Thousands of Franklin County, Ohio residents are living under a legal cloud from an outstanding warrant. Most of these are for non-violent charges, including operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (known as “OVI”). Having unresolved Franklin County OVI warrants can subject you to serious consequences. But by working with a criminal defense attorney, you may be able to clear your warrants and get on with your life.
The criminal defense attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP can help resolve your old Franklin County OVI warrants. With years of experience defending clients charged with OVI, we understand that many clients with outstanding warrants didn’t intend to miss their court dates but now may be hesitant to come forward for fear of the penalties. Let us help you clear your outstanding legal matters so that you can live fully and freely without worry about an old OVI. Our Columbus OVI lawyers have years of experience with eliminating old warrants and getting OVI charges reduced or dismissed. Contact us today at (614) 500-3836 for a free consultation in our Dublin office.
Identifying if You have a Warrant
To address your legal situation, you must first know where you stand by checking if you have any outstanding warrants. Identifying if you have a warrant can be accomplished in a few ways.
Many jurisdictions have online search engines that will check vast databases for any outstanding warrants under your name. For example, Franklin County Municipal records can be checked here, and Franklin County Common Pleas Court here. Remember that the records of your arrest and warrant could also reside with local jurisdictions within Franklin County.
If you know you lived, worked, or were ticketed or arrested in any other Ohio county, you can look online for a resource that can be searched or you can call the court clerk or sheriff’s office and ask about outstanding warrants.
Another option is to work with our criminal defense attorneys who can help you identify any outstanding warrants. Once we know the extent of your legal jeopardy, we can start working to settle the matters so you can be free of the worry and stress outstanding OVI warrants can cause.
Penalties for Outstanding Warrants
Failing to appear for a court date could subject you to serious penalties. If you fail to appear for your misdemeanor OVI charge, the court will likely issue a bench warrant for your arrest. Because law enforcement prioritizes felony arrests, you may not be actively pursued. But a minor traffic stop could lead to your arrest. You will be jailed and have to post bond if you are eligible for it. You may also face hefty court fines and a mandatory jail sentence for your failure to appear.
Beyond the risk of arrest and public embarrassment, having a warrant out for your arrest potentially effects other areas of your life, such as employment and housing. Many employers run background checks prior to hiring and your outstanding warrant could keep you from getting a job. The same is true for rental properties. A background check that reveals an old OVI warrant may result in a denial of your application to lease.
Keep in mind as well that although your case hasn’t be adjudicated on the OVI, an OVI arrest usually comes with an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) of some kind. If you have not appeared on your OVI case, your driver’s license is likely already under suspension, which can cause you additional hardship.
Even moving to another state will typically not lift the warrant cloud over you because a background or driver’s license check will result in the OVI warrant being revealed.
Options for Dealing with Old OVI Warrants
There are options for dealing with an old OVI warrant. The least favorable is to do nothing and end up being arrested on a routine traffic stop. You also have the ability to “self-surrender” but should only do so after getting advice from counsel.
By being proactive and working with one of our Columbus criminal defense attorneys, you can lessen the hardship of resolving your outstanding Franklin County warrants. Our team can work to settle the matter with the court. Some alternatives we may suggest include motions to the court to withdraw the warrant, to reduce your bond, or for favorable terms of release. Once the warrant is dealt with, we can then work on resolving the underlying OVI charge.
Got an Old OVI Warrant? We Can Help.
Often those with warrants for failure to appear didn’t have an intention not to show for court. Perhaps you came to court several times, but the case kept being continued. Or maybe you moved and didn’t receive the proper notices. Whatever the circumstances, failing to clear up old OVI warrants is not a viable option. They will catch up with you in some manner causing even more trouble. Contact Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP at (614) 500-3836 today for a free consultation on the options possible to clear your OVI warrant.