A charge for driving under the influence can have a serious impact on your life. Not only does it temporarily disrupt your ability to travel between locations more effectively, but it can also hinder your ability to secure certain careers in the future. The impacts of DUI charges are far-reaching and can have a lasting effect on your life.
Individuals arrested for driving under the influence are often overwhelmed and have a difficult time understanding all of the legal terminologies that apply to their cases. Hiring an attorney from Mastandrea Law will ensure you have all of the knowledge you need to navigate the court system confidently.
DUI, OVI Or DWI?
Generally, there are three terms applicable to arrests involving alcohol or other substances. These include:
DUI – Driving under the influence
OVI – Operative a Vehicle while Impaired
DWI – Driving while intoxicated
Although some states refer to each of these as a different crime, Ohio technically refers to these arrests as OVI. Conversely, DUI, OVI, and DWI are all loosely applied to any arrest involving drinking and driving.
If you are ever arrested for driving under the influence in Ohio, you will want to educate yourself on the basics of the Ohio state DUI laws. Additionally, you will want to consult a reputable DUI attorney that can assist you throughout your case to ensure the best outcome. Exercising your constitutional right to representation will help you determine which legal defenses are available to you. Additionally, hiring an attorney will ensure you are represented in court. Mastandrea Law can help you if you have been charged with driving while impaired.
The DUI Process
In Ohio, a person can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI). Most Cleveland residents understand DUI charges as being applicable to cars but fail to realize that they can extend to include any type of vehicle a person can operate. Ohio’s expanded definition of a vehicle includes:
- Golf Carts
Although it may sound simple in and of itself, a vehicle must be operated in order for a DUI charge to be applicable. Operating a vehicle does not only mean that the vehicle is being driven. A person is able to be charged with DUI if they fall to sleep behind the wheel of a vehicle or if they stop on the side of the road to rest. Although these crimes are not as serious as DUI, they can result in lesser charges that carry the possibility of fines, jail time, and the suspension of a driver’s license.
What Is The Legal Limit In Ohio?
The legal Blood Alcohol Limit (BAC) for Ohio drivers over 21-years of age is .08 or over. Individuals with BACs over .170 face more severe fines and punishments. For individuals under 21-years of age, the limit is .02 or over.
A person in Ohio does not have to be intoxicated to be considered driving under the influence. Individuals that fall below the legal limit can still be charged with driving while impaired. In order to arrest a driver for OVI, the officer must establish probable cause that the driver is under the influence and that he is impaired while driving.
An individual is considered as being impaired if they consumed any amount of alcohol. Concerning OVI arrests, it is not a question of how much alcohol would affect their ability to drive, but how much did the amount they did drink affect their ability to drive.
If you are arrested for DUI or OVI, it is imperative that you contact a reputable DUI attorney to defend you. A driver’s license is essential to most adults. Do not attempt to represent yourself when so much is at stake. Attorney Rod Mastandrea is skilled and well-versed in criminal law and ready to represent you on your case.
What Can A DUI Arrest Mean For Me?
Individuals charged with driving under the influence face various charges including jail time, fines, license suspension, and interlock ignition device installation. The consequences of DUI conviction can seriously disrupt a person’s life financially or otherwise.
It is in your best interest to consult with a reputable attorney to work with you on your DUI case. At Mastandrea Law, we work aggressively toward a favorable outcome for client’s charged with driving under the influence.
Attending A Bureau Of Motor Vehicles Hearing
If you are charged with driving under the influence or operating a vehicle while impaired in Ohio, your license will be suspended for a minimum of six months. In either case, you have the right to request a hearing with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles in Ohio within 30-days of your suspension date to contest the suspension.
Hiring an attorney from Mastandrea Law will help ensure your best chance of having your license reinstated. Contact us today to get started.
What Is Annie’s Law?
After the enactment of Annie’s law, individuals arrested after April 6, 2017, extended the option for the courts to fit a vehicle with an ignition interlock device. This law enables drivers to continue operating their vehicles instead of having their licenses suspended for an extended period.
Additionally, the amount of time between previous OVI convictions was extended from six years to ten years. This change drastically extends the look-back period afforded to judges when they are considering previous charges for sentencing purposes.
What Is Ohio’s Dram Shop Law?
The Dram Shop Law enables individuals victimized by drunk drivers to file civil injury lawsuits against the businesses or social hosts that provided the alcohol to the driver that caused the crash. These charges typically have no direct impact on an individual charged with DUI; however, if you were at a friend’s house drinking before your arrest, your actions may harm them and end your friendship.
Felony And Misdemeanor OVI Charges
Individuals arrested for OVI are charged under either one of the two possible categories – misdemeanor or felony. Misdemeanor OVI charges typically come with substantive consequences, but they are nothing in comparison to those of felony charges.
Individuals charged with felony OVI face a minimum of 60 days in jail, a license suspension, forfeiture of your vehicle, $1,350 in fines, and more. If you have been arrested for a felony OVI, it is imperative that you seek aggressive legal representation as soon as possible. Call Mastandrea Law today to speak with one of our qualified and skilled attorneys about your charges.
Driving Under The Influence Car Accident With Injury
When a person is involved in a car accident, it is a very stressful situation. Being charged with an OVI or DUI on top of a car accident can amplify the stress immensely. Even if your BAC was well below the legal limit, having even a trace of alcohol in your system at the time of an accident can drastically shift the blame to you.
In these cases, you must be prepared to fight diligently to protect your rights. Accidents involving DUI and OVI charges often require expert witnesses that go in and reconstruct the scene of the accident. It is imperative that a strong line of defense is presented in support of the defendant or they will be charged criminally and possibly in civil court as well. If you are arrested for DUI with injury, contact Mastandrea Law as soon as possible.
Charged With DUI As A Repeat Offender
If you are facing a DUI/OVI charge, and you have previously been convicted of DUI or OVI, you risk facing much steeper fines and more harsh charges and penalties. It may be extremely difficult to argue your case in court because your prior record does not shine a light in your favor.
Previous convictions make you less believable to judges, who are willing to hit you with the maximum amount of fines and jail time imaginable. It is important that you hire an experienced attorney to represent you in order to ensure you receive a fair trial. Call Mastandrea Law today to speak with an aggressive criminal attorney about your charges.
Penalties For DUI Convictions In Ohio
The penalties for a DUI conviction in Ohio often depend on several factors. If a person or someone’s property was damaged or someone was injured during an accident, you’d face more severe punishment than an arrest where no one was injured and nothing was damaged. The penalties for DUI arrests often depend on whether you are a first-time offender or a repeat offender.
First-Time Offenders: Individuals arrested for their first DUI face the most lenient charges. They may be sent to jail for 3-days to 6-months, depending on the circumstances of their case. These individuals face up to $1,000 in fines, may have to take 3-days of DUI classes, and may have their license suspended for a period of 6-months to 3-years, depending on their BAC at the time of the arrest. If a person has a BAC of .17 or above, the minimum jail sentence is increased to six days.
Second-Time Offenders: Individuals arrested for their second DUI face a minimum of 10-days in jail. They face up to 1,500 in fines, and they can be placed on house arrest for 18-days to 6-months. These individuals can have their license suspended for up to 5-years depending on their BAC at the time of their arrest. Additionally, drivers with a BAC .17 or above face a minimum of 20-days in jail.
Third-Time Offenders: Individuals arrested for their third OVI or DUI face up to a year in jail. They can have fines up to $1,500, and their license can be suspended for up to 10-years. If a person has a BAC of .17 or above, they face a minimum of 60-days in jail.
Fourth-Time Offenders: A person convicted of their fourth DUI in Ohio faces felony criminal charges. Felony charges bring forth much harsher punishments. These penalties include up to $10,000 in fines, a year in jail, and they will be required to forfeit their vehicle and enter into alcohol treatment. These individuals also face the possibility of permanent license suspensions.
As you can tell, the penalties for DUI / OVI convictions increase the more times a person is arrested. Judges tend to be more lenient to individuals facing their first DUI charge than they are to individuals that are repeat offenders. In any case, it is important to hire a reputable DUI attorney in Ohio to fight for your rights in the court of law. Attorney Rod Mastandrea prides himself on his proven record of helping clients minimize their sentences and penalties whenever possible.
How Mastandrea Law Can Help
Mastandrea Law has extensive experience representing clients charged with driving under the influence in Cleveland, Ohio. We work toward more favorable endings for every client. Some of our recent successes include:
Getting Charges Dropped: Our aggressive approached enabled us to negotiate a fine-only disposition for a client facing charges for driving under the influence. At the end of the day, our client walked away with a charge of reckless operation.
Getting Charges Reduced: In cases where we are unable to have our client’s charges dropped, we work toward acceptable plea deals that benefit everyone involved. In these cases, we work diligently to ensure our clients receive the minimum possible penalties for their DUI charges.
Avoiding Jail Time: We have experience representing clients who were facing mandatory jail time. Through hard work and perseverance, we were able to get their sentence reduced entirely, so they did not have to spend any time in jail.
If you are charged with driving under the influence, one of the best things you can do to help yourself is to get in touch with a criminal attorney who has the experience needed to ensure the best outcome in your case. The more information you have, the better equipped you will be to defend yourself in court. Our team at Mastandrea Law will help make sure you have all the knowledge you need to prepare a solid case so you can move forward confidently.
Consult Mastandrea Law Now To Learn What Your Best Step Forward Is
If you are charged with driving under the influence, contact Mastandrea Law as soon as possible. Rod Mastandrea prides himself on taking a practical, prudent, and effective approach to every case. Mastandrea Law will fight aggressively to meet each client’s expectations while working aggressively to minimize charges. Contact Mastandrea Law today to see how we can help you.