Does Location Matter in a DUI Charge? Driving Over State Lines
Interviewer: You’re in the Youngstown area, so you’re on the border of Ohio and Pennsylvania, right?
Adam: I have an office in Youngstown and I share one in Warren, also. Warren is just north of Youngstown.
Interviewer: Do you encounter many people driving over the border that live in Pennsylvania but get stopped in Ohio and vice versa?
Adam: Tons of people. I have quite a few clients who live in Pennsylvania and are facing charges in Ohio.
Interviewer: How are the stakes different for out-of-state drivers or drivers that get a DUI in Pennsylvania, for instance?
Adam: Technically, it’s going to depend on what they did. If it’s an OVI, there’s no reciprocity between Pennsylvania and Ohio. They would lose their Ohio driving privileges, which means if they were pulled over when they were in Ohio they would be looking at a charge of M1, which is the highest misdemeanor.
The penalty will be six months for Driving Under Suspension because your license is suspended in Ohio. They could be all right as long as they’re in Pennsylvania, but they would lose their privileges in Ohio.
There are other things, too. They could be sentenced to probation. That means they’re going to have to keep coming back to Ohio. However, if they retain a competent and experienced attorney, they might be able to at least negotiate a non-reporting probation.
Do You Have To Retain an Attorney Who Practices in the State in which you were Charged?
Interviewer: If you’re a Pennsylvania resident and you’re in Ohio for the day and you get stopped and charged with OVI, you need an Ohio attorney to address that, not one in Pennsylvania, right?
Adam: You’re better off because judges and prosecutors tend to be more cordial towards the people they see more frequently. They’re not going to be acquainted with somebody that’s coming over from Pennsylvania just for this one case. Also, you need an attorney who is experienced in the DUI or OVI laws of the particular state.
Interviewer: I’m asking if that’s a frequent occurrence because your practice is near the border.
Adam: I see a lot of people coming over from Struthers, which is a suburb of Youngstown. Struthers is closer, even, than Youngstown to the border. It’s on the east side of Youngstown. Usually they get picked up either in Struthers or Poland, Ohio.
By Adam Hunt