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DUI Penalties in Cleveland, Ohio

As DUI lawyers, we pride ourselves on being able to provide our clients with the most accurate, up to date information possible regarding the possible consequences they face as a result of a DUI conviction. In Ohio, there are essentially two legal limits that pertain to breathalyzer results: 0.08% and 0.17%. A test result between 0.08% and 0.17% has significantly less consequences than a result over 0.17%, however, the penalties can still be severe and the non-criminal consequences can last a lifetime.

DUI penalties also go up based on the number of DUIs or prior refusals you have been convicted of. As always it is important to contact a DUI attorney in a city near you in order to protect yourself from the consequences associated with a DUI/OVI arrest.

We are available 24/7 in order to help represent your case. Call us today at (440) 709-8088.

Ohio DUI Penalties

DUI in Ohio First Offense: Breathalyzer Between 0.08% and 0.17%

A breathalyzer between 0.08% and 0.17% results in the following penalties:

  • Degree of Offense: Misdemeanor of the First Degree
  • Incarceration: Minimum of 3 days in jail up to 180 days or DIP program
  • Fines: $375 to $1,075
  • License Suspension: 6 months to 3 years
  • Driving Privileges: After 15 days
  • Plates / Interlock: Optional
DUI in Ohio First Offense: Breathalyzer Over 0.17% or Refusal in Prior 20 Years
  • Degree of Offense: Misdemeanor of the First Degree
  • Incarceration: Mandatory minimum of 6 days in jail up to 180 days or 3 days in jail with DIP program
  • Fines: $375 to $1,075
  • License Suspension: 6 months to 3 years
  • Driving Privileges: After 15 days, 30 days on a refusal.
  • Plates / Interlock: Restricted plates required, interlock optional
Second DUI in Ohio: Breathalyzer Between 0.08% and 0.17%
  • Degree of Offense: Misdemeanor of the First Degree
  • Incarceration: Mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail up to 180 days or 5 days in jail with 18 days of house arrest on electronic monitoring
  • Fines: $525 to $1,625
  • License Suspension: 1 to 5 years
  • Driving Privileges: After 45 days
  • Treatment: Mandatory
  • Plates / Interlock: Required
Second DUI in Ohio: Breathalyzer Over 0.17% or Refusal in Prior 20 Years
  • Degree of Offense: Misdemeanor of the First Degree
  • Incarceration: Mandatory minimum of 20 days in jail up to 180 days or 10 days in jail with 36 days of house arrest on electronic monitoring
  • Fines: $525 to $1,625
  • License Suspension: 1 to 5 years
  • Driving Privileges: After 45 days (possibly as high as a minimum of 90 days)
  • Treatment: Mandatory
  • Plates / Interlock: Required
  • Immobilization: 90 days mandatory immobilization of car if registered to the defendant
3rd DUI Offense in Ohio: Breathalyzer Between 0.08% and 0.17%
  • Degree of Offense: Unclassified Misdemeanor
  • Incarceration: Mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail up to 1 year or 15 days in jail with 55 days of house arrest on electronic monitoring
  • Fines: $850 to $2,750
  • License Suspension: 2 to 10 years
  • Driving Privileges: After 180 days
  • Treatment: Mandatory
  • Plates / Interlock: Required
  • Forfeiture: Mandatory forfeiture of vehicle if registered to defendant
3rd DUI Offense in Ohio: Breathalyzer Over 0.17% or Refusal in Prior 20 Years
  • Degree of Offense: Unclassified Misdemeanor
  • Incarceration: Mandatory minimum of 60 days in jail up to 1 year or 30 days in jail with 110 days of house arrest on electronic monitoring
  • Fines: $850 to $2,750
  • License Suspension: 2 to 10 years
  • Driving Privileges: After 180 days, up to a possible 1 year on a refusal
  • Treatment: Mandatory
  • Plates / Interlock: Required
  • Forfeiture: Mandatory forfeiture of vehicle if registered to defendant

These are the basic penalties you face if you are convicted of your first through third DUI/OVI in Ohio. If you have been charged with a fourth/fifth DUI in ten years, or six DUIs in twenty years you are going to be facing a felony and need to immediately speak with our Cleveland DUI lawyers to prepare you from a felony charge.

If Convicted of a First OVI, Is Jail Automatic?

Many people are surprised to discover that there is a mandatory jail sentence attached to a first OVI conviction. It can be frightening to find out may be headed to jail for making a decision that is generally out of character.

So if I am convicted of my first OVI is jail automatic? Possibly...but an experienced attorney can help you avoid jail after OVI charges.

A first conviction has a mandatory sentence of at least 3 days in jail, up to 180 days. How long you may spend in jail if convicted is up to the presiding judge, who will take into account many factors, including the facts of the case and prior record. If you are convicted and it is your first offense, will you automatically be jailed? Although much depends on your case, the judge does have the option to let you complete a driver intervention program (DIP) instead of serving the minimum 3 day jail sentence. A DIP is typically completed at a hotel over a weekend. You will attend classes that will educate you as to the hazards of drinking, especially while driving.

Can an OVI Defense Lawyer Help Reduce the Penalties?

By now you have learned that all DUI / OVI cases in Ohio have mandatory jail time so if you head into court alone and plead no contest, you must be confined for a minimum of six days, depending on your case.

So, can a lawyer help reduce OVI penalties in Ohio? Absolutely.

As former prosecutor, we can tell you that when defense attorneys argued their clients' cases to us, we were more likely to recommend a reduction. As defense attorneys, we have helped many people have OVI penalties reduced, suppressed, or dismissed. We focus on beating the OVI charge-but if that is not possible, we switch into damage control mode. This means we use a lack of a prior record, responsibilities to a family, good standing, and reputation to defend you. We do this in conjunction with using weaknesses in the prosecutor's case. Even if it appears to be a "slam dunk," there is almost always a real issue that we can use to help you.

Defend Against DUI Charges in Ohio with Our Help!

It is important to speak with a Cleveland DUI attorney about the facts of your case to find out how they can help you. Our attorneys are former prosecutors; we have been on both sides of the spectrum, we know which cops are honest and which are not. We know how to exploit their mistakes to your benefit. For instance, in certain instances we are able to completely kick out the field sobriety tests when the police make mistakes. We have a record of doing this, in other cases we have had courts throw out entire breath testing results.

This means that, often, our clients benefit from our experience as former prosecutors and our experience as defense attorneys. We do not take every case that comes our way but we promise to treat you with the dignity and respect that you deserve.

Call (440) 709-8088 for a free consultation. The call is without obligation.

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Recent Victories
  • Significant Reduction, Probation Aggravated Burglary: State v. Boscarello, Cuyahoga County
  • Plea and Record Aggravated Theft: State v. Bailey, Cuyahoga
  • Not Guilty at Trial Attempted Murder/Felonious Assault: State v. Brandon Betliskey
  • Case Dismissed Child Pornography: State v. J.S. (A juvenile) Youngstown
  • Not Guilty at Trial Domestic Violence: Rocky River v. D.F.
  • Charges Dismissed Drug Trafficking: State v. Beckwith, Cuyahoga County
  • Charges Dismissed Drug Trafficking: State v. Bittner, Lorain County
  • Evidence Suppressed, State Lost the Appeal DUI / OVI: City of Cleveland v. Oles
  • Case Dismissed DUI / OVI: Cleveland v. Al-Nazer (2012 TRC 040781)
  • Case Dismissed DUI/OVI w. a weapon: State v. Al-Nazer (Cuyahoga Case No. 13-575491)
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