Ohio Supreme Court Declares Repeat OVI Offender Specifications Constitutional
In 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court found the repeat OVI offender specifications constitutional. The accused challenged the Ohio DUI sentencing laws as unconstitutional because they violated equal protection of the law. The Ohio Supreme Court did not agree with that argument.
Repeat Offenses Raises The Level Of The OVI Offense
Ohio DUI law sets up a system of increased penalties for repeat DUI offenders. First and second OVI offenses within six years is a first degree misdemeanor. A third offense within six years is still a first degree misdemeanor, but the accused can be sentenced to one year in jail, rather than just six months. If one has 3 or 4 prior misdemeanor OVI convictions in the past 6 years, the OVI is a fourth-degree felony. If one has 5 or more OVI convictions in the past 20 years, the OVI is a fourth degree felony.
Higher OVI Offense Levels Results In Greater Minimum And Maximum Penalties
One with zero to one prior convictions faces a maximum of 6 months in jail. One with two prior OVI convictions faces a year in jail. Fourth degree OVI convictions have a base term of 30 months plus 60 or 120 days. Third degree OV I convictions have a base term of 36 months plus 60 or 120 days. The repeat-OVI specification applies to third degree or fourth degree offenders with 5 or more convictions in 20 years. This specification adds a mandatory prison term of one, two, three, four or five years in addition to the base term of imprisonment for the underlying offense.
OHIO DUI LAW PENALTIES FOR REPEAT OFFENDERS
|Offense(s)||Misdemeanor/Felony||Max. Jail/Prison Term|
|First in 6 years||1st degree misdemeanor||6 months|
|Second in 6 years||1st degree misdemeanor||6 months|
|Third in 6 years||1st degree misdemeanor||12 months|
|Fourth in 6 years or Sixth in 20 years||4th degree felony||34 months|
|Second Felony Lifetime||3rd degree felony||5 years|
Ohio DUI law sets up a system of increased penalties for repeat DUI offenders.
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