Criminal Defense Attorney in Toledo, Ohio

Charged with a Crime? Call Sawan & Sawan today.

A criminal conviction can severely impact your finances, your freedom and your future. If you are in need of a criminal defense attorney, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney in Toledo, Ohio as soon as possible. Any hesitation in seeking the advice of counsel can impact the outcome of your case. Sawan & Sawan has a team of criminal defense attorneys in Toledo, Ohio that strive to reach favorable outcomes for all of our clients and to ensure their rights are vigorously defended. Our criminal defense team can represent you if you are facing felony charges in Ohio, misdemeanor charges in Ohio, a DUI or an OVI in Ohio or any other criminal charges. Even if criminal charges have not yet been filed, you may have been contacted by law enforcement. In such cases, it can be prudent to have counsel available to discuss what you might expect to happen and defend your rights. Give us a call today and speak with a criminal defense attorney from Sawan & Sawan at 419-900-0955.

Vigorous Criminal Defense Team

At Sawan & Sawan, we have over 30 combined years of legal experience defending our clients.

Toledo Attorney Dennis P. Sawan

Dennis P. Sawan

Senior Partner
Toledo Attorney Dennis E. Sawan

Dennis E. Sawan

Managing Partner
Toledo Attorney Chris A. Sawan

Christopher A. Sawan


We Will Fight to Maintain Your Rights.

There is nothing more valuable than your freedom. This is a basic tenet that we apply to the representation of every individual accused of a crime. The United States Constitution ensures the accused a fair and unbiased process for which to establish guilt or innocence. Our criminal defense attorneys work tirelessly to guarantee that every right guaranteed to our clients is provided and respected. The criminal defense attorneys at Sawan & Sawan firmly believe that anyone accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty, and we’ll fight to ensure that your rights are maintained. If you’ve have been charged with a crime, Sawan & Sawan is in your corner.

Practice Areas

DUI Attorney in Toledo, OH

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or more recently known as Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated (OVI) is a serious crime in Ohio. Specifically, in Ohio, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration(BAC) of .08 or above. This limit is lower for commercial drivers and drivers under age of 21. OVI means “Operating a Vehicle Intoxicated”. In addition, it is also illegal to drive with any amount of controlled substance such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or meth present in the driver’s blood over certain limits.

I Am Charged With a DUI or OVI in Ohio, Do I Need a Lawyer?

Our Ohio DUI and OVI attorneys have years of experience in the courtroom. After all of this experience navigating Ohio DUIs and Ohio OVIs, we’ve heard this question asked more than anything else. To be candid – the answer is not always yes. However, if you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, there are some potentially life altering consequences. We do not write this to scare you, but it is critical to your determination to seek counsel that you understand what consequences you are facing. Potential consequences of conviction of a DUI in Ohio include license suspension, large fines, potential employment implications, CDL implications and even incarceration.

Here’s Where a Good Ohio/OVI Attorney Comes In.

Did you know that intoxication results are not always correct? Did you know that an officer’s perception of intoxication can often be successfully placed in doubt? This is entirely fact specific, but depending on which kind of test was used, you may be able to successfully challenge the test results. Experienced attorneys get the maintenance records for the equipment used in the testing and know police standards and practices with respect to DUI/OVI arrests.

How Many Drinks Can I Have And Still Fall Under the Legal Limit to Drive in Ohio?

Many of our clients ask us how many drinks they can have and still fall under the legal limit to operate their vehicles in Ohio. Unfortunately, it is difficult, if not impossible, for someone to calculate exactly how many drinks it takes to reach the .08 BAC OVI limit. Everyone’s body is different and everyone’s body processes alcohol differently. Alcoholic beverages often contain various levels of alcohol. In determining a person’s BAC, there are many factors such as: weight, sex, body-fat percentage, and the time intervals between drinks. If you have a drink with food, it is very possible that if you were breathalyzed, for example, you may not exceed the legal limit. It is simply impossible to know and given the stakes criminal defendants face if charged with a DUI or OVI, we stress to all of our clients that they must be aware of one simple fact. The more you drink the closer you get to impairment. Our best rule of thumb is to use extreme caution whenever you are operating a vehicle if you are under the influence of alcohol or any other mind altering substance. In an ideal world, utilize ride sharing such as Uber or Lyft or carpool with a designated driver rather than driving yourself if you plan to have any alcohol at all. If that’s not possible, understand the risks when getting behind the wheel both to yourself and to society at large.

