OVI / DUI Probation
Probation is a court program for monitoring a person’s conduct. In Ohio, the label given to probation is actually ‘community control’, but those terms are used interchangeably. If you are convicted of DUI (Ohio calls it ‘OVI’), the judge may place you on probation. If you are placed on probation, the judge imposes community control sanctions: probation conditions. Those conditions include things you are ordered to do and things you are ordered not to do. A probation officer is responsible for monitoring your conduct to determine whether you complied with the probation conditions.Is Everyone Convicted of DUI/OVI Placed on Probation?
The use of probation for sentencing in DUI / OVI cases depends on the court and the defendant’s record. Different courts have different policies regarding the use of probation: some judges impose probation more than others. Probation is more likely to be imposed for a person with prior DUI / OVI convictions on his or her record. However, some judges impose probation on every DUI / OVI conviction, even those which are first life-time offenses.What to Expect if Placed on Probation for DUI/OVI
If you are placed on probation, the first step is probation intake. You will likely complete a questionnaire and have an initial meeting with a probation officer. During that meeting, the probation officer will review the conditions of probation and may have you sign a document acknowledging you have been given notice of the probation conditions.
After the probation intake, probation may be reporting or non-reporting. That decision is often made by the judge but is sometimes left to the discretion of the probation officer. If the probation is the reporting type, the probation officer will inform you of how frequently you need to report. The standard reporting period is monthly, but the frequency of reporting varies. It could be less frequent, or it could be as often as every week or even every day. Whether you report to a probation officer or not, you will be required to prove that you completed the probation conditions.Common Probation Conditions for DUI/OVI in Ohio
When a judge imposes the sentence for a DUI / OVI conviction, the judge will establish probation conditions. Those conditions are either prohibitions or requirements.
Prohibitions often include:
- Do not engage in any same or similar offenses
- Do not violate the law
- Do not drive without a valid license and auto insurance
- Do not consume alcohol or illegal drugs
- Do not patronize bars
Requirements often include:
- Report to and cooperate with a probation officer
- Complete a driver intervention program
- Complete a substance abuse assessment
- Complete treatment recommended by an assessment
- Submit to random drug/alcohol tests
- Undergo secure remote alcohol monitoring (SCRAM)
- Complete community service
- Pay fines, court costs and restitution
If a probation officer alleges there has been a violation of one or more of the probation conditions, the probation officer files a motion or ‘statement of violations’. The judge then holds a two-part probation violation hearing. In the first part, the judge determines whether there is probable cause to believe probation has been violated. In the second part, the judge decides whether the evidence proves probation was violated. If the judge concludes probation was violated, the judge then imposes consequences. The consequences may include additional probation conditions, extension of the probationary period, and a jail term.Can Probation be Avoided?
Probation can be avoided. The likelihood of avoiding probation depends, in part, on the judge imposing the sentence. That likelihood is increased by conduct in advance of the sentencing which demonstrates why probation is unnecessary. The likelihood of avoiding probation is also increased by avoiding a DUI / OVI conviction.Representation for DUI/OVI in Central Ohio
If you are concerned about probation or the other consequences of a DUI / OVI conviction, you may benefit from effective legal representation. The lawyers at the Dominy Law Firm are familiar with all aspects of DUI / OVI defense and frequently help clients avoid DUI / OVI convictions. If you are charged with DUI / OVI in central Ohio and would like to discuss representation, you can schedule a free phone consultation by completing a CONTACT FORM or by calling 614-717-1177.