Is A DUI A Felony?

Published On: April 27, 2022Categories: DUI, DUI Lawyer

Every year tens of thousands of Ohioans face DUI/OVI charges and convictions as a result of driving under the influence. While most DUI/OVI offenses are considered misdemeanors, there are other factors that can elevate a DUI charge to a felony where the driver can face harsher penalties. In these cases, it’s vital that the driver is represented by a qualified DUI attorney

How Are DUI Offenses Classified?

According to Ohio law, it is unlawful for any person to operate or attempt to drive a motorized vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, intoxicants, or any combination thereof with a blood alcohol concentration level of .08% or greater. Failing to comply with these Ohio standards could have you facing misdemeanor charges or worse, felony charges. 

Misdemeanor DUI

In Ohio, a DUI charge presumes that the person’s ability to drive was impaired by the use of alcohol or drugs. A first-time conviction of the charge can result in a fine of $375 to $1,075, 3 days to 6 months in jail, and a license suspension of 6 months to 3 years. If you are arrested for a fourth DUI you will be charged with a felony. 

Felony DUI

Different circumstances can upgrade a DUI/OVI charge from a misdemeanor to a felony, such as multiple DUI convictions, DUI causing injury or death, and previous DUI felony convictions.

Prior DUI Convictions

In Ohio, a DUI/OVI offense can be charged as a felony if you are convicted of four DUI/OVI offenses in six years or six DUI/OVI offenses in 20 years. In these scenarios, you will be charged with a felony because you are considered a repeat offender. 

DUI Causing Injury/Death

If you have been driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and caused an accident that results in another party facing injury or death, you will be charged with a felony. Under Ohio law, these incidents would be considered aggravated vehicular assault or aggravated vehicular homicide. An aggravated vehicular assault conviction can carry penalties up to $10,000 in fines and up to five years in prison. As a more serious DUI/OVI offense, an aggravated vehicular homicide conviction results in mandatory imprisonment. 

Previous Felony DUI Convictions

Once you’ve been convicted of a felony DUI/OVI, any additional DUI/OVI offense will be treated as a felony. Regardless of the circumstances pertaining to the newest DUI/OVI offense, the prior felony DUI automatically upgrades the current offense to a felony. Be sure to contact a DUI attorney to represent you in serious cases such as this. 

What To Do If You’ve Been Charged With A DUI?

A DUI/OVI felony conviction is a life-altering event, and only a qualified and experienced DUI attorney can ensure the best defense and best possible outcome for you and your family. A DUI attorney will make sure that your rights are protected and that you are provided with the best possible defense. 

A qualified DUI attorney will examine all of the prosecutor’s evidence including all police reports, police officer and police car video recordings, police station video recordings, witness statements, and field sobriety and chemical test results. All of this evidence will be examined for accuracy and any testing will be scrutinized to determine if they were properly administered. 

Additionally, an experienced DUI attorney will know how to negotiate with the local prosecutor on your behalf. Only a competent DUI attorney can protect your rights and navigate the legal system for you.

Schedule A Consultation With a DUI Attorney

Over the past 10 years, The Martinez Firm has a proven record of successfully representing clients facing DUI/OVI charges. We understand that people make mistakes and we will work to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Call an experienced DUI attorney at 216-875-5555 or contact us on our website

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