When you are convicted of drunk driving in Ohio, the consequences on your life can be long-lasting — and some of them unexpected. DUI penalties in Ohio can be severe. You may serve your jail sentence, pay your fines, and ride out your driver’s license suspension only to find years later that your conviction continues to present obstacles for you. Additionally, in Ohio an OVI / DUI conviction can’t be expunged, meaning it’s on your record for life.
Some of the possible ways that an OVI / DUI conviction may negatively impact your life include:
- Job Prospects — An OVI / DUI conviction will show up on criminal background checks for employment. Many employers are reluctant to hire someone with a conviction because they may deem you unreliable, or may be concerned about liability if the job involves driving in any way.
- Car Insurance Rates — Every insurance company has its own internal policies and formulas for how it determines risk and vehicle insurance premiums. However, it’s a fairly safe bet that an OVI / DUI conviction on your driving record will cause insurance companies to perceive you as a greater risk to insure, and therefore decide to charge you higher rates. Additionally, you may need an SR-22 insurance bond to demonstrate proof of your financial responsibility, and those can be expensive.
- Rental Applications — Your conviction will show up if a potential landlord runs a criminal background check when you apply for an apartment, and some landlords are hesitant to rent to a person with any kind of criminal history.
- College Applications — If you decide to get a college or technical degree after your conviction, you’ll find that many college applications ask about criminal history. Your drunk driving conviction may be a barrier to your acceptance into a college or university, especially if it’s one of the felony forms of DUI.
- Professional Licenses — When you apply for a professional license to work in a career such as law, teaching, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, financial professions, or any other profession requiring a license from the state, your conviction may affect your ability to obtain a license, especially if your OVI was a felony.
- Military Enlistment or Government Security Clearances — A criminal conviction for drunk driving can be an obstacle to enlisting in one of the military branches, or to getting a government security clearance if you want a federal job or contract.
- Immigration — A drunk driving conviction may affect your immigration status if you have an application pending for a visa, green card, or citizenship, particularly if it’s seen as part of a pattern of behavior.
- International Travel — Any kind of criminal conviction, including for OVI / DUI, can be a barrier to being allowed to travel to some countries, especially if your travel requires a visa.
- Civil Liability — If you were charged with OVI / DUI because you got into an accident while allegedly driving under the influence, a conviction can mean a higher chance that you’ll be found negligent in a civil court if anyone else involved in the accident decides to sue you for injuries or property damage. The fact of your drunk driving conviction may be used in a civil lawsuit as evidence to support the argument that you acted negligently or recklessly in causing someone else harm.
How a Cincinnati DUI Attorney May Help You Avoid DUI Penalties in Ohio
In many instances, it’s possible to resolve an Ohio OVI / DUI charge in a way that minimizes the impacts on your life. An experienced Cincinnati DUI defense lawyer may be able to develop a defense strategy that gets your case dismissed without a guilty finding or gets you acquitted by a jury.
Alternatively, a good Cincinnati DUI defense lawyer may be able to negotiate with prosecutors for withdrawal of your charge if you meet conditions such as going through alcohol abuse treatment or completing probation, or to reduce your charge to a non-criminal moving violation that will have far fewer long-term consequences for you.