David C. Sheldon is an experienced Criminal Defense Trial Attorney specializing in OVI Charges.
Our Law Firm has over 32 years experience winning OVI cases. Attorney Sheldon, a former prosecutor, knows how to make the system work for you!
On any DUI or OVI matter, we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you have been charged or arrested for a DUI crime, call us at 330.723.8788 or contact the firm online to schedule your FREE consultation today. Proven Results! See our OVI case highlights
What are the next steps you need to take when you have been charged with DUI-OVI?
First, call an experienced OVI/DUI attorney and set up an appointment as quickly as possible. There is a limited time period to make objections and file motions on your behalf!
Second, write down names and telephone numbers of any witnesses who were with you before or during your arrest who may be able to assist you in the defense of the OVI charge(s). Remember, there will almost always be two OVI charges if you are arrested and subsequently test .08 BAC or higher on the breathalyzer machine (or provide a positive urine or blood test result).
Why are there two OVI charges for one arrest?
Under Ohio law, the officer can charge you with Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs, or a combination of them, based on the officer’s observations of your driving, your appearance at the scene, and your performance on field sobriety tests. If the officer believes your ability to operate the vehicle is noticeably impaired by alcohol, then he/she may arrest and charge you with OVI.
Once you are arrested and back at the station, if the officer asks you to submit to a breath test (or blood or urine test) and you test .08 BAC or higher (or its equivalent for blood or urine), then the officer will charge you with second OVI charge, for failing the test, based on you having a prohibited concentration of alcohol or drugs in your breath, blood or urine. Thus, you can be charged for two separate OVI offenses: one for impaired driving due to alcohol and/or drugs, the other for driving with a prohibited concentration of alcohol and/or drugs in your blood, breath or urine.
Third, do not speak with the arresting officer if that officer contacts you for a follow-up statement. He or she is only looking for more evidence to use against you. Once you have been arrested and charged, you are entitled to the advice of counsel before any further questioning by the officer. You have the right to remain silent! Use it!
Fourth, make sure you have proof of insurance for the vehicle you were operating so you can apply for driving privileges as soon as you are eligible. Typically, on a first offense OVI in ten years, and you test .08 BAC or higher, you are eligible for driving privileges fifteen days following your arrest. If you refused to take the breath test, or refused to submit a urine sample or blood sample, then you are eligible for driving privileges after the first thirty days following your arrest.
Medina OVI Attorney has tried hundreds of cases in Medina Municipal Court, Medina County Court, Cuyahoga County Court and Wadsworth Municipal Court.
At our Medina law firm, David C. Sheldon, a former Medina and Cuyahoga county prosecutor, is familiar with the strategies and tactics used by the prosecution and law enforcement. He knows the importance of taking swift action because there is a limited time period to make objections and file motions on your behalf.
Mr. Sheldon has over 32 years of experience to effectively and aggressively defend you on any drunk driving offense in Ohio. David C. Sheldon is highly rated by his peers and has achieved a rating of excellent from these organizations: National College for DUI Defense, AV Preeminent Martindale Hubbell, Avvo, Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Top 100 National Trial Lawyers.
We primarily try DUI-OVI cases in Medina, Cuyahoga, Summit, Lorain, and Wanye counties and have tried hundreds of cases in the following municipal courtrooms: Medina, Brunswick, Barberton, Wadsworth, Strongsville, North Royalton, Akron and Cleveland.
What happens if you are convicted for an OVI in Ohio?
In Ohio, you can be convicted of driving under the influence if:
- You have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 or higher
- You are under the age of 21 and have a BAC level of 0.02 or any detectable amount of alcohol
- You are a commercial driver with a BAC of 0.04 or higher
If you are arrested for an OVI in Ohio, you face charges that can be more serious than some felonies. Consequences increase in severity with repeat OVI DUI offenses. You can end up with a criminal record. Here are the penalties you face if you are convicted for a first time OVI:
First Ohio OVI (DUI) conviction
This is a misdemeanor of the first degree charge
- Jail - three days (or three days in driver intervention program) up to six months
- Administrative driver’s license suspension - ninety days (BAC test) or one year (refusal)
- Court imposed Driver’s license suspension – one (formerly six mos.) to three years
- Fines - $375 to $1,075
- License reinstatement fee - $475
- Optional unlimited driving privileges w/ignition interlock device (see OVI Consequences)
- Six points
OVI Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Will I go to jail for my first OVI in Ohio?
