In Ohio, what is normally referred to as a DUI (driving under the influence) in other states is often referred to as an OVI (operating a vehicle under the influence) and is considered a serious crime. More than 1.1 million people in the state, approximately 14% of licensed drivers, have at least one OVI conviction. When facing an OVI charge in Ohio, there are some important things you should know:
1. Know the Law
When facing an OVI charge, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with. If convicted of an OVI, your driver’s license may be suspended after an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) hearing. This could last anywhere from six months to three years. You could also be facing potential jail time of anywhere from three days to six months.
Ohio has what’s known as an implied consent law. This means that refusing to submit to a sobriety test will automatically result in a fine and license suspension. When facing an OVI charge, it is always best to cooperate as much as possible.
2. Find a Good Lawyer
As with any other charge, you’ll want to find a good DUI lawyer to help you with your case. When investigating criminal defense firms, you’ll want to look for someone with experience in drunk driving defense. A good DUI attorney will inform you of potential plea bargains. For example, if the incident did not result in an accident, your blood alcohol limit was borderline illegal, and you have no prior convictions, you may be granted a plea.
3. Don’t Make the Same Mistake Twice
Criminal defense firms can only help you so much if you won’t help yourself. The more times you are charged with an OVI, the worse things will be for you. According to the DUI website, a second offense can lead to a fine as high as $1,500 and jail time of as long as six months. While driving under the influence is a relatively common crime, it is still a very serious one with serious consequences.