After your first DUI in Ohio, your attorney likely took extra care to impose on you the importance of avoiding a second offense. However, mistakes happen, DUI tests are still flawed, and second DUI charges are more common than you think.
While your first DUI/OVI was likely a difficult experience, the penalties for a second DUI conviction are a lot greater.
If you find yourself at risk of a second DUI in Columbus, Ohio or the surrounding areas, you need legal help from an experienced defense attorney. Call a Columbus DUI lawyer today by contacting Luftman, Heck & Associates at (614) 500-3836 or reach out online.
We’re available 24/7 and offer free initial consults. We’ll explain your options and point you in the right direction.
Here are Five Things to Know About Getting a 2nd DUI in Ohio
1. You Face Increased Penalties
The penalties for a second DUI are much stiffer than those for first-time offenders. You will spend at least 10 days in jail and maybe up to one year, depending on the circumstances. If the jail is too crowded, you may spend five to 10 days in custody and up to 36 days of home monitoring.
Financially, second DUI is also much worse. Your fine will be between $525 and $1,625. Your license will be suspended for at least one year, and you won’t be eligible for limited driving privileges for at least 45 days. The court may also order you to complete drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment.
2. Your Options Change
When you get arrested for a second OVI, your options regarding diversion and treatment programs also change drastically. The prosecutor is likely to be a bit aggressive in building a case against you, as repeatedly driving under the influence is widely looked down upon and prosecutors prefer to convict repeat offenders.
However, if you work with a DUI lawyer early, you may be able to get your fees and other penalties reduced.
3. Get to Know the Court Process
Review the DUI court process so you know what to expect. You will first be arraigned, during which you will plead not guilty and your attorney will start gathering evidence. During pre-trial, your attorney will draw attention to holes in the case and use them to negotiate with the prosecutor for reduced charges.
If you move to suppress evidence, it will lead to a hearing. During the hearing, the prosecutor must demonstrate why the evidence in question should be included. Afterward a trial in scheduled, where the prosecutor makes their case and your attorney argues in your defense.
4. You Will Need to Pay Court Fees
On top of the potential fine you may have to pay for a second DUI in Ohio, you will need to pay court fees. These fees are set by each county, so the location you were arrested is important.
The fees also add up quickly. In Franklin County, for example, there’s a $31 processing fee per case and a $10 computerization fee per case. A misdemeanor conviction requires a $20 Indigent Defense Support Fund fee, which increases to $30 for a felony. If you have a jury trial, there is a $20 fee per juror per day served. There are many more of these, and they can seriously affect the financial implications of your case.
5. You Definitely Need an Attorney
You always need an attorney for a DUI, but for a second DUI, it is non-negotiable. Any leeway you got the first time is gone, as the court will now look at you as someone who had a chance to learn their lesson but did not. The best odds at minimizing the financial damage and other consequences is to hire an experienced DUI attorney in Ohio.
At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we will look for weak areas in the case, argue for evidence to be excluded, and explore other DUI defense options. Without an LHA attorney, you risk having the book thrown at you by the judge.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, don’t wait to speak with an attorney. Call Luftman, Heck & Associates at (614) 500-3836 or get in touch online. Initial consultations are free and you’ll get the answers you need.