OVI Attorney in St. Clairsville, Ohio
Driving under the influence can lead to severe consequences, and it is important to be familiar with the various acronyms used to describe this offense. In Ohio, the most accurate term for this offense is Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI). Other terms that may be used include Driving under the influence (DUI), Driving with Unlawful BAC Level (DUBAL), and Driving while impaired (DWI). Operating a Motor Vehicle Impaired (OMVI) is another term that may be used.
Operating a Motor Vehicle Impaired or OMVI
When a driver involved in an accident is underage (below the legal drinking age of 21), the offense becomes Operating a Vehicle After Underage Consumption (OVUAC).
Regardless of the name used to describe the offense, the consequences of OVI or OVUAC can be significant. Penalties can include fines, jail time, suspension of the driver’s license, and even the requirement to install an ignition interlock device. If you are facing OVI charges in the St. Clairsville area, consider seeking the assistance of St. Clairsville Criminal Law Group. Our experienced St. Clairsville OVI lawyer will thoroughly investigate your case and build a strong defense strategy. We are one of the leading groups for criminal lawyers in St. Clairsville.
Penalties for DWI in Ohio
DWI penalties in Ohio vary based on several factors, including prior offenses, blood alcohol concentration (BAC), and whether the driver refused to take a test. According to Ohio Revised Code § 4511.19, penalties for DWI without legal representation can include:
- First DUI offense within six years, with a BAC between 0.8 and 0.17: This is considered a first-degree misdemeanor and can result in a minimum of three days of imprisonment, enrollment in a Driver Intervention Program (DIP) for a period of up to six months, a license suspension of up to three years, and fines totaling $1,075.
- First DUI offense within six years, with a BAC higher than 0.17 and refusal to take a test: This is also considered a first-degree misdemeanor and can lead to a minimum of six days of imprisonment, three days of DIP, up to six months of imprisonment, a license suspension of up to three years, fines totaling $1,075, and the mandatory use of a yellow restricted license plate. Installing an ignition interlock device is required to avoid further legal proceedings.
- First OVUAC offense within one year: This is a fourth-degree misdemeanor, which can result in up to thirty days of imprisonment, a fine of up to $250, and a two-year license suspension.
- Second OVUAC offense within one year: This is a third-degree misdemeanor, which can result in up to sixty days of imprisonment, a fine of up to $500, and a five-year license suspension.
- A Second DUI within six years, with a breath test refusal or BAC of 0.17 or higher, constitutes a first-degree misdemeanor. This offense results in a minimum twenty-day imprisonment (or ten days imprisonment and thirty-six days of house arrest or electronic monitoring). In addition, there is a license suspension for up to five years, mandatory use of yellow restricted license plates, and installation of an ignition interlock device (compulsory for alcohol-related cases and optional for drug-related cases). Fines for this offense can reach up to $1,625.
- A Third DWI within six years, with a BAC of 0.08 or higher but less than 0.17, is considered an unclassified misdemeanor. The minimum penalty for this offense is a thirty-day imprisonment (or fifteen days in jail with fifty-five days of house arrest or electronic monitoring). The offender faces a license suspension for up to ten years, compulsory use of yellow restricted license plates, installation of an ignition interlock device (compulsory for alcohol-related cases and optional for drug-related cases), fines of up to $2,750, and forfeiture of the vehicle.
- A Third OVI within six years, with a breath test refusal or BAC of 0.17 or higher, is also an unclassified misdemeanor. The minimum penalty for this offense is a sixty-day imprisonment (or thirty days imprisonment with one hundred and ten days of house arrest or electronic monitoring). The offender faces a license suspension for up to ten years, compulsory use of yellow restricted license plates, installation of an ignition interlock device, fines of up to $2,750, and forfeiture of the vehicle.
- A Fourth or Fifth DUI within six years or a Sixth DWI within twenty years, with a BAC of 0.08 or higher but less than 0.17, is considered a fourth-degree felony. The minimum penalty for this offense is sixty days to one year of local incarceration (or sixty days in jail with the option of additional six to thirty months). Fines for this offense can reach up to $10,500. Possible consequences include lifetime license suspension, compulsory use of yellow restricted license plates, installation of an ignition interlock device, and forfeiture of the vehicle.
- A Fourth or Fifth DWI within six years or a 6th DUI within twenty years, with a breath test refusal or BAC of 0.17 or higher, is also considered a fourth-degree felony. The minimum penalty for this offense is a hundred and twenty days to one year of local imprisonment (or sixty days in prison with the option of additional six to thirty months). Possible consequences include lifetime license suspension, compulsory use of yellow restricted license plates, fines of up to $10,500, and the use of an ignition interlock device to avoid further proceedings or vehicle forfeiture.
