OUI Attorneys in Cincinnati Defending Your Rights in the Face of a Drunk Driving Conviction
Being arrested for drunk driving can be a challenging experience. People often worry about the consequences they face, including the loss of their driving privileges, loss of employment, the possibility of mandatory jail time, and hefty fines and court fees. They wonder how the arrest may affect their family and their future.
Ohio’s laws concerning driving a vehicle under the influence (OVI) are constantly changing. The law prohibits operating a vehicle under the influence and driving under the influence (DUI), which are often used interchangeably. You may also hear operating a motor vehicle while impaired (OMVI) or operating under the influence (OUI).
In an OVI, OUI, DUI, or OMVI, driving or operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or higher is illegal. OVI convictions can result in misdemeanor or felony charges, especially with repeat offenses, additional traffic violations, and aggravating factors such as bodily harm or injury and wrongful death.
Our criminal defense attorney team has experience in the ever-changing DUI laws in Ohio. Our hands-on trial experience dealing with the local court and prosecutors is valuable in the cases we manage.
Don’t face a drunk driving conviction alone. We have the legal tools and resources you need to change the outcome of your case. Contact Ernst & Associates, LLC, and book a free consultation to discuss your case with our criminal defense attorney team.
What if I Refuse a Chemical Test?
Under Ohio DUI laws, anyone who operates a motor vehicle on public or private property has already given consent for a chemical test if they are found driving while impaired. This is implied consent, and the state practices the implied consent law.
It depends on the police officer, though if you have been drinking and driving and get pulled over, law enforcement can ask you to take a field sobriety test. You can politely refuse the chemical test as it is not considered illegal, though the arresting officer might remind you of the implied consent warnings. You also must get out of your car if asked.
With continued refusal, law enforcement has the right to arrest you for chemical test refusal or suspend your driver’s license immediately for up to one year. Not participating in a field sobriety test could lead to additional fines and jail time if you are later charged with a DUI conviction.
Generally, it’s not advisable to refuse a chemical test, especially considering the implied consent laws and the advantage and state support law enforcement has in pushing the field sobriety tests.
If you refused a chemical test and are facing a DUI conviction, speak with a criminal defense attorney with Ernst & Associates, LLC, to see how this decision will impact your overall charges. Contact our team and schedule a free consultation with our criminal defense lawyers today to get the legal advice you need.
What are the Penalties for Driving While Impaired?
Drunk driving incidents claimed more than 600 lives in 2021. This is almost 45 percent of Ohio’s road deaths. About 30 percent of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers.
Drunk driving is a choice, and alcohol-induced deaths are preventable. This is why the penalties for driving while intoxicated, even as a first offense, are strict. They get even trickier if you don’t learn your lesson the first time.
The first time you are convicted of DUI, you face mandatory incarceration of three to six days in jail or an alcohol program. You could face up to six months in prison, depending on the circumstances of your charge. You also face hefty mandatory fines, participation in a driver’s intervention program, and mandatory license suspensions. Yellow restricted plates are compulsory on some first offenses.
With a second offense, if you are convicted of a second DUI within six years, you face jail time of ten or twenty days, mandatory immobilization of your vehicle, mandatory yellow plates on your car, and a mandatory ignition interlock device. The mandatory fines increase for the second conviction in six years as well.
An OVI arrest and possible conviction for drunk driving, whether a first or second offense, will disrupt your life. Contact our criminal defense lawyers for defense strategies in a challenging DUI case and schedule a free consultation to discuss your charges.
If I’m Caught for Drunk Driving Again, What Happens?
OUI penalties start shifting more dramatically when you reach a third drunk driving offense, and you begin to see the ripple effect impact other areas of your life in more profound ways, such as securing or keeping a job, ability to travel, insurance rates, and premiums, driving privileges, intimate relationships and more.
You automatically forfeit your vehicle if you are convicted of a third DUI in six years. You also face mandatory jail time from 30-60 days, increased fines, mandatory attendance in an alcohol treatment program, and a license suspension of up to 10 years.
No limited privileges can be granted for six months, and then limited privileges can only be granted with the ignition interlock and yellow restricted plates.
Technology advancements have also changed how the state treats drunk drivers with specific penalties. Convicted drivers may be required to wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet or a Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (SCRAM).
This device can be mandated by judges for use with repeat offenders, constantly monitoring your alcohol content to ensure you are not drinking. If a judge orders it, SCRAM may be an excellent alternative to jail time in some situations.
If you are facing a third offense, it’s imperative to consider legal representation. Our criminal lawyers can provide the necessary legal services to build a defense on your behalf to help lessen the blow of a third offense with a reduced sentence or dropped charges altogether.
Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help My Chances?
The odds with any legal matter improve with the help of an attorney. This is true of OVI convictions, especially repeat drunk driving offenses. Many drinking and driving defense strategies can be used to successfully overthrow a DUI conviction, though only an experienced criminal defense lawyer can change the outcome.
We look at every possible angle, including the means, method, and mode of law enforcement, how the field sobriety test was conducted, what evidence was found, and any omissions and errors in working your arrest.
As the goal of a police officer is to help the state convict you of a DUI charge if they believe you broke the law, it’s more common than you think to run into poorly run sobriety tests or other tactics and means to convict you once you have been pulled over for drunk driving.
If you have been arrested for drunk driving, the best way to fight worry is to talk with a criminal defense lawyer regarding your options. Contact the Cincinnati, Ohio, law office of Attorney Matthew Ernst by sending us an e-mail or calling us at 513-548-5544.
Get a confidential and free consultation when you reach out to the law office of Ernst & Associates, LLC. We also offer convenient payment options like payment plans and accept credit cards.