Central Ohio Attorneys for Second or Multiple OVI Related OffensesDriving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can carry some serious penalties in Ohio. Ohio drunk driving law provides for certain mandatory minimum jail sentences and these sentences get much more severe depending on whether you've ever previously been convicted of an OVI-related offense. This is why if you've been charged with your second OVI offense, (or more) it is critically important to get an experienced OVI attorney who can help you fight the charges.
Refusal to Blow if You Have a Previous OVI ConvictionIf you've had a previous OVI conviction within the past 20 years then it is a separate and escalated criminal charge to "refuse to blow" or refuse to submit to an alcohol or chemical test upon being arrested for OVI.
Put another way, once you've got 1 OVI on the record, and if you are ever arrested for another OVI within 20 years of that first OVI, then you cannot refuse to take an alcohol test or you will be separately charged for refusing to take the test. This will end up with you being charged with an OVI and a refusal to take a chemical test, which is a double whammy.
Second OVI Charge Within 10 YearsIf you've previously had an OVI conviction within 10 years of being charged with another OVI offense, then the penalties are increased. Ohio Revised Code section 4511.19(G)(1)(b) requires that the court order a minimum 10 day consecutive jail sentence. The court can impose additional jail time up to six months or the court can order a mixture of house arrest and jail time. The court will also order a license suspension for anywhere from 1 to 7 years and a fine of anywhere from $525 to $1,625.
Second OVI Charge for "High Test" OVI or Controlled Substances Within 10 YearsIf you've been charged with a "high test" OVI (that is having your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) above 0.17) or if you've been charged with a non-alcohol related OVI (illegal drugs), or if you've been charged with a refusal to submit to a chemical test (R.C. 4511.19(A)(2)), then the mandatory minimum penalties are increased significantly. In that case, the mandatory minimum jail term is 20 consecutive days.
Third OVI Charge in 10 YearsIf you've had two OVI convictions within 10 years and you are charged with your 3rd offense within that 10 year period, then the penalties increase dramatically. The mandatory minimum jail sentence increases to 30 days or to 60 days if you were charged with a "high test" or illegal drug type OVI. The court will order a fine between $850 and $2750, can suspend your license for anywhere from 2 to 12 years, and can seize your vehicle through criminal forfeiture.
Fourth or More OVI Charges Within 10 YearsIf you've been convicted of 3 OVIs and are charged with a 4th (or more) OVI within a 10 year span, then that 4th (or more) charge counts as a felony and the potential penalties are quite severe. The mandatory minimum jail term could be anywhere from 1 - 5 years. The fines, license suspension, vehicle forfeiture, and other penalties are also severe.
Columbus and Central Ohio OVI AttorneyWhether you've been charged with your first OVI offense or more than your first within a 10 year period, you need an experienced OVI attorney to handle your case. A drunk driving attorney will represent you throughout your case to fight to see if you can get your charges dismissed or reduced and will work you get your driving privileges reinstated as quickly as possible. The above are just the mandatory minimum penalties, but ultimately each Judge across Columbus, Delaware, and Central Ohio uses their own sentencing guidelines. Some Judges are much more strict and some judges vary their sentences depending on each individual person. You can call an OVI attorney at Harris & Engler to set up an appointment to get your OVI charges behind you by calling (614) 610-9988.