Most Frequently Asked Questions by DUI/OVI Clients

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Understanding the laws, and knowing your rights when it comes to a DUI is the first step in defending yourself.

The list below are just some of the most frequently asked questions we receive when it comes to DUI charges.

Call today to get your specific questions answered, and find out what options you have regarding your case.

Q:  Will an OVI charge prohibit me from getting into Canada?
A.  Yes.  An OVI will bar you entry into Canada for 10 years if you are convicted of the offense.  Canada will also prohibit your entry if you have a pending OVI charge.

Q.  Can you drive after an OVI while an OVI is pending?
A.  You can drive until your administrative suspension or your suspension for the conviction begins.

Q: If my license is suspended, can I still get driving privileges?
A:  Yes, depending on what kind of OVI you have.  ie. whether it is a first, second, or a first OVI with a refusal…that will determine when you can obtain limited driving privileges.

Q:  What do my limited driving privileges include?
A:  ORC 4510.021 indicates that privileges include occupational, educational, vocational or medical purposes, attending court-ordered treatment, taking OL or CDL examinations, and anything other must be specifically granted by the court.

Q.  Is there a difference between underage consumption and a DUI in Ohio?
A.  Yes.  It is unlawful in the State of Ohio for a person to consume or possess alcoholic beverages if they are under 21.  It is also unlawful for someone to operate a vehicle while under the influence.  However, these are different crimes.

Q.  Will an OVI conviction affect my ability to become an Ohio teacher?
A.  Generally no.  Refer to the Ohio Department of Education website for more information.

Q.  How much will my insurance increase after an OVI?
A.  There is no way to tell exactly.  Your insurance may not increase at all, you may be dropped altogether, or you may face some type of rate increase.  The answer depends on a variety of factors including whether your insurance company actually learns of the OVI; your age; your history of claims (if any); your driving record; and other factors.

Q.  Do you have to be sentenced to lose your license from an Ohio DUI?
A.  No.  You can lose your license for failing or refusing a breath test, a blood test or a urine test.  This suspension is separate from any suspension for an Ohio DUI conviction.  You also may face a suspension for a number of other reasons.

Q.  Is a hit and run a felony in Ohio?
A.  In Ohio, a hit and run is referred to as a hit and skip.  If someone is seriously injured or killed, a hit and skip offense is a felony in Ohio; otherwise, it is a misdemeanor crime.

Q.  Do I get fined for my Ohio DUI?
A.  Yes, the fine varies depending on the court you are in.  Unless your OVI is dismissed or you are acquitted after trial, you will be placed on a period of probation.  If you don’t complete your probation obligations including paying your fines, you may face a probation violation hearing.  If the court finds that you’re in willful violation, you can be sent to jail.

Q.  Will my prior OVI in another state count as an OVI in Ohio?
A.  Yes.  Prior out of state offenses will count against you so long as the court / prosecuting attorney learns of any prior offense.

Q;  I was arrested at an OVI / DUI checkpoint.  Is that legal?

A:Until the courts say otherwise, OVI / DUI checkpoints are authorized in Ohio so long as the police give advance notice of the checkpoint.  One way to determine if a checkpoint is imminent is to do a Google news search.

Q:  What happens if I was on probation when I got arrested for my Ohio OVI / DUI offense?
A:Committing a new offense while you’re on probation for a previous crime creates two problems.  You have a new charge and you have violated probation from your previous charge.    The most serious scenario is when you receive a new Ohio OVI offense when you’re already on probation for a previous DUI / OVI.  When this happens, it would be in your best interest to speak to an Ohio lawyer as soon as possible.

Q.  Can I get a DUI if I’m driving while high on drugs?
A.  Yes.  A DUI means Driving while under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol.  It is illegal in the State of Ohio to drive while you’re under the influence of a drug of abuse.  even if you are on prescription drugs, if those impair your driving, the that is the same DUI / OVI charge that you face if you’re under the influence of alcohol.

Q.  Is there any way to avoid jail time on a second Ohio DUI?
A.  Obviously, if you plead to a lesser charge or are successful at trial you won’t face any penalties.  Otherwise, there is jail time for a second DUI within the past six years.  However, many times, if the jails are at full capacity, some of the jail time could be done with EMHA (house arrest)

Q.  Will a mental disorder get me out of my OVI charge?
A.  Generally not.  A mental disease or defect is not a defense to an Ohio OVI charge.  However, the court can take your mental health into account in sentencing.

Q.  My DUI involved a collision.  Do I need to file an accident report?
A.  Ohio law requires the filing of a Crash Report for any collision where there is more than $400 in property damage or an injury.  The report is required regardless of which party is at fault or whether or not you’re charged with a crime.

Q.  Can an Ohio judge suspend my out of state drivers license?
A.  No.  An Ohio judge can suspend your Ohio license and / or your right to drive in Ohio.  However, if you’re convicted of an Ohio DUI your state’s DMV will likely receive notice from the State of Ohio, and then they will suspend or revoke your right to drive in your home state.

Q.  I was arrested for a DUI in Ohio.  Do I have to disclose this with my citizenship application?
A.  Yes.  Don’t omit any arrest, and do not lie.  Those things are much worse than getting a DUI.

Q.  I’m a physician.  Will an Ohio OVI cause me to lose my medical license?
A.  A DUI alone should be no threat to your license.  However, be sure to truthfully and completely disclose the arrest and disposition on your license application / renewal.  Too many licensed professionals make the mistake of omitting this information in hopes that the Board will not find it.  Failing to disclose is much worse than the DUI itself.