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CLEVE M. JOHNSON 495 South High Street, Suite 400; Columbus, Ohio  43215-5058 (first building south of courthouse) Map



•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



If you have a simple case: Many people’s first thought is that they have a simple case. They want their case to be quick easy and cheap. They want their problems to be over and they want to stop worrying. Getting the best results usually takes time. If your stress level is so high that it is not worth it to you to hold out for a better result, that may be a good reason to get the case over with quickly. I will do my best to obtain the best result I can under the constraints the client imposes.


The desire to keep the case simple is understandable, the problem is that OVI cases usually only seem simple to people that don’t know much about OVI. They rarely are simple. This may not be bad as it sounds though. To find out why, see the next section.

Keeping the case “simple” often involves getting a bad result with lifelong consequences. There can also be hidden problems that even many lawyers don’t understand. The question is what is right for you? You might want to look at: Will your OVI turn you into a teenager again? or What can you do for me that I can't do myself?


The big problem with simple cases. Despite what you might think, you probably don’t want your case to be simple because simple cases are usually bad or losing cases. See Is your case really simple? below. Most people think their cases are simple because they don’t understand the types of problems with the government’s case that can be found if the lawyer knows what to look for and does the work of looking. The key to these cases is finding the problems with the case. The key to that is finding a good lawyer who knows the kind of problems that are possible and who will work and dig until he finds them. There are only a small number of lawyers in Columbus that know how to do this. The rest specialize in pleading people guilty to drunk driving.


Finding a lawyer that can keep things simple and get a good result. This is sort of like finding a boxer that always scores a knockout on the first punch. Bad boxers never do this. Good boxers do it occasionally. There are no boxers that do it all the time. It is the same with lawyers. If a good result to you is pleading guilty and getting the minimum sentence that may be relatively simple in many cases, but many people want to avoid some of the consequences that can go with pleading guilty such as job loss, yellow and red plates, a lifetime OVI record, going to jail, or having a license suspension. To do this, most of the time you have to slug it out rather than winning with one punch.


So what should I do? As with most things in life, quick, easy and cheap are usually, but not always, the opposite of good. You have to decide how important getting a good result is to you.


Is your case really simple? For example, often people think that failing the test makes their case simple. They think they can't win. Actually failing the test makes the case more complex. Consider some of the possible factors that could account for a failed test (see also Real life "impossible" cases with good results):

  • Can the test be thrown out for lack of probable cause because:
    • There was no impaired driving.
    • There were insufficient indicia of impairment.
    • The officer did not follow his field testing manual.
  • Were the testing regulations properly followed?
  • Is the test incorrect because the defendant had GERD?
  • Is the test incorrect because of bleeding gums?
  • Could interfering substances caused an incorrect test result?
  • Is there a disconnect defense which makes the test result appear to be incorrect.
  • Could the Tyndall effect have elevated the test result?
  • Could the defendant’s failure to urinate actually win the case?
  • Could there be a sample collection error?
  • Was there a failure during an instrument check?
  • Is there an upslope argument?
  • Is there a source code problem?
  • Did a testing or calibration officer’s certificate expire?
  • Was an expired instrument check solution used?
  • Are all the witnesses necessary to get the test into evidence available?
  • Could replicate testing question the accuracy of the test?
  • Could there be a speedy trial defense?
  • Is the defendant charged under the wrong code section?
  • Is there a constitutional problem with the law?
  • Did the government destroy or lose evidence which should have been given to the defense in discovery?
  • Was the testing machine checked and calibrated with the same solution?