OVI / DUI Charges

DUI / OVI Charges In Columbus And Central Ohio
This section of the website discusses DUI/OVI charges.  Those charges include first offenses, second offenses, third offenses, felony offenses, and test refusals with prior convictions.  Other types of Ohio DUI / OVI charges include drugged driving, DUI/OVI marijuana, underage DUI/OVI, boating under the influence (BUI), and DUI/OVI charges for commercial drivers.  This section of the website also addresses DUI/OVI investigations and the DUI/OVI court process.  Additional pages in this website explain these issues in more detail (see the links at the bottom of the page if you are using a phone, or the side of the page if you are using a computer), and these topics are also discussed more thoroughly in the Ohio DUI/OVI Guide, which you can download for free here.

Investigations For DUI / OVI Charges
A good Ohio DUI/OVI attorney will look for weaknesses in the investigation which can be used to improve the outcome of the case.  The first part of a DUI/OVI investigation typically starts with a traffic stop but sometimes starts with an accident, a sobriety checkpoint, or some other interaction between a law enforcement officer and a driver.  From a Fourth Amendment perspective, the initial detention of the driver must be justified by evidence giving the officer a reasonable suspicion the driver was operating a vehicle under the influence or otherwise violating the law.

If the officer decides to remove the driver from the vehicle for a DUI/OVI investigation, including field sobriety tests, that further detention must also be supported by the evidence.  If the officer decides to arrest the driver for DUI/OVI, the officer must have probable cause to believe the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  After the arrest, the remaining part of the DUI/OVI investigation usually includes a breath test, blood test, or urine test.  Those tests are discussed in the ‘DUI/OVI Tests’ section of this website.

The Court Process For DUI / OVI Cases In Columbus And Central Ohio
The DUI/OVI court process may involve many stages.  At the arraignment stage, the defendant is asked to enter a plea of guilty, no contest, or not guilty.  If the defendant enters a plea of guilty or no contest, the case is usually finished at the arraignment.  If the defendant enters a plea of not guilty, the next phase is a pretrial hearing.  The pretrial hearing is an opportunity for the defense attorney and the prosecuting attorney to negotiate.

If the case is not resolved with an agreement at the pretrial, the next phase is a hearing on motions to suppress evidence and any other legal issues raised in motions.  After the motion hearing, the next phase of the case is a trial, when the jury or judge decides whether the prosecution’s evidence proves the defendant guilty.  If there is a guilty verdict, or if there was a guilty plea entered, the final phase of the case is a sentence hearing.  At that hearing, the judge decides the penalties to be imposed.

Repeat DUI / OVI Charges
DUI/OVI offenses have minimum mandatory penalties, and those penalties are increasingly severe for repeat DUI/OVI offenses.  For example a first-offense Ohio DUI/OVI carries a minimum jail sentence of three days and a minimum license suspension of six months.  A second-offense Ohio DUI/OVI involves a minimum jail sentence of ten days and a minimum license suspension of one year.  A third-offense Ohio DUI/OVI carries a minimum jail sentence of 30 days and a minimum license suspension of two years.  The minimum jail sentence is doubled if the case involves a chemical test refusal with a prior OVI conviction in 20 years or a blood alcohol concentration of .170 or higher.

Felony DUI / OVI Charges In Ohio
Accumulating multiple DUI/OVI convictions may result in a Felony DUI/OVI.  If a person is convicted of DUI/OVI four times within ten years or six times in 20 years, the offense is classified as a felony.  The sentence for a first felony DUI/OVI includes incarceration from 60 days to 30 months and a license suspension of three years to life.  Once a person is convicted of a felony DUI/OVI, any future DUI/OVI convictions within the requisite time period will also be classified as felonies.  If a person is convicted of a second (or more) felony DUI/OVI, the minimum period of incarceration increases to 120 days.

Drugs And DUI / OVI in Columbus And Central Ohio
Although people generally think of DUI/ OVI as ‘drunk driving’, the law also prohibits operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or ‘over the limit’ for certain drugs.  That law applies to illegal drugs, including marijuana, as well as prescription medications.  Arrests for this type of DUI/OVI are increasing in Ohio. 

Ohio Underage DUI / OVI Charges
Ohio law is different for underage DUI/OVI offenses.  For drivers under 21, the ‘legal limit’ is .02 rather than .08.  If an underage driver is arrested for OVI and the blood alcohol concentration is between .02 and .08, the driver will likely be charged with Operating a Vehicle after Under Age Consumption (OVUAC).  The sentence for OVUAC is different than the sentence for OVI, and it includes a longer wait for limited driving privileges, as well as a requirement that the underage driver re-take the driver’s license test.

Other DUI / OVI Charges In Ohio
Other DUI/OVI charges include offenses for commercial drivers and the offense of Boating Under the Influence (BUI).  If a person with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) refuses a chemical test or tests over the ‘legal limit’, the CDL is immediately suspended.  If a CDL holder is convicted of DUI/OVI, a CDL disqualification is imposed. 

For Boating Under the Influence, a person may be found guilty of the offense if the person operates a boat (or other vessel) under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if the person operates a boat (or other vessel) with a prohibited concentration of alcohol and/or drugs in the person’s blood, breath or urine. 

Columbus, Ohio Lawyers For DUI / OVI Charges In Central Ohio
The focus of the Dominy Law Firm is representing clients for DUI/OVI charges.  From our office in Columbus, the lawyers represent clients in Franklin County and in courts throughout central Ohio.  We have undergone extensive training specific to DUI/OVI, and we use our expertise and experience to help clients who are fighting DUI/OVI charges.  To learn more about us, please see the attorney profiles and the ‘About Us’ page. You can also read reviews from previous clients and outcomes from previous cases.  If you conclude your research and decide you may want to engage our representation, a free consultation can be arranged by calling 614-717-1177 or by completing 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.