OVI & DUI ATTORNEY IN CENTRAL OHIO
Being charged with an OVI/DUI can be overwhelming. For many of my clients, it is their first experience dealing with our court system. Often, that experience begins without the benefit of anyone explaining to you how the process works or what you should do next. “What will happen when I see the judge?” “Will I go to jail?” “When will I be allowed to drive again?” “Why did the officer charge me twice?” Some of those questions will be on your mind. As your case moves forward, many more will come up.
Fortunately, you can get most of those questions answered – often during our first conversation. My first concern as an attorney is to provide my clients with the most accurate information I can. You need that information before we can begin to make decisions about how best to reach the outcome you need. Once we have talked through that plan, I want to get to work in court achieving that goal.
What is an OVI/DUI?
In Ohio, Revised Code §4511.19 prohibits Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs – or OVI. Many people and some other states refer to this charge as Driving Under the Influence – or DUI. While it is most accurate to refer to an OVI for a charge in Ohio, no one will misunderstand you by calling it a DUI.
Ohio prohibits operation of vehicles if a person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs or has specific concentrations of alcohol or some drugs in their blood, breath, or urine. The evidence offered to prove this can include: an officer’s observations of your actual driving; interaction and conversations with you, performance on field sobriety testing and results of breath or chemical testing.
What is an ALS Suspension?
Though you might not realize it, when you were granted a driver’s license you consented to submit to chemical or breath testing when an officer has probable cause to believe you were operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Determining if an officer had probable cause requires a more in-depth discussion in person, but once an officer believes he or she has it – you will be asked to submit to that test.
Refusing the test or testing “over the limit” will trigger an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. Frequently, this suspension is in place hours after your vehicle was stopped. Dealing with an inability to drive after being charged with an OVI is often one of the biggest problems my client’s face. There are limited ways to address an ALS suspension which may apply to your individual circumstances.
What will happen if I am convicted?
The penalties for OVI can be severe. What is important to understand is that when a person is convicted of an OVI, a court is required to impose certain penalties. Those penalties include a mandatory jail sentence, a mandatory fine, and mandatory license suspension for a minimum of one year. Often, those penalties will include court ordered assessments and treatment for alcohol or drug abuse, a term of probation and the possibility restricted license plates or special devices installed on your vehicle. Further, OVI is a moving violation which will incur six points on your driving record. Those points could trigger additional problems with your ability to drive in certain circumstances if you don’t take proactive steps with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles first.
For those individuals facing second, third, fourth, or felony OVI charges within a ten year period, the penalties a court is required to impose become even more severe. Those penalties include significantly more jail time, higher fines, longer license suspensions, mandatory drug or alcohol treatment and required immobilization or even forfeiture of your vehicle. It is important that your attorney has experience dealing with these types of OVI charges to confidently address all of the issues that surround them.
Can I get driving privileges?
An OVI case can take months to work its way through court. Being able to drive while the charge is pending is critical for most people. Different courts take different approaches to granting driving privileges. Some will readily grant unlimited privileges under certain conditions. Other courts will necessarily be stricter about when, where, and under what conditions you can drive. Obtaining privileges to drive also depends upon your driving status relative to an ALS or other unrelated suspensions. I have had success navigating through many courts’ preferences to obtain driving privileges as soon as practicable for most clients.
I have represented countless people charged with OVI throughout courts in central Ohio. Those cases have ranged from simple first-time offenders to people facing years in prison for fifth or sixth convictions. I am confident I can help you understand what options you have if you are willing to take the time to schedule a free consultation at my office in Circleville.
Call O’Leary Law at 740.474.4411
Call to a free phone consultation and quickly find out what to do next about your OVI charges.