Enhanced DUI/OVI Cases

People tend to think of traffic tickets as an annoyance at best — or a costly mistake at worst — because they must pay a fine, their insurance rates increase, and/or they must pay insurance deductibles for accident repairs. But the truth is often different, because several types of moving violations, including Ohio DUIs, can result in criminal charges. If you find yourself facing criminal charges after a traffic violation in Columbus, Ohio, Joe Halabi, Columbus Criminal Defense Lawyer, and his team of experienced criminal law attorneys can help.

DUI Checkpoints in Columbus, Ohio

Ohio notifies residents about DUI checkpoints about a week ahead of time. Although this notice does not include precise details, it must at least tell you the date and the general location. Later, a few hours before the checkpoint is set up, authorities post another advisory that details when and where it will be.

You won’t automatically be subjected to a field sobriety test if you miss these alerts and enter a checkpoint. To keep traffic moving, officers usually only detain every second, third, or fourth vehicle. If your car gets stopped, the officer will assess you for “articulable signs” that you’re under the influence. These may include an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, or even unwarranted argumentativeness. If you don’t exhibit any of these signs, you should be waved on. But if there is any indication of impairment, you may be taken to a secured area for further testing.

A DUI or an OVI (operating a vehicle while impaired) charge can involve serious penalties, particularly if you have prior related offenses on your record.

  • A second OVI conviction within six years means a minimum ten days and a maximum six months in jail, plus a fine of up to $1,500 and drivers’ license suspension of up to five years.
  • For the third offense within this time frame, you’re looking at thirty days up to one year, maximum $2,500 fine, and a maximum ten-year drivers’ license suspension.
  • A fourth offense can be a felony, and in addition to prison time, there may be a $10,000 fine and a lifetime drivers’ license suspension.

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There are indirect penalties as well. Especially after a third offense, auto insurance is almost impossible to attain at any reasonable cost. Furthermore, your car will be assigned restricted, yellow-and-red license plates, which are sometimes called “party plates.” You may have to undergo mandatory treatment for alcohol or drug dependency.

Vehicular Assault, Manslaughter, and Homicide in Ohio

You can be charged with vehicular assault in Ohio if you cause physical harm to another person while operating a vehicle. The charge can rise to aggravated vehicular assault if the incident occurs while you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Aggravated vehicular assault is a third-degree felony. You risk one to five years in prison and a mandatory license suspension of two to ten years.

If you cause the death of another individual through the commission of any traffic violation, you can be charged with vehicular manslaughter. Charges are upgraded to vehicular homicide if you were driving or acting negligently, if you were speeding in a construction zone, or if you were under the influence of alcohol.

Criminal Defense and DUI/OVI Attorney in Columbus, Ohio

A criminal charge is nothing to face on your own, whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony. You need an attorney with extensive investigative experience to review the details of your arrest, including the results of field sobriety tests and breath, blood or urine tests. In many cases, I get the charges reduced or even eliminated entirely. Call Halabi Law, LLC today. I offer free consultations, so it won’t cost you anything to find out where you stand.