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What Will Happen Once you’ve been Charged with a DUI

Interviewer: Today we’ll start with DUI law, which is on the criminal side. When people are arrested for DUI, and they’ve been charged and released, what are some of the first things they should do to figure out how serious theses charges are? Do they even need an attorney to help them?

The Charge Is Known As An OVI (Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated) in Ohio

Adam: The first thing to consider is if they’ve had any other priors. The most important consideration in Ohio is if they’ve had a prior OVI. An OVI is how a DUI is referred to in Ohio.

Does Your Record Contain Prior Offenses?

If they had a prior DUI or OVI, how long ago was it? Also, how high was the blood alcohol test? These are the two big concerns that you have. An additional consideration is if they have a criminal background. That could also impact the outcome.

The other issue to keep in mind is that the outcome will depend on the court and the judge who is hearing the case. Some judges are more tolerant or understanding, while other judges like to bring the hammer down.

Interviewer: You mentioned that if this is not a first time offense, retaining an attorney is recommended. You also said the charge is called OVI in Ohio?

What Do the Initials “OVI” Stand For?

Adam: Yes, it stands for “operating a vehicle while intoxicated.” It covers more than just alcohol because technically the charge can derive from being intoxicated on prescription or illegal drugs.

Interviewer: Why would they call it operating versus driving? Why make that distinction?

Adam: I think so they can get you if technically you were just in the parking lot as opposed to just driving on the road. I think that’s why they make the distinction.

Being Charged if You Are Only in The Car, Not Driving

Interviewer: Have you seen cases where people were just sitting in the car with the car off, and they still were charged?

Adam: I’ve seen it.

Interviewer: Have you seen cases where people are sleeping it off in the back seat and they were still charged?

Adam: I just know that it has happened in that respect. I haven’t handled one personally where somebody was sleeping it off, but the fact that they’re still in the vehicle; they still have the potential ability to take control of it. I think that’s why someone can still be charged.

Interviewer: The law says that you could have driven; therefore, they’re going to charge you?

Adam: Yes.
By Adam Hunt

Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney Adam Hunt
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