A first conviction for OVI in Ohio is a serious legal matter, and most people know that the consequences rise significantly for the second or third DUI/OVI a driver faces. Repeat OVI defense requires a clear understanding of the law and a full assessment of the chances of fines, license suspensions, issuance of restricted license plates and incarceration.
A recent case in Loraine County involved a driver who had avoided one severe consequence due to a bureaucratic oversight. After he struck and killed a two-year-old boy in 1992 while driving drunk on a motorcycle, the man received a lifetime drivers license revocation and 18 months in prison.
He had three prior DUI convictions at the time, and the judge rejected the man's request for occupational driving privileges. However, mistakes at the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles meant that the driving ban never got recorded, and he later applied for and received a new license.
Last June, he was arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving again after he drove his truck into a ditch and fled into his nearby home. At sentencing a few months ago, the repeat DUI offender entered guilty pleas to one OVI charge and an unrelated charge of driving under suspension several months later. He received 90 days in jail and nearly $2,000 in fines.
One important factor in repeat OVI cases is the amount of time that has elapsed between alleged offenses. In general, a second conviction within six years exposes the defendant to enhanced sentencing measures. A third OVI conviction within six years of the first can mean vehicle forfeiture or installation of an ignition interlock device.
Whether a driver needs legal representation after a serious DUI accident or is concerned about the effect of a prior charge that was dismissed, an Ohio OVI defense lawyer can explain the precise application of the law to their case.