to trial. You may get the opportunity to enter a plea deal. That’s something your attorney will advise you on.

  • 07.

    07. Discovery

    In the discovery stage, the case against you is made much more transparent. The prosecutor will share the evidence they have against you with your defense attorney. During this time, your attorney can make additional requests for evidence if need be. All of the evidence on the table will be considered, and your lawyer will work with you to form the best plan for your defense.

  • 08.

    08. Trial

    If a plea deal is unable to be reached, the case will enter trial. During the trial, the prosecutor begins by presenting the case to the jury. They share any evidence they have against you and have witnesses make their statements for the prosecution. This can be tough to sit through. Afterward, it’s your lawyer’s turn to take the stands and share your side of the story. Your lawyer can question the prosecutor’s witnesses and all of the evidence that was used against you. There are many different strategies that your lawyer will use to defend you during the trial.

  • 09.

    09. Sentencing

    In a best-case scenario, you will have been found not guilty by the end of the trial, and the charges against you have been dropped. If you are found guilty, the judge must determine what your sentence/penalties will be. The sentencing will happen at another hearing, usually a few weeks after your trial ends.

Ohio Felony Sentencing

Prison TIme
Maximum Fine
First Degree
3-11 years
Second Degree
2-8 years
Third Degree
9-36 or 12-60 months
Fourth Degree
6-8 months
Fifth Degree
6-12 months

Ohio Misdemeanor Sentencing

Jail Time
Maximum Fine
First Degree
Up to 180 days
Second Degree
Up to 90 days
Third Degree
Up to 60 days
Fourth Degree
Up to 30 days
Minor Misdemeanor

Frequently Asked Questions

Does getting a DUI ruin your life?

No, a DUI or OVI does not have to ruin your life. It is important to remember that getting charged with a DUI or OVI is not the end of the road. Hiring an experienced attorney will give you the best possible chance at a favorable outcome. If they can get the charges dismissed as is sometimes the case, you won’t even have a DUI or OVI on your record at all.

Why would a DUI be dismissed?

There are numerous reasons why a DUI might get dismissed. Generally, if a DUI or OVI is dismissed, it is due to the fact that the defense attorney has been able to convince the court that there is not enough evidence, or that the evidence was collected illegally in some way.

What can OVI be reduced to?

Depending on the particular situation, OVI charges can sometimes be reduced. If they are reduced it will likely be to a reckless operation charge, which can still come with fines and other penalties. An experienced DUI and OVI attorney will be able to review your case and determine if fighting for a reduction is the best option.

Ohio Courts System

We have successfully represented clients across Northern Ohio. If you are facing criminal charges, we can help you too. Don’t delay. The district attorney is building their case against you right now.

The Prosecutor will not take your charges lightly — Will you?

Experienced in all Northeast Ohio Courts and Northern District of Ohio


  • Cuyahoga County
  • Geauga County
  • Lake County
  • Lorain County
  • Portage
  • Summit
  • Medina
  • Erie
  • Stark
  • Trumbull
  • Mahoning
  • Ashtabula

Major Cities

  • Cleveland
  • Parma
  • Lorain
  • Elyria
  • Lakewood
  • Euclid
  • Mentor
  • Cleveland Heights