OVI / DUI Test Refusal W/Prior Conviction

Ohio DUI/OVI Test Refusal With Prior Conviction
In Ohio, individuals with prior DUI/OVI convictions within 20 years face additional consequences for refusing a chemical test for alcohol and/or drugs.  If you have a prior conviction within 20 years of the new OVI charge and you refuse the test, you will be charged with a separate offense.  The separate offense is Test Refusal With Prior Conviction.  That offense carries a mandatory jail sentence which is longer than the mandatory jail sentence for OVI.  If you are charged with an OVI / DUI Test Refusal offense in Columbus, Ohio or the central Ohio area, you may want to hire a DUI/OVI lawyer with experience handling these types of cases.

DUI/OVI Lawyer With Experience Handling Test Refusal Cases
Shawn Dominy has extensive experience representing clients in Ohio charged with Test Refusal With Prior Conviction.  He has been practicing since 1997, and DUI/OVI defense is the focus of his practice.  The Dominy Law Firm is located in Columbus, so Shawn Dominy practices in Franklin County courts and other courts throughout central Ohio.  Dominy is the author of the book I Was Charged With DUI/OVI – Now What?!  That book is available for purchase from online retailers, and you can download the e-book for free here.

What The Prosecution Must Prove In A Case Of Test Refusal With Prior Conviction
If you are charged with the Ohio offense of Test Refusal With Prior Conviction, there are five elements the prosecution must prove.  First, the prosecution must prove you have a prior DUI/OVI conviction within the last 20 years.  The 20-year time period is measured from the date of the previous conviction to the date of the current offense.  Second, the prosecution must prove you were asked by a law enforcement officer to submit to a chemical test for alcohol and/or drugs.  Third, the prosecution must prove the law enforcement officer properly advised you of the consequences of taking or refusing the test.  Fourth, the prosecution must prove you refused the test.  Fifth, the prosecution must prove you operated a vehicle under the influence.

Penalties For The Charge Of Test Refusal With Prior Conviction
The most significant penalty for this offense is the mandatory jail sentence.  The length of the mandatory jail sentence depends on the number of prior convictions within the last ten years.  The length of the mandatory jail sentence is double the mandatory jail sentence for the corresponding OVI charge. 
  • An Ohio OVI with no prior convictions within ten years has a mandatory jail sentence of three days, and a Test Refusal charge with no prior OVI convictions in the last ten years has a mandatory jail sentence of six days.
  • An Ohio OVI with one prior conviction in the last ten years has a mandatory jail sentence of 10 days, and a Test Refusal charge with one prior conviction in the last ten years has a mandatory jail sentence of 20 days.
  • An Ohio OVI with two prior convictions in the last ten years has a mandatory jail sentence of 30 days, and a Test Refusal charge with one prior conviction in the last ten years has a mandatory jail sentence of 60 days.
The mandatory jail sentence discussed above is the minimum sentence permitted by Ohio law.  The judge may impose a longer jail sentence up to the maximum jail sentence.  For a first or second conviction within ten years, the maximum jail sentence is 180 days.  For a third conviction within ten years, the maximum jail sentence is one year.  In addition to the jail sentence, the court must impose a driver license suspension and a fine.  The judge may also impose other penalties, such as substance abuse counseling, yellow license plates, ignition interlock, SCRAM, and community control (probation).

Defenses To The Charge Of Test Refusal With Prior Conviction
Being charged with this offense does not make the case hopeless.  The fact that the officer charged you with this offense does not mean the prosecution can prove all five elements.  Sometimes, the prosecution is unable to satisfactorily prove there was a prior conviction within 20 years.   Other times, the officer gives improper advice regarding the consequences of taking or refusing the test.  Sometimes, what the officer interpreted as a refusal does not legally constitute a refusal.  Other times, the prosecution is unable to prove you operated a vehicle under the influence.  This last point is noteworthy:  refusing the test and having a prior conviction is only illegal in Ohio if you were under the influence on this occasion.  That means all the defenses to a charge of OVI ‘impaired’ are available for a charge of Test Refusal With Prior Conviction.

Columbus, Ohio DUI/OVI Attorney For Charges Of Test Refusal With Prior Conviction
The Dominy Law Firm in Columbus, Ohio is focused on representing clients charged with DUI/OVI, and Shawn Dominy frequently represents clients charged with Test Refusal With Prior Conviction.  For more information about Shawn Dominy and the Dominy Law Firm, please see the attorney profile and the firm overview.  You may also be interested in outcomes from previous cases and reviews from past clients.  If you are charged with Test Refusal With Prior Conviction and would like to discuss your case with Shawn Dominy, you can schedule a free phone consultation by calling 614-717-1177 or by completing a CONTACT FORM.