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Ohio law provides steep penalties for those arrested for and charged with driving under the influence (or operating a vehicle while impaired as the crime is known in Ohio) while in possession of a firearm, even if the person has a concealed carry permit. Although Ohio law does permit those with a permit to carry a concealed firearm, it does not permit someone to carry the firearm in a vehicle the person is operating with a blood alcohol content level, or BAC, over Ohio’s legal limit. In addition to the DUI offense itself, Ohio laws permits prosecutors to charge someone who is carrying a firearm and is pulled over for a DUI with additional offenses which carry serious criminal punishments.
Therefore, it is extremely important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney with experience defending those who have been arrested and/or charged with criminal offenses related to not only DUI’s but criminal offenses related to the possession of a firearm like the Columbus criminal defense attorneys of Luftman, Heck & Associates. If you find yourself in this unfortunate position, you should immediately contact us at to discuss your legal situation.
There is not a separate criminal offense under Ohio law for being arrested for a DUI if you have a concealed weapons permit, but you would be prosecuted under Ohio’s general laws regarding DUI offenses and you happened to also have a concealed carry license. However, as is discussed in greater detail below, you can be subjected to additional charges which can carry substantial penalties in addition to just the DUI charge if you have your firearm in your car or on your person when you were arrested for the DUI offense.
According to Ohio law, being pulled over for a DUI while in possession of a firearm can substantially increase both the offense someone can be charged with as well as the potential punishment for the offense. It can also result in additional criminal charges aside from just a DUI. For example, under Ohio law, you cannot legally carry or use a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or any drug. Therefore, if you are arrested and charged with a DUI and a firearm is in your possession, you can also be convicted of the separate offense of using a weapon while intoxicated under Section 2923.12 of the Ohio Revised Code. This is a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries with it the possibility of up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. You can be charged with this offense regardless of whether you have a concealed weapons permit or not, as this offense relates solely to being in possession of a firearm while intoxicated, and your concealed weapons permit does not trump your obligation under this statute not to possess a firearm while intoxicated.
Under Section 2923.16 of the Ohio Revised Code, you can also be charged with the separate offense of improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle if you knowingly transport or have a loaded gun in the car at the time you are under the influence of alcohol, drugs or if your BAC is over Ohio’s legal limit of 0.08. This offense can qualify as a fourth or fifth-degree felony, the penalties for which can range from six months-18 months in prison and up to a $5,000 fine depending upon which subsection of 2923.16 you are charged under.
If you have been arrested or charged with a DUI in Columbus, Ohio, you should contact the skilled Columbus criminal defense attorneys of Luftman, Heck & Associates at . This is true regardless of whether you have a concealed weapons license and there was a firearm in the car when you were pulled over. At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we have represented many Columbus residents in criminal proceedings relating to DUI offenses, including where our client was in possession of a firearm when they were pulled over.
With the help of an experienced, competent Columbus DUI defense attorney, you can be assured of understanding all of your legal rights and options and know that your rights will be protected. The criminal defense team at Luftman, Heck & Associates protects rights of people charged with an OVI / DUI on a daily basis and would be honored to do so for you. To contact us, either call or email firstname.lastname@example.org.