Implications With The DMV
Interviewer: When someone has to go to the DMV hearing, from what I understand those are a little bit more difficult to deal with as far as trying to convince them of someone’s innocence as far as whether they were intoxicated or not. It’s like they just look at what they see on the police officer’s notes. When it comes to the standardized field sobriety tests, how does that weigh in?
Adam Hunt: There’s an automatic license suspension in Ohio when somebody takes a test and doesn’t perform well or whatever.
Interviewer: It’s automatic, you said?
Adam Hunt: Yeah, and there are ways around it. It’s administrative. It would be something that would require administrative help in order to prevent the automatic license suspension. There’s no real hearing for that part.
Interviewer: Oh, I see, so that’s just automatic then.
Adam Hunt: Right.
Interviewer: How long is that suspension going to be?
Adam Hunt: At a minimum it will be at least two weeks from the day that they arrest, depending. Then if the paperwork isn’t filed within that time, it will go until there’s a final disposition on the criminal case or the OVI case. That could go, depending on a lot of other factors, usually up to six months.
Interviewer: Going back to the standardized field sobriety tests, when you’re working with someone and they’ve been arrested, and they give you a call, and you’re going to meet with them, when you meet with them what do you ask them to bring with them or what sort of information should they provide for you?
Adam Hunt: For the first time, usually I want to see whatever paperwork they’ve been given from the police officers. They have probably the report, depending on what they’ve done, and I’d want to see the complete file. I’d want to see what the tests were, what the breath was at, whether there were any witnesses or someone that could testify that this individual was not drinking that night. So any kind of information that they could bring in in order to assist with their case is going to be beneficial, but the biggest thing would be any police reports or any test results that were given to them or that they had obtained on their own.
Interviewer: I see. In a typical case that involved the standardized field sobriety tests, just that portion alone, how long is that going to take? What’s the average amount of time for a case?
Adam Hunt: It depends again. Any DUI case could go from a relatively short time, like a week to months depending on what the facts are and what steps they’re taking: if there’s a suppression hearing, if there’s a settlement at the first pre-trial, or if they already have an attorney present at their initial appearance there’s a potential that it could be settled right there.
It’s going to fact-specific on each case depending on what those facts are and what the individual wishes as far as an outcome. My advice and if they’ll follow it would come into play as far as that timeframe. I would advise them that, “Hey, there’s an arrestable issue here. We could probably win this if we go to trial,” things like that, so there are a lot of factors that are going to come in to play.
Challenging Aspects of Field Sobriety Test/DUI Cases
Interviewer: When someone’s dealing with a standard field sobriety, what would you say are the more challenging aspects? What are some of the things that are going to be a little bit more difficult for you to deal with in this?
Adam Hunt: I can’t think of anything off the top of my head. Every case is unique. It’s just a matter of having to pay attention. Then you have to be obviously detail-oriented when you’re questioning the clients, looking over the reports, and thinking of what types of strategies should be taken to get the best results. That’s the only thing I can say. It’s going to really, really vary.
By: Adam Hunt