OVI/DUI/DWI Offenses


Drunk driving convictions are serious. Offenders face incarceration, high fines, confiscation of their vehicle, and license revocation or suspension. In Ohio, drunk driving cases are referred to as OVI (operating a vehicle while intoxicated), but are commonly referred to as DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol), or OMVI (operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, impaired, or intoxicated), and DWI (driving while intoxicated).


I will evaluate the seriousness of your case, and formulate a strategy to successfully defend you at trial, or in the process negotiate the best possible plea bargain. At the outset, I'll advise you of the potential punishment, so you can make an informed decision. If you have been charged with a OVI/DUI/DWI, please call 216.225.9181, Email, or use the contact form to schedule an initial consultation.


Defenses to OVI/DUI/DWI

Chronology of OVI/DUI/DWI Case

Breath Test/Intoxilyzer

Field Sobriety Test

Penalties for OVI/DUI/DWI

Probation for OVI/DUI/DWI  


There are many factors involved in any OVI/DUI case. Was the stop legal? Was the field sobriety test properly administered? Is there a video of the stop and field sobriety test? Was the Intoxilyzer properly administered? If there were any violations of your rights, a motion must be made exclude the introduction of the evidence against you.


An OVI/DUI/DWI arrest in Ohio results in two separate cases: 1) the court case, where penalties include jail time, fines, mandatory classes, and more; and 2) the administrative case with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles where the arrestee's driving privileges can be administratively suspended or revoked. If the accused has a CDL, additional sanctions apply.


Under Ohio law, it is a crime to operate a motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol or drugs, or combination of the drugs and alcohol, in your system that impairs your physical or mental abilities. It is not necessary for the prosecutor to prove a specific amount of alcohol in your system; therefore, you do not have to take the blood, breath, or urine test to be convicted of this offense.


Under Ohio law, it is also illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a specified level of alcohol in your system of .08% or higher of whole blood as determined by blood, breath, or urine testing. These are strict liability offenses, as they have nothing to do with alcohol interfering with your ability to drive, as they are based solely on your body chemistry.


To be convicted of an OVI/DUI/DWI offense, the guilt of the accused must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor must prove each element of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. If a reasonable doubt can be established as to any element, the accused is entitled to a not guilty verdict. There are multiple strategies for defending an OVI/DUI/DWI charge.


Punishment in OVI/DUI/DWI Cases


The penalties for an OVI/DUI/DWI conviction depend upon the defendant's prior criminal record, traffic record, prior OVI/DUI/DWI convictions, level of alcohol, and specific facts of the individual case. Be advised that levels of alcohol concentration of .17% of whole blood or higher will result in enhanced sanctions. Prior convictions for OVI/DUI/DWI or a similar offense in the past 10 years will increase the penalties for the current offense. If you are under 21 years old, the prohibited BAC levels are lower than those for an offender over 21. The BAC limit for those under 21 years old is equal to .02% but less than .08%. The penalties for operating a vehicle after underage alcohol consumption include jail time and a fine, and a conviction will count as a prior conviction in any future OVI/DUI/DWI cases and will enhance the penalty. If the under age offender's BAC is .08% or higher, the offender will be charged with OVI/DUI/DWI.


The penalties for an OVI/DUI/DWI conviction will include jail time, fines, suspension of driving privileges, possible impounding of license plates, immobilization or forfeiture of the vehicle, or even seizure of the vehicle. The severity of these charges makes it imperative that an accused driver consulting a defense attorney.


Expungement of OVI/DUI/DWI Conviction


Expungement of a criminal conviction refers to a legal process by which a person's criminal record is altered in a favorable manner; essentially removing the conviction from the person's criminal record. Ohio law does not allow the expungement of an OVI/DUI conviction. Also, an OVI/DUI/DWI conviction prevents any other convictions from ever being expunged from a person's criminal record; therefore, it is imperative to contact an attorney if you have been arrested for OVI/DUI, and you have a prior conviction you hope to have expunged.


If you have been charged with an OVI/DUI/DWI, it is imperative that you contact an attorney. Please call 216.225.9181, Email, or use the contact form to schedule an initial consultation.