If you’re an Ohio driver and find yourself facing an out-of-state Operating a Vehicle under the Influence (OVI) charge – meaning you live in Ohio, but you’re driving and are arrested in another state – it’s crucial to understand that this can present additional complexities in your life and for your legal defense. 

An overlap of different jurisdictions and variations in state laws can make such situations especially intricate. For the sake of this article and to properly explain the complications of an out-of-state OVI, imagine the arrest took place in Kentucky.

The most effective course of action is partnering with a knowledgeable legal representative who understands the specific nuances associated with Ohio’s OVI charges as well as the relevant laws in the state in which you were arrested and are a defendant

The ultimate goal here is addressing these charges effectively to achieve a dismissal or at least a reduction.

How an Out-of-State OVI Affects the Details of Your Case

An out-of-state OVI can significantly influence the progression and consequences of your case:

Where You’re Prosecuted

In this case, you would be prosecuted in Kentucky because that’s where the crime allegedly occurred.

If you are out on bail, you are permitted to return home to Ohio, but you may have to travel back for court hearings. This can be inconvenient and even burdensome when considering travel costs or time off work, but you must abide by these rules if applicable to your case.

Which State Law Applies

Since the alleged offense took place in Kentucky, their state laws will govern your case despite your current residence in another state.

Penalties Faced 

The penalties for driving under the influence vary greatly between states. If charged in Kentucky, you will face that state’s penalties. For a first-time offender, penalties could include up to 30 days in jail, $500 in fines, a 90-day substance abuse treatment program, and 30 days of community service.

Comparatively, in Ohio, upon conviction for a standard first-time OVI offense, penalties might include a $1,075 fine and 3 days to six months in jail – however, this could be replaced by enrollment in a driver’s intervention program. Additionally, you face a 3-year suspension of your driver’s license.

Another State Cannot Suspend Your Ohio Driver’s License But That Doesn’t Mean You’re Off The Hook

Another state does not have the authority to suspend your Ohio driver’s license. However, your arrest and potential conviction in the other state will still impact your driving privileges due to an agreement known as the Interstate Driver License Compact.

As part of this compact, states share information about driving under the influence (DUI) convictions. If you are convicted of a DUI in Kentucky (or any other member state), it will report this conviction directly back to Ohio’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). 

This notification process is key in allowing states like Ohio to hold its residents accountable for offenses committed while out of state.

Once the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is informed about your DUI conviction in another state, it becomes obligated by Ohio law to take action. The consequence of this type of out-of-state violation is a Class D suspension of your driving privileges.

A Class D suspension lasts six months, which begins 21 days after you receive official notice.

Fighting Your Charges in the Other State

Building a defense against an out-of-state OVI or DUI charge can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. It often entails teaming up with legal professionals from both the state of arrest and your home state.

Ideally, you could engage a local defense lawyer in the prosecuting state – Kentucky in this case – who understands first-hand the laws and court procedures there. Similarly, consulting an Ohio-based attorney provides representation familiar with how Ohio handles out-of-state convictions.

Combining these two perspectives allows you to benefit from a comprehensive understanding of the potential outcome of your case. 
If you’re an Ohio resident and need help with any type of DUI/OVI charge, whether it’s in Ohio or another state, we’re here to help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with an OVI defense attorney.

For more information, contact the DUI Defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers give us a call today at (513) 333-0014 or visit us at our Cincinnati law office.

Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers – Cincinnati
600 Vine Street, Suite 1004
Cincinnati, OH 45202
United States