If you've been charged with
DUI/OVI, you probably have
some questions about your case.

You may also have some questions
about getting a DUI defense attorney.

Please review the following
pages for answers

To some of the most common questions
I receive from prospective clients

Common DUI Questions

Is it always illegal to drink and drive in Ohio?

No. If an Ohio driver is not impaired and his blood alcohol content is not at or above the legal limit, it is perfectly legal to drive after drinking alcohol.

Will a driver go to jail if he is convicted of an Ohio DUI/OVI charge?

All Ohio DUI penalties include mandatory jail time as part of the penalty. Ohio’s DUI laws include mandatory jail time, even for first time offenders who test over .17%. The only time a driver who is convicted of an Ohio DUI is not required to go to jail as part of a mandatory sentence, is if he is a first time offender and tested lower than .17% BAC. In that situation, the court has the option of sending the driver to a three-day DUI driver intervention program in lieu of jail. However, the court still has the option of sending an Ohio DUI driver to jail for three days rather than the afore-mentioned driver intervention program.

I’ve heard that many defendants facing a first time DUI in Ohio are offered a deal when they get to court. Will that happen in my case?

In some situations, an experienced Ohio DUI lawyer may be able to negotiate a reduction from a DUI/OVI charge, which can often be a good resolution when there is a good case against a DUI driver. A reduction means that the district attorney is willing to amend or dismiss the Ohio DUI charge filed against the driver to something less serious than a DUI/OVI. There are typically two type of reductions that are common in Ohio DUI cases—(a) Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle; and (b) Physical Control of a Motor Vehicle. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the district attorney will reduce any particular case. Such a decision is usually only made after the prosecuting attorney speaks to the Ohio DUI defense lawyer representing the DUI driver and considers all the facts of a particular case, including the driver’s record. That being said, it is not uncommon in many Ohio courts for the DUI/OVI defendant to get the exact same sentence whether he’s convicted of a DUI or convicted of one of the aforementioned lesser charges. If you have an Ohio DUI case, you should consider talking to a top Ohio DUI lawyer to see if he can get the case dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. The penalties on these pages only apply to drivers who are convicted of DUI/OVI. An experienced Ohio DUI lawyer may be able to prevent that from happening.

My DUI defense attorney told me that the district attorney will probably dismiss the DUI charge and offer me a Reckless Op or Physical Control. What’s the difference between those two charges?

A reckless operation in Ohio is usually charged as a fourth degree misdemeanor that has potential penalties of 30 days in jail and a $250 fine. It’s also a traffic offense that generally carries four (4) points against an Ohio Driver’s License. The offense of reckless operation is one that could be considered a “catch-all”, covering situations involving traffic accidents, speeding and driving recklessly. Most importantly for some, the offense is not associated in any way with alcohol or drugs. There are no mandatory penalties associated with a reckless operation conviction, however, many courts will send the driver to an Ohio DUI driver intervention program when they plead to reckless operation. If the court imposes an Ohio DUI license suspension, there is a $40 reinstatement fee at the conclusion of the driver’s suspension.

Physical Control is a first degree misdemeanor that has potential penalties of 6 months in jail and a $1000 fine. As opposed to a reckless operation, physical control is considered a non-moving offense and carries no points on an Ohio driver’s license. Physical control is an offense that describes a situation when a person is in the driver’s seat of a vehicle and has possession of the car keys while under the influence alcohol or drugs, but does not actually operate the vehicle. An example would be a potential DUI/OVI driver who leaves a party at the end of the night, but rather than driving home, decides to “sleep it off” in the driveway. Clearly, the offense is associated with alcohol or drugs, which is a drawback for some. While there is no mandatory suspension associated with a physical control, if the court decides to impose an Ohio DUI license suspension, there is a reinstatement fee of $475.

There are positives and negatives to entering a guilty plea to either one of these charges related to Ohio DUI/OVI. That being said, both a reckless operation and physical control are generally better than a DUI conviction on your Ohio driving record. It is important for a driver to understand the difference between all three offenses before deciding whether or not to accept a plea agreement. As such, a decision should not be reached until full and frank discussion with an experienced DUI lawyer. If you have an Ohio DUI case, you should consider talking to a top Ohio DUI lawyer to see if he can get the case dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. The penalties on these pages only apply to drivers who are convicted of DUI/OVI. An experienced Ohio DUI lawyer may be able to prevent that from happening.

Will I lose my driver’s license if I am convicted of DUI or OVI in Ohio?

In many cases, this is part of the penalty even when an Ohio DUI defendant is not convicted of DUI. However, there are many ways to avoid this situation, or even get the driver’s license back if it has been suspended, depending upon the circumstances of the case. In most cases, even when a suspension is inevitable, a good DUI/OVI defense lawyer can obtain driving privileges for the driver. If you have an Ohio DUI case, you should consider talking to a top Ohio DUI lawyer to see if he can get the case dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. The penalties on these pages only apply to drivers who are convicted of DUI/OVI. An experienced Ohio DUI lawyer may be able to prevent that from happening.

What should I do if I am pulled over for DUI/OVI in Ohio?

First and foremost, it is important to follow the officer’s instructions and always be polite if you are pulled over for drinking and driving in Ohio. That being said, an Ohio driver stopped for DUI has no obligation to make incriminating statements or tell the police officer how many beers he had to drink. It is usually smart to respectfully decline to answer any questions other than to provide basic identifying information, such as your name, address, date of birth, etc. Ohio Officers will usually ask a driver suspected of DUI to step out of the vehicle and take DUI field sobriety tests. However, a driver is under no obligation to submit to roadside field sobriety testing in an Ohio DUI investigation and it rarely helps a driver’s case. If you have an Ohio drinking and driving case, you should consider talking to an experienced Ohio DUI/OVI lawyer to see if he can get the case dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. The penalties on these pages only apply to drivers who are convicted of drinking and driving. The best Ohio DUI defense lawyers may be able to prevent that from happening.

