Ohio’s Highest-Ranked DUI Law Firm
If you were charged with a DUI, you should understand as much as possible about your situation. The more you know, the better you will be able to defend yourself in court. Our Columbus DUI lawyers are here to ensure you have all the knowledge you need to feel confident moving forward.
Since 2008, Koffel Brininger Nesbitt has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America, and criminal defense attorney Brad Koffel was voted Lawyer of the Year for DUI Defense. Only three other law firms in Ohio are listed in Best Lawyers in America for the practice area of DUI defense.
Contact us to learn how our Columbus criminal defense lawyers can defend you against an impaired driving charge.
For a free legal consultation with a dui lawyer serving Columbus, call 614-675-4845
Benefits of Working with Our Columbus DUI Lawyer
Our law firm is one of Ohio’s oldest, largest, and most reputable DUI defense firms. We focus on client service, period. From same-day or next-day appointments, flat-fee billing, interest-free payment plans, and a client communication platform unrivaled by any other law firm in America. Our legal fees may be slightly higher, but our courthouse success and client reviews speak for themselves.
Our Municipal Court Team handles DUI cases in 12 counties in greater Central Ohio.
Which Type of Client Are You?
- “I Can’t Have a DUI!”
- “I Don’t Want a DUI.”
We will need to know this before starting your case. Not every person needs to “throw the kitchen sink” at a DUI case. However, other people want to do everything possible to keep a criminal offense off their record. We accept both types of clients and have workable strategies for each.
Our phones are answered live 14 hours a day, and we have a confidential new-client voicemail monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
A Record of Success in Columbus Driving Under the Influence Cases
At Koffel Brininger Nesbitt, our Columbus DUI lawyers work hard to have their clients exonerated or their penalties drastically reduced.
Some of our most recent Columbus DUI successes include:
- Avoided jail time: Three of our clients were facing mandatory jail time. We were able to get their judgments reduced by 100%, meaning our clients did not receive a jail sentence.
- Charge dropped: Our client was facing a driving under the influence charge. Yet we negotiated a fine-only disposition after an Ohio court agreed to drop the DUI charge to a reckless operation charge.
- Charge reduced: After accepting a plea deal, our client received the minimum possible penalties for their DUI charge.
View our case results to see how our Columbus DUI lawyers have helped people beat drunk driving charges.
Columbus DUI Lawyer Near Me 614-675-4845
Ohio’s BAC Limit and Potential Implications for DUI Charges
Ohio’s limit is 0.08% per unit volume of alcohol in the offender’s blood. If you are pulled over and your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher, you can be charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol in Ohio.
This limit can also be defined as 0.08 of one gram (or 80 milligrams) of alcohol per 210 liters of the driver’s breath or 11% of one gram of alcohol per 100 milliliters of urine, according to Ohio Law.
If your BAC is between 0.05% and 0.08% or there is any other evidence of impaired driving, prosecutors could still choose to bring criminal charges against you.
Contesting a DUI License Suspension with the BMV
If you are arrested and charged with a DUI in Ohio, your license will be suspended for at least six months. However, you have the legal right to request a hearing with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) within 30 days of your suspension to contest it.
Hiring the right Columbus DUI attorney to represent you during the hearing will give you the best chance of having your license reinstated.
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How Annie’s Law May Affect Your Case
Drinking and driving laws in Ohio changed drastically when Annie’s Law was enacted in 2017. A key change was that the look-back period for previous convictions was extended from six to 10 years.
Annie’s Law also introduced the option to equip a vehicle with an ignition interlock device, allowing drivers to keep using their vehicles and reducing the time their license is suspended.
Our Columbus drunk driving lawyers can explain how this law may affect your case during your initial consultation.
Distinguishing a Felony Charge from a Misdemeanor
Understanding a felony vs. a misdemeanor is important. For example, while misdemeanor DUIs can come with substantive consequences, they pale in comparison to felony charges.
Felony impaired driving charges come with a minimum of 60 days in prison, a $1,350 fine, a suspended license, criminal forfeiture of your vehicle, and more.
Consequences of DUI Charges in Ohio
Being charged with driving under the influence can have significant legal and financial consequences, broken down in Ohio Revised Code § 4511.19 and an Ohio Supreme Court slip opinion.
Understanding the charges against you and the consequences you may face is an important step you need to take if you were charged with a DUI in Columbus. If you plan to challenge the charges in court, hiring an experienced Columbus DUI lawyer to represent you is an important step.
DUI With Injury Charges
Being involved in an accident is stressful, no matter its circumstances. You have more to worry about if you were charged with a DUI causing injury on top of other accusations.
Even if your BAC is below the legal limit, if you cause injuries with the slightest trace of alcohol in your system, the blame will likely shift to you. This is true even if you were not at fault.
Defending Multiple DUIs
If you have a prior DUI conviction and pick up another charge, your already-severe penalties will increase. It may also be more challenging to argue your case in court. Despite the law stating you are innocent until proven guilty, your record can make a judge less likely to believe your argument.
