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Misdemeanor Offenses

To ensure the roadways are safe, Ohio takes a firm stance against driving under the influence. The Ohio courts are more forgiving to those convicted for their first three OVI offenses, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously.

The crime may only be a misdemeanor, but it can result in the loss of driving privileges, a mark on your permanent record and the loss of a professional license. Because of the impact a DUI offense can have on your life, it’s advised you contact a defense attorney.

Columbus, OH Misdemeanor DUI Defense Attorney

Joslyn Law Firm has years of collective experience defending DUI offenses in Ohio. We will use this experience to find the best legal options available to you. Call (614) 300 - 3025 to schedule a confidential consultation.

Joslyn Law Firm represents clients in counties in central Ohio including Franklin County, Delaware County, Union County and many others.


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First and Second OVI Offense

There were nearly 3,000 OVI arrests in Ohio in 2018, with the number almost double what it was in 2017. All DUI offenses are serious, but the first three offenses are not charged as harsh as a fourth or subsequent offense.

Ohio is unique when it comes to penalizing OVI. The extent of the penalties depends on whether or not your chemical test scored low or high. A low test is a BAC of 0.08 but less than 0.17 while a high test is a BAC of 0.17 or higher.

A first time OVI with a low test is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by the following:

  • A minimum of 72 hours in jail but up to six months
  • A fine between $375 and $1,075
  • A license suspension ranging from six months to three years

A first time OVI with a high test is also a first-degree misdemeanor penalized with the same amount of fines and license suspension as an OVI low test, but with two expectations. You will have to spend a minimum of six days in jail and be required to have restricted plates installed on your vehicle.

A second OVI is also a first-degree misdemeanor. A second conviction may be charged the same as the first, but the penalties are more severe. Listed below are the penalties for a second OVI conviction:

  • A minimum of 10 days for a low test and 20 days for a high test, but up to six months for both
  • A fine between $525 and $1,625
  • Mandatory alcohol and drug assessment
  • Driver’s license suspension for one to four years
  • Restricted driving plates
  • Vehicle immobilization for 90 days

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How is a Third OVI Offense Charged in Ohio?

The more you are convicted of OVI, the less forgiving the courts become. A third OVI is a first-degree misdemeanor but entails penalties more substantial than a first or second conviction.

You’ll be sentenced to a minimum of 30 days behind bars if you’re convicted of a third OVI with a low test, while a high test is penalized with a minimum of 60 days.

A third OVI conviction can also entail the following:

  • A fine ranging from $850 to $2,750
  • A license suspension for two to 12 years
  • Restricted driving plates
  • The installation of an ignition interlock device.

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DUI with Property Damage

Ohio doesn’t have a specific law for an OVI with property damage. Instead, you will face a charge for property damage on top of a charge for OVI. How you are charged for the offense will depend on previous convictions.

Listed below are the penalties for property damage in Ohio:

  • First offense: Minor misdemeanor punishable by a fine up of to $150
  • Second offense within a year: Fourth-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days behind bars and a fine of up to $250
  • Third offense within a year: Third-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days behind bars and a fine of up to $500

The misdemeanor charge should be the least of your worries. The property owner has the right to bring you to civil court and seek compensation for the replacement or repair of the property you damaged. You may be left paying for the repairs out of pocket if you do not have sufficient insurance coverage.


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Additional Recourses for Misdemeanor Offenses 

Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence | Ohio Revised Code– Follow this link to learn more about the state’s OVI laws. You can read the precise legal definition of operating a vehicle while under the influence, how the state penalizes the crime and juvenile offenses. The code can be read on the Ohio Laws and Rules website.

Operation of a Vehicle in a Willful or Wanton Disregard | Ohio Revised Code– Read the full text of the statute governing property damage. You can read the precise legal definition of the crime and how it’s penalized.


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DUI Defense Attorney in Columbus, OH for Misdemeanor Offenses

By visiting this page, you already understand the seriousness of the charges against you. The sooner you contact a defense attorney at Joslyn Law Firm, the better your chances of a more favorable outcome in court. Call (614) 300 - 3025 to schedule a confidential consultation.

Joslyn Law Firm represents clients in counties in central Ohio such as Madison County, Pickaway County, Fairfield County and Licking County.


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