OVI / DUI First Offense In Ohio

First-Offense DUI / OVI In Ohio

Most people do not expect to be charged with DUI (called 'OVI' in Ohio). If you were recently charged with a first offense DUI / OVI in Ohio, you likely have many questions. You may wonder what happens in court and what are the consequences of a DUI / OVI conviction. You may also wonder if there is any way to avoid a DUI / OVI conviction on your permanent record, whether a DUI lawyer can really help, and if it makes a difference which DUI lawyer you choose. With the overwhelming nature of the situation, you may wonder what are the first steps you should take.

First Steps For A First Offense
The first step for a first offense Ohio DUI / OVI is to educate yourself. This website is a good way to do that. You can learn about the court process and the possible consequences, including the license suspensions. You can also read about the officer’s DUI / OVI investigation and the different types of DUI / OVI charges and DUI / OVI tests.

In addition to the information in this website, you may also want to read the ‘Ohio DUI / OVI Guide’ That guide is a quick read and answers many of the questions people have when charged with a first offense DUI / OVI in Ohio. The guide is available for sale from online retailers, and the e-book version is available as a free download on this site.  You may also want to contact a Columbus, OH DUI lawyer for your first offense DUI / OVI in central Ohio.

Sentences For First Offense DUI / OVI In Ohio
In Ohio, OVI is categorized by Ohio Revised Code section 4511.19 as a first degree misdemeanor with unique sentencing. The sentence includes a mandatory jail term of at least three days (or a driver intervention program) and a possible jail term of up to 180 days. There is a mandatory driver license suspension of at least one year and a possible driver license suspension of up to three years. There is also a mandatory fine of at least $375 and a possible fine of up to $1,075. A first offense DUI / OVI in Ohio also results in six points on your driver license.

In addition to those mandatory penalties for a first DUI / OVI conviction, there are other possible penalties, including yellow license plates, an ignition interlock device, secure remote alcohol monitoring (SCRAM), and community control (probation). Outside of the sentence imposed in court, an OVI conviction also has some secondary consequences. For a chart summarizing DUI / OVI penalties, please see the DUI / OVI sentences page of this website.

Pleading Guilty Or Not Guilty For A First Offense DUI / OVI Charges In Ohio
Before you can be subjected to the penalties for a first offense DUI / OVI, you must be found guilty. If you plead guilty, there is a 100% chance you will be found guilty. The judge will then impose the sentence, and the DUI / OVI conviction will become part of your permanent record which cannot be expunged or sealed. If you plead not guilty, you at least give yourself a chance of avoiding the DUI / OVI conviction.
Can A Lawyer Can Help With A First Offense DUI / OVI?
A lawyer can help, but not everybody needs a lawyer. Some people intend to plead guilty to the DUI / OVI at the first court appearance and ask the judge for leniency. For those people, a lawyer may still be helpful but may not be necessary.

Other people intend to contest the DUI / OVI and try to improve the outcome of the case. For those people, a lawyer is probably necessary. To credibly contest a DUI / OVI, one needs, at a minimum, a good understanding of Ohio DUI / OVI substantive law, rules of evidence, rules of criminal procedure, and Constitutional law. One should also have a working knowledge of the various tests used in DUI / OVI cases: field sobriety tests, breath tests, blood tests, urine tests. It would also be beneficial to have litigation and trial skills.

Does It Matter Which Lawyer I Hire For A First Offense DUI / OVI?
It only matters if the outcome matters to you. There are hundreds of attorneys who will handle your DUI / OVI case. There are a handful of attorneys who have expertise in DUI / OVI defense. Those attorneys complete specialized training specific to DUI / OVI defense and use that training in DUI / OVI litigation. Those attorneys typically get better results for their clients than attorneys who do not put in the effort to undergo specialized training.
Lawyers For First Offense DUI / OVI In Columbus And Central Ohio
The Dominy Law Firm's practice is focused on DUI / OVI defense. Our attorneys have completed specialized training in DUI / OVI investigations, field sobriety testing, breath testing, and blood/urine testing. They are members of the National College for DUI Defense and a the national DUI Defense Lawyers Association. Shawn Dominy and Bryan Hawkins frequently teach DUI / OVI defense to other lawyers at continuing education seminars.

For more information about the Dominy Law Firm attorneys, please see each attorney's profile, and for more information about the Dominy Law Firm, please see our firm's overview. You may also want to see past case results and client reviews. If you would like to discuss representation with our lawyers, please submit a CONTACT FORM or call 614-717-1177 to schedule a free consultation.

"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.