Facing a DUI charge in Cleveland can be overwhelming and confusing. You may be wondering…


A DUI charge can affect your job, finances, and ability to drive again. A Cleveland DUI lawyer can help you to get your life back on track.

Here’s what can happen if you’re charged with a DUI or OVI in Ohio:

  • You may lose your license
  • You can be forced to install a breathalyzer in your car
  • You can face up to $10,000 in fines
  • Jail time can be as much as five years
  • Potential employers can check your criminal record
  • Universities can check your criminal record
  • Your friendships and romantic relationships may be challenged

If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence in Ohio, you have the right to defend yourself. An experienced Cleveland DUI lawyer can negotiate with prosecutors and fiercely advocate for you. Attorney Robert Botnick has been practicing for almost two decades and was a former prosecutor for seven years. He’s been on both sides of trial advocacy while serving clients and knows exactly what to do to get your DUI charge in criminal defense cases dropped.

Schedule a consultation today to start working on your winning case with the proper legal representation from a Cleveland OVI and DUI attorney.


Getting charged with a DUI can be a lonely experience, and you may feel like no one is on your side. Work with an attorney who will do everything possible to keep you out of jail and keep your criminal record clean. If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence, a Cleveland DUI lawyer can build a solid case to exonerate you and safeguard your future, your relationships, and your life. A DUI conviction doesn’t have to be your fate. Retain legal representation today!

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Drunk driving laws in Ohio are some of the strictest in America — If a police officer pulls someone over for suspicion of drunk driving, they are going to conduct a breathalyzer test or some type of sobriety test. If you refuse to cooperate with the officer or decline the tests, your license will be immediately revoked. To pass the breathalyzer test, you must produce a (BAC) blood alcohol concentration level below 0.08%, the legal limit. If you are charged with OVI or DUI in Ohio, regardless of the circumstances, you lose your license. Once you start driving again, the courts often mandate ignition interlock devices to monitor the safe use of your vehicle. Here are additional penalties that are associated with recurring OVI/DUI charges:

  • 1st OVI/DUI :
    • Up to $1,075 in fines and/or a few days in jail
    • Alcohol abuse program instead of jail time in some cases
  • 2nd OVI/DUI:
    • Up to $1,625 in fines and/or 6 months in jail
    • Up to seven years drivers license suspension
    • If your license isn’t suspended, you may have restricted driving privileges
    • Ignition interlock device (breathalyzer) installed in your car
    • Vehicle impounded for up to 90 days
    • 6 points off your license
    • Continuous alcohol monitoring and mandatory treatment programs
  • 3rd OVI/DUI :
    • Up to 1 year jail time and/or $2,500 in fines
    • You can lose your license for up to 10 years
    • In some cases, you may be charged with a felony
    • Mandatory treatment programs paid for on your dime
  • 4th OVI/DUI :
    • Your car will be seized by the authorities
    • Fines as high as $10,000
    • Up to 5 years of jail time
    • You may lose your license forever


Being convicted of an OVI or DUI charge can be a life-changing experience for those involved. Many are concerned about their future, their ability to work, and their freedom — Left feeling like “life is over” after they’ve been arrested. An experienced Ohio DUI attorney can help you build a case to get the BEST verdict for your future. We focus on several factors in your arrest like why you were stopped, why you may have been tested, or if the tests were conducted properly. Contact us today for help defending your rights and freedoms.

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Your choice of a criminal defense attorney can be a life-changing decision. While there are many Cleveland DUI lawyers, you need Ohio DUI attorney Robert Botnick with you in court to get the BEST possible outcome for your case when facing criminal charges. The Botnick Law Firm, a respected DUI Defense Law Firm is ready to FIGHT for clients facing OVI or DUI charges or any other criminal charges.

  • Quality Representation in the Criminal Defense Practice· Rewarding Results
  • Get the BEST Verdict for Your Future
  • Keep a CLEAN Criminal Record
  • Stay Out of Jail
  • 100% Confidential Consultation

Our #1 goal is to protect the rights and liberties of the criminally accused. If you are involved in an Ohio OVI or DUI charge, contact our office as soon as it is safe. Our resident Cleveland OVI and DUI attorney, Mr.Botnick, will help get you the best possible results for your case — Book a consultation today for assistance building your OVI/DUI defense.

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

Can a DUI charge be dropped in Ohio?

Yes. It’s possible for a Cleveland OH DUI charge to be dropped if you have not entered a guilty plea. By hiring an experienced Cleveland DUI trial lawyer, you can increase your chances of getting the charges dropped.

What are the defenses for DUI charges in Ohio?

If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence, a Cleveland DUI lawyer can create a winning defense strategy to get your charges dropped. Defenses can include an officer’s failure to read your Miranda rights. This is when they inform you that you have the right to remain silent and that anything you say can be used against you in court. If you were unreasonably stopped and searched, this constitutes a breach of your Fourth Amendment rights, which can work in your favor in court. Another common defense for DUI is a defect in the breathalyzer or other equipment used to measure your blood alcohol content. Experienced criminal defense lawyers with a focus on OVI offenses will be able to tell you which defense applies.

What's the difference between OVI and DUI?

In the state of Ohio, the Ohio Revised Code 4511.19 makes it illegal to Operate a Vehicle under the Influence of drugs and alcohol, often shortened to OVI. In other states, the legislation may be worded as “driving under the influence” which is often shortened to DUI. With both offenses, legislators are trying to reduce drunk driving and all its consequences. Although Ohio’s OVI laws differ slightly from laws in other states, OVI and DUI can be considered the same offense for all intents and purposes.

What is an ignition interlock device?

A breath alcohol ignition interlock device is a special breathalyzer installed inside your vehicle. You’ll have to breathe into the device to measure your blood alcohol content before you’re able to drive. If you’re convicted of a DUI, the court can mandate that the device be installed in your car. The court can grant permission for ignition interlock device removal.

What are the penalties for DUI in Ohio?

The penalties for conviction in DUI cases in Ohio are very harsh, even for first-time offenders. Sanctions for DUI can include jail time, excessive legal fines, license points, and restricted plates. The court can order that you attend treatment programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and an ignition interlock device can be installed in your vehicle. Repeat offenders may face vehicle forfeiture and permanent license suspension.

Ohio Courts System

We have successfully represented clients across Northern Ohio. If you are facing criminal charges, we can help you too. Don’t delay. The district attorney is building their case against you right now.

The Prosecutor will not take your charges lightly — Will you?

Experienced in all Northeast Ohio Courts and Northern District of Ohio


  • Cuyahoga County
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Major Cities

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