A. On a first offense in the past 10 years or first offense lifetime, no, you will not go to jail as long as you attend an approved driver intervention program. However, you will still face a mandatory fine up to $1,075 and a license suspension of one to three years. Also, OVIs cannot be sealed. If you are charged with a second offense or higher OVI in ten years, then you face a minimum mandatory jail time of ten days or higher, depending on the number of prior OVI offenses and whether you took the breath test or refused.
Q. What type of license suspension can I receive for being CHARGED with an OVI in Ohio?
A. The initial suspension you receive is called an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) and is imposed by the Ohio BMV (**NOTE: This suspension is separate from and independent of any future judicially imposed suspension upon conviction). The arresting officer is an agent for the BMV and seizes your license upon a positive breath test (.08 BAC or higher) or positive urine (.11grms or higher per 100ml) or blood test (.08 or higher whole blood, or .096 or higher blood serum or plasma), or upon a refusal to submit to a breath test. The length of the (ALS) suspension depends on whether you have prior offenses in the past 10 years.
If it is a first OVI offense in ten years, then you will receive a 90-day ALS suspension on a positive test (one year if you refuse). If you have a prior OVI offense in 10 years, you will receive a one-year ALS suspension on a positive test (two years for refusal). If it is a third offense in 10 years, a two-year ALS suspension on a positive test (three years for refusal) will be imposed.
Q. What license suspension will I receive if I am CONVICTED of an OVI?
A. Again in Ohio, this answer depends upon whether you have prior OVI convictions. On a first OVI offense in ten years, it is a 1 to 3-year license suspension upon conviction. On a 2/10 yr. OVI offense, you will receive a 1 to 7-year license suspension. On a 3/10 yr. OVI offense, the suspension is 2 to 12-years.
Q. When is the ALS license suspension over?
A. The Ohio ALS suspension ends upon one of the following events: expiration of the term, i.e., 90 days after your arrest and positive test on a 1/10 OVI offense, you can go to the BMV and obtain a new driver’s license with proof of insurance and payment of the reinstatement fee ($475); conviction (sentencing) for the OVI offense following a no contest plea, or upon a guilty plea and certification of that guilty plea to the BMV (the clerk of court will have to transmit the guilty plea notification electronically or in writing to the BMV).
Some municipal courts will not terminate the ALS suspension following a guilty plea to OVI but will instead wait until sentencing to terminate the ALS. You will receive credit for the time you were under the ALS suspension against the judicially imposed suspension at sentencing. For example, if it was a 1/10 OVI offense and you refused, you would have received a one-year ALS suspension.
If eight months and five days have elapsed at the time of your sentencing, you will receive a credit of 8 months and five days against your 1 – 3-year judicial suspension. Finally, you may be able to successfully challenge the imposition of the ALS suspension by filing an ALS appeal through your attorney. There are certain requirements that must be met for the ALS suspension to be effective.
Q. How soon can I get driving privileges?
A. In Ohio, on a first offense in 10 years, you are eligible for driving privileges after the first fifteen days following arrest if you took a breath test and tested .08 BAC or higher. If you refused on a 1/10 offense, you have to wait thirty days following your arrest to obtain privileges. On a 2nd in 10 years OVI offense, you are eligible after 45 days on a positive test or 90 days on a refusal. On a 3rd in 10 years OVI offense, you are eligible after 180 days on a positive test or one year on a refusal.
Q. What do I do if the police impound my car and won’t release it?
A. Ohio police are required to seize your vehicle and impound it on a 2nd or greater OVI offense in 10 years. You can file a motion to release your vehicle at your initial appearance on the charge, which must occur within five days of your arrest. However, the court has discretion not to release the vehicle.
If your vehicle remains impounded, you should file a motion to transfer immobilization of your vehicle to your residence or another location designated by the court to avoid storage fees which can range anywhere from $20/day to $35/day. If convicted of the offense, the court is required to order a 90-day immobilization of your vehicle at sentencing.
If your vehicle has been impounded since the original seizure, you will receive credit for that time against the 90 days ordered at sentencing. On a 3/10 OVI offense, your vehicle will be forfeited to the State of Ohio upon conviction unless you can show you are not the owner of the vehicle or the State, via the prosecutor, fails to properly notify you by written notice or sending you a copy of the uniform ticket seven days in advance of the forfeiture hearing of the possibility of forfeiture.