When you are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the situation is always very serious. Charges of DUI—or OVI (operating a vehicle while under the influence), as it is called in Ohio—can result in severe criminal penalties and a wide range of other possible consequences on your life.
As you might expect, the potential penalties increase substantially for those with any prior OVI convictions on their recent record. If you are facing drunk driving charges for the second, third, or fourth time, our experienced DUI defense attorney at Erb Legal LLC is equipped to help you.
For more details about our first-time and repeat DUI defense services, call us at (330) 446-3606 today.
The consequences of a first-time DUI conviction will depend on the circumstances of your case. One of the most important factors is your level of intoxication at the time of your arrest. Ohio law divides first-time OVI offenses into categories based on the results of the driver’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) test.
As a first-time offender with a BAC between 0.08 and 0.17, you could face the following penalties:
If your BAC test results were 0.17 or above or you refused a BAC test with a previous refusal in the last 20 years, all the same penalties apply for the lower tier offense with a few exceptions. A high-tier offense carries a minimum of six days in jail or three days in jail and three days in a Driver Intervention Program. You will also be required to put special, bright yellow OVI offender license plates on your vehicle.
Under Ohio law, a person who is convicted of a second OVI offense within ten years of his or her first offense is subject to significantly more severe penalties for the second conviction. If you are convicted a second time, you will be required to serve a minimum of ten days in jail. The minimum increases to 20 days if your blood-alcohol content (BAC) was .17 or above or you refused BAC testing.
The legal consequences of subsequent DUI convictions may involve the following:
For a third offense, the mandatory minimum jail sentence is 30 days—again doubled to 60 days for a high BAC test or a refusal—with a maximum sentence of one year. Your license suspension will be for at least two years up to as many as 12, and you will likely be required to forfeit your vehicle if it is registered in your name.
A fourth OVI conviction within 10 years or a sixth within 20 years is automatically a felony, and the consequences increase even more.
If you are convicted of a felony for repeat DUI, you will:
A second felony will land you in prison for at least 120 days, and you could be sentenced to serve three years.
Facing OVI charges is understandably frightening and often overwhelming. That is why it is important to work closely with an experienced attorney at Erb Legal LLC. We will carefully investigate the circumstances of your arrest and review the state’s evidence for potential weaknesses. It may be possible to challenge the results of BAC tests or field sobriety tests, the arresting officer’s testimony, and many other elements of your case. There may also be factors that could limit the severity of the sentence in certain situations.
If you have a prior DUI conviction on your record and are facing charges again, you need legal representation immediately. Located in Northeast Ohio, Erb Legal LLC represents clients in Wadsworth, Brunswick, Wooster, Rittman, Ravenna, Akron, Barberton, Summit County, Wayne County, Portage County, and Medina County, Ohio.