The Client was charged with a Columbus OVI after being pulled over by the Columbus Police Department. The Client was going the wrong way on I-71 north with their headlights off. She was charged with OVI in the Franklin County Municipal Court. After meeting with the Client and discussing the case we were able to gather enough evidence to raise concerns with the prosecutor that the client may have been experiencing a medical episode and was not impaired. We took this evidence to the prosecutor and were able to convince them to reduce the Columbus OVI charge to reckless operation.
What is OVI in Ohio?
Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.19 sets out that it shall be operate any vehicle if they are under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of drugs and alcohol. If police officer have probable cause to believe that you are impaired you can be arrested for drunk driving. Officers will also ask you to submit to a breath test to determine your BAC levels. A BAC level above a .08 is illegal in Ohio. An OVI is the same as an DUI, DWI, and OMVI. All of these charges address the same type of activity, but over the years Ohio has changed the name of the violation.
What are the possible penalties for an Ohio OVI?
If you are convicted of OVI for the first time you are subject to the mandatory minimum penalties, these include a three day jail term, or a 72-hour Driver Intervention Program, a $375 fine, and a one year license suspension. It is important to remember these are the minimum penalties the court most impose. OVI is a 1st Degree Misdemeanor which means that the court may impose up to 6 months in jail, a $1075 fine, and a three year license suspension.
What is OVI Enhancement?
The mandatory minimum penalties for an Ohio drunk driving conviction increase with each prior conviction a person has within the 10 year look back period. If you are charged with a 2nd OVI in 10 years your mandatory minimum sentence is 10 consecutive days in jail. If you are charged with a 3rd OVI in 10 years the mandatory minimum sentence is 30 consecutive days. If you have more than 3 in 10 years, you will be charged with a felony OVI.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offense in Ohio it is critical that they seek representation as soon as possible. If you do not get a lawyer before your first court appearance you may give up statutory and constitutional defenses to your case. Contact our office today for a free review of your case.