Ohio DUI Options: Are You Eligible for a Diversion Program?

Posted in: by Victor Kademenos

Being arrested for driving under the influence in Ohio can be very stressful. You are probably worried about your license and how you can get your life back on track.

Even a first offense OVI in Ohio can result in harsh punishments and consequences. Ohio is known to be very strict regarding DUIs, and you may be curious if an Ohio OVI diversion program is available.

If you or a loved one have been arrested for DUI, it’s very important to contact an experienced Ohio DUI lawyer as soon as possible. In Sandusky, Mansfield, Port Clinton, Vermillion, or Norwalk, contact Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co., LPA and speak to attorney Troy Wisehart. As a veteran criminal defense attorney in the area, he can help you with every aspect of your defense, including assessing your options to protect your future.

Call (419) 625-7770 or contact us online today for a free, initial consultation.

DUI Diversion Programs in Ohio

Many states have laws that grant a lot of flexibility to defendants who are being charged with their first criminal offense. The idea is that leniency should be granted if they take specific steps to improve their lives and reduce the likelihood of reoffending.

Ohio offers diversion programs for many traffic violations as well as for some first time alcohol and drug arrests. A skilled lawyer will understand how the courts will view your offense, and how to help you enter a diversion program if one is available.

However, Ohio’s DUI laws do not allow for a pretrial diversion program for those arrested for drunk driving. Even if this is your first arrest, you will have to face the normal legal procedure that is in place.

More importantly, you will be subjected to the criminal punishments for a first offense DUI convictions. Your attorney can negotiate with the prosecution and seek a Driver Intervention Program before any sentencing occurs. This can allow you to avoid jail time on a first DUI offense. Therefore, you should have a skilled DUI defense attorney working for you immediately after your arrest.

First DUI Penalties in Ohio

An arrest can significantly affect every aspect of your life. Not only will you be facing time in jail, but your case can make many ordinary things difficult or even impossible.

Those charged with DUIs may not be able to seek certain employment or school enrollment if they are found guilty. Furthermore, the financial burden of a DUI can quickly add up. In addition to fines, a DUI conviction will influence your car insurance rates for years to come.

Penalties for a first DUI in Ohio include:

  • Jail time – Depending on facts involved, a first offense DUI can result in three days to six months in jail. This may be reduced or avoided with a Driver Intervention Program that involves counseling or an interlocking device on your car.
  • Fines – A first DUI will mean fines between $375 and $1,075. There is also a $475 fee to reinstate your driver’s license.
  • Suspended driver’s license – Your driver’s license can be suspended for up to three years. Limited driving privileges may be available once 15 days has passed.
  • Professional treatment – Depending on the details of your case, the judge may require you to attend and complete a substance abuse program.

A Lawyer Can Help You From The Very Beginning

Having an attorney as soon as possible after a DUI will improve your likelihood of a reduced or dropped charge.

The arraignment is your first court appearance. It typically occurs within five days of your arrest. This is where you are formally charged, but it’s also a great place for your lawyer to learn about the prosecutor’s case against you.

Building a strong defense is necessary if you are to have your charges dropped. It can also help your lawyer negotiate for reduced charges if a full dismissal is not an option at this time.

While every case is unique, some of the defense arguments that might be used in a DUI include:

  • The police did not have probable cause – Law enforcement officers must have probable cause to believe that you are violating the law if they are to stop and arrest you. Your case must be dismissed if there is none.
  • You were not driving – Many DUI arrests happen when in fact another person was driving. Furthermore, your case can be dropped if you were sleeping in the car and were clearly not in a position to be operating it as a moving vehicle.
  • There were errors in your sobriety tests – Police will often make suspected drunk drivers perform roadside physical tests such as walk-and-turn or horizontal gaze test. Errors are often made in administering these tests, and this can result in an unfair arrest.
  • Improper handling of biological samples – Police may want a blood or urine sample for lab testing or a breath sample for roadside testing. Improperly handling or testing these substances can result in unfair arrests.

Contact An Ohio DUI Lawyer Today

DUI arrests have a significant impact on the lives of those involved. Even people without a prior criminal record will have a hard time clearing their names and moving on.

At Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co., LPA, we understand how to build a case for your defense. If a full dismissal is not an option, DUI attorney Troy Wisehart may be able to work towards an Ohio OVI diversion option to help you avoid jail time and other harsh punishments.

Contact us today to discuss your defense and how we can help through the entire legal process. Call us at (419) 625-7770 for a free consultation.