Operating a vehicle while intoxicated – or an OVI – is a crime that penalties increase dramatically for subsequent offenses. Sometimes called DUI, the state punishes repeat OVIs harshly because the offender didn’t learn from their mistakes and didn’t discourage others from doing the same.
Judges and prosecutors don’t take second or third OVI’s lightly, and neither should you. Repeat convictions will severely impact your life, ability to drive, and how you earn a living.
If you are charged with another DUI in or around Sandusky, call Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA. We’ll explain your options and how to deal with OVIs the right way.
OVIs in Sandusky, Ohio
Depending on your situation, you could spend weeks in jail, thousands of dollars in fines, the suspension of your license, plus dramatically higher car insurance.
OVI Charges & Penalties in Sandusky, Ohio
The following are the penalties you may face if you’re arrested for driving under the influence. If you’re convicted multiple times within 10 or 20 years, you face tougher penalties.
Your First OVI
Your first OVI offense in Ohio is a first-degree misdemeanor. You could be in jail for three to six months and pay a fine of $375 to $1,075. There will be a court-imposed one to three-year driver’s license suspension. That could be cut in half if the court allows driving privileges using an ignition interlock device.
There would be a minimum of three straight days in jail or 72 hours of attendance in a driver’s intervention program. Suppose you had a high blood alcohol content level – 0.17% or higher. In that case, there’s a mandatory six consecutive days in jail or a mix of three straight days in jail and attending a certified driver’s intervention program.
A Second OVI
If this is your second OVI in 10 years, it’s still a first-degree misdemeanor, but the penalties are harsher. Your license will be suspended for one to seven years. You can ask the court for a restricted license for specific purposes, but only after you’ve lost 45 days of driving privileges.
There would be an IID in your vehicle, but it’ll be immobilized for 90 days, and you’ll have to display restricted plates if you had a high BAC test result. There will be a drug or alcohol assessment and mandatory treatments to address addiction.
Your fine can range from $525 to $1,625. There’s a required 10-day jail time for low-level OVIs – a BAC of more than 0.08% but less than 0.17%. You could also serve five consecutive days in jail plus at least 18 days of house arrest with electronic monitoring, continuous alcohol monitoring, or both. Those with high BAC levels face 20 consecutive days in jail or 10 days plus 36 days of house arrest.
A third OVI conviction within 10 years in Ohio is a first-degree misdemeanor. License suspension could be from two to 12 years. You may ask the court to have the suspension cut to one year, or you may get limited driving privileges after a 180-day suspension. Suspended drivers must have treatment after an alcohol dependency assessment and clinical diagnosis of the condition. If you were using alcohol, you must have an IID. A third OVI offense may result in giving up the car you drove when you were arrested.
Fines are from $850 to $2,750. With a low-level BAC, you could serve 30 days’ jail time or 15 consecutive days in jail and 55 days of monitoring. Time in jail doubles if you had high BAC levels.
A Fourth OVI and Beyond
If you’ve gotten four OVI’s in 10 years or six in 20 years, the offense becomes a fourth-degree felony. There will be a license suspension of three years to life. A court may allow limited driving privileges after a three-year suspension. You would need to install an IID and use restricted license plates.
There would be at least $1,350 in IID dues, but it could go as high as $10,500. You would need to attend a mandatory alcohol or drug addiction treatment program. A low-level may result in 60 consecutive days of local jail time or a 60-day compulsory prison term. A high-level OVI offender will face a long time in jail or prison, which may take years to serve.
How We Can Help Those Facing OVI Charges in Sandusky
At Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA, our criminal defense lawyers will do everything possible so you avoid a conviction or lessen the impact. This largely depends on the circumstances and your record, but we may be able to:
- Convince the prosecutor that a lesser, non-OVI charge like reckless driving is more appropriate
- Have the OVI charges dismissed or reduced due to successful motions argued to the judge
- Negotiate a plea agreement where you plead to a lower charge in exchange for an agreed-upon sentence
- Take your case to trial, where you may be acquitted
Arrested for OVI? Let Us Protect You
If you are charged with OVI, Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA will approach your case with compassion and effectively defend your rights and interests. Aggressive representation from an experienced Sandusky defense attorney like Troy Wisehart may keep your record clear and your license from being suspended. You can also be protected from all the hidden costs of an OVI.