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Is an OVI in Ohio a misdemeanor or Felony?
Being under the influence of alcohol and operating a vehicle in Ohio is a crime. Previously known as a DUI (Driving Under the Influence), the charge is an OVI (Operative a Vehicle while Impaired). An Ohio OVI can be a felony or misdemeanor charge depending on the circumstances.
An Ohio OVI is usually a misdemeanor, even if it is the second or third offense. With that being said, the typical consequences for a first time offender will be three days in jail, or three days at a rehabilitation and learning course for drinking and driving offenders. There will also be a fine assessed to the offender, usually between $300 and $1000, and license suspension between thirty and ninety days.
As a second or third time offender the consequences, meaning jail time and fines, will rise for each charge. There may also be additional repercussions such as vehicle seizure, implementation of an ignition interlock system and possibly colored license plates notifying officials and the public you are an OVI offender.
An Ohio OVI can be a felony charge if it is a fourth or fifth conviction. The fourth conviction is a felony if the three previous convictions were within six years. The fifth conviction a felony if the four prior convictions were within twenty years. It can also be considered a felony if there was a serious injury or death involved. When an offender is convicted of an OVI felony charge they face actual prison time and rehabilitation upon release. Fines will also be significantly higher up to $10,000.
If you have an Ohio OVI charge seek assistance from an attorney. An attorney will be able to provide the best defense possible.
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