FAQ - First Offense DUI/OVI in Columbus & Central Ohio

Q: What Are the First Steps for a First Offense?

A: When you are charged with a first-offense DUI (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio), the first thing you should do is educate yourself. You want to know what the prosecution must prove, what are the possible consequences, and what is the court process. You will need to decide whether to plead guilty or not guilty, whether you ar going to hire a lawyer, and which lawyer you will hire. One way to learn about OVI cases is to read the Ohio DUI/OVI Guide. That guide will give you information to help you make informed decisions.

Q: What is the Possible Sentence for a First Offense OVI?

A: For a first-offense OVI in Ohio, there are mandatory minimum penalties and possible maximum penalties. There are also optional penalties. The mandatory penalties are a fine of $375 to $1,075, a driver license suspension of one year to three years, and a jail term of three days to 180 days. The optional penalties include restricted (yellow) plates, use of an ignition interlock device, SCRAM (secure continuous remote alcohol monitoring) and probation (also called ‘community control’).

Q: Should I plead Guilty or Not Guilty to my first-offense OVI?

A: The answer is different for each person. If you plead Guilty, you will definitely incur the first-offense penalties, and you will definitely have an OVI conviction on your record for the rest of your life. If you plead Not Guilty, you give yourself an opportunity to improve the outcome of the case. Some people can live with the consequences of a conviction, so they choose to enter a Guilty plea. Other people are so impacted by those consequences that they choose to enter a Not Guilty plea, contest the case, and try to avoid those consequences.

Q: How does a lawyer help with a first-offense OVI?

A: At the beginning of the case, a lawyer will assist you with obtaining driving privileges or the return of your driver license. A lawyer should then investigate the facts of the case, conduct legal research, and prepare a defense. By doing so, the lawyer is working to convince a jury to find you Not Guilty or convince the prosecutor to reduce the OVI charge to a non-OVI offense. The lawyer should also be helpful in guiding you through the unfamiliar court process.

Q: How do I choose a lawyer for a first-offense OVI?

A: There are many lawyers in central Ohio who represent clients for first-offense OVIs. If you are pleading Not Guilty, you should hire a good OVI lawyer to represent you. A good OVI lawyer knows the law, the science involved in OVI cases, and strategy. A good lawyer has expertise in OVI defense, experience litigating OVI cases, and a caseload which allows the lawyer to give your case the attention required to obtain a favorable result.

Attorneys for First Offense DUI/OVI in Columbus and Central Ohio

The lawyers at the Dominy Law Firm have represented hundreds of clients for first-offense OVIs. The focus of our firm’s practice is representing clients for OVI and serious vehicular crimes, and our lawyers have undergone specialized training for OVI defense. We maintain low caseloads so we can give each client’s case special attention. More information about the Dominy Law Firm is available on the ‘About Us’ page of this site. Information about our case outcomes and client reviews is also on this site. To schedule a free phone consultation about your first-offense OVI, please call 614-717-1177 or submit a CONTACT FORM.

"Shawn is a wonderful person and an elite attorney. Being represented by him gives you complete peace of mind knowing you are in good hands, with..." M.A.
"Shawn Dominy quickly displayed his expertise in defending OVI cases at a level that made me immediately comfortable in my decision to..." K.G.
"I was looking at a Physical control OVI charge. License suspension, 3 day class, all that. Shawn got it reduced to persistent disorderly conduct. I paid a fine, saw..." Y.E.