CLEVE M. JOHNSON 495 South High Street, Suite 400; Columbus, Ohio  43215-5058 (first building south of courthouse) Map
(614) 299-8235__________________cj@clevejohnson.com



•Do you need a serious defense?
•Would you rather keep it simple?
•Do you absolutely have to drive?

•Are OVI's impossible to win?
•21 ways to "beat" the test
•Mistakes made in OVI cases.
•Myths about OVI cases.
•After court checklist


•Is your job on the line?
Commercial driver's licenses
Are you a pilot?

Can an OVI be a death sentence?


Qualifications and experience
The real best lawyers

•State Bar Journal Article


•Attorney fee answers & "secrets"
•Is a lawyer worth the money?


OVI penalties
•Drinks & alchool levels


•Myths and misunderstandings
•DUS and no ops penalties


•22 ways to win point cases
•48 ways to lose your license


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Teaching the best DUI lawyers new developments and cutting edge techniques statewide and nationally.


Are you in serious trouble and need a serious defense? Sometimes people are more upset than then need to be; however, if you think you are in serious trouble, you probably are. Only someone who doesn’t know what they are doing thinks drunk driving cases are easy. It is a mistake to think that they are impossible. See Real life "impossible" cases with that weren't impossible. [top]


Is your job on the line? If you are a pilot or a CDL driver you probably already know you are in serious trouble. One OVI results in a one year CDL disqualification. A second results in a lifetime disqualification. Pilots can jeopardize their license if they fail to comply with strict federal regulations once charged with OVI. An OVI conviction can put many other jobs in jeopardy as well. Losing a job also often means losing health insurance. If this is your situation, you don't want a lawyer who is unaware of the different ways an OVI affects CDL's. I have prepared legal outlines and lectured on CDL law at lawyer CLE seminars. You also need to know that OVI cases are not impossible. See Real life "impossible" cases with that weren't impossible, Qualifications and Experience. [top]


Do you absolutely have to drive? Under the right circumstances almost any penalty the law allows for can be changed. Pre-trial license suspensions can also be terminated. If you give up and plead guilty the court will have no choice but to suspend your license. A lot depends upon what you decide to do. [top]


Will your OVI turn you into a teenager again? If you are convicted, the government can put things off limits, tell you how late you can stay out, where you can go, and ground you (that is put you in jail) if you don’t obey. They can treat you like a child and order you to come in and explain yourself. They can make you do demeaning things like give urine samples. They can embarrass you in a number of different ways. For example, they can make you wear a big box on your ankle 24 hours a day or make you get yellow license plates, even on a first offense. Before you plead guilty, you should consider whether you want to give it the power you like a child. If you think this is impossible to avoid this, click here. [top]


Don’t all experienced lawyers get the same results? Unfortunately even most experienced lawyers think that OVI cases can’t be won except in rare cases. Their entire strategy is based upon begging the prosecutor for a reduction in charges and giving up and pleading guilty if that doesn’t work.

Prosecutors don’t fear losing to lawyers like this so they don’t make very good settlement offers. Client’s almost never want to go to trial so they think they don’t need a lawyer who knows how to fight. The mistake is not understanding that hiring a lawyer who fights can lead to better results even if the case does not go to trial.

For example, most experienced lawyers, unfortunately, have never even seen a machine like the one at the left and have no idea how such knowledge can be used in an OVI case. See also note re: National College For DUI Defense. [top]


What can you do for me that I can’t do myself? Even if you are guilty, that doesn’t mean that a lawyer can’t help you. Under the right circumstances, almost every penalty the law imposes can be changed. The problem is that people who are not lawyers almost always go about this the wrong way.

There are also hidden dangers and future problems that only experienced OVI lawyers know about. For example, most people mistakenly think that you can’t go to jail or get yellow and red “party” license plates on a first offense. Sometimes people come out of court thinking everything went fine only to find out later that the driving privileges that they thought they just got won’t work with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. An experienced lawyer may be able to keep you from getting a lifetime record for OVI. Almost nobody does this on their own. [top]


The top reason people get a lifetime drunk driving record. The clients give up. People who think nothing can be done and plead guilty early in the case end up with a drunk driving record for life. Clients who don’t give up often do better. Quick and good are usually opposites in the world of drunk driving.

The number two reason people get a lifetime drunk driving record. Their lawyers give up. The number of local lawyers who regularly contest drunk driving cases in court is pretty small. Most lawyers have never contested a case. If the prosecutor won’t reduce the charges, they don’t know what else to do other than plead their clients guilty and give them a lifetime drunk driving record. [top]



I want my life back. Most people who are charged with OVI are very upset. They want their life to go back to the way it was before. Being charged with OVI does not make you a bad person; but, if you are not careful, the system will treat you that way. Often, people find out too late that OVI cases are more complicated than they thought. While it is important that your lawyer understand your feelings, most people want more than just a sympathetic ear. Smart clients want a lawyer who knows what he is doing. The choice is yours. You can give up and surrender to the system or you can give your problems to a lawyer who knows what he is doing and who may be able to give you your life back. If you surrender and plead guilty, you give the court the power to make important decisions in your life for you. [top]




Flexible fees. While there can always be exceptions, it is usually not fair to charge the person who pleads guilty at their first court appearance the the same fee that is charged to the person whose case goes all the way to trial. On the other hand, if the result the client wants is obtained because the lawyer knows more than other lawyers, it does not make sense for that lawyer to charge the same as other lawyers who have not put the time and effort in to be able to perform at a higher level. My fees depend on what the client wants to accomplish as well as how difficult the case is. Once I understand these things, I set a fee. In OVI cases, if the client doesn't want to hire me I don’t charge for the evaluation. See also: Things lawyers usually don’t tell you about attorney fees and Frequent questions about fees [top]


How a drunk driving conviction can be a death sentence. If a drunk driving conviction costs you your job, it may also cost you your health benefits. If you have a preexisting condition, you may not be able to get coverage even if you find another job. If you or a family member has a life threatening medical condition that you can only afford to treat with insurance, getting convicted of OVI can be a death sentence. [top]


If you need to talk to me immediately: The best way to reach me during the week is at my office number which is 614-299-8235. Most days I am in the office at least until 6:00 p.m. and often later. I don’t duck calls. If I am in the office and not with another client or on the phone, I will take your call. Unless I have a client waiting, I usually return calls as soon as I get back into the office after morning court. I almost always return calls no later than one business day after the message.

After hours and on weekends, my home number is 614-299-8235. This is a land line, not a cell phone. If you call this number during the week instead of the office line, you will talk to my wife or my answering machine and I will not know you called until I get home from the office. I generally don’t give my cell phone number out because I sometimes forget to switch my cell phone off when I am in court and I don’t want it ringing at the wrong time. My receptionist does have this number. If it is urgent, she can call me at the courthouse and I will call you back as soon as I can get free.

You probably don’t want a lawyer who is always instantly available. A lawyer who has nothing to do other than sit around and wait for the phone to ring probably isn’t going to court or meeting with clients very much. This probably means the lawyer either isn’t very good or he or she doesn’t have much experience. I am also not fond of texting for legal business. The answers to most legal questions are more complex than most clients realize. Giving oversimplified answers to complex questions in a short text is a formula for trouble down the road. [top]

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