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Understanding when a DUI/OVI becomes a felony in Ohio

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2024 | Criminal Defense

In Ohio, driving under the influence, also known as Operating a Vehicle under the Influence, is a serious offense that the state does not take lightly. While many DUI/OVI offenses fall under misdemeanor charges, certain circumstances can elevate them to felony status. This escalation significantly affects the severity of the consequences, including longer jail (and/or prison terms)  hefty fines and more substantial impacts on a person’s life and future opportunities.

Recognizing when a DUI/OVI shifts from a misdemeanor to a felony is important for anyone navigating Ohio’s legal system or striving to understand the potential repercussions of driving under the influence.

Multiple offenses

A DUI/OVI offense becomes a felony if the courts have convicted the individual of four or more OVI offenses.  Multiple offenses on one’s record is a pattern of behavior that indicates a disregard for the law and public safety, warranting more severe penalties, according to the authorities.

Serious injury or death

A DUI/OVI charge can also escalate to a felony if the incident results in serious bodily harm or the death of another person. These cases demonstrate the potential for tragic outcomes when operating a vehicle under the influence, leading to stricter legal consequences.

Driving with a suspended license

Operating a vehicle under the influence while having a suspended or revoked license can also elevate the charge to a felony.

Recognizing the gravity of these offenses and their potential to escalate to felony charges is important for individuals to make informed decisions and understand the legal implications of their actions.

KM Law Helps You Fight Drunk Driving Charges

We are a dedicated legal team defending those accused of crimes in Columbus and across Central Ohio. We take on your drunk driving charges head o and work diligently to provide compassionate defense to each of our clients. Your charge is serious, and we’re here to help. Reach out to us by calling 614-339-6165 or sending us an email using our contact form.