Defending Your Freedom And Your Right To Drive

One of the more common questions you hear about a drunk driving charge in Ohio is whether a person really needs an attorney to represent their interests. The answer? Yes, you absolutely need an attorney to represent your legal interests if you have been charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence (OVI).

Even on a first offense, an OVI (otherwise known as driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI)), may carry extremely harsh penalties such as:

  • Loss of driver's license
  • Jail time
  • Abstinence from alcohol
  • Substantial fines
  • Alcohol treatment classes
  • Loss of right to own firearms

At Lopez, Severt & Pratt Co., L.P.A., our Troy, Ohio attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience defending people against OVI charges. Whether it's a first offense or tenth offense, our criminal defense attorneys have the knowledge, insight and technique necessary to get you the best deal possible.

Debunking Common OVI Myths

Rumors abound as to why it's unnecessary to have a criminal defense lawyer represent you in an OVI case. Unfortunately, each of these rumors is untrue.

  • It's a first offense — I can handle it on my own. Even if it is a first offense — and you maybe could handle it on your own — the consequences are not always readily apparent and can result in collateral damage, and a permanent record, that lasts for years.
  • What harm can a misdemeanor cause? Plenty. From 90 days in jail, to a $1,000 fine, to license suspension of up to three years. Plus, a misdemeanor conviction goes on your record and can be used to enhance future charges brought against you.
  • There's no way to get out of an OVI. Although police officers are highly trained in the proper procedure for making a DUI arrest, they can still make mistakes. At Lopez, Severt & Pratt Co., L.P.A., our attorneys know how to spot — and exploit — these issues.
  • It costs too much to hire a DUI attorney. Without an attorney, you're more likely to pay a higher fine, subjected to steeper financial penalties and open to more long-term financial consequences. In the end, you'll save more with an attorney on your side.
  • I'm guilty and just want it over with. Even if you feel you are guilty — and there is no legal challenge available in your case — a DWI attorney can work with the prosecutor and court toward alternative, reduced or delayed sentencing.
  • A lawyer can't do anything for me anyway. Our OVI attorneys are highly trained in spotting potential defenses in drunk driving cases, negotiating with prosecutors and asking the right questions of cops and witnesses. Plus, we're familiar with the courts, its players and know how to ensure your rights are protected.

Protect Your Driver's License

In addition to the criminal penalties (which include jail time and fines), DUIs carry harsh civil and administrative sanctions. These can include loss of driver's license, installation of an ignition interlock device and "yellow plates" on your vehicle, alcohol treatment or abstinence, payment of a steep license reinstatement fee and vehicle forfeiture. Plus, you have a very limited amount of time to challenge the administrative suspension of your driver's license. An experienced DUI attorney can help you mitigate these hardships.

Having a Miami County attorney on your side in an OVI can make all the difference. Contact Lopez, Severt & Pratt Co., L.P.A., online today or call our office in Troy, Ohio, at 937-552-3437 to talk to lawyers who excel at solving problems.