Getting charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious matter. Even if it is your first DUI, you will face punishment if convicted. However, with the right DUI defense attorney, you could emerge from the experience wiser and able to embrace the future without restriction.
If you face charges for a first-time DUI in Toledo, reach out to experienced legal counsel from Groth & Associates as soon as possible.
In Ohio, DUI is also commonly referred to as OVI—operating a vehicle while intoxicated. The Ohio Revised Code § 4511.19 makes it illegal to drive under the influence of intoxicants such as alcohol, drugs, or a combination of these substances.
If the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds .08, they are over the legal limit and could be charged and/or arrested. However, if the driver shows other signs of impairment, they could be arrested and/or charged even if their BAC is less than the legal limit. In addition, the legal limit is lower for holders of commercial driving licenses (.04) and drivers under 21 (.02).
When a driver is arrested or charged with an OVI, their license is automatically suspended for 90 days if they fail a breath, blood, or urine test. If the driver refused a breathalyzer, blood, or urine test, the suspension extends for one year. A first-offender is someone who has not had an OVI conviction over the preceding ten years. Penalties for first-time DUI offenders in Toledo are more lenient than for repeat offenders.
When a first offender’s BAC is under .17, the crime is a first-degree misdemeanor carrying a mandatory three-day jail sentence served over 72 consecutive hours. A judge could impose probation, a driver intervention course, community service hours, and other penalties in addition to jail time. Potential fines range from $375 to $1075.
A judge could also defer the jail sentence and order an offender to participate in driver intervention instead. Our determined attorneys can exert their best efforts to convince a judge to defer jail time for a person with an otherwise clean record.
Offenders with a BAC of more than .17 face stiffer penalties. The minimum jail sentence doubles to six consecutive days and could last up to six months. Judges are less likely to suspend or defer the jail sentence when a driver has a high BAC. Drivers with high BACs must take a three-day driver intervention class plus added days in jail and could be ordered to install an ignition interlock device or restricted plates.
Conviction of a DUI results in driver’s license suspension for one to three years.
Low BAC drivers could apply for limited driving privileges. If granted, the driver could drive to and from work, school, or medical appointments. If caught driving in other circumstances, they face revocation of the limited privileges and an extended license suspension.
Being charged is not the same as being convicted. Someone with a first-time DUI charge in Toledo could avoid some of the harsh consequences of a conviction by working with our skilled attorneys.
A prosecutor might reduce the charge to reckless driving if the driver’s BAC was under or not substantially above .08 and the charge did not follow a car accident. Penalties depend on the driver’s criminal history. Someone with a clean record could expect to pay a fine and potentially take a driver’s education class in addition to performing community service.
Even if the driver’s BAC was high or they were involved in an accident, it could be possible to have charges reduced or dismissed. If the traffic stop was improper or the chemical test was not administered in accordance with the correct procedures, the prosecutor’s case might not be sustainable. At Groth & Associates, our talented legal professionals can investigate the circumstances of a traffic stop, bring deficiencies to the prosecutor’s attention, and leverage them to produce a favorable result for the individual.
An OVI charge carries severe penalties, even for a first offender. You owe it to yourself to present the best possible defense to defeat the charges.
Call our firm if you were arrested or are facing charges for a first-time DUI in Toledo. We will put our skills and experience to work for you to get the most favorable outcome possible under the circumstances.