An OVI conviction in Ohio results in harsh penalties. For example, a first offense is a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum jail sentence of up to six months, up to five years of probation, a fine no more than $1,075, and license suspension for up to three years.
However, it is possible that you could serve more severe penalties or even be charged with a felony charge. There are several types of sentence enhancements that can lead to aggravated OV charges.
The following are the most common aggravating factors in an Ohio OVI:
- High BAC – If your blood alcohol content (BAC) was at or above a .17, you could be charged with a “high tier” OVI—in addition to a “per se” or “low test” OVI. A conviction can result in a mandatory minimum jail sentence, as well as increased fines and license suspension.
- Previous OVI conviction – A second OVI within a six-year period will also lead to higher penalties, including mandatory punishment. A third OVI within six years is punishable by a maximum one-year jail term and a fourth conviction is considered a felony offense, which means a potential prison sentence.
- Child endangerment – You are not allowed to operate a vehicle under the influence with a child under 18 years of age as a passenger. In Ohio, you could be charged with both OVI and child endangerment, which is a first-degree misdemeanor that carries a maximum 180-day jail sentence. If the child suffered a serious injury, then the crime is a fifth-degree felony.
- Aggravated vehicular assault – If you cause serious injury to another person while drunk driving, you could be charged with aggravated vehicular assault. Although this crime is typically a third-degree felony, it can be charged as a second-degree felony if you were driving with a suspended license at the time of the crash, you had a previous conviction for aggravated vehicular assault, or other aggravating factors.
- Aggravated vehicle homicide – If you accidentally kill another person while drunk driving, you could be charged with aggravated vehicular manslaughter. This crime can be charged as a first-degree or second-degree felony.
If you have been arrested for an aggravated OVI in Union County, contact Bridges, Jillisky, Streng, Weller & Gullifer, LLC today and request a free case evaluation.