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In Ohio, multiple operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) charges are considered more harshly by the state. If you have been arrested and charged with either of the following two types of DUI offenses in Ohio, the OVI charge is considered to be a fourth degree felony:
OVI offenses are counted six (6) years from the date of your most recent previous OVI conviction. As you might expect, the initial BMV penalties as well as the penalties upon conviction are much harsher than for a first OVI, a second DUI, or a third offense OVI. We suggest speaking to a Columbus OVI lawyer about your case as soon as possible to mitigate the maximum penalties you face.
Did the vehicle you were driving belong to you? If it does, it has been impounded. You will not be able to get it out of impound without an entry signed by a judge. Unless there is an administrative error with the BMV Form 2255, you will be required to relocate and immobilize your vehicle once it is out of impound. Since your driving privileges will be suspended, you will have to pay for a towing company to move your vehicle from the impound lot to your home. A law enforcement officer will come out and put a club on your car, preventing you or anyone else from moving it. One thing to note if you live in an apartment complex – clubbed cars are typically prohibited.
If you are convicted of a fourth DUI within six (6) years and the vehicle you were driving at the time of the offense is titled to you (making you the owner of the vehicle), you may be required by the court to forfeit your vehicle to the state.
A judge may also elect to grant you limited driving privileges, and under these limitations you can drive to work, school, and medical appointments. However, you are ineligible for limited driving privileges until three (3) years from the date of the fourth OVI offense.
The mandatory minimum penalties for fourth OVI offenses are significant, as they are also fourth degree felony charges. You will be sentenced to 60-120 consecutive days of jail time but possibly up to one year in jail if convicted. Alternatively, you may be sentenced to 60-120 days in prison with an optional additional six (6) to 30 months.
Additional penalties include a mandatory minimum $1,350 fine. Your license will be suspended a minimum of three (3) years and up to life, depending on the circumstances of your offense. If you are granted driving privileges during your judicially mandated driver’s license suspension, you will be required to have an interlock breath device installed in your car and restricted license plates as well. These restricted license plates are more colloquially known as “party plates.” Lastly, you will be required to get a drug and alcohol assessment and complete any recommended treatment.
If you’ve been charged with a OVI / DUI, it’s important to know what you’re up against. If you have any questions left unanswered by this page, or if you need a competent, experienced Columbus DUI attorney to fight for you in court, please contact us at or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.