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Under Ohio law, the defense of drunk driving is referred to as operating a vehicle under the influence, or OVI. It is not uncommon for drivers to face multiple charges for drunk driving during their time as motorists. One of the important aspects of Ohio law to consider is that it allows the judge to look ten years back into your driving history and record when determining the appropriate sentence for any pending DUI / OVI charges. This means that if you were convicted of driving while intoxicated when you were 21 and receive a second charge when you are 31, the first charge will be taken into account and likely result in heavier penalties for a repeat DUI / OVI. Our knowledgeable and tenacious team of Cleveland DUI attorneys are prepared to help you fight for the outcome that you deserve and to ensure that your rights are asserted to the fullest extent.Understanding Ohio Repeat DUI / OVI Laws
If you were previously convicted of operating a vehicle under the influence and you are facing a second or third offense for the same charge, the court has the option of sentencing you to much harsher penalties. For a second offense of driving drunk within a ten-year period, you face a maximum jail sentence of six months. The court can also suspend your license for one year to a maximum of seven years. There is a method to obtain limited driving privileges that will help you travel to and from work or to other important obligations like doctors’ appointments. You may also be required to engage in a mandatory treatment program focused on obtaining sobriety as well as affixing a yellow license plate to your vehicle. Your vehicle can be immobilized for 90 days and you may also be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle at your own expense.
For a third offense of drunk driving, you face a minimum jail sentence of 30 days with a maximum sentence of up to one year. Your license will also be suspended for a minimum of two years up to 12 years with no availability of limited driving privileges for 180 days. A third or subsequent offense in ten years can also lead to your vehicle being forfeited, and you will also be unable to have a vehicle titled in your name for five years.
If you are facing your fourth DUI / OVI charge in 10 years or your sixth offense within 20 years, the offense is elevated to a felony. You will be incarcerated for 60 days in jail and your license may be suspended for a minimum of three years up to a permanent ban on your ability to drive and no option to seek limited driving privileges for the first three years.
If your situation involved a high blood alcohol content result during your field sobriety test or if you refused to submit to a field sobriety test, then the sentence may be even harsher. For a high-test charge, the defendant may face a sentence of six months in jail. The judge has the option of granting you driving privileges on the condition that you install an ignition interlock device. A high-test conviction also carries a penalty of $275 to $1,075.
The penalties facing repeat DUI / OVI defendants are severe and can have a permanent consequence on your personal and professional life. Even if you feel the situation is hopeless, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can ensure that the authorities are treating you fairly. There are certain defenses that apply to DUI / OVI charges, such as those involving improper field sobriety test procedures or equipment that was not calibrated properly.Speak With a Drunk Driving Defense Attorney in Cleveland
With clients throughout Parma, Bedford, Berea, Rocky River, Garfield Heights, Stow, and Barberton, our Cleveland lawyers have seen just how traumatic and stressful a DUI / OVI charge is for someone who has already faced one conviction within a ten-year period. Our compassionate team will fight for your rights and provide you with the responsive and diligent legal counsel that you deserve. We offer a free and confidential consultation to discuss your situation and how we might be able to help you. Call us now at 216-520-5297 or contact us online to get started.