A driver’s license suspension is one of the most dreaded penalties under Ohio law, short of going to jail for an extended time. Losing your driving privileges makes it more difficult to go to work or school every day and could even cause you to lose your job. Ohio’s strict drunk driving laws call for an automatic administrative license suspension if police arrest you for operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI). A conviction for this offense will mean spending more time without your license.
A suspended license defense lawyer in West Chester, OH at The Law Offices of Steven R. Adams, LLC is here to help you fight an administrative or criminal suspension of your driver’s license. We can also work with you to apply for limited driving privileges that allow you to get back behind the wheel sooner.
Call our office today at 513-929-9333 to learn more.
Understanding the Administrative License Suspension and Hearing
When police stop you on suspicion of drinking and driving in West Chester, they also have the authority to take your driver’s license as a part of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ administrative license suspension that begins when someone gets arrested for an OVI or related charge.
You May Be Able to Keep Your License
The only way you can face an OVI or other drunk driving charge and keep your driving privileges is to request an appeal hearing and have the judge throw out the suspension during this hearing. You need to act quickly, however. You only have 30 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing.
We can represent you during this hearing, arguing there is no merit to the charges against you. Even if we lose our appeal, this gives us a good opportunity to get a sneak peek at the evidence and the strength of the case against you.
Understanding Your Criminal Charges and Possible Penalties
In addition to the administrative license suspension associated with an OVI arrest, you may face additional suspensions if convicted.
Penalties for an OVI or Other Drunk Driving Conviction
Ohio laws include mandatory driver’s license suspensions for all OVI and related drunk driving convictions. This suspension may be significantly longer than the administrative suspension. Those who have repeated offenses on their record could lose their license for several years, or for the rest of their life. The look-back period is 10 years, so only those convictions can be considered as aggravating factors to enhance the penalties you face.
How long you lose your license after a DUI conviction depends on whether you have any prior offenses:
- First offense: One to three years
- Second offense: One to seven years
- Third offense: Two to 12 years
- Fourth offense: Three years to life
Putting the Right Defense Strategy in Place for Your Case
The best way to avoid an extended time without your driver’s license is to avoid a conviction. Unlike the administrative suspension, you will not receive the criminal penalty unless you plead guilty or the jury finds you guilty at trial. We will help you fight the OVI charges, focusing on a strategy that allows you to regain your driving privileges sooner.
Some of the most common ways we approach a West Chester OVI case include:
- Arguing for prosecutors to drop the charges against you due to lack of evidence
- Negotiating a plea deal for a lesser charge that does not include a mandatory license suspension
- Taking your case to trial and convincing the jury you are not guilty
You May Be Eligible for Limited Driving Privileges If Convicted
You may be able to apply for and get limited driving privileges that would allow you to continue to work and attend school, despite your suspension. Unfortunately, though, if you face a drunk driving conviction, Ohio law requires you to serve at least some of your suspension without the option of limited driving privileges.
Known as hard time, this period can last less than a month or up to one year. The hard time in your case will depend on the current offense and whether you have any priors. Hard time generally includes:
- 15 days for a first OVI conviction
- 45 days for a second OVI conviction
- 180 days for a third OVI conviction
The hard time increases if you refuse to submit to testing. This includes:
- 30 days for a first refusal to submit to testing
- 90 days for a second refusal to submit to testing
- One year for third refusal to submit to testing
We will fight to prevent you from facing the consequences of an Ohio OVI conviction. However, if you do receive a criminal license suspension, we can walk you through the steps to apply for limited driving privileges as soon as your hard time is over.
Discuss Your Case with a Suspended License Defense Lawyer in West Chester, OH
West Chester, Ohio criminal defense lawyer Steven R. Adams will fight for your driving privileges, working to overturn an administrative suspension and defending you in criminal court after an OVI arrest.
Are You Looking for a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Cincinnati, OH?
If you are facing criminal charges, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Cincinnati office directly at 513-929-9333 to schedule your free consultation.