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Will a first-time Ohio OVI cost someone their license?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2023 | Drunk Driving

It is only natural for those who are under arrest for an operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI) offense in Ohio to worry about what will happen as a result of their circumstances. People often spend the entire time waiting for their arraignment stressing themselves out about the future.

Some people fixate on the possibility of going to jail after an OVI conviction. Others worry specifically about how an impaired driving infraction could potentially affect their driving privileges. Losing a driver’s license can lead to major expenses and prevent someone from doing their job. It is standard practice for Ohio judges to issue a license suspension as one of the penalties for a driver who pleads guilty to an OVI or is convicted in a criminal trial.

It can take years to get back on the road

Although first-time OVI offenders face the most lenient penalties, they can still lose their license for long enough to put their jobs and close relationships at risk. The mandatory license suspension period in Ohio is actually longer than in many other states, especially for a first offense, although the exact length of the suspension is often up to the judge hearing the case.

Drivers who do not have another OVI on their record from within the last 10 years may lose their license for between one and three years after an OVI conviction. Those who have a prior offense on their record could potentially lose their license for up to seven years. Those with two prior OVIs will lose driving privileges for between two and 12 years. The maximum penalty for those facing felony OVI charges could be a lifetime loss of driving privileges.

A criminal defense also protects someone’s license

Defending against OVI charges won’t simply protect someone from a criminal record and the possibility of jail and fines. A successful OVI defense will also eliminate the long-term licensing consequences someone would have faced, even if they have already served a short-term administrative license suspension after failing or refusing a chemical breath test.

Seeking legal guidance in order to preserve one’s driving privileges could be a strong step toward successfully fighting back against OVI charges in Ohio.