Hiring an experienced Franklin County DUI lawyer to represent you and ensure you receive a fair trial is crucial to a favorable outcome.
BAC Limits and the Impact on Employment Opportunities for Underage Drinkers
As stated above, the legal BAC for Ohio adults is 0.08%; however, the limit for underage drivers is 0.02%. These BAC limits are in place to discourage driving under the influence of alcohol, especially for young and inexperienced drivers.
Underage drinking and driving can have serious legal consequences, including fines, license suspension, and even potential jail time. Additionally, having a DUI or alcohol-related offense on your record can have long-lasting effects on future employment opportunities.
While underage drinking is illegal, a mistake like that shouldn’t affect your employment opportunities for the rest of your life. Seeking legal counsel and understanding the available options to address these offenses is essential for mitigating possible DUI-related penalties.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding Your DUI Defense
Can I Still Get a DUI If My BAC Was Below the Legal Limit?
Yes. Although the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08%, Ohio DUI laws state that anyone who operates a vehicle under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both can be arrested and charged with DUI.
Police officers may still arrest, and courts may still convict a person with a BAC lower than the legal limit if there is sufficient justification to believe they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Also, you do not need to be driving or have your vehicle running to be arrested for a drunk driving offense. Being in the driver’s seat with the radio or air conditioner on can be enough to constitute “physical control” of your vehicle and warrant an arrest.
Can I Refuse a Field Sobriety or Chemical Test?
Yes, there is no legal requirement that you consent to a Field Sobriety Test and no consequences for refusing. Because these tests can be subjective and used against you, you can politely refuse them during a Franklin County DUI.
However, breath, blood, and urine tests are treated differently. Ohio law states that motorists automatically consent to chemical testing when suspected of DUI. This means that if you have been placed under arrest for DUI and refuse a chemical test, you implied consent.
Driver’s license suspensions for chemical test refusals in Ohio vary depending on a person’s criminal history (i.e., a one-year suspension for a first refusal and longer suspensions for those with a prior DUI conviction or refusal).
You can appeal an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) by requesting a BMV hearing within 30 days of an initial appearance. You may seek limited driving privileges (LDPs) if and when eligible. Our attorneys represent DUI clients in both criminal and BMV proceedings.
What Is an OVI?
OVI stands for “Operating a Vehicle Impaired,” according to Ohio law. Similar to DUI, an OVI occurs when an individual is found to be operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, alcohol, or both.
An OVI conviction can result in criminal penalties such as fines, time in jail, and license suspension, depending on the severity of the offense. Additionally, those convicted of OVI may be required to attend alcohol or drug counseling programs or perform community service.
Will I Go to Jail After a Conviction of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol in Ohio?
DUI is a serious crime with serious penalties. In addition to fines, court fees, license suspension, and other penalties, a conviction can create real jail or prison time potential.
Many DUI cases in Ohio are first-degree misdemeanors that require at least three consecutive days but no longer than six months in jail. Other factors may result in longer sentences, including:
- Multiple DUI convictions
- Felony DUI (i.e., DUI resulting in accident, injury, or death)
- Chemical Test Refusal
- High Tier DUI (BAC of at least 0.17%)
DUI jail sentences also vary from county to county. However, judges in every county have discretion when sentencing offenders.
For this reason, it’s crucial to work with attorneys who understand each jurisdiction’s nuances, knows local courts and judges, and have experience protecting the rights and freedoms of DUI defendants.
Counties Our Columbus Criminal Defense Attorneys Serve
Our Columbus team serves the entire metropolitan area, which includes the following counties:
- Franklin County
- Delaware County
- Fairfield County
- Ashland County
- Hocking County
- Madison County
- Licking County
- Morrow County
- Pickaway County
- Perry County
- Union County
Whether you’re here in Franklin County or elsewhere in Ohio, our team can seek dismissals, reduced charges, and alternative sentencing such as house arrest, work release, community service, and SCRAM monitoring.
Should I Hire a DUI Attorney in Columbus, OH?
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Columbus, we recommend hiring a DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you understand potential consequences, protect your rights, and ensure a fair outcome.
An experienced DUI lawyer knows how prosecutors work and how to negotiate a plea bargain or even get your case dismissed.
Additionally, a DUI attorney can review the evidence against you, such as police reports and witness statements, to uncover any flaws in the investigation process or potential violations of your rights that could lead to the charges being dropped or reduced.
Your attorney may also be able to challenge field sobriety tests and breathalyzer results if the law enforcement officer or sobriety test practitioner did not follow proper testing procedures.
Contact Our Law Offices for a Free Consultation
At Koffel Brininger Nesbitt, we understand the effects a criminal conviction and spending time behind bars can have on your life, and we are here to help. Hiring one of our qualified DUI attorneys in Columbus, OH, you will be better positioned to protect your constitutional rights and preserve your freedom.
We offer free and confidential consultations, so there’s no risk in seeking our legal advice. If you or a loved one has been charged with driving under the influence, don’t hesitate to reach out to our drunk driving defense attorneys.
Call our Columbus office today or fill out the online contact form.