The state of Ohio, like many other states, takes DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charges very seriously. In this state, DUI is often referred to as OVI, or “operating a vehicle under the influence” and the penalties for these charges, whether they are caught in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, or anywhere else in the state are significant. Since a DUI/OVI conviction can derail an individual’s life, it is important he or she begins fighting the charges right away and the best place to start is at DUIRights.com.
Ohio Penalties for DUI/OVI
The law in Ohio is very clear when it comes to DUI/OVI charges – individuals who have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or higher are considered to be impaired and they will face the penalties outlined below:
- 3 Days to 6 Months in Jail
- $250 to $1,000 Fine
- 6 Month to 3 Year License Suspension
- 10 Days to 1 Year in Jail
- $350 to $1,500 Fine
- 1 to 5 Year License Suspension
- 30 Days to 6 Months in Jail
- $350 to $1,500 Fine
- 1 to 10 Year License Suspension
Why Your DUI Rights are Important for Your Case
Luckily, for first time offenders, the state of Ohio allows for plea bargaining for a lesser charge, such as “wet reckless” or reckless driving, where alcohol is a factor. While the individual will still face penalties, penalties will likely be less severe and a wet reckless charge doesn’t carry as much weight on a criminal record as a DUI/OVI does. In order to bargain for this lesser charge, the individual’s attorney will need to present the state prosecutor with some evidence making the case more difficult for the prosecutor to win, such as the individual’s rights being violated during the arrest.
Since most DUI/OVI arrests involve some sort of rights violation, the individual’s attorney should ask the following questions of the client to find out more details about the arrest and determine which rights may have been violated in some way:
- Did the officer have probable cause to make a traffic stop on the client?
- What were the officer’s observations? Were they consistent with other witnesses?
- Did the officer witness the client operating the vehicle?
- Did the officer properly administer a Breathalyzer test? How soon after the client’s last drink was this test given?
- Did the officer properly administer field sobriety testing? Did weather conditions affect the outcome of the client’s test?
- Was the client read their Miranda Rights?
No matter how guilty you may think you were at the time of the arrest, we want you to know one important thing: There is ALWAYS an aggressive and effective Ohio DUI defense that will help you fight for the best possible outcome. In our experience, many officers do not follow proper field sobriety test procedures. In fact, challenging probable cause and the way field sobriety tests, blood tests and breath tests were administered is often a successful strategy to reduce or drop the charges. Also, many people plead guilty prematurely based on a breath test with a result above the legal limit. This is a common and costly mistake, as there are a variety of ways in having the breath test suppressed as we will show you how to do.
If you rely solely on a public defender to help you, your chances will be limited in preserving financial security and effectively winning your case. We will help you protect yourself against an unfair court system and not risk losing your license or financial security. With our help, we will show you the easy to understand steps needed to get your Ohio DUI charges dismissed effectively and take back the control of your situation by being equipped with experienced representation you need to win your case.
DUI/OVI Laws in Ohio
First-time DUI offenders in Ohio can expect to face significant fines and penalties. Repeat offenders will see significant increases, with fourth time offenders facing some of the most significant fines and penalties in the United States.
Consequences for Refusing to Take Chemical Tests
Like many other states, first time offenders refusing to take a chemical test will lose their license for one year. For repeat offenders, the suspensions escalate accordingly.
- First offense – one-year license suspension
- Second offense – two-year license suspension
- Third offense – three-year license suspension
Challenging BAC Levels in Court
Ohio uses standard guidelines for blood alcohol content (BAC):
- Drivers that are under the age of 21, .02 percent
- Drivers 21 years of age and older, .08 percent
- Commercial drivers, .04 percent
Is There Mandatory Jail Time Required for a DUI in Ohio?
The minimum mandatory sentence in Ohio is rather short, but the terms on the maximum end for first and second time offenders are longer than many of the other states in the country:
- First offense – jail sentences ranging from three days to six months
- Second offense – jail sentences ranging from ten days to one year
- Third offense – jail sentences ranging from 30 days to one year
- Fourth offense – jail sentences ranging from 60 days to one year
The lookback period in Ohio is six years.
Monetary Fines and Penalties for DUI in Ohio
If you are found guilty of DUI in Ohio, you will face significant monetary fines:
- First offense – fines ranging from $250 to $1,000
- Second offense – fines ranging from $350 to $1,500
- Third offense – fines ranging from $350 to $1,500
- Fourth offense – fines ranging from $800 to $10,000
License Suspension for DUI in Ohio
All DUI offenders are looking at some of the longest license suspensions in the United States today:
- First offense – suspension ranging from six months to three years
- Second offense – suspension ranging from one to five years
- Third offense – suspension ranging from one to ten years
- Fourth offense – suspension ranging from three years to lifetime suspension
First and second offenders are not required to have an IID installed. However, third and fourth-time offenders must have an IID installed on their vehicle when their license in re-instated.
Finding a DUI Attorney in Ohio
In the state of Ohio, a first time Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) offender can face a number of different penalties. These penalties include a six month license suspension as well as having to use an ignition interlock device on the vehicle. Repeat offenders will face additional, more severe penalties including treatment and assessment for alcohol dependency for third time offenders and vehicle confiscation by law enforcement for fourth time offenders.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the DUI arrest and charge, it is important for individuals to seek the counsel of a knowledgeable DUI Rights attorney to help try the case. The penalties associated with a DUI arrest are not the only consequences these individuals face – in many cases, the repercussions of a DUI conviction can be seen for years in the offender’s personal and professional life. Having a DUI Rights attorney on their side to help get the case thrown out of court or get the punishments reduced is a huge advantage.
Public Defenders vs. DUI Attorneys
In some cases, the offender will not be able to afford to hire his or her own attorney for representation court. Offenders who cannot afford legal representation will be granted a public defender at no charge to them. Public defenders try a range of cases from DUI to assault to fraud – while this may seem like an advantage, it often comes at a price for the offender. Since public defenders try a large range of cases, they rarely have extensive knowledge in any one area.
Public defenders’ lack of extensive knowledge in Ohio’s DUI laws, regulations, and procedures means they are unlikely to have the expertise of an attorney specializing in this law. In many cases, the public defender will urge the client to take a plea deal in order to settle the case quickly. Although this makes the process faster, the offender will pay the price of possibly having to deal with penalties and punishments they do not deserve. This is why hiring a private attorney is so important.
An attorney who specializes in DUI cases in Ohio will have a wider base of knowledge in his or her specialty. This information gives these attorneys the ability to evaluate the evidence being presented by the state and build a case that will hopefully have the client’s charges dismissed or reduced. A reputable DUI Rights attorney will know what questions to ask the arresting officer, what paperwork should be filed as well as being able to spot of any of the offender’s right were violated during the process, which can ultimately help them win the case.