Most DUI offenders are charged with misdemeanor offenses. Sometimes, though, there are circumstances where DUI crimes are charged as a felony. Being a convicted felon can have detrimental effects on your life. Not only will you spend time in prison, but you could also face collateral effects such as the loss of a professional license, voting rights and the right to bear arms.
Because of the impact a felony conviction can have on your life, you will need the guidance of an experienced DUI defense attorney.
Columbus, OH Felony DUI Defense Attorney
You should contact Joslyn Law Firm right away if you are being investigated for a felony DUI offense. The risk of going about this conviction on your own outweighs the cost of hiring an attorney. Call to schedule a confidential consultation.
We defend clients of felony DWI offenses in counties such as Franklin County, Union County, Delaware County and Madison County.
- Ohio OVI Laws
- Fourth and Fifth OVI
- Aggravated Vehicular Homicide
- Aggravated Vehicular Assault
- Additional Resources
Understanding the state’s DUI laws make you a better-informed citizen. Laws regarding the offense are listed under section 4511.19 of the Ohio Revised Code. This section defines the crime and lays out the penalties the courts are allowed to impose.
The law states a driver is prohibited from operating a vehicle in Ohio under any of the following conditions:
- While under the influence of drugs, alcohol or a combination
- With a BAC of .08 or higher
- With a concentration of any of the following controlled substances:
Ohio is an implied consent state. This means you are consenting to chemical tests from law enforcing by accepting an Ohio driver’s license. You have the right to refuse a chemical test and it’s advised you do. Your license will be suspended for refusal, but prosecutors will lack hard evidence proving you drove while under the influence.
The first three times you are convicted of driving under the influence, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. But after three convictions, the Ohio courts are not as forgiving. A fourth or fifth DUI conviction is penalized based on the levels of the chemical test. Regardless of the levels, the offense is charged as a fourth-degree felony.
A fourth or fifth conviction with an OVI low test is punishable by the following:
- A minimum of 60 days behind bars, but no more than a year
- Fines between $1,350 and $10,000
- A license suspension for three years to life
- Limited driving privileges for three years
- Mandatory alcohol or drug addiction program
- Restricted driving plates
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- Impoundment of your vehicle
A fourth OVI with a high test will face the same penalties as a low test OVI, but with additional jail time. Instead of a minimum of 60 days, you will be required to spend a minimum of 120 days in local jail but no more than a year.
Cases involving the loss of human life are devastating. Not only does it impact the victim’s loved ones, but it dramatically effects you. Vehicular homicide is already a felony offense but throw in alcohol or drugs, and you are facing an aggravated charge.
The crime is defined under section 2903.06 of the ORC as an individual causing the death of another as a result of:
- Reckless behavior with a motor vehicle
- Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Causing the death of another by intoxicated driving is a second-degree felony punishable by the following:
- A mandatory minimum prison sentence of two years, but no more than 8 years
- A mandatory license suspension for life
- A fine of up to $15,000
Conviction of aggravated vehicular homicide entails social consequences that can last long after you are released from prison. Because of this, it is imperative that you have legal representation on your side to fight the allegations against you.
Another serious OVI related offense resulting in felony charges is aggravated vehicular assault. Instead of causing death, aggravated vehicular assault causes serious physical harm to another person as a result of driving under the influence.
As you’ve noticed, the Ohio courts do not punish alcohol-related crimes lightly, especially when they involve loss of life or injury to another person. Aggravated vehicular assault is a third-degree felony punishable by the following:
- A mandatory minimum prison sentence of one year, but up to five years
- A fine costing up to $10,000
- A license suspension for two to 10 years
There are circumstances where the charge could be elevated to a second-degree felony. Some of the circumstances include:
- You have been previously convicted or plead guilty to three or more DUIs.
- You have been previously convicted or plead guilty to two or more felony DUI crimes.
A second-degree felony is punishable by a mandatory two years in prison, but no more than eight years, a license suspension for two to 10 years and a fine of up to $15,000.
Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence | Ohio Revised Code– Follow this link to learn more about the states OVI laws. You can find the exact legal limits of all controlled substances and alcohol, how juveniles are charged for the offense and how a chemical test should be conducted. The code can be read on the Ohio Laws and Rules website.
Aggravated Vehicular Assault | Ohio Revised Code– Visit the Ohio Laws and Rules website to read the precise legal definition of aggravated vehicular assault. You can also learn more about vehicular assault and how it’s penalized.
Felony DUI Defense Lawyer in Columbus, OH
The allegations against you are serious. Take the first step in building a solid defense by contacting the attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm today. Call to schedule a confidential consultation.
We represent clients of felony DUI offense in central Ohio counties including Pickaway County, Fairfield County, Licking County and numerous others.