What to do if my uncle was accused of OVI/ DUI and he had to appear in court but wasn’t given any help for his hearing loss, so he didn’t hear most of the proceedings?

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What to do if my uncle was accused of OVI/ DUI and he had to appear in court but wasn’t given any help for his hearing loss, so he didn’t hear most of the proceedings?

He refused to take any tests; he had been accused of prior DUI’s. His hearing has declined over the years. Even though he couldn’t hear, his public defender kind of brushed it off. He now has to serve 2 years but can appeal it possibly in 6 months. Is there anything I can do about it?

Asked on April 19, 2015 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Your uncle could try to appeal based on denial of due process (not being able to participate in the proceedings) and also ineffective assistance of counsel (the public defender not taking any actions regarding the inability to hear & participate). IF a court concludes that you uncle's inability to hear better prejudiced, or hurt, him in court--that is, that the outcome reasonably may have been different had you uncle been able to better participate--he may be able to get a new trial.


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