OVI Penalties

OVI Questions & Answers

  1. I have never been in trouble before. What will happen if I just enter a "guilty" plea to my OVI?
  2. My license suspension is over. How do I get my license back?
  3. My case is officially over. Can I get this OVI conviction off my record?

1. I have never been in trouble before. What will happen if I just enter a "guilty" plea to my OVI?

There are certain mandatory penalties that a judge must levy against you if you are found guilty of a first offense OVI. First, you will have to complete a 72 hour driver intervention program. This is an intensive drug and alcohol counseling program usually held from Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon. You will be required to pay for the program and you are not permitted to leave the facility during your stay.

Secondly, your license will be suspended for a minimum of six months. You may apply for occupational and educational driving privileges during the course of this suspension. You will also have to pay a fine of at least $375 and six points will be placed against your driver's license. While these are penalties are the mandatory minimum a judge must impose, a judge can technically sentence you to up to six months in jail and a $1000 fine for an OVI conviction.

2. My license suspension is over. How do I get my license back?

Be sure to pay your reinstatement fee either prior too or on the date your suspension expires. The reinstatement fee for a first offense OVI is $475.00. Failure to timely pay your reinstatement fee could result in a No Operator's License or Driving Under Suspension charge. Remember that any occupational driving privileges you received expire on the date you are permitted to reinstate your license.

If you do not have the money to pay your entire reinstatement fee at once, you can set up a reinstatement fee payment plan with the BMV so that you can begin driving while making monthly payments toward your fee.

3. My case is officially over. Can I get this OVI conviction off my record?

Unfortunately, no. Generally speaking, sex offenses, offenses of violence, traffic offenses such as OVI, and offenses involving a victim under the age of 18 CANNOT be sealed. Ohio Rev. Code §2953.36 outlines the exceptions to Ohio's expungment law. So, while the six points on your license will drop off after two years, an OVI conviction will stay on your record forever.