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OVI Laws, Penalties in Ohio

Any time you find yourself charged with OVI, you need to make hiring a Youngstown OVI lawyer like Sean Logue your first priority. OVI laws can be tricky, and it’s possible for your charges to be dropped or lessened, if you are represented by someone who knows OVI laws inside and out. The right attorney will be able to tell you what you’re facing and guide you to the best conclusion possible.

Below is a description of Ohio’s OVI laws:

First OVI – A first OVI is a first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio. Penalties for this offense include a jail term of up to six months, though it’s possible to be sentenced instead to only three days that may be substituted with a judge-approved driver intervention program. These are usually 72 hours long and must receive certification from the state to be considered. Additional punishments include a driver’s license suspension that could last anywhere from six months to three years, and fines that range from $375 to $1,075. Optional penalties include “party” plates (yellow license plates restricted to those with OVI convictions), the installation of an ignition interlock device, limited driving privileges, and attending alcohol treatment and education programs.

First OVI with High BAC or Chemical Test Refusal – This charge is a first-degree misdemeanor. The consequences are similar to a regular First OVI, with the exception of the OVI plate being mandatory.

Second OVI – Second OVI is also a first-degree misdemeanor. The penalties for this charge include fines of $525 to $1,625, jail sentences of 10 days to six months, a suspension of one’s driver’s license for one to five years, probation, an alcohol assessment, education, and treatment, the issuance of OVI “party” plates, and having one’s driving privileges limited after a month and a half from your original charge. House arrest, electronic monitoring, or both are also a possible sentencing option.

Second OVI with High BAC or Chemical Test Refusal – This charge falls under the category of first-degree misdemeanor. Sentencing options include an ignition interlock device, party plates, house arrest, fines ranging from $525 to $1,625, probation, electronic monitoring, jail sentences of 20 days to six months, driver’s license suspensions lasting between one and five years, alcohol education, treatment, and assessment, and limited driving privileges.

Third OVI – Like a first and second OVI, a third one is a first-degree misdemeanor. For a third conviction, fines rise to anywhere from $850 to $2,750. Jail sentences can be as short as 30 days or as long as one year. Driver’s license suspensions are longer, as well, ranging from two to 10 years. If your vehicle is in your name, you could forfeit it, which means the court could take it away from you. Other punishments are similar to first and second OVIs: probation, yellow OVI plates, limited driving privileges after 180 days from the original charge, electronic monitoring with or without house arrest, an ignition interlock device being installed on your car, and alcohol assessment, training, and education.

Third OVI with High BAC or Chemical Test Refusal – This charge is a first-degree misdemeanor. The potential punishments are similar to a regular Third OVI, but with a longer jail sentence of 60 days to a year.

First Felony OVI – This charge is a fourth-degree felony. Consequences for this charge are much higher than previously-listed ones. Incarceration of two months to two and a half years in prison and fines of $1,350 to $10,500 make this an expensive conviction to get. You will forfeit your vehicle, if it is titled in your name. You may receive limited driving privileges after three years, or get your license suspended for between three years and the rest of your life. Other options include being required to go through an alcohol and drug addiction program, being assigned party plates, and having an ignition interlock device installed on your car.

Second Felony OVI – If you somehow manage to get a second felony OVI charge, it will be prosecuted as a third-degree felony. Though most of the penalties are similar to a First Felony OVI, this charge comes with a longer prison sentence involved … two months to five years.

You don’t have to face a OVI charge alone! Contact us today or call (330) 992-3036 for a free consultation.

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