After getting a ticket or being arrested, it is normal to have questions and concerns. The hard part is finding the right person to answer your questions. Some commonly asked questions are listed below. For more specific questions and more detailed answers call The Maher Law Firm at 614-205-2208.


Am I facing jail time?

The short answer is yes.  An OVI conviction, even on a first offense, has a mandatory minimum of 3 days in jail.  A 72 hour driver intervention program can be used as a substitute for the 3 days in jail.

What is a driver intervention program?

Commonly referred to as DIP, a driver intervention program is an alternative to the mandatory minimum of 3 days in jail on a first OVI offense.  It involves a 72-hour stay at an area hotel with educational programs designed to heighten awareness about the dangers of driving under the influence.  The programs typically begin on Thursday evenings and end on Sunday.  The cost to attend one of these programs is typically around $300 to $600 depending on which program you attend and if you want your own room.

When can I get my license back?

There really is no straightforward answer for this question.  On some cases, we are able to get a stay of your license suspension to fully reinstate your license while the case is pending.  The downside to this is you will not be getting credit towards any suspension imposed in the event of a conviction.  In other cases, we will request driving privileges to allow you to drive for work, school, and medical related purposes.  Depending on the facts in your case, you will not be eligible for privileges for at least 15 days after you are pulled over.  There are ways around this, but you will likely need an attorney to get it done.

How long will my license be suspended?

There are two types of suspensions that come with a DUI/OVI charge.  The first is an administrative license suspension and the second is a judicial suspension that results from a conviction.  The administrative license suspension comes from refusing to take a breath, blood, or urine test, or from taking a test and being over the legal limit.  Testing over the legal limit will result in at least a 90-day suspension and refusing to take a test will result in a 1 year suspension.  Keep in mind that a stay (putting the suspension on pause) or driving privileges may be options.  The judicial suspension results from a conviction.  The length of the suspension on a first offense is 6 months to 3 years.  Driving privileges are an option in most cases, but it is best to hire an attorney who can help avoid the suspension by being found not guilty or pleading to a lesser charge.

How do I get my license back?

Once your license has been suspended, a stay of the license suspension will allow you to get your license back while the case is pending.  With some paperwork from the court, you should be able to go to the BMV to get a duplicate copy of your license.  The fee for this duplicate license is currently $27.50.  If your suspension is the result of a conviction, you will have to serve the suspension time, pay a reinstatement fee of $475, and show current proof of insurance to the BMV.

Can I get driving privileges?

You should be able to get driving privileges for work, school, and medical related purposes.  It is completely up to the judge to authorize privileges and they can say no.  Fortunately, most judges do not want people to lose their jobs so they are willing to grant privileges.  Keep in mind you will not be eligible for privileges for at least 15 days from the day you were pulled over.  If not being able to drive for those 15 days will cause you to lose your job, an experienced attorney may be able to help circumvent those 15 days.

How soon can I get driving privileges?

A person charged with a DUI/OVI will not be eligible for privileges for at least 15 days from the day you are pulled over.  If not driving for 15 days will cause you to loose your job, we may be able to help by getting a stay of your suspension.

What is a stay of suspension?

A stay puts your suspension on pause while the case is pending.  While the stay is in place, you will have full driving privileges and can even go to the BMV to get a duplicate license printed.  The cost for a duplicate license is currently $27.50.

What happens if I get caught driving under this suspension?

If you are caught driving while you have a DUI/OVI license suspension, you face a mandatory minimum of 3 days in jail, a mandatory license suspension up to 1 year, a mandatory immobilization of your vehicle for 30 days, and they will take your license plates for 30 days.

How do I get my car out of impound?

If your car has been impounded, call the impound lot to see what you need to get your car. If they say you need an order from the judge, hire an attorney to help you get an order of release. If your car is subject to immobilization, we can request a release and relocation of your vehicle to save you from some of the impound fees.

What is vehicle immobilization?

As an additional penalty for being charged with a DUI/OVI, your vehicle may be subject to immobilization.  Immobilization means that your car will either stay in impound or will be released with a device on it to prevent anyone from driving the vehicle.  On a second offense in 6 years, the immobilization is for a period of 90 days.  Immobilization only applies if the vehicle is registered in your name.  Do not attempt to sell or transfer the vehicle to get around this immobilization.

What is vehicle forfeiture?

Vehicle forfeiture means that the state takes your vehicle from you without compensating you for the value.  They take it, sell it or scrap it, and keep the money.  On a 3rd offense in 6 years, your vehicle is subject to forfeiture.  Hire an attorney to help avoid a 3rd conviction and save your car.

What are restricted plates?

What are often referred to as party plates, restricted plates are yellow plates that tell officers and others you have DUI/OVI issues.

What is interlock?

Interlock is a device installed in your vehicle that requires you to breath in a tube to start the engine.  It also requires you to occasionally breath into the tube while driving.  This is often used in conjunction with driving privileges to make sure people are not drinking and driving while their license is under suspension.  Interlock is required on a 2nd conviction in 6 years if it was alcohol related.  There is a cost for installing the device and a rental cost for each day thereafter.  To avoid having an interlock device, hire an attorney to help avoid a 2nd conviction.

How many points will be added to my license for a conviction?

A DUI/OVI conviction is 6 points on your license.  The allowed amount before your license is suspended for too many violations is 12 points every 2 years.

What are the common reduced charges that people plea to?

Common reductions in DUI/OVI cases include physical control of a vehicle and reckless operation.  Physical control is still an alcohol related offense.  It involves being under the influence while in the driver’s seat with the keys in your possession.  Reckless operation is a non-alcohol related offense.  It involves operating a vehicle without due care for other persons or property.

What are the penalties for physical control?

Having physical control of a vehicle while under the influence has no mandatory jail term, but up to 180 days can be imposed.  The maximum fine is $1000 and it is a non-moving violation which means it is 0 points on your license.  Keep in mind it is still an alcohol related offense that can cause problems with current and future employment.

What are the penalties for reckless operation?

Reckless operation is a minor misdemeanor meaning no jail time, a maximum of $150 fine plus court costs, 4 points on your license, and up to 30 hours of community service.  Even though it is a 4-point violation and physical control is a no-point violation, reckless operation may be the better option for those wanting to avoid an alcohol related conviction.  If you are pleading to a reckless operation as a reduction from a DUI/OVI, the offense may be elevated to a different level to allow for other penalties as a part of the plea bargain.

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