Being arrested for a DUI or an OVI in Ohio is a difficult experience. In addition to the fines and court dates, there are lasting repercussions that can affect your life for years to come. If you’ve been charged with a DUI or OVI in Ohio, you may be unsure of what to expect. Fortunately, the professionals at O’Leary Law Office can help. We work with you to understand your options and what to expect from the legal process. Learn more below!
What is a DUI or OVI in Ohio?
In Ohio, a DUI, or, Driving Under the Influence, is commonly referred to as an OVI, or, Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence. The term OVI was first implemented in 2003 as an umbrella term to include all forms of impaired driving, however, DUI is still used colloquially. It’s possible to be convicted of an OVI if you are stopped while operating a vehicle in the following states:
- Operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more. This can also be determined with a urine alcohol concentration of .11 percent
- With an amount of amphetamine, cocaine, heroin in your system
- Under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both
What to expect when charged with a DUI or OVI in Ohio
Typically, when you’re arrested for a crime, you are not subject to penalties until you are officially convicted of the offense. However, OVI charges are different. If you’re lawfully arrested or detained for an OVI, there can be real repercussions before you even set foot in a courtroom. These can include license suspensions, fees, and other consequences that can be difficult to deal with. There are several steps you can expect after being detained for driving under the influence in the state of Ohio.
Directly after the initial traffic stop and ensuing arrest, the law enforcement agents will bring you to the station where you will be processed. Here, you will be fingerprinted, photographed, and asked basic questions regarding your identity. Your personal possessions will be cataloged and stored for when you are released.
Once you have been charged with your OVI, you will be required to make an initial appearance in court, called an Arraignment. This appearance will be used to inform you of your constitutional rights and to detail the various charges that you are facing. The arraignment is also where you will officially enter your plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Finally, the judge will determine if bail is justified, and how much it will be.
Discovery is a critical process in any criminal proceeding. It is here that your OVI lawyer will compile any and all relevant documents, such as witness and victim statements, physical evidence, and police reports. Your attorney will be combing through these documents to identify any evidence that can be used against you in court, and establishing a plan to refute it.
A plea bargain is your first opportunity to work with the prosecutor and possibly settle outside of court, and is an incentive offered by the prosecution so that you plead guilty. While that may seem appealing, it’s critical that you speak with an experienced OVI attorney before doing so. A plea bargain is not always your best option, and the prosecution may offer it for a variety of reasons.
The Pre-Trial Hearing
If a plea bargain is not agreed upon or entered following the arraignment, you will then go to trial. However, in some cases, the judge will decide to schedule a pre-trial hearing first. Here, the defense and prosecution will discuss the case’s details and the viability of a plea deal.
At this point, the case will finally go to trial. Criminal trials typically follow a set schedule:
- Opening statements
- Presentation of evidence and witness testimonies
- Closing arguments
- Jury deliberations
Once a verdict has been reached and you have been found guilty or not guilty, you will either be allowed to go free, or a sentencing date will be set.
The Circleville OVI Attorneys at O’Leary Law Office
If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged for operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it’s critical that you speak to the OVI attorneys at O’Leary Law Office as soon as possible. We work with you throughout the entire process, from the arraignment to the final verdict, so you can understand what to expect, and how to proceed. With the right legal representation, you can approach your charges knowing that you have someone who will fight for your rights tirelessly in court for the best possible results. Contact the OVI attorneys at O’Leary Law Office for more information today.