Getting arrested for driving under the influence in Columbus, Ohio, impacts virtually every aspect of your life. You’ll need to deal with possible jail time, the loss of your license, considerable costs, and just when you think it’s over, your OVI could complicate your job or hurt your right to own a firearm.
Depending on the circumstances of your OVI charges, you could lose your right to possess a firearm. Avoiding a conviction from the start is the best way to protect your gun rights after an OVI.
Misdemeanor OVI in Ohio & Your Gun Rights
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor OVI with no complicating factors or additional charges, there’s good news. Your gun rights will likely be unaffected. Most first-time OVI arrests end up being misdemeanors. However, there’s more at stake if you have prior DUI’s or the charge is escalated to a felony.
Felony OVI & Ohio Gun Rights
In some circumstances, you may be charged with felony OVI. And under federal level, you cannot own a firearm or any ammunition once convicted of a felony. Some factors that make an OVI a felony include:
- Causing a severe injury or fatality
- Multiple prior OVIs
- Causing significant property damage
- Engaging in gross negligence
- Having an exceptionally high BAC level
Improper Transportation of Firearms
Things get complicated for gun owners if you’re pulled over and charged with an OVI with a gun in your vehicle.
Ohio takes a hard stance on this – under state law, you cannot have a loaded gun in the car if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When you’re facing both gun and OVI charges, you’re facing huge fines, incarceration, and a ban on owning any guns or ammunition.
This is true even if you take a blood or breath test and your BAC is below the legal limit. Being under the influence at all means that you cannot have a loaded firearm in your car.
Getting a CCW & Purchasing a Gun After an OVI
Perhaps you do not currently have a gun but would like to own one in the future. In that case, you may be worried about being able to purchase a gun or getting your CCW license with an OVI on your record.
Certain crimes in Ohio disqualify you from ever owning a gun. This includes domestic violence and all felonies.
As far as your CCW goes, it’s essential to review the attorney general’s CCW manual. To get a CCW, you must not be indicted for, charged with, or convicted of a felony. The same is true for any charge that involves drug trafficking, violence, or negligent assault. You cannot get a CCW license if you have been charged with falsifying a CCW license. Other disqualifying offenses include assaulting an officer and delinquent charges.
As you can see, getting an OVI does not automatically disqualify you from getting your concealed carry license. However, if your OVI involves felony charges, you could be banned from ever getting a CCW license or owning a firearm.
What gets most OVI offenders into trouble when purchasing a new firearm is making a gun application mistake. Even if the OVI was a misdemeanor and your penalty involved no jail time, you need to account for any crime for which the judge could have imprisoned you for more than one year, even if you received a shorter sentence, including probation.
Since many OVI charges have possible statutory penalties in Ohio, you’ll need to make sure you answer this question appropriately.
Luftman, Heck & Associates Can Help
Too often, people think they can beat the system or negotiate their terms. This happens a lot with Ohio OVI charges, but frequently people accept convictions without fully realizing how the consequences will impact them in the future. If your gun rights are important to you or if you’re pulled over with a firearm in your vehicle, it needs to be appropriately handled by an experienced defense attorney.
Let the team at LHA build a strategy and help protect your right to own a firearm. With our experience, we can explain your options, negotiate for a positive result, and help you move on the right way. For a free and confidential consultation, call Luftman, Heck & Associates at (614) 500-3836.