What Happens if I'm Arrested for a DUI?

Initially as the first step, an officer must make observations while your car is in motion. They are taught to look for certain clues that you are impaired. Weaving, driving outside the lanes, making wide turns, causing an accident, erratic speed changes, unsafe lane changes, driving without headlights, recklessly driving are among a few clues that officers look for. An officer can also get a “tip” that you are intoxicated, stop you for a simple traffic violation such as speeding, an equipment violation or seriously violating the marked lanes of the road. (Courts have held that minor marked lanes violations are not enough to make a stop). The officer must have probable cause to believe you committed and offense and have reasonable suspicion that further investigation will show you are impaired. An attorney must look at the report and cruiser video to determine if the initial traffic stop was justified. Many suppression motions are filed on this initial step in the process.

The next stage of an OVI investigation is the officer’s observations when he first makes contact with you. He will make notes of any problems you have safely stopping your vehicle or responding to the cruiser lights. When he/she approaches you they will be looking for clues of impairment ie: the odor of alcohol, the condition of your eyes, your coordination when providing you driver license, your attitude, your speech, the condition of your clothes, and other factors. The evidence must give the officer a reasonable suspicion that you are under in influence. Again your attorney, will review the evidence the prosecuting attorney provides to evaluate whether the extended detention was legal.

To support an officer’s suspicion of impairment, you may be asked to perform “field sobriety tests.” They are designed to confirm that you are under the influence or likely to test over the limit. The standardized tests are the walk and turn (walk nine steps, turn, walk nine steps back), the one leg stand (stand on one leg for thirty seconds), and the horizontal gaze nystagmus (follow a pen or other stimulus with your eyes). Remember you are not legally required to perform these tests but there are pros and cons to taking/refusing the tests. Again your attorney will review the video recording of the field tests to see how well you performed and will see how well the officer administered the tests.

If the officer concludes you are under the influence, he will place you under arrest. He will handcuff you and take you to the station for a breath test. To justify this arrest, the officer must have probable cause to believe you operated the vehicle under the influence. His decision will be based on the totality of the circumstances and will include all the evidence supporting the determination that you are impaired.

What Are the Penalties for an DUI in Ohio?

On April 6, 2017 “Annie’s Law” came into effect. The changes generally involve the look back period, use of the interlock system, and enhanced penalties. The law was named after Annie Rooney, an attorney who was killed in an automobile accident by a repeat drunk driver in 2013. His blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit. Ironically, before she opened her own law practice, she successfully prosecuted drunk drivers. In general, the look back period under Annie’s law has increased from six years to ten years. The look back period allows the Court to look back to see how many OVI’s the defendant has had in the past 10 years. It puts interlock systems in place for first- time OVI offenders. With the interlock, a driver cannot start the car if there is any alcohol detected after blowing into the interlock machine. The first time offender can now lose his license for a minimum of one year rather than six months which was under the old law. There is also a twenty year look back period which was not changed with Annie’s law. Under that look back period, the court looks at people who have refused a chemical test or who have received six or more OVI’s in that time frame. The effect of having an OVI charge now and a prior fifteen years ago in which the defendant refused the chemical test would enhance the penalties under the “high tier” range which is >.17 blood alcohol level. Judge Jennifer P. Weiler of the Garfield Heights Municipal Court has complied a penalty chart for OVI offenders. Most Courts use this chart to assist them in OVI sentencing. Check out our page on the penalties for a DUI in Ohio for more information. These penalties are what a Judge, at a minimum, must impose and on the high side what they could impose. These are for simple OVI cases – not ones where a third party in an auto accident sustains an injury.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in Toledo, Ohio Today.

Sawan & Sawan – Toledo Criminal Defense Lawyers


Sawan & Sawan is a Toledo Ohio Criminal Defense law firm with Toledo Ohio  Criminal Defense attorneys licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio and Florida. If you were charged with a crime in Ohio and would like to speak further about your specific legal matter, call Sawan & Sawan today at 419-900-0955 to schedule a free consultation. 

416 N Erie St Ste 200A, Toledo, OH 43604

Other Locations We Serve


Sawan & Sawan is a Toledo Ohio Criminal Defense law firm with Toledo Ohio  Criminal Defense attorneys licensed to practice law in the State of Ohio and Florida. If you were charged with a crime in Ohio and would like to speak further about your specific legal matter, call Sawan & Sawan today at 419-900-0955 to schedule a free consultation.