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Charged With OVI In Ohio? Seek Experienced Legal Support.

It can be easy to find yourself facing a charge for operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) in Ohio, which is also known as a driving under the influence (DUI) in other parts of the nation. You may have never had to interact with police or face an arrest like this, and you may worry about how a charge like this could affect your future.

At the KM Law Firm, we understand the implications of an OVI charge and are here to help you fight them. Navigating the bureaucracy and complexity of the state criminal justice system can feel daunting. However, with our guidance, you can feel prepared and informed as you make critical decisions surrounding your case.

Work With Defense Lawyers Who Have Seen It All

OVI is one of those charges where the severity and the consequences can vary depending on the situation. When you have been charged with OVI, you must work with attorneys who have handled many of them, have a strong sense of how certain cases play out, and will know what to do if yours takes an unexpected turn.

Over our years of practice, we’ve handled cases where we’ve had to dispute forensic analysis tests and defend people in cases where people faced OVI and manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and aggravated vehicular homicide charges. We’re ready and equipped to protect your constitutional rights, dispute illegally obtained evidence and collaborate with professionals who can testify.

You can always expect us to treat you with compassion and understanding. We know that you’re going through a tough time and that you’re worried about your future. While we can’t predict what will happen, we can prepare you for what we think could happen as we fight vigorously for the outcomes you’d like out of your case.

We Answer Common Questions About Drunk Driving Charges

We understand that facing a DUI can be an overwhelming and stressful experience, and it is natural to have many questions and concerns. We are here to offer guidance and support every step of the way so that you can approach this challenge with knowledge and confidence. Below are answers to some of the most common questions we receive.

What is the difference between an OVI and “physical control?”

OVI occurs when someone controls a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Typically, a person caught driving while impaired will face an OVI charge.

On the other hand, “physical control” involves being in a vehicle’s control without actually driving. For example, you might be in a parked car with the keys in the ignition after drinking or using drugs. The authorities could argue that you had physical control of the vehicle because you might start driving. A charge involving physical control could still lead to jail time or fines, but these charges often involve lighter penalties than OVI charges.

Can I still be convicted of OVI if my BAC is below the legal limit?

Yes, you can. The legal limit of blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% in many areas. Still, signs of impairment can lead to an OVI charge even if your BAC falls below this threshold. Police officers will assess your behavior, your performance on field sobriety tests and other signs of impairment.

What should I do if I am arrested after having a few drinks?

Stay calm and polite if you find yourself under arrest after drinking. You have the right to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination. You should also request to speak with an attorney promptly. A lawyer will guide you through your rights and the legal proceedings you’re facing.

Do I have the right to refuse sobriety tests?

You can refuse field sobriety tests and chemical tests, such as breath, blood or urine tests. However, refusal comes with its own set of consequences. Ohio’s “implied consent” law means that you consented to these tests by accepting a driver’s license. Refusal can lead to immediate license suspension, and the prosecution might present your refusal as evidence against you in court.

Do some cities within the state of Ohio have stricter OVI codes than others?

Ohio sets drunk driving laws at the state level to ensure consistency across different jurisdictions. This means that the basic legal standards for what constitutes OVI are the same throughout the state.

However, some cities or municipalities may enforce stricter penalties for OVI offenses through local ordinances. These local rules can lead to higher fines, increased jail time or other penalties exceeding the state’s minimum punishments.

What are the consequences of an OVI conviction in Ohio?

It doesn’t matter if it’s your first or third charge; an OVI conviction can be life-altering. Depending on your circumstances, you can expect:

  • Hefty fines
  • Higher auto insurance premiums
  • Vehicle forfeiture
  • Two months to one year in jail
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Ignition interlock device installation
  • Limited employment or housing opportunities

Sentences are based on mandatory minimums. The typical first offense penalty is a three-day jail term, which can also sometimes be served by attending a driver intervention program. The penalties for OVI range from a mandatory minimum three-day jail term to years in prison for a felony OVI offense.

Fight Your OVI Charge With Our Help Today

You’re not alone. Countless individuals in the Buckeye State face OVI charges. While it can feel like the deck is stacked against you, hiring the right legal team could be the difference between a clean slate and a criminal conviction.

Don’t wait; let’s start crafting your defense strategy today. Call 614-339-6165 or email us to schedule your free initial consultation at our Columbus-based office.