Robert R. Hart, Jr., Attorney at Law
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Ohio man sentenced for fourth OVI

An Ohio man who once fatally struck a bicyclist while drunk was sentenced to spend 340 days in jail for an Operating a Vehicle Impaired conviction stemming from a traffic stop in July 2017. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the man climbed from the driver's seat into the back seat of his vehicle when he was pulled over. A municipal court judge found him guilty of obstructing official business and OVI.

The man had previously been convicted of OVI three times, including a conviction following a crash in 2007 that killed a bicyclist. For that incident, he was sentenced to four years in prison, which he served. He was also convicted of OVI in 2005, and again in 2014. As part of his 2014 conviction, 160 days of his sentence were suspended.

The judge in the 2017 case imposed a sentence of six months in jail, and added the 160 days that were suspended from the 2014 case. The judge also suspended the man's driver's license for a period of seven years. The man's driver's license had previously been subject to a lifetime suspension, but he had been granted limited privileges to drive sometime thereafter. He still has a pending charge of driving while under lifetime suspension, a felony.

In a case like this one, where a defendant has multiple previous drunk driving convictions, a lawyer may be able to help. A lawyer with experience in criminal defense law may be able to argue against the admissibility of prosecution evidence, for example, or attempt to negotiate a plea before trial. If critical prosecution evidence, such as BAC test results, is excluded from trial, the defense may have a much stronger position from which to negotiate. A lawyer may also be able to present an alternative theory of the case or argue on the client's behalf before a judge.

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