A first time DUI is serious. While it is highly unlikely that a person would go to jail for a substantial amount of time for a first offense, the consequences of a conviction are significant. It’s extremely important that you find the best DUI attorneys in Cincinnati. Below is a table summarizing the potential ranges for a sentence on a first offense DUI.
- ALS (Administrative License Suspension) for test refusal = one year license suspension;
- ALS for a prohibited BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) = 90 day license suspension;
- Jail – Minimum of three consecutive days or 3-day driver intervention program;
- Fine – Minimum $375 and not more than $1,075;
- Court License Suspension – 6 months to 3 years, ignition interlock device may be ordered by the Court, so may the yellow and orange license plates;
- Up to 5 years on probation;
- If there was a high tier BAC result (.170 or above), an additional 3 days in jail and restricted license plates are mandatory.
For more information, view a detailed Ohio DUI Penalty Chart (PDF). We serve Hamilton, Butler, Clermont, and Warren Counties in Ohio.
Learn more with this chart outlining the Prohibited Drug and Alcohol Concentrations.
It’s important to remember that there are minimum penalties involved in a DUI conviction. The minimum penalties are mandatory penalties. Minimum penalties include three days in jail or in an approved state driver’s intervention program. The drivers intervention program is 72 consecutive hours–meaning you have to sleep there. However many of them are held at local hotels and are about the equivalent of going to a weekend long seminar, you’re still restricted in that you can’t leave the property during the program, but it’s much better than the county jail.
The minimum fine is $375 and depending on which court you’re in, it’s common for a first offense DUI to be given a fine of up to $500 as their “typical minimum”. Some courts have higher fines and shorter license suspensions, others have lower fines but longer suspensions, and yet others regularly give out maximum fines and maximum license suspensions on first offenses. It can’t be overemphasized how important it is to have an attorney who not only knows the law but also the courts that they’re practicing in. Knowing the particular judge’s and prosecutor’s quirks or tendencies can give you a big advantage in obtaining a successful resolution of your case.
I’m often asked what I believe the most serious consequence of a DUI conviction is. I believe the answer to that to be quite simple–in Ohio DUI convictions are never expungeable. That means that if you have a DUI on your record, it will be there for the rest of your life. Every time you apply for car insurance, life insurance, every time you have a background check done for a new job, or if you’re seeking a security clearance for government job–that DUI conviction will be there.
I’ve been asked on multiple occasions to represent young people–folks in their early 20s who’ve just graduated from college–and who’ve gone to court without an attorney and pled guilty to the DUI at their first court appearance. I’ve been asked to come in and try and set aside the plea because unforeseen consequences have resulted in extraordinary hardship for these individuals. One young lady from Xavier University had not only lost her place in her masters degree program but she had also been let go from her job because of the DUI conviction. This particular person would have been an excellent candidate for having the charge reduced to something like a reckless operation. But because she got some bad advice from her friends she went to court without an attorney and pled no contest at the arraignment. It wasn’t until three or four years later that consequences from this plea became evident.
In many ways handling a first offense DUI is not much different than handling a third offense DUI. Many prospective clients initially believe that because they’re a professional person with no criminal history that the judge or prosecutor will simply dismiss the charge. Unfortunately, this is never the case. While the vast majority of our clients are individuals who are professionals and have little to no criminal record, both the prosecutors and judges view DUIs as a very serious offense. It’s only through proper preparation, a thorough review of the evidence, and a complete working knowledge of the law that a good defense can be developed. It’s also very important to have strong working relationships with all of the personnel involved–this means the bailiffs, the courtroom clerks, the prosecutors, and the judges. Our focus at Suhre & Associates, LLC is on thoroughly and exhaustively preparing the case so that the best outcome for the client can be achieved. On a first offense this typically involves an assessment of the client’s personal situation, a review of the facts from the client, an independent investigation by the attorney of the facts, and then the development of a comprehensive defense plan. Even on a first offense DUI it’s not uncommon to use resources such as expert witnesses, private investigators, and the production of demonstrative exhibits like photographs or charts. It’s a critical mistake for an attorney to think that just because it’s a DUI it’s not an important case and it even a more critical mistake to think that because the police officer said the person was impaired or he tested over the legal limit that there’s nothing that can be done. There’s always something that can be done. Contact us today to speak with an attorney.