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In the aftermath of a DUI arrest, there are many different issues that you need to consider. Especially if this is your first DUI, the chances are that you are feeling anxious and concerned about how to protect your rights. The primary state agency that will be involved in the proceeding is the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, or BMV. This agency can be involved with many aspects of the DUI process, especially if you are facing a license suspension. There are a number of administrative penalties that you may face after being charged with the offense of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. At the Law Office of A. Dale Naticchia, our Cleveland BMV lawyer is here to help residents of Cleveland, Akron, and other areas of Cuyahoga County understand their legal rights during this difficult time. He can work zealously to make sure that you are treated fairly in court and in the BMV administrative proceedings.Ohio DUI Laws and Associated Penalties
Ohio law defines the offense of drunk driving as operating a vehicle intoxicated, or OVI. If you are charged with an OVI, the penalties and fines that you face can be quite serious, even if this is your first offense. In general, this offense involves operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more. In order for a driver to be charged with an OVI, an officer must typically administer a field sobriety test. This routinely involves a breathalyzer test and other physical evaluations to determine whether the driver is intoxicated in excess of the legal limit.
If you are convicted of this offense, you face a first-degree misdemeanor and up to $1,000 in fines. The judge can also impose a 180-day jail sentence. However, there are other options for sentencing, such as probation, community service, and the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. There is also a strong possibility that your license will be suspended for at least a short period of time.BMV Administrative Proceedings Related to DUI Charges
When it comes to the BMV, there are certain administrative license suspensions and other penalties that you may face, but a BMV attorney in the Cleveland area can help you fight them. Under the administrative license suspension laws, the BMV can suspend your license if you refuse to take a chemical test or if you fail a chemical test. The first offense for a driver carries a suspension of 90 days. If you receive another OVI within a certain period of time, the suspension is one year. For a third offense, it is two years, and for a fourth offense, it is three years. In addition to the suspension of your license, you will also have six points applied to your driving record. These suspensions increase in the event that you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer or blood test at the time that you are stopped upon suspicion of drunk driving.
There is a process for appealing a decision regarding your administrative license suspension. In order to have the license suspension reversed, you must make your appeal at your first appearance in court or within 30 days of your first appearance. There are four possible grounds for bringing an appeal. These include showing that the officer did not have a reasonable basis for suspecting that you were intoxicated behind the wheel or showing that the officer did not have you submit to a blood alcohol test. Showing that you did not refuse to submit to the test or that the officer failed to inform you of the consequences of not submitting to the test are also bases for reversing a license suspension.Hire a Cleveland BMV Attorney to Aggressively Assert Your Rights
Having an experienced and dedicated criminal lawyer on your side following a DUI arrest can make a substantial difference not only to how your case proceeds but to your peace of mind as well. While you are dealing with the logistical difficulties of a license suspension and other disruptions in your life, we can fight to ensure that you are treated fairly and that all possible defenses are explored in your case. A. Dale Naticchia represents people in communities such as Cleveland, Akron, Parma, Bedford, Berea, Rocky River, Garfield Heights, Stow, and Barberton. We offer a free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your DUI arrest and explain what to expect in your court proceedings and BMV administrative proceedings. With so much at stake, you should not handle this process on your own. Call us now at 216-520-5297 or contact us online to start exploring your options with a knowledgeable BMV lawyer in the Cleveland area.