Felony and Misdemeanor DUI/OVI in Ohio

Ohio’s DUI and OVI laws can be complex and even confusing. If you are charged with any type of felony related to driving under the influence or operating a vehicle intoxicated, it is best to prepare yourself with legal support and guidance from an experienced attorney. Because both misdemeanor and felony implications exist, it is critical to prepare yourself for this situation with a legal defense from The Wieczorek Law Firm LLC.

Understand Ohio’s Laws

Felony and misdemeanor DUI and OVI laws in Ohio fall under ORC 4511.19. The type of charge you face is dependent on the specific circumstances in your case. Here are factors to keep in mind.

OVI Misdemeanor Charges

Individuals who have been charged with OVI typically face a misdemeanor charge. This typically applies in situations where:

  • This is your first conviction of an OVI
  • You have not pled guilty to more than 2 OVIs in the last 10 years
  • You have not been found guilty of more than 4 OVIs in the previous 20 years (whether you are found guilty or pled guilty)

The penalties for an OVI misdemeanor are a bit different and depend on various factors, including how many other charges you have had in recent years.

  • 1st offense: Class E license suspension for 90 days
  • 2nd offense within 6 years: Class C suspension for one year
  • 3rd offense within 6 years: Class B suspension for two years
  • 4th offense or more in 6 years: Class A suspension of three years

You may also face criminal penalties for a misdemeanor. For example, those facing a standard OVI first offense may spend up to 3 days in jail (mandatory or 30 days of house arrest) and pay a fine of at least $250. A second offense can lead to a 10-day minimum stay in jail, and a 3rd offense may require a minimum of 30 days. Additional fines are also applied in these situations.

OVI Felony Charges

The court can elevate the charges you face to a felony in various situations. Specifically, this typically leads to a 4th degree OVI felony in situations where you were:

  • Convicted or plead guilty to OVI 3 or more times in the previous 10 years
  • Convicted of pled guilty to OVI 5 or more times in 20 years

If you are charged with a felony, you may be charged with $1,350 in fines, a minimum of 60 days in prison, a Class 2 license suspension, and criminal forfeiture of any vehicle registered in your name. In many situations, the court may also require that you attend community addiction treatment.

This can be elevated to a 3rd degree felony as well, which can lead to additional jail time (up to 5 years) and additional fines.

If you are facing OVI or DUI charges in Ohio at any level, it is critical to seek legal support to guide you through this process. With mandatory jail time, high fines, and long-term suspension, this can be critical to protecting your future.