Facing 3rd DUI charges in Cleveland?

As with most other states, if you get caught for DUI or OVI in Ohio more than once, each time the penalties are harsher. A third conviction comes with very stiff mandatory penalties. If you were just charged with your third OVI offense, you should learn more about your situation, including the minimum and maximum sentences. And, you should always hire an attorney for a 3rd DUI in Ohio because of the possible stiff penalties.

Ohio 3rd DUI or OVI Laws

If the police stop you and find that you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more, or if your urine tests at a 0.110 concentration, they will charge you with a DUI or OVI. Additionally, if the police find a certain concentration of PCP, LSD, cocaine, amphetamines, heroin, marijuana, or methamphetamine in your blood, they will arrest you and charge you with drug OVI.

The police could charge you with impaired OVI and per se OVI at the same time. Your third offense happens if you were convicted or if you pled guilty to OVI twice before in the previous 10 years. Additionally, if you refused chemical testing, it shows up as a prior DUI or OVI.

Ohio calculates the 10-year period in which different instances of DUI are counted from the date of your first conviction or chemical test refusal charge. Finally, you forfeit the vehicle you were driving if it belongs to you.

Ohio 3rd DUI or OVI Penalties

If you are convicted or plead guilty to a third OVI within 10 years, the jail time is a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of a year. If you test 0.170 or higher, or you refuse a chemical test, the minimum jail time is 60 days.

Additionally, the state suspends your drivers’ license for at least two years, though it can suspend your license for up to 12 years. Finally, you also face a minimum fine of $850. The state can charge you up to $2,750 for Ohio 3rd DUI.

The court could also order you to be on probation and use a SCRAM device. You must also attend mandatory substance abuse counseling, use yellow license plates, and use an ignition interlock device. However, you won’t be able to use the plates on your vehicle since you forfeit it upon a 3rd DUI in Ohio.

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Lookback Period for Ohio DUIs and OVIs

Annie’s Law extended the amount of “lookback” time – the length of time a previous OVI conviction used. Before the enactment of Annie’s Law, the lookback period was six years. Annie’s Law extended it an additional 4 years to 10!

In other words, any prior conviction or guilty plea – or chemical test refusal – during the past 10 years is counted against you. If you have just one, your current one is your 2nd OVI. If you had two convictions, pleas, or refusals, then this would be your third DUI.

Reinstatement of Driving Privileges after a 3rd DUI or OVI

If the state suspended your license because you were arrested for OVI and your drug test is positive for drugs or alcohol and is over the legal limit, you must pay a fee to reinstate your license. Additionally, you must provide proof of insurance. Five days after your arrest you have the ability to appeal the administrative suspension. The window of time for also appealing the suspension lasts for 30 days after your arrest. The process would be the same if your license were administratively suspended for refusing a chemical test. You can also get an OVI suspension if you are convicted of driving under the influence. The process to reinstate your license is the same as the administrative suspension. Additionally, if you were convicted of physical control while under the influence, the state can revoke your license. The reinstatement process is the same. If the state convicts you of a 4th OVI felony, the process is also the same. According to Ohio’s public safety website, the reinstatement fee is $475.

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Contact a 3rd DUI Ohio Attorney

If you have been arrested for a third or subsequent OVI, contact an OVI attorney as soon as possible – prior to your first hearing. The consequences are severe and will affect your life. You could lose your job because of the mandatory jail time, and if you are convicted a third time and catch another DUI charge, you will be charged with a felony.

An Ohio OVI lawyer will make sure the State does not violate your rights. Additionally, if you tested positive because of reasons other than drinking and driving – some prescription medications could cause you to test positive – your attorney will investigate your case and mount an appropriate defense for you.

In other cases, your attorney might be able to make a deal with the prosecutor prior to a court hearing or after the initial hearing should you plead not guilty.

Our Cleveland OVI and DUI Lawyer Has the Answers You Need

Having an OVI or DUI on your record can cause your life to be negatively impacted in several ways. A conviction of a DUI or OVI can impact your freedom as well as your finances, through incarceration, required probation, and court fines and fees. It can also make it difficult for you to find a job, as potential employers also have access to criminal background checks.

Contact us for a free case evaluation today.

