Everybody makes mistakes in life. In most circumstances, the person can apologize, make changes and leave their mistake behind them. For people who have prior OVI/DUI convictions, that first mistake can haunt them for years.
If you or a loved one already has prior convictions for operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI), you need to how the consequences for multiple OVI convictions can increase. Here, we will review how the penalties change for multiple Ohio OVI/DUI convictions and the steps a person can take if they are charged with another OVI/DUI.
How do the minimum consequences get more severe after a first OVI/DUI conviction?
As we have covered in a previous blog post, the penalties for a first-time OVI/DUI conviction in Ohio are already steep. These penalties include a mandatory jail sentence of at least three consecutive days, at least $375 in fines and a license suspension of at least six months. These are the minimum penalties, and depending on the circumstances of a person’s conviction, the actual punishments for a first-time OVI/DUI could be much higher, including s longer jail sentence, higher fines and multi-year license suspension.
The minimum punishments for more than one OVI/DUI conviction1 in a 10 year period are:
- Second conviction: A second DUI offense increases the minimum jail sentence to 10 days, the minimum license suspension to a year and the minimum fine to $525. A second conviction also requires the offender to be assessed by a community addiction provider and for their license plate to be changed to a yellow OVI/DUI license plate2. Additionally, if the vehicle that OVI/DUI was committed with is registered in the offender’s vehicle, it will be impounded for 90 days.
- Third conviction: A third OVI/DUI conviction carries a minimum 30-day jail sentence, a fine of at least $850 and a minimum two-year license suspension. The offender will also face the additional penalties as stated in a second conviction, including assessment by an addiction specialist and yellow license plates. If the offender committed the third OVI/DUI offense in a vehicle that is registered in their name, their vehicle would be forfeited to the state.
- Fourth conviction: A fourth OVI/DUI conviction is a fourth-degree felony offense. The convicted person will face at least one year in prison, a mandatory minimum fine of $1,350 and a minimum three license suspension. As with previous OVI/DUI convictions, the offender will be forced to see an addiction specialist, have a yellow license plate and forfeit their vehicle to the state if they are the registered owner.
Please note that these are only the minimum consequences for multiple OVIs/DUI. A conviction for a high-tier OVI/DUI offense carries a longer jail sentence, higher fines and other severe penalties. There also may be additional penalties depending on the details of your case. The best way to learn about the potential penalties that you may face in your case is to contact a knowledgeable OVI/DUI defense attorney.
What can you do if you are facing a criminal case related to multiple OVIs?
As you can see, the penalties associated with multiple OVI convictions are severe. You need to protect yourself. Talking to an experienced OVI/DUI defense attorney is your best option for protecting your rights and freedom. Do not gamble with your future by not taking these charges seriously.
You can talk to one of the attorneys at The Law Office of Brian Jones, in a free consultation. Contact the firm’s Delaware, Ohio, office now.