What plea options do I have for an OVI in Ohio?
Answer: Your legal options in dealing with an Ohio OVI charge are:
- Plead guilty and try to work out a plea bargain with the District Attorney’s office for lesser penalties or request a suspended sentence if this is your first offense.
- Enter a plea of “not guilty” and take your chances by going to trial. This is not a good option if the prosecutor’s case includes hard evidence against you.
- First time offenders who are convicted may be able to participate in a three day Driver Intervention Program in lieu of the mandatory three-day jail sentence.
Be Careful What You Say to Law Enforcement
The minute you are pulled over, the cops are building a case against you. Remain in your car with both hands visibly on the wheel. This will put the officer at ease by showing them that you are not fishing around in your vehicle for a potential weapon. If you end up being arrested, don’t say anything to the cops that will be used against you at a later time. Simply state that you would like to call an attorney. DUI diversion programs may be a possibility and are typically run by the local court. There may be other options, such as entering a treatment program, so it’s best to contact an experienced attorney for advice about what program you might be eligible to attend so you can avoid a criminal conviction.
Penalties For Chemical Test Refusal
Any individual with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher may be arrested for an Ohio OVI (Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence) offense. If you are pulled over for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, Ohio’s implied consent law requires all licensed drivers to submit to a chemical test. If they refuse to do so, their license will be suspended for an entire year. The more times they refuse a test, the license suspension time period increases as well – for example, a second refusal results in a two years suspension and a third refusal results in a three year suspension. In addition, refusals will trigger Ohio’s 20-year “look back” rule where they examine the person’s prior record for DUIs anywhere in the U.S. If the individual has prior convictions for an Ohio OVI, they could end up facing a felony charge.
For additional information surrounding OVI Laws in Ohio, see the following.