New changes were made to the DUI laws in Ohio in 2008 that can affect you if it is not your first time being charged with driving under the influence. It can change your charge from a misdemeanor one to a felony and the penalties you face may be more harsh and severe. Ensuring that you hire a Columbus DUI attorney who is familiar with these news laws and has defended repeat offenders before is imperative for a successful outcome in your case.
If you are charged with a DUI and have had two or more convictions previously in a six-year period, you can be charged with a criminal felony. You will be required to submit to any test requested to determine what your Blood Alcohol Concentration is, and if you refuse you, law enforcement officials are permitted to use “whatever means necessary” to see to it that a chemical test is administered. If your refusal results in no BAC test being given, then you can be tried as if your alcohol level was considered high tier even if it was not.
Your best bet is to what the officer asks, but your Columbus DUI attorney does have the right to question is everything was done according to procedure at the time of your arrest. Your vehicle can also be impounded and you can lose your drivers license for up to one year. On a second offense, you may be required to attend an alcohol treatment program and by the third offense, you may be forced to turn your vehicle over to the state. You can even lose your license for up to a decade and then only receive it back with restrictions, something you may not be able to afford if your car is necessary for work purposes.
There are various other life-consequences you can face if you are convicted of a DUI offense several times in the state of Ohio. If you do retain rights to your license and car, you insurance premiums may sore through the roof and you can also lose traveling rights in Canada. And unlike other states, DUI convictions in Ohio are not eligible to be expunged from your criminal record so this can be a permanent mark on your life. A DUI attorney in Columbus with multiple offense experience can help you possibly avoid a conviction, and also receive the least possible penalties allowed by law.