Experienced Traffic Attorney Defends DUI/DWI/OVI Charges
Capable defense representation in Columbus and vicinity
In Ohio, drunk driving, often referred to elsewhere as DUI and DWI, is called OVI — operating a vehicle impaired. If you are arrested for OVI, you are in for an aggressive prosecution that could result in severe penalties. Jail time, fines, and the loss of your license are only the beginning. Your reputation can suffer, damaging your career, and your insurance premiums can skyrocket. But rather than despair or go into court without a plan, you need to consult an experienced attorney who has had success defending OVI charges. For more than 30 years, Luckett Law Office has defended motorists from OVI charges and other serious traffic offenses. We are determined to help you achieve a favorable outcome.
Penalties for DUI/DWI/OVI in Ohio
Penalties for OVI depend on several factors, including prior convictions. Penalties for a basic OVI in Ohio are as follows:
- First offense — Three days to six months in jail, a fine of $250 to $1,000, and a license suspension of six months to three years
- Second offense — 10 days to one year in jail, a fine of $350 to $1,500, and a license suspension of one to five years
- Third offense — 30 days to one year in jail, a fine of $350 to $1,500, a license suspension of one to 10 years, and an ignition interlock device installed in the owner’s vehicle.
- Fourth offense — 60 days to one year in jail, a fine of $800 to $1,500, a license suspension of three years to permanent suspension, and an ignition interlock device installed in the owner’s vehicle
Other circumstances that could lead to more severe penalties include speeding, reckless driving, causing an accident that damages property and/or injures people, and putting a child at risk.
Refusing a test in violation of the implied consent law
Under Ohio’s implied consent law, anyone who drives on the state’s public roads has given consent to a chemical test of blood alcohol content. If you are arrested for OVI and you refuse to take a test, you will receive an administrative license suspension for one year. This suspension stays in place even if you win an acquittal on the OVI charge.
Challenging an OVI charge in Ohio
If you have tested over the legal limit for alcohol, which is a blood alcohol content of .08 percent, you might think an OVI conviction is a foregone conclusion. However, an experienced OVI attorney can challenge the charge in court in various ways:
- Illegal stop — If an officer pulled you over without reasonable suspicion, it may be possible to have the charges dropped. For example, if the reason for the stop was racial profiling, the stop was illegal and any evidence of a crime the officers discover is inadmissible.
- Lack of probable cause for the arrest — If you exhibited no signs of drunkenness and passed a field sobriety test, the officer would have had no reason to arrest you. There would have been no legal basis for the chemical test.
- Chemical test is invalid — The Ohio Department of Health’s Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Testing sets standards for chemical tests of blood alcohol content. These rules apply to the administration of the test, calibration and maintenance of machines, laboratory requirements, personnel qualifications, processing of samples, and storage of samples. Violations of any of these standards could be grounds for disallowing the test results.
- Plea bargain to “wet reckless” — Even though Ohio does not have a specific “reckless driving with alcohol” statute, the court often allows an accused driver to plead the lesser offense of reckless driving rather than OVI. This plea arrangement is usually allowed if a driver has a clean record, free of previous OVI convictions.
Available defenses depend on the facts of your case, which is why you should take advantage of a free consultation with an experienced traffic offense attorney. The courts have great discretion in OVI cases, so even if the facts are against you, we may be able to help you obtain a favorable result with a lesser penalty.
Contact an experienced Columbus attorney to fight drunk driving charges
Luckett Law Office defends drivers from DUI/DWI/OVI charges throughout Central Ohio. Our office is conveniently located at 24 North High Street, just one block away from the Ohio Statehouse in the heart of downtown Columbus. To schedule a free consultation, call 614-721-2949 or contact our office online.