I’ve been practicing law since 2001. I started my career doing civil contract work and found that the part I enjoyed most about that job was being in a court room. A few years later I was offered a position as an assistant prosecutor for the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s office, which I immediately accepted. During my time as an assistant prosecutor I discovered my love for trial work. After litigating hundreds of cases, I decide it was time for a new challenge, so I left the Prosecutor’s office and started working as an associate in criminally defense firm, where I practiced primarily OVI/DUI defense. I started my own practice in 2013, and I’ve been concentrating on OVI defense since then.
What Do You Find Are Some Of The Biggest Misconceptions People Have When It Comes To OVI Or DUI Arrests And Charges In Ohio When You First Speak To Them About Their Case?
One of the most prevalent misconceptions is people think that they’re guilty right away, so they don’t necessarily think they need an attorney. This may be because OVIs are a bit unique. After all, you get a cross-section of all people arrested for OVIs, so they’re unfamiliar with the legal process, and they instantly think that they’re guilty and that’s the way they should go about it. I think that’s probably the biggest misconception. However, it is essential to hire an attorney for an OVI because of the potential consequences, both short and long term.
The vast majority of the people that hire my firm for an OVI are first-time offenders and have no record at all other than maybe some minor traffic offenses.
Do You Find That Those Are The People That Are Like, “Oh, I Know I Was Guilty, So I Should Just Plead Guilty And Get This Over With”?
Some folks are very remorseful and feel like they’ve done something wrong and that they either won’t have any defenses or there’s nothing they can do, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Yet, those are the people who actually get the best plea deals offered or are the ones you can sometimes even win cases for. Thinking you’re guilty because you’ve been arrested is probably the biggest misconception.
How Common Is It When Someone Is Facing An OVI Or A DUI Charge In Ohio That They Think There Is No Point In Fighting The Charges?
It’s very common for people facing an OVI or DUI charges to assume there is no point in fighting. But, the vast majority of the people that call me don’t understand the process and what they’re going through. So, I’m always glad to talk to somebody to explain the options they may have available.
What Does That Initial Meeting Look Like When You Sit Down With This Typical Client That We’re Talking About Here? What Is Your Approach In Connecting With Them When They’re Scared, Angry, Or Ashamed?
I think the biggest thing that I try to do in that initial meeting is to make them feel at ease, let them know that this is not the crime of the century and that a judge is not looking to throw them in jail for the rest of their life. Unfortunately, this is a common charge that people get, but I walk them through the process and explain the potential penalties for an OVI conviction. I explain what the process looks like as far as timeline and court hearings and things like that. Then after getting some facts concerning the case, I give them an idea of what they can reasonably expect as far as an outcome to their case. As I said, I try to put them at ease as much as possible and explain to them when they can start driving. I just try to make them feel more comfortable and to continue to go about their lives. This is not a life-ending event, but this is something where, once you hire an attorney, let the attorney do the worry, and you go back to the day-to-day activities and live your life as usual with the limitations that you have.