When you appear for a DUI/OVI arraignment, you will be called into a large room where many other people are facing different criminal charges. The judge will explain the complaint and the nature of the charge you are facing, and will explain the potential penalties for DUI/OVI in Ohio.
Many people plead guilty to the charge and face stiff punishments. Most regret their decision to simply enter a guilty plea to the DUI/OVI and contact my office. However, once a person has been sentenced, it is very difficult to undo the damage. Therefore, it is critical that you speak with an attorney prior to making any decision that will significantly impact your future.
When your named is called you will either approach a podium or sit at a table. You will have an opportunity to ask the judge questions about your rights, the charge, and the maximum penalty for DUI/OVI under Ohio law. You will also have the right to a reasonable continuance to retain an attorney. If you do not wish to be represented by an attorney, you will have to sign a waiver form.
After the judge has explained the DUI/OVI charge, your rights, and your ability to retain counsel, you will be given the option of entering any of the following pleas at your DUI/OVI arraignment:
- Not Guilty – by entering this plea, you are denying the DUI/OVI charge. The prosecution will be required to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
- Guilty – this is a complete admission of your guilt. If you plead guilty, you will be permitted to give a statement in mitigation to the judge before a sentence is imposed.
- No Contest – this plea is not an admission of guilty, but is an admission that the facts in the complaint are true. However, this plea cannot be used against you at any pending or subsequent criminal proceeding.
If you plead guilty, a sentence will be imposed. For a first time DUI/OVI, this will include a mandatory minimum of 3 days in jail and a maximum of 6 months, a fine of up to $1075, and a mandatory 6 month to 3 year driver’s license suspension. However, a skilled DUI/OVI attorney can reduce the potential consequences of a DUI/OVI conviction, such as persuading the court to allow you to attend a driver’s intervention program in lieu of jail, reducing the fine, and limiting the driver’s license suspension.
The arraignment will also be the first time that your attorney can contest what is known as an administrative license suspension (ALS). If you either refused to submit to testing or tested over the legal limit as part of the DUI/OVI investigation, your driver’s license will be subject to an ALS. If you tested over the legal limit, your driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days. If you refused to submit to testing, your driver’s license will be suspended for 1 year. The ALS is separate from any potential driver’s license suspension imposed by a court.
Finally, during the arraignment your attorney can request limited driving privileges for you so you can go to work, school, medical appointments, etc. Therefore, it is crucial that you retain a DUI/OVI attorney prior to your arraignment.
Columbus and Delaware, Ohio DUI/OVI Lawyer
If you have been arrested for a first DUI/OVI offense in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC to discuss your case. Attorney David Johnson is an experienced DUI/OVI attorney who will speak with you about the facts of your case and vigorously defend you and your ability to drive. Don’t face the serious consequences and repercussions of a DUI/OVI charge alone. Call Johnson Legal, LLC at (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation.