Were you arrested on DUI charges in Cincinnati, OH? Penalties on conviction can include steep financial fines, license suspension, and even jail time. Our Cincinnati DUI/ OVI attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC are here to aggressively fight to help you avoid those negative consequences. Call us today at (513) 333-0014.
We have more than 100 years of combined experience helping clients like you. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can’t fight your DUI charges. Instead, call our law offices in Cincinnati, Ohio, today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can make a difference in your case.
Table of Contents
How Can Suhre & Associates, LLC Help if I Was Arrested for a DUI in Cincinnati?
Given the dangers posed by drunk drivers, police in Cincinnati take driving under the influence (DUI) extremely seriously. Sometimes an arrest is justified–but in other cases, the police might be overzealous and overstep the letter of the law.
If it’s your first offense, you might already have a standard plea deal on the table. Know that you don’t have to accept. A lawyer with experience navigating the DUI system in Ohio can make sure you’re getting the best deal possible in your case.
Our experienced Cincinnati criminal defense lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC are here to help.
When you hire us to protect your rights, your lawyer will:
- Gather the evidence in your case
- Analyze the facts and circumstances of the traffic stop and arrest
- Protect your constitutional rights
- Negotiate to get the charges against you downgraded or dropped if possible
Multiple past DUIs and high-level blood alcohol content (BAC) readings might raise the stakes in your case. However, even first offenders should hire an experienced lawyer to avoid the more serious consequences that come with a DUI conviction. If you need help, call our trusted Cincinnati criminal defense attorneys for a free case evaluation today.
Overview of OVI and DUI Laws in Ohio
Most states label the criminal offense of drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs as a DUI or DWI. In Ohio, operating a vehicle while impaired is technically labeled “OVI.” In reality, the labels are interchangeable.
Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.19 allows police to charge drivers with a DUI for:
- Operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher (or urine concentration of 0.11%)
- Operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.02% or higher if the driver is under age 21
- Operating a vehicle with certain levels of controlled substances in the body
- Operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs if the driver’s driving abilities are impaired
Note that prosecutors don’t actually have to prove that your driving abilities were impaired to charge you with a DUI. If the alcohol or drug concentration in your body exceeds the legal limits, you can be arrested and charged regardless of whether you remained in control of the vehicle.
What are the Penalties for DUI in Cincinnati, Ohio?
There are really two tiers of penalties for DUI in Ohio. You can be subject to an administrative license suspension (ALS) before you even appear in court. Once your case proceeds to court, criminal penalties are on the table.
Administrative Penalties Under Ohio DUI and OVI Laws
Under Ohio law, law enforcement officials can suspend your driver’s license if you fail a chemical test or if you refuse to take the test in the first place.
Under the Ohio implied consent laws, all drivers are treated as though they have consented to chemical testing when they get behind the wheel.
If you refuse the test, your license can be suspended, as follows:
- One year for first offenders, with a 30-day waiting period before you can apply for limited driving privileges
- Two years for second offenders with a 90-day waiting period
- For the third refusal, you’ll face a three-year license suspension and a one-year period before you can apply for limited driving privileges
- Fourth and subsequent offenders face a five-year license suspension and a three-year period before you can apply for limited driving privileges
Remember, these penalties apply merely for refusing to take the chemical test. Failing the breath test carries a different set of penalties.
The suspension period will depend on whether you’ve failed another chemical test in the prior ten-year period, as follows:
- First failure: 90-day suspension with a 15-day waiting period to apply for limited driving privileges
- Second failure: One-year suspension with a 15-day waiting period to apply for limited driving privileges
- Third failure: Two-year suspension with a 180-day waiting period to apply for limited driving privileges
- Fourth failure: Three-year suspension without the possibility of regaining limited driving privileges
To request limited privileges, you’ll have to schedule an administrative license suspension hearing. Courts can require offenders to install an ignition interlock device before granting limited driving privileges. This device is installed at the driver’s own expense and usually carries a monthly monitoring fee.
Understanding what to expect at the DUI arraignment is key to winning limited driving privileges while your case is pending. To learn more, call our DUI lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC for a free case review today.
Criminal Penalties Under Ohio DUI Laws
Criminal penalties for a DUI conviction can be harsh.
The penalties are based upon:
- Whether you have had another DUI conviction in the prior ten-year period (the lookback period)
- Your BAC at the time of arrest
You can face jail time and financial penalties even for a first-offense DUI in Ohio.
For second and subsequent offenses, the length of your jail sentence and license suspension, as well as the dollar value of your fine, will increase as follows:
- First offense DUI: Between three days and six months in jail, up to $1,075 in fines, and a license suspension for between one year and three years
- Second offense DUI: Between ten days and six months in jail, up to $1,625 in fines, and a license suspension for between one year and seven years
- Third offense DUI: Between 30 days and one year in jail, up to $2,750 in fines, and a license suspension for between two years and 12 years
The judge also has authority to allow you to participate in a community program. This alternative will reduce your jail time. First offenders will be required to participate in a three-day driver’s intervention program and complete a treatment program.
Second and third offenders will also be required to serve up to 15 days in jail and up to 55 days of electronic alcohol monitoring at home.
If your BAC at the time of arrest was 0.17% or higher, you can be charged with aggravated DUI.
You’ll face all of the same penalties that apply for low-tier DUI, with the addition of:
- Three days in jail and three days spent in a driver’s intervention program for first offenders
- For second offenders, at least 20 days in jail or ten days in jail plus 36 days of house arrest with electronic monitoring
- For third offenders, at least 60 days in jail or 30 days in jail plus 110 days of house arrest with electronic monitoring
Judges also have discretion to impose additional requirements for all DUI offenders. Those might include alcohol and drug treatment, counseling, community service, and more.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of a DUI in Ohio?
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, you might think there isn’t much you can do to defend yourself–especially if you’ve failed a breath test. However, it’s always a smart idea to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights–even if you believe you’re innocent.
Our experienced DUI defense lawyers in Cincinnati know that there are a number of ways you can fight the charges.
Depending on the facts of your case, a strong defense to DUI charges might include:
- Lack of probable cause for the traffic stop
- Lack of probable cause for standardized field sobriety testing or chemical testing
- You were coerced into making statements or taking the chemical test
- Challenges to the way law enforcement administered the testing
- Failure to properly maintain or calibrate the breathalyzer machine
- Chain of custody issues with the chemical sample
- Failure to perform the chemical test in the required time frame
- Lack of evidence
Law enforcement officials in Ohio have to follow the law like everybody else. If the arresting officer or someone at the station made a mistake, your test results could be invalid.
Hiring an experienced DUI defense lawyer gives you the best chance at avoiding the harsh penalties a DUI conviction carries. If you were arrested, call our law firm to discuss possible defense strategies today. Your future and your reputation could depend on it.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Experienced Cincinnati DUI Attorneys Today
Were you or a loved one arrested on DUI charges in Cincinnati or Hamilton County? Call our experienced Cincinnati DUI attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC to start building your defense strategy. Our top-rated legal team has been recognized as Ohio Super Lawyers, and we’re ready to go to work for you today.
Remember, your first consultation is always free, so there’s no risk in getting the legal advice you deserve.