- For a second Felony OVI offense with a BAC ranging from 0.08 to 0.17, a third-degree felony charge applies, carrying a minimum prison sentence of 60 days and up to five years. Additionally, there is a probable lifetime license suspension, mandatory use of yellow restricted license plates, and potential penalties of up to $10,500. To avoid further legal actions or vehicle forfeiture, an ignition interlock device can be utilized.
- For a second Felony DWI offense involving a breath test refusal or a BAC of 0.17 or higher, the charges are also classified as a third-degree felony, carrying the same minimum prison sentence and lifetime license suspension. Similarly, the use of yellow restricted license plates is required. However, the installation of an ignition interlock device is mandatory only for alcohol-related offenses, while optional for drug-related offenses. Fines can amount up to $10,500, and there is a possibility of vehicle forfeiture.
How We Can Help in Defense Against Your DWI Charges
By retaining the services of a skilled St. Clairsville criminal lawyer, you can benefit from their expertise in reducing or even dismissing your charges. Our team is well-versed in various strategies that can help your case, including:
- Challenging the legality of the traffic stop if it was conducted without reasonable cause or probable suspicion.
- Ensuring proper adherence to Miranda Warnings before any custodial interrogations take place.
- Highlighting any improper administration of field or chemical sobriety tests.
- Identifying any failures in planning and execution at sobriety checkpoints.
- Contesting inaccurate breath test results.
- Uncovering errors in blood tests, if applicable.
- Assessing whether there was a valid reason for your arrest.
- Examining factors unrelated to alcohol that may have contributed to signs of intoxication.
- Reviewing police officer proceedings for any procedural errors.
By addressing these key aspects, we strive to improve the overall quality of your defense, ensuring better engagement and a more favorable outcome.
OVI Offenses We Handle in St. Clairsville
St. Clairsville OVI lawyer Sean Logue, with extensive experience in handling OVI cases, is dedicated to providing top-notch legal representation for clients facing various OVI charges. Here are the key offenses he can assist you with:
- OVI First Offense: Whether it’s your initial OVI charge or the first one in the past ten years, a first OVI charge has serious implications. According to Ohio law, the legal limit for adults is 0.08 percent.
- OVI Second Offense: If you receive a second OVI charge within ten years, the penalties become more severe. These include longer driver’s license suspension, increased fines, and an extended jail sentence. However, there is still room to fight against these charges and possibly have them dropped or reduced.
- OVI Third Offense: A third OVI charge within a ten-year period carries even more serious consequences than a second offense. Penalties may include drug or alcohol rehabilitation, house arrest, requiring yellow OVI plates on your vehicle, and potential incarceration.
- Physical Control of a Vehicle: Ohio law, as per the Revised Code Section 4511.194, prohibits individuals impaired by drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both from being in physical control of a vehicle. While this charge is considered a misdemeanor, the associated penalties are less severe compared to a first OVI offense.
- OVUAC (Operating a Vehicle after Underage Consumption, also known as Underage OVI): The allowable blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level for individuals under 21 years old in Ohio is a mere 0.02 percent. This is due to the law strictly prohibiting minors from consuming alcohol. Although an OVUAC charge is a misdemeanor, the implications can negatively impact your future, including educational and career opportunities.
- Felony OVI: While most OVI charges are classified as misdemeanors, a third OVI within ten years or a fifth within twenty years is considered a felony offense. The classification of the felony (third-degree or fourth-degree) and the severity of the charges depend on your BAC level at the time of arrest and previous convictions. Trust attorney Sean Logue’s expertise and dedication to help you navigate the complexities of OVI cases and achieve the best possible outcome.
- DUID (Driving under the Influence of Drugs): If drugs are found in your system during a police stop, you may face a DUID charge. This includes prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, LSD, marijuana, crack, heroin, opioid painkillers, and other substances.
- Aggravated Vehicular Assault: According to Section 2903.08 of the Ohio Revised Code, causing or being accused of causing an accident while intoxicated can result in an Aggravated Vehicular Assault charge. This offense carries a mandatory prison sentence, making it a felony.
- Aggravated Vehicular Homicide: Section 2903.06 of the Ohio Revised Code states that if someone dies due to your actions of drinking and driving, you will be charged with vehicular manslaughter, also known as Aggravated Vehicular Homicide. This felony charge carries a mandatory prison sentence.
- OVI Out-of-State: Out-of-state visitors or workers in Ohio may find themselves facing OVI charges, adding to their legal difficulties as they reside in another state. However, St. Clairsville Criminal Law Group is dedicated to representing them in court and helping alleviate their burden.
- Intoxicated Boating: Operating a boat while intoxicated in Ohio can lead to an arrest. The charges and penalties in these cases mirror those for OVI offenses on land.
Facing an OVI charge can be a highly stressful situation. Sean Logue and his colleagues at Logue Law are well-versed in OVI defense strategies. They can guide you through the legal process with expertise and proficiency. Call us today at (330) 992-3036 for a free initial consultation. Our services are available 24/7 to provide you with assistance.
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