One of the first questions we are asked by prospective clients is: "How long will I lose my license for?" This question assumes something we never assume: that the client will get convicted of a DUI. In fact, many of our clients do not end up with a DUI conviction at all, but are resolved with a reduction or a dismissal.
Driving privileges are important to our clients. We understand how important it is to drive for a living-we do it every day as we drive from Canton to Cleveland, and Sandusky to Ashtabula on a regular basis. We know that some clients need to drive to work where others need to drive to work and while at work. Because of this, and because of how hard it is to find good jobs, we fight as hard as possible to make sure our clients are protected.
If you have been arrested for a DUI / OVI, the police officers likely took your physical license from you. This is because either you refused or you failed the breath test. In some rare cases, they will not take your license. The law in Ohio requires the police officers to issue you a Form 2255 after you have refused the breath test or failed it. This form puts you on notice that you have lost the right to drive (90 days on a first offense failure, 1 year on a refusal). The good news is that a skilled lawyer can help get you back driving before that.
Few people, let alone most attorneys, understand how driver's license suspensions work after a DUI/OVI arrest.
There are two types of suspensions involved after a DUI arrest:
An administrative license suspension is issued when one of two things happen:
If this is your first offense and you blew over a 0.08 BAC you have lost your license for 90 days. But be warned: if convicted, you will lose your license for up to 3 full years. If this is your first offense and you refused all tests, you have administratively lost your license for a period of one full year. However, you can obtain, by a properly filed motion, driving privileges on the administrative license suspension. This means that on a failed test you can be driving for work, education, and medical reasons within 15 days-or 30 days if you refused all tests.
By challenging the suspension as soon as possible, you are not only making a case for driving privileges, but you are forcing the prosecutor to show you were properly stopped, properly removed from your vehicle, and that there was probable cause to arrest you for DUI. All three are not easy for the prosecutor to do, particularly when they are facing-off against a professional DUI defense attorney. If this challenge is successful, the suspension is immediately dismissed-and it also sends the message to the prosecutor that the Court feels their case against you is weak. This what we use to negotiate with them in working on a dismissal of the charge.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to successfully obtain privileges all with varying degrees of success. The first question our clients need to answer is "How soon do I need privileges?" This might seem like an obvious question with an answer of "Right now!" However, there are a few things to consider. First, the administrative license suspension for a first time DUI is 15 days-meaning if you are on day 10, it might be better to wait the remaining five days. Second, if we do obtain privileges immediately but you are later convicted, you might still have to do the 15 days anyways. It comes down to making a choice that is best for your situation.
Want to learn what we can do to help with your license suspension? Call us at (440) 709-8088 today!