Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious criminal charge that can affect many different areas of your life. The penalties for DUI convictions are severe because an impaired person behind the wheel of a motor vehicle can seriously injure or harm themselves and the people around them.
A person’s first DUI conviction in Ohio is usually charged as a misdemeanor. This can come with a jail term of 3 days to 6 months and a fine of $375 to over $1000. Alternative penalties to jail time can include restricted license plates, license suspension, an ignition interlock device, and/or attending an intervention program.
Although these penalties can be severe and the charge will remain on your record forever, the consequences of any future DUIs are much worse.
What Are the Penalties for Multiple DUIs?
If you’re convicted of a second DUI in the state of Ohio, you’ll face higher fines, more jail time, and even greater restrictions on your driving, especially if your second DUI is within ten years of the first. If you didn’t submit to a chemical test during your first DUI arrest, then the prosecutor is allowed to look back as far as 20 years for previous charges.
After the initial DUI, jail time is typically mandatory, fines are higher, and license suspensions last at least one year. For a second, third, fourth, or fifth DUI conviction, the penalties get higher and higher. If a person is convicted of a sixth DUI within 20 years, this offense will be considered a fourth-degree felony. Eventually, the offender might face lifetime license suspension and may be required to forfeit their vehicle.
What are Other Consequences of a DUI?
In addition to the legal penalties of a DUI conviction, you can face other consequences as well. Many people have trouble finding a job after being convicted of a DUI. Employers are often reluctant to hire someone who has been found guilty of driving under the influence.
Even if you don’t have to drive for your job, you will need transport to and from work every day. DUI convictions can also bar you from earning certain professional licenses. A DUI conviction can even affect child custody discussions.
What Can I Do If I’ve Been Charged With a DUI?
Whether you’re facing charges for your first DUI or your fourth, the first step is to call an experienced criminal defense attorney. It’s important to work with your attorney on a defense strategy and take steps to ensure that you do not drive under the influence again.
If you need help with a DUI case in Ohio, give our Cincinnati lawyers a call at 513-579-9500. We can help you decide how to move forward.