Losing your driver’s license can affect your everyday life in a variety of ways. It can make it difficult to get to work or school and can even make it hard to take care of your family. Unfortunately, Ohio has stiff license suspension laws in place that kick in after a drunk driving arrest. If police stop you and charge you with operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI), you will face an administrative license suspension. You may receive additional suspension time if the court convicts you of OVI.
A suspended license defense lawyer in Cincinnati from The Law Offices of Steven R. Adams, LLC can help you fight losing your driving privileges, or walk you through the process of applying for a hardship license. Call our office today at 513-929-9333 to learn more.
The Administrative License Suspension and Hearing
If you test above the legal limit or refuse to submit to a breath or blood test, the police will confiscate your license onsite. This begins the administrative license suspension period. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) oversees this suspension, which could last from 90 days to five years.
The only way to avoid this administrative license suspension is to act quickly and request an appeal hearing. You have 30 days to request this hearing. If you get us involved early enough, we might be able to help you regain your driving privileges during this hearing. This is especially true if we can show there is no reasonable grounds for your arrest.
If we cannot get the administrative license suspension dropped in your hearing, we may be able to help you request limited driving privileges (LDPs) so you can continue to work and/or go to school. However, Ohio law requires those convicted of a drunk driving offense to serve “hard time” with no driving privileges before issuing a permit for LDPs.
Applying for Limited Driving Privileges
When you need to drive to keep your job, attend school, or take your kids to school, the prospect of losing your license for a year or more means worrying about how it will affect every aspect of your life. We understand how stressful this is, and how important it is for your family that you retain your driving privileges.
Ohio law requires everyone convicted of a drunk driving charge to serve their suspension for a limited period of time. Known as hard time, the length of this period depends on your history and the facts of your case. For this reason — and because of the issues the conviction can cause otherwise — we always want to help you avoid this hard suspension when possible.
The hard time you face may include:
- 15 days for a first OVI or 30 days for a first refusal to submit to testing
- 45 days for a second OVI or 90 days for refusing to submit to testing
- 180 days for a third OVI or one year for refusing to submit to testing
When a conviction does occur, however, we may be able to help you regain LDPs after you serve the hard time of your suspension. LDPs allow you to drive for specific purposes, despite the suspension. These may include:
- To and from work
- Other necessary driving for work
- Back and forth to school
- Medical appointments
- Other limited circumstances
Fighting the Criminal Case Against You
In addition to an administrative license suspension, most people convicted of an OVI or other drunk driving offense also receive suspensions as a part of their sentence. Ohio laws require mandatory license suspensions for any OVI conviction. How long this suspension lasts depends on a few factors. Most importantly, this includes your history of other drunk driving offenses. The look-back period for this increased to ten years in 2017.
The license suspension you face for an OVI conviction will include:
- Between one and three years for your first offense
- Between one and seven years for a second offense
- Between two and twelve years for a third offense
- A fourth conviction or other felony drunk driving could lead to a lifetime suspension of your driving privileges under Ohio law
Unlike the administrative license suspension, you will only face this additional loss of your driving privileges if you receive a conviction for drunk driving. Because Ohio law sets a minimum suspension period as a part of mandatory sentencing, the best way to avoid this is to avoid the conviction.
We may be able to help you fight the charges against you, allowing you to avoid this penalty by:
- Convincing prosecutors to drop the charges against you
- Getting the charges reduced by making a plea deal for a lesser offense that does not call for a mandatory suspension
- Representing you in court and convincing the judge or jury you are not guilty
Even if the court already convicted you of an OVI offense, we may be able to review your case and find grounds for an appeal. If we can convince the appellate court to overturn your verdict, you may avoid the mandatory license suspension.
Talk to a Suspended License Defense Lawyer in Cincinnati, OH
Cincinnati suspended license defense lawyer Steven R. Adams and the entire team from The Law Offices of Steven R. Adams, LLC can help you fight to keep your driving privileges after an OVI arrest. We understand the high level of evidence the prosecution needs to win a conviction in these cases, and the most common ways that improper or inaccurate traffic stops, standardized field sobriety tests, non-standardized field sobriety tests, breath, blood, and urine tests can cost people their driver’s license.
We will walk with you through the entire process from your administrative license suspension hearing through trial court. Call us today at 513-929-9333.