Cleveland, Ohio 3rd DUI or OVI Attorney Near You

Facing OVI or DUI charges for a 3rd offense? Worried about what the criminal process will look like? If you are unsure of what to do next and need help navigating Ohio’s OVI and DUI laws, contact The Botnick Law Firm today for a free case evaluation. Your future is at stake. Call us now to get the help you deserve. An experienced Cleveland OVI and DUI  lawyer can help get you through this.

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Process step-by-step

  • 01.
    Initial Arrest

    01. Initial Arrest

    The process to charge someone that’s been accused of a crime begins with an arrest. If the police have reason to believe that someone has committed a crime, the accused can be taken into custody. Police will usually start by asking basic questions like name and address to identify a person, and then they’ll often pivot to more specific questions related to the incident. At some point during this, you should have been read your “Miranda warnings.”

  • 02.
    Reading Your Rights

    02. Reading Your Rights

    You have the right to remain silent to avoid disclosing evidence that could potentially be self-incriminating, as well as the right to an attorney to defend you in court. Those are your unwavering rights that must be recited upon taking someone into custody. Take note of when these rights are read to you, as it could be helpful information for your attorney.

  • 03.

    03. Booking

    When you’ve been taken down to the station, police will fingerprint you and get your photograph to update their records. Once this is done, you should be granted the opportunity to contact your criminal defense lawyer. If you don’t have a lawyer, get a loved one to book a consultation with a lawyer on your behalf. It’s important that you do NOT disclose any details about your case over the phone with your loved ones, as those calls are monitored.

  • 04.

    04. Investigation

    After you’ve made it through the booking process, the police may begin conducting their investigation with you. Depending on the situation, this might include a personal search, collecting samples, interviewing/interrogating, police lineups, etc.

  • 05.
    Court Appearance

    05. Court Appearance

    You’ll be held at the station until you can be brought before a judge. The initial court appearance will happen within 48 hours or less of the arrest. Here, the judge will review the case and decide if there’s any reason to keep you in holding or if bail can be granted. If bail is granted, you’re allowed to be released upon certain conditions.

  • 06.

    06. Hearing

    Depending on the seriousness of your allegations, you may have a preliminary hearing at which a judge can determine whether enough evidence exists to charge you with that level of crime. You’ll be able to plead “guilty” or “not guilty.” If you plead not guilty, your case will be sent to trial. You may get the opportunity to enter a plea deal. That’s something your attorney will advise you on.

  • 07.

    07. Discovery

    In the discovery stage, the case against you is made much more transparent. The prosecutor will share the evidence they have against you with your defense attorney. During this time, your attorney can make additional requests for evidence if need be. All of the evidence on the table will be considered, and your lawyer will work with you to form the best plan for your defense.

  • 08.

    08. Trial

    If a plea deal is unable to be reached, the case will enter trial. During the trial, the prosecutor begins by presenting the case to the jury. They share any evidence they have against you and have witnesses make their statements for the prosecution. This can be tough to sit through. Afterward, it’s your lawyer’s turn to take the stands and share your side of the story. Your lawyer can question the prosecutor’s witnesses and all of the evidence that was used against you. There are many different strategies that your lawyer will use to defend you during the trial.

  • 09.

    09. Sentencing

    In a best-case scenario, you will have been found not guilty by the end of the trial, and the charges against you have been dropped. If you are found guilty, the judge must determine what your sentence/penalties will be. The sentencing will happen at another hearing, usually a few weeks after your trial ends.

Ohio Felony Sentencing

Prison TIme
Maximum Fine
First Degree
3-11 years
Second Degree
2-8 years
Third Degree
9-36 or 12-60 months
Fourth Degree
6-8 months
Fifth Degree
6-12 months

Ohio Misdemeanor Sentencing

Jail Time
Maximum Fine
First Degree
Up to 180 days
Second Degree
Up to 90 days
Third Degree
Up to 60 days
Fourth Degree
Up to 30 days
Minor Misdemeanor

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a third DUI a felony in Ohio?

A 3rd DUI in Ohio is usually charged as a misdemeanor. This is the case for both a low-tier or a high-tier DUI.

What is the penalty for 3rd DUI in Ohio?

Penalties for a 3rd DUI or OVI in Ohio can include:

  • Mandatory jail time
  • Fines
  • License suspension
  • Ignition interlock requirements
  • Restricted plates (aka “party plates”)
  • Probation

What is a super DUI in Ohio?

In Ohio, if you are charged with DUI/OVI and your BAC is above .17 then this would be considered a “super DUI”.

Ohio Courts System

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