Being convicted of OVI is a serious matter that will carry both criminal and non-criminal penalties. DUI laws vary from state to state and Ohioans facing an OVI charge are often overwhelmed by the specifics of the complicated OVI statute, R.C. 4511.19. 

Every Ohioan facing an OVI charge should be represented by counsel to help them navigate and understand the process and potentially avoid a criminal conviction if at all possible. 

In addition to criminal penalties, non-criminal penalties include related BMV reinstatement fees and insurance premium hikes.

Do I Have to Go To Court for OVI/DUI? OVI statute, R.C. 4511.19

As part of the criminal process, an Ohioan facing an OVI charge can expect to appear in Court at least once for arraignment and once for a pretrial. A pretrial is an opportunity for the Prosecutor and Defense to meet and discuss the evidence, and for both parties to inform the Court of how the case will proceed.   

How Can My OVI or DUI Be Reduced to A Lesser Charge? Is It a Good Deal?

Depending on the strength of the evidence and the defendant’s individual background and criminal or traffic history, the Prosecutor may offer to reduce the charge from an OVI charge to  a Physical Control charge. But what does that mean, and is it a good deal? 

ORC 4511.19(A). OVI

  • Defined as – operation of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both, or there is a particular concentration of alcohol or a controlled substance in the breath, blood, blood serum, plasma, or urine. 
  • “Operate” is defined by the statute as to cause or have caused movement of a vehicle.  
  • A misdemeanor of the 1st degree for 1st offense
  • Possible penalties: 
    • 3 days-6 months in jail
    • 6-month license suspension and 6-point license penalty
    • Court-ordered drug or alcohol treatment and driver Intervention program
    • Fines up to $1,000
  • The first offense is enhanceable, meaning that future charges would carry automatically increased penalties. 

ORC 4511.194 Physical Control While Under The Influence

  • Defined as – in the driver’s position of the front seat of a vehicle and having possession of the ignition key while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or a combination.
  • A misdemeanor of the 1st degree
  • Possible penalties include: 
    • 0-180 days in jail
    • Optional license suspension of up to 1 year and no point license penalty 
    • Court-ordered drug or alcohol treatment
    • Fines up to $1,000 
  • Unlike other charges under OVI, since it is not a conviction for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, nor is it a moving violation, Physical Control is not an enhanceable charge.  Therefore should there be future OVI charge penalties are not automatically increased.

How An Attorney in Delaware, OH Can Help With My DUI/OVI Case?

An experienced Ohio DUI defense attorney will defend your rights and advocate for your right to either obtain a reduced conviction or in some cases, have the charges dismissed completely in the following ways.

  • Navigate and understand the process and meet with the prosecutor to inform the court how the case will proceed.
  • Examine the strength of the evidence and whether the evidence is subject to suppression due to constitutional violations 
  • Attend the pretrial and discuss the evidence against them or constitutional violations by law enforcement
  • In the proper language, submit the defendant’s personal history, needs for transportation to work, school, or for childcare,  ability to comply with probation,  and short-term and long-term goals

All of these items will all factor into whether a plea bargain is possible and if it is a good deal.

If you are facing an OVI/DUI charge, you must choose a DUI Defense attorney who understands the law, the courts, and your rights. The Law Office of Brian Jones is ready to defend your rights as we’d want ours defended.

If you think there may have been Constitutional violations in your case and there may be a chance to reduce your charges or have them dismissed, call The Law Office of Brian Jones today for a free OVI consultation today!