D.U.I./Criminal and Traffic Defense

Can I own Machine Guns and other Title II firearms in Ohio?
Yes. Under Ohio law if you properly register what is known as "Dangerous Ordnance" with the Federal Government it is possible to own items such as machine guns, suppressors, short barreled rifles and short barreled shot guns.
Can a person with a drug crime conviction own firearms?
As of today, no. Anyone with a conviction involving illegal drugs is prohibited under state law from possessing firearms, this includes petty offenses as well. There is, however, a split amongst the courts as to the validity of this law and the law is currently in the process of being changed.
What should I do if I am pulled over by the police?
If an officer signals for you to pull over, do so safely. Stay seated, with your hands on the wheel, and your driver’s side window all the way down, until they reach your car. Officers are armed and trained to be cautious and it would be unsafe and unwise to move quickly and/or suspiciously. In approaching your vehicle, the officer will be making observations, including any quick movements on your part (or a passenger’s part) that may involve hiding something from view. Upon reaching your car and interacting with you, the officer will probably request your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance. The officer will be observing the condition of your eyes, the manner of your speech, your coordination when providing your license, your attitude, the condition of your clothes, any illegal items conspicuously visible in your vehicle, and other factors. The most common observation that leads to further investigation is the odor of alcohol or marijuana. If the officer has reason to believe you are intoxicated, they will probably ask you to get out of the car to perform coordination tests. If the officer has reason to believe you have committed a crime, they will likely ask you to get out of the car to be patted down for illegal substances or weapons and transported to the police station.
What happens if I am arrested?
If the officer concludes there is probable cause to believe you have committed a crime (driving under the influence, robbery, assault), the officer will place you under arrest. You will then be transported to the police station. During the interaction with you, the police officer will likely question you about the incident (e.g., where have you been, how much did you drink, etc.). You have the right to remain silent. You do not have to talk to the police. If you choose not to talk to the police, you should tell the officer politely that you do not want to discuss the incident until you consult with an attorney. An attorney can advise you about whether to talk with officers and can talk with them on your behalf.
Should I take the breath test if I'm pulled over for D.U.I.?
At the police station, you will be requested to provide a sample of your breath, blood, or urine for chemical tests to determine the level of alcohol in your blood. You may refuse the tests but before submitting to a test or refusing a test, consider the following possible outcomes : (1) If you take the test and the result is over the legal limit: (a) your license will be suspended for 90 days (or longer if you have prior D.U.I. convictions); and (b) the prosecution will use the results of the test against you in court; (2) If you take the test and the result is under the legal limit: (a) your license will not be suspended; and (b) the results of the test will not be damaging in court, but you may still be charged with D.U.I.; (3) If you refuse the test: (a) your license will be suspended for one year (or longer if you have previously refused); and (b) the prosecution will not have any test results to use against you in court. In Ohio, refusing the test, or testing over the legal limit, will result in an immediate suspension of your license by the B.M.V. called an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) . NOTE: It is unlawful for certain people to refuse the breath test (or other chemical tests). Recent changes in the law make it illegal for a person to refuse the breath test if that person has been convicted of O.V.I. (or an equivalent offense) in the last 20 years. In addition, it is illegal for commercial drivers to refuse a breath test. Also, for a person on probation for O.V.I., it may be a violation of probation to refuse a chemical test.
What will happen to my vehicle if I’m charged with D.U.I. ?
You will probably face immediate impoundment of your vehicle. If your vehicle is impounded, make sure you obtain from the police the location of the vehicle and a telephone number to contact the towing company or impound lot. If this is your first offense, you will probably be able to pick up your vehicle the next day. If this is a second offense or more, you will probably not be able to pick up your vehicle until a judge issue of a court order to release the vehicle. An attorney can assist you in obtaining release of your car.
What if I can’t afford an attorney and I’ve been charged with a crime?
If you meet certain financial requirements, a public defender or a court-appointed lawyer can be assigned to your case.
Do I have to register my firearms in Ohio?
No. There is no "Gun Registry" anywhere in the state of Ohio. In fact, under Ohio Revised Code 9.68 local governmental bodies are not authorized to institute a gun registry in contradiction of state law.
If convicted of a crime that prohibits me from owning a firearm, can I have my rights restored?
Yes. This is an extensive and not easily answered question as it depends on your specific facts and circumstances. Ohio has several processes for restoring your firearm rights - but not everyone is eligible.
Gun Law: Is open carry in Ohio really legal?
Yes. It is a constitutionally protected right in Ohio. See Klein v. Leis, 99 Ohio St.3d 537.
Gun Law: If I qualify for a concealed carry permit does the sheriff have to issue it to me?
Yes. Ohio is what is known as a shall issue state. See Ohio Revised Code 2923.125.
Gun Law: Is it illegal for me to use a magazine that exceeds 31 rounds?
Yes, with exceptions. Under Ohio law as interpreted it is illegal for a citizen to use a magazine that is over 31 rounds with a semi-automatic firearm unless a license is first obtained from the sheriff. It is important to note that there is some question as to the constitutionality of this law.