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Understanding the consequences of an OVI conviction

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2022 | blog, criminal defense

Ohio laws pose severe consequences for anyone operating a vehicle while impaired. The law does not discriminate between motorized and motorless vehicles, leaving drivers, cyclists and others vulnerable to criminal charges.

Unfortunately, anyone with an Ohio OVI conviction must live with its consequences because the state does not permit expungement.

What are the immediate consequences of an OVI conviction?

In Ohio, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher or impairment from illegal or prescription drugs. Penalties for a first offense with conviction, include:

  • Monetary fines
  • A minimum mandatory 72-hour jail sentence that can stretch to six months
  • A driver’s license suspension for up to three years
  • Mandatory participation in a court-ordered driver safety and substance abuse program
  • Community service

Unfortunately, the repercussions of an Ohio OVI conviction extend beyond its immediate aftermath.

How can an OVI conviction impact your life?

An OVI conviction can complicate offenders’ lives long after they complete their sentences. For example, it may negatively impact a college application, financial aid, scholarship eligibility, military service and job prospects when potential employers discover it through background checks. Some offenders face the temporary or permanent suspension of their professional license, potentially curtailing their careers.

OVI convictions also complicate pending legal matters, including divorce. For example, judges often determine that convictions indicate parents’ inability to promote their children’s best interests and may waive their custody rights.

Finally, an OVI conviction makes it challenging to acquire insurance. For example, auto insurers who label OVI offenders as high-risk, impose cost-prohibitive premiums or drop their coverage. Life or health insurance carriers also increase premiums for OVI offenders renewing their policies.

Ohio prohibits the expungement of all traffic violations, including OVI offenses, from someone’s record and successful appeals are rare.

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