DUI in Ohio goes by the initials OVI, which is short for Operating a Vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Ohio takes OVI very seriously, and those arrested are facing serious penalties, especially if this is not their first offense.
At Groth & Associates, our lawyers have helped many people facing an OVI keep their license and stay out of jail. An arrest is not a conviction, though many people wrongly try to tackle their cases without the assistance of a Bowling Green, OH OVI lawyer. Contact us today to find out more information.
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OHIO’S OVI LAW
Ohio’s law is found at ORC 4511.19, Operating vehicle under influence of alcohol or drugs. A person will be found in violation of the law if their breath alcohol concentration (BAC) on a breath test is 0.08% or higher. If the driver is under the age of 21, then any BAC of 0.02% or higher will result in an OVI violation.
When it comes to cocaine, LSD, heroin, marijuana, and other controlled substances, then even tiny amounts in your bloodstream while driving a motor vehicle can result in an OVI conviction. There is very little leniency in Ohio’s laws, so it is best to find an attorney to help you if you have been pulled over.
OTHER PRACTICE AREA CASES
PENALTIES FOR AN OVI CONVICTION
The precise penalties you face will depend on many factors. Some of them include:
- Whether this is your first or subsequent offense in a 10-year or 20-year period. Even convictions from other states will count.
- Whether your BAC was 0.17% or higher.
- Whether you injured someone in a collision while intoxicated.
- Whether you refused to give a chemical test when pulled over by the police.
If this is your first OVI offense and you have none of the above aggravating factors, then you face first-degree misdemeanor charges. Penalties include:
- At least 3 days in jail but possibly up to 6 months
- Possible installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
- Fines that range from $375-$1,075
- Probation up to 5 years
- License suspension of up to 3 years, with no driving privileges for at least 15 days
- 6 points on your driving record
These penalties are relatively strong compared to what other states mete out. If you have an aggravating factor—such as a very high BAC—then you are facing more serious penalties.
MULTIPLE OFFENSES ON YOUR RECORD
One OVI conviction is bad enough. Those who are repeat offenders can face very harsh consequences. For example, if this is a person’s second OVI in a 10-year period, then they could face a minimum of 10 days in jail, up to 6 months. Probation can last up to 5 years, and fines can go up to $1,625. The defendant’s license might also be suspended for up to 7 years.
And penalties only go up from there for a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth arrest. Many repeat offenders are charged as felons and, if convicted, can lose important civil rights, such as the right to vote.
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DEFENDING AGAINST OVI CHARGES
One common misconception is that OVI cases in Ohio are always “open and shut” and that there is no ability to defend against these cases. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those facing OVI charges need to hire a legal team that will canvas the factual record and determine what defenses the facts support. Whereas some other attorneys simply hope to get a plea deal, Groth & Associates actually tries to win OVI cases.
The defenses that we raise will depend on the circumstances of your case. For example, the arresting officer might not have had probable cause to stop you in the first place. If not, then any chemical test can get thrown out of court, which typically defeats the case against you.
We might also be able to prove that there were problems with the chemical test, whether it was a breathalyzer or a blood test. Sometimes errors are made or machines are not properly calibrated, which can lead to false results.
A FAVORABLE RESOLUTION TO YOUR CASE
We fight to get charges dropped or, if you go to trial, to have a judgment of acquittal entered in your favor. Prosecutors often overestimate the strength of their cases and can suffer embarrassing defeats in the courtroom when they go up against a prepared attorney who has full command of the relevant facts.
In other cases, a favorable plea deal might be the best possible resolution. We can sometimes get charges reduced to a reckless operation charge. A plea deal helps keep an OVI off your record and can often allow you to move on with your life in a faster manner.
Even if you are convicted of OVI, we will work tirelessly to keep you out of jail so you can continue to work or go to school. Even though Ohio’s law speaks of “mandatory” time in jail, it is possible to get clients a different sentence, such as probation.
Words from our clients
Stevin is by far the best Lawyer that I have encountered. He is professional, knowledgeable, and very patient. I have lived out of the country for the past 5 years and anytime I needed legal assistance he has always been there for me as if I was next door. I would strongly recommend Stevin Groth no matter what the circumstances are. His dedication and attention to detail is what’s appreciated the most. Thanks for all that you have done and you will continue to do for me.
Stevin was very professional and got me the best possible outcome for my case. I would recommend him to anybody that is looking for a great quality lawyer.
I had the pleasure of working with Stevin Groth on a case. He went above and beyond what I expected. I expected the worst and he fought for me way better than anyone would have. Will use again if needed. Cannot express my gratitude enough. Thank you.
REPRESENTATION AT ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS
Anyone arrested and charged with OVI in Ohio will have a minimum 6-month license suspension. This is the administrative license suspension, which is independent of any criminal conviction you receive. However, our clients have the right to a hearing before the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles within 60 days of the suspension.
This hearing provides an opportunity to contest the arrest. It is vital that you have a seasoned Bowling Green, OH OVI Lawyer represent you at the hearing, which gives you the best chance of maintaining your license.
CONTACT A BOWLING GREEN, OH OVI LAWYER TODAY
It is possible to fight back against OVI charges, but defendants need to move quickly and not sick back for the process to play out. The more time an attorney has to begin building a defense, the greater the likelihood of a favorable outcome.
At Groth & Associates, our OVI attorneys in Bowling Green, OH have represented many defendants in court and before the BMV. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.