Akron OVI Lawyer
Arrested for Drunk Driving in Akron, Ohio? Call Our Firm
In Ohio, drinking and driving offenses are charged as OVI, or Operating a Vehicle under the Influence of alcohol or drugs. This serious offense can lead to drastic penalties, even for a first-time OVI offense. If charged again, repeat offenders can face escalating criminal charges, harsher penalties, and tougher prosecution.
After being charged with OVI, you need an Akron DUI attorney who has a clear knowledge of the associated laws and possible defenses in Ohio. As the founding criminal defense lawyer at Christopher G. Thomarios, Esq. LLC, I encourage you to exercise your right to secure legal representation from my law firm! I fight to protect my client’s rights and can help you secure a favorable result.
Why You Need Defense from My DUI/OVI Defense Law Firm
- For over a decade, I have defended Ohio residents against OVI and other serious charges.
- My services include a free consultation. Discuss your DUI/OVI case before you commit to my firm!
- Your case will not be treated like just another number at my firm. I develop defense strategies that are unique to your situation, always taking the time necessary for effective research.
View some of our previous OVI case results.
What Are Ohio's OVI / DUI Penalties?
Because of the harm driving drunk can bring to others, the Ohio government has set out strict guidelines for those who are convicted of OVI / DUI. Adults who have a BAC of 0.08% or higher will be considered impaired and can be arrested. Conviction can have a substantial impact on their life for months or even years to come.
Penalties for drinking and driving include:
- License suspension
- Up to 1 year in jail
- Driver's intervention program
- Heavy fines and charges
Drivers under the age of 21 with a minimum BAC of 0.02% will be charged with operating a vehicle after underage consumption (OVAUC). Underage drivers who are convicted of driving while intoxicated will be required to take a remedial driving class, and can face extensive penalties for even their first offense.
Whatever the nature of your OVI, it is in your best interest to deal with your charges as soon as possible.
Schedule Your Free Consultation
If you've been arrested for OVI in Akron or Cleveland, then you need a lawyer that you can trust.
Even a first drinking and driving offense may be punished far more aggressively than you expect. According to O.R.C 4511.19, the penalties you could face change according to the severity of an offense. Additionally, if you have already been convicted for OVI, you can face substantially tougher charges with each subsequent offense.
The following factors can aggravate your charges for a given case:
- Causing an accident
- Speeding while intoxicated
- Causing death or another serious injury
- Having B.A.C. over .17
- DUI with a minor passenger
- Refusing to submit to a breath test
If you are charged with OVI and have aggravating factors, then your potential penalties may be elevated. In addition to the risk of criminal conviction, you may also face civil litigation for monetary, physical, and emotional damages for an accident caused while driving under the influence. While a civil suit is independent of your criminal case, a conviction may make it easier for the plaintiff to win their case.
Should I take a breath test for an OVI stop?
A conviction for OVI can potentially land you in jail and leave a mark on your criminal record. When a police officer stops you on suspicion of drunk driving, they will likely ask you to take a breath test to determine your blood alcohol content, or BAC. Knowing whether you ought to submit to this test can make a substantial difference in your case.
On the one hand, Implied Consent laws mean that any refusal to submit to a breath or blood test will result in an automatic year-long suspension of your license if it is your first such refusal. You must weigh this information against the much worse penalties of an OVI conviction: up to 6 months in jail, $1,000 in fines and up to a 3-year suspension of your license just for your first conviction.
Is an OVI a Felony in Ohio?
In Ohio, an OVI (operating while intoxicated) is a first-degree misdemeanor charge for a first-time arrest. However, an OVI can become a felony in certain circumstances:
- If a person is convicted of a fourth or subsequent OVI offense within ten years, it is considered a felony.
- If you are convicted of six DUI / OVI criminal charges in 20 years, the offense is classified as a felony.
- The current OVI / DUI offense would be the fourth or fifth within six years or the sixth year of DUI within 20 years.
- The OVI resulted in the death or serious bodily injury to another person or property damage resulting from the offense.
- Penalties for a felony DUI can include years in prison.
There are pros and cons to submitting to a breath test. When you refuse to provide a breath sample, this can lengthen your initial driver’s license suspension and it can be used in a future case within six years to extend your initial driver’s license suspension.
Furthermore, prosecutors can try to use your refusal as tacit admission of guilt on your part. It is also a misdemeanor offense to refuse if you have a commercial driver’s license.
However, providing a sample can give police the evidence they are looking for to arrest you for OVI. While your driver’s license will not be suspended as long if you are convicted, blowing a 0.08 will lead to your arrest, and if your BAC is significantly higher, it could lead to worse penalties.
An Akron OVI defense attorney can always challenge the results of a breath test in court since these devices are not perfect and need to be properly calibrated and maintained.
In the end, it largely depends on your case whether you should take a breath test. If you have been drinking and feel you may blow a 0.08 or more, a refusal may be in order. Keep in mind that police can arrest you without a breath sample for simply driving erratically on suspicion of drunk driving.
The best choice you can make after getting arrested is to call a Akron OVI attorney. A legal representative can help you protect your license at the mandatory BMV hearing (within 30 days of your arrest), and can continue to represent you throughout the duration of a case. Because I have more than a decade of experience in criminal defense law, I, Attorney Thomarios, am equipped to advocate on your behalf.
Depending on your individual circumstances, I can fight breathalyzer evidence, challenge the validity of your arrest, or take a host of other avenues to develop an airtight defense for your case. My goal in every case is to protect my clients’ rights and help them secure a positive outcome to their case. Whether this means seeing your charges minimized or fully dismissed, you can trust that if we work together I will do whatever I can to defend your freedom.
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