In most OWI cases, you receive a misdemeanor charge if a court convicts you. However, under certain circumstances, driving under the influence can lead to a felony charge on your record.
Having a felony can cause difficulties, such as negatively impacting your ability to find work. Therefore, you should understand the consequences of aggravated OWI offenses in Ohio.
Penalties for an OWI
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious violation. A first-time conviction can lead to fines, a license suspension and up to six months in jail. Multiple offenses result in more severe consequences. Additionally, if you had a blood alcohol concentration above .17%, you could face more jail time and increased fines. Many OWI offenders must also complete a driver’s intervention program.
A habitual OWI offender in Ohio could face further punishment, including a felony conviction. If you receive four OWI charges over the span of a decade, you could end up serving up to five years in prison and have to pay fines between $1,350 and $10,500. After your first felony OVI, any subsequent OVI convictions are also felonies.
If you cause a car crash while driving under the influence, there could be serious consequences. Vehicular assault is a felony offense that occurs when an impaired driver’s negligence injures a passenger, pedestrian or fellow motorist. You can also receive a felony charge for vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide if you cause a fatal car crash while intoxicated. A vehicular homicide charge carries fines as high as $15,000 and up to two years in jail.
Although OWI convictions are typically misdemeanors, habitual offenders and drivers who cause car accidents can face serious penalties, including fines, jail time and felony charges.