FAQ – Probation for DUI / OVI in Columbus & Central Ohio

Q: What Is Probation in Ohio?

A: In Ohio, probation is also called ‘community control’. When a person is placed on probation for a DUI (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio), that person’s behavior is monitored by the court for a period of time (up to five years). During the period of probation, the person is ordered to do certain things and abstain from doing other things. Those things are probation conditions (aka community control sanctions). If the probation conditions are fulfilled, probation is ‘successfully terminated’. If the probation conditions are not fulfilled, the judge or magistrate may impose additional consequences.

Q: What Should I Expect if I’m Placed on Probation for OVI in Ohio?

A: You should expect to have someone checking on you to see if you are complying with the probation conditions. That is the job of a probation officer. When you are first placed on probation, you will meet with a probation officer to provide background information and review the conditions of probation. The probation officer will give you details about probation, including the frequency of reporting to the probation officer.

Probation may be non-reporting, standard (typically reporting once per month), or intensive (typically reporting once or more per week). When you meet with the probation officer, you will provide proof that you fulfilled the required conditions, you may take drug/alcohol tests, and the probation officer will check to see if you engaged in any of the prohibited conditions.

Q: What Are Common Probation Conditions?

A: In Ohio DUI/OVI cases, there are some frequently used probation conditions (aka ‘community control sanctions’). Some of the conditions are requirements, and some of the conditions are prohibitions. Common requirements include reporting to a probation officer, completing alcohol/drug counseling, submitting to alcohol/drug testing, and performing community service. Common prohibitions include not breaking the law, not using alcohol/drugs, and not driving without a valid driver license and auto insurance.

Q: What if a Person Violates Probation Conditions?

A: In Ohio, if a probation officer believes a person on probation violated one or more of the probation conditions, the probation officer files a report (‘statement of violations’) with the judge or magistrate alleging a probation violation. The judge then holds a hearing. At the hearing, the judge first determines whether there is probable cause to believe the person violated probation conditions. If so, the judge then determines whether the person did, in fact, violate probation. If the judge concludes the person did violate probation, the judge imposes sanctions. Those sanctions can include additional jail time.

Q: Is Everyone Placed on Probation for DUI/OVI in Ohio?

A: No. Ohio sentencing law gives discretion to judges and magistrates to determine whether a person convicted of OVI is placed on probation/community control. Probation is more likely for a person with a record of committing criminal/traffic offenses. Probation is also more likely for a person with a prior OVI conviction. Some judges and magistrates impose probation more than others: some impose probation in every case, and some rarely impose probation.

Attorneys for DUI / OVI in Columbus and Central Ohio

At the Dominy Law Firm, we represent clients who are facing probation and the other penalties associated with OVI in Columbus and Central Ohio. We understand an OVI conviction and its related consequences can be unsettling, and we can help. If you are charged with OVI and would like to discuss representation, you can schedule a free phone consultation by calling 614-717-1177 or by submitting a CONTACT FORM.

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