Do You Know Which You Will Be Charged With?

Understanding Ohio OVI laws, outlined in ORC 4511.19 is important when preparing your case – depending on your charges, you could face a felony OVI which comes with far more serious charges.

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Misdemeanor OVI

You can be charged with a misdemeanor OVI during your court hearing if you were convicted of or pled guilty to two or fewer OVIs in the past 10 years, or if you were found or pled guilty to four or fewer OVIs in the past 20 years. You can learn more about what penalties you could face with a misdemeanor OVI charge in our OVI Penalties section.

Felony OVI

You can be charged with a fourth degree felony OVI during your court hearing if you were convicted of or pled guilty to three or four OVIs in the past 10 years, or if you were found or pled guilty to five or more OVIs in the past 20 years.

Fourth Degree Felony Charges

  • Minimum $1,350 fine
  • Minimum 60 days in prison
    • The court could order an additional one to five years in prison if you were convicted of or pled guilty to five or more equivalent offenses in the past 20 years per ORC 2941.1413
  • Class two license suspension
  • Criminal forfeiture of the vehicle if it is registered in your name
  • Court ordered participation in a community addiction services provider

You can be charged with a third degree felony OVI during your court hearing if you were convicted of or pled guilty to a felony OVI at any point in the past.

Third Degree Felony Charges

  • Minimum $1,350 fine
  • Minimum 60 days in prison
    • The court could order an additional one to five years in prison if you were convicted of or pled guilty to five or more equivalent offenses in the past 20 years per ORC 2941.1413
    • As an alternative to the 60 days of jail time, the court can also order 30 days of prison time and a minimum of 110 days of house arrest with continuous alcohol monitoring and/or electronic monitoring
  • Class two license suspension
  • Criminal forfeiture of the vehicle if it is registered in your name
  • Court ordered participation in a community addiction services provider

ORC 2929.13 also states that,

If the offender is being sentenced for a fourth degree felony OVI offense or for a third degree felony OVI offense, in addition to the mandatory term of local incarceration or the mandatory prison term required for the offense by division (G)(1) or (2) of this section, the court shall impose upon the offender a mandatory fine in accordance with division (B)(3) of section 2929.18 of the Revised Code and may impose whichever of the following is applicable:

(1) For a fourth degree felony OVI offense for which sentence is imposed under division (G) (1) of this section, an additional community control sanction or combination of community control sanctions under section 2929.16 or 2929.17 of the Revised Code. If the court imposes upon the offender a community control sanction and the offender violates any condition of the community control sanction, the court may take any action prescribed in division (B) of section 2929.15 of the Revised Code relative to the offender, including imposing a prison term on the offender pursuant to that division.

(2) For a third or fourth degree felony OVI offense for which sentence is imposed under division (G)(2) of this section, an additional prison term as described in division (B)(4) of section 2929.14 of the Revised Code or a community control sanction as described in division (G)(2) of this section.