Can I still be convicted of DUI in Ohio if my BAC is below the legal limit?

Yes. While relatively rare, a driver can test under the legal limit and still be charged with a DUI, OVI or drinking and driving offense in Ohio. Why? Because there are a few different kinds of DUI under Ohio law, and being over .08 blood alcohol content is just one. The driver can be charged in this circumstance with the general prohibition on drinking and driving or simply being under the influence or impaired. If you have an Ohio DUI case, and you tested below the legal limit, you should consider talking to a top Ohio DUI lawyer to see if he can get the case dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. The penalties on these pages only apply to drivers who are convicted of DUI/OVI. An experienced Ohio DUI defense lawyer may be able to prevent that from happening.

What is the sentence for a first DUI/OVI conviction in Ohio?

If this is a driver’s first DUI conviction in Ohio within the past six years, the court has the following sentencing options: (a) jail time from a minimum of three days up to a maximum of six months. If the court decides on three days, it may be willing to send the driver to an Ohio DUI weekend driver intervention program rather than jail; (b) financial sanctions including a minimum fine of $375 up to a maximum of $1075. In addition, Ohio courts often impose other financial sanctions on a driver including court costs, costs of the prosecution, fees for driving privileges, supervision fees if the driver is placed on probation and fees for ignition interlock devices; (c) possible drug or alcohol treatment if the court or a licensed treatment provider feels it is necessary; (d) an Ohio DUI driver’s license suspension that could last a minimum of six months to a maximum of three years; and (e) possible Ohio DUI license plates and ignition interlock device while the driver is under suspension.

If you have an Ohio DUI case, you should consider talking to an experienced Ohio DUI lawyer to see if he can get the case dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. The penalties on these pages only apply to drivers who are convicted of DUI/OVI. A top Ohio DUI defense lawyer may be able to prevent that from happening.

 

What is the sentence for a second Ohio DUI/OVI conviction?

If this is a driver’s second DUI/OVI conviction in Ohio within the past six years, the court has the following sentencing options: (a) jail time from a minimum of ten days up to a maximum of six months. If the court wants to impose minimum jail time, it may have the option of giving a repeat DUI offender five days in jail and eighteen days on electronic home detention; (b) financial sanctions including a minimum fine of $525 up to a maximum of $1625. In addition, courts often impose other financial sanctions on a repeat DUI offender including court costs, fees for driving privileges, probation fees if the driver is placed on probation and fees to install and monitor any ignition interlock device; (c) mandatory drug and alcohol assessment and subsequent treatment if the court or a licensed treatment provider feels it is necessary; (d) an Ohio DUI driver’s license suspension that could last a minimum of one year up to a maximum of five years; (e) mandatory DUI license plates and possible ignition interlock device while the driver is under suspension; and (f) immobilization of the driver’s vehicle.

If you have an Ohio DUI case, particularly if you are a repeat offender, you should consider talking to one of Ohio’s best DUI defense lawyers to see if he can get the case dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. Keep in mind, the penalties on these pages only apply to drivers who are convicted of DUI/OVI. A top Ohio DUI lawyer may be able to prevent that from happening.

What is the sentence for a third DUI/OVI conviction in Ohio?

If this is a driver’s third DUI/OVI conviction in Ohio within the past six years, the court has the following sentencing options: (a) jail time from a minimum of thirty days up to a maximum of one year. If the court wants to give the Ohio DUI driver a break, it may be willing to give the driver fifteen days in jail and fifty-five days on electronic home detention, however, this is extremely rare for a DUI repeat offender; (b) financial sanctions including a minimum fine of $850 up to a maximum of $2750. In addition, courts often impose other financial sanctions on a repeat DUI driver including court costs, fees for driving privileges, supervision fees and fees for the installation and monitoring of an ignition interlock device; (c) mandatory drug or alcohol treatment; (d) an Ohio DUI driver’s license suspension that will last a minimum of two years to a maximum of ten years; (e) mandatory Ohio DUI license plates and ignition interlock device while the driver is under suspension; and (f) state forfeiture of the driver’s vehicle.

If you have an Ohio DUI case, particularly if you are a repeat offender, you should consider talking to one of Ohio’s best DUI defense lawyers to see if he can get the case dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. Keep in mind, the penalties on these pages only apply to drivers who are convicted of DUI/OVI. An experienced Ohio DUI lawyer may be able to prevent that from happening.

Common Mistakes in Ohio DUI/OVI Investigations

No Ohio DUI/OVI/drinking and driving arrest is perfect and the best Ohio DUI/OVI lawyers knows this. Most Ohio DUI/OVI investigations include a number of witnesses, including police officers and the personnel who collect, store and test chemical samples.  These witnesses are human and they make mistakes. Further, most Ohio DUI/OVI investigations include a breath testing device or other testing equipment that is not always maintained according to current Ohio DUI/OVI regulations.

Do You Want Award-Winning Ohio DUI/OVI Representation?

There are over 1 million laws in the United States. I am a top Ohio DUI/OVI defense lawyer who devotes his entire practice to ONE. Because of my experience and concentrated focus, I know the Ohio DUI/OVI laws better than most attorneys in the state. I am passionate about Ohio DUI/OVI defense and I get results, however, I only accept a limited number of clients. If you’re serious about your case and want a top Ohio DUI/OVI lawyer on your team, call me, the Ohio DUI Dude at 1-844-DUI-DUDE.

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