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First Offense DUI Lawyer in Cincinnati, OH

Even if it is your first offense, a DUI is serious. Call LHA at (513) 338-1890 to schedule a free consultation.

DUIs in Cincinnati are very common, but your first OVI / DUI is a serious matter. It carries penalties, like possible jail, fines, and a suspended license, and negatively impacts your career, education, and reputation. It can all feel overwhelming, but a local and experienced DUI lawyer in Cincinnati can do a lot to improve your situation. This might include a charge reduction, keeping your license, entering a diversion program, and possibly a total dismissal.

If it is your first OVI in Cincinnati and you want to find the best possible outcome, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible. Regardless of what happened in your case, you have options. Let Cincinnati DUI attorney Brad Groene of Luftman, Heck & Associates review your case and explain what comes next. With a long history of getting results in DUI cases, he knows how to challenge DUI tests, where officers make mistakes, and what it takes to get you past a first offense DUI.

Call (513) 338-1890 to schedule a free consultation with attorney Brad Groene. We’re available 24/7 and are ready to help you.

OVI & DUI Charges in Cincinnati

An OVI in Ohio is defined according to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC 4511.19). It prohibits anyone from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both, and their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over the legal limit of .08 %.

What Was Your BAC?

Your BAC is determined by either a blood, breath, or urine DUI test, typically performed when you’re arrested. Your BAC indicates your level of impairment and the severity of your penalties if convicted.

If your BAC is under .08, then you are considered below the legal limit. If your BAC is between .08 and .17, then it is considered “low.” For a BAC .17 or above, it is considered “high.” A “high” BAC means facing harsher consequences than someone with a “low” BAC.

First OVI / DUI Penalties in Hamilton County

Ohio first offense BAC penalty breakdown

  • BAC is between .08% – .17%
    first degree misdemeanor with at least 3 days in jail and at least $375 in fines
  • BAC is .17 or greater
    first degree misdemeanor with at least 6 days in jail and at least $375 in fines

Your First Offense DUI is a Misdemeanor in Ohio

Your first OVI / DUI will most likely be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor. The penalties of a conviction mean a minimum of 3 days and a maximum of 6 months in jail and paying between $375 and $1,075 in fines.

Instead of jail, you may be required to attend a driving intervention program and install an ignition interlock device. In some cases, you may have to use restricted license plates on your vehicle.

You also face a driver’s license suspension for a first DUI that could last between six months and 3 years. Your driving privileges will also not be available for the first 15 days after your first OVI charge. But, you may be eligible for limited driving privileges depending on work, school, or court-mandated treatments.

First Offense DUI with a High BAC

If it is your first OVI and your BAC was greater than or equal to .17%, it is also a first-degree misdemeanor. But a high BAC increases the possible penalties to a minimum of six days in jail and up to 6 months in addition to paying between $375 and $1,075 in fines.

Your high BAC also requires a mandatory 3 day driving intervention program. The court may also mandate an alcohol assessment, treatment or educational program, install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, or use restricted license plates.

Your driver’s license will also likey be suspended for between six months to 3 years. Driving privileges will not be available for the first 15 days, but may be eligible for limited driving privileges depending on work, school, or court mandated treatments.

Other Consequences of Your First DUI in Cincinnati

Your first OVI / DUI conviction o will unfortunately have a negative impact on other areas of your life, aside from jail, fines, and a suspended license.

An OVI / DUI will also

  • Permanently appear on your driving record
  • Result in increased insurance rates
  • Limit job prostects and edductional opprotunities
  • Prevent certain professional licenemses
  • Cause child custody issues.

First DUI with a Test Refusal in Ohio

While you can refuse a roadside breath test or field sobriety test without penalty, if you refuse a breath, blood or urine test after being arrested for a circumstantial OVI, you face stiff consequences.Specificaly, the police will immediately take your driver’s license under Ohio’s administrative license suspension guidelines.

You only have a short period to appeal this suspension and if convicted of the DUI, you’ll serve a minimum of six days in jail in addition to fines. A mandatory 3 day driving intervention program will also be required and the court may order an alcohol assessment, treatment or an ignition interlock device to be installed.

Administrative License Suspension (ALS) in Ohio

If you are stopped for drunk driving and refuse a chemical test of blood, breath, or urine requested by law enforcement OR you tested over Ohio’s legal limit, then the officer is permitted to take your driver’s license on the spot and your driving privileges will immediately be suspended from that point forward. This is referred to as an administrative license suspension.

  • For your first time refusing a chemical test, the administrative license suspension will last for one year.
  • If this is your first time testing over the legal limit, the administrative license suspension will last for 90 days.

An administrative license suspension can be appealed, but it must be done at the first court appearance. This is usuallu held within 5 days of being arrested or being issued the citation.

Issues to bring up brought include whether the arrest was reasonable, whether the officer actually requested a chemical test, whether you were informed of the penalties for refusal or failing, and whether you refused or failed.

It is important to note that the court can still suspend your license if it determines that your driving is a risk or threat to public safety.

For administrative license suspensions, you can obtain limited driving privileges by filing a petition up to 30 days after your initial appearance. Limited driving privileges are typically for work, medical or educational reasons.

First Time DUI Charges Can Be Reduced in Cincinnati

Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, it may be possible to have an OVI / DUI reduced or dismissed. For instance, maybe you were only sitting in the driver’s seat with the key in the ignition or the breathalyzer malfunctioned.

Sometimes a first OVI / DUI can be reduced to reckless operation. This may depend on factors like:

  • Was a breath test performed? If so, how high was your BAC
  • Was there an accident or injuries?
  • Were you cooperative with the officer who stopped you?
  • What’s the judge’s stance on OVI / DUIs?
  • Is the prosecutor tough on OVI / DUIs?

Highlighting falws in the the OVI case against can make a huge difference, but it’s also important to work with an experienced DUI lawyer.

Why Your Need a DUI Lawyer for Your First Offense

It may be tempting to try and handle things yourslef or simply accept the guilty plea and move on quickly, this is ten a mistake. People who represent themselves simply do not have the training to identify all the ways to improve this case. And, while it may be appealing to accept your fate, there is too much at stake now to not pursue every opprotunity to resolve an OVI in your favor.

At Luftman, Heck & Associate, we are highly experienced and familiar with the local courts and prosecutors handeling your case. We know what they respond to, how to present legal errors that may not be apparent, and how to pursue the best possible outcome on a first OVI case.

Although every case is different, and not every DUI can be reduced or dismissed it is crucial to speak with an attorney about what you can expect. The sooner you speak with an attorney, the better your options will be. Attorney Brad Groene has successfully helped hundreds of people in Hamilton County and the surronding areas deal with their first OVI / DUI offenses. His knowledge, experience, and compassion helps you receive the justice you deserve.

Facing Your First DUI in Cincinnati? Contact the First Offense DUI Lawyers at LHA.

Your first OVI is scary. You are likely stressed, angry, and worried about your future. But, the best thing you can do forself is call the experienced Cincinnati DUI lawyers with Luftman, Heck & Associates.

Attorney Brad Groene will walk you through all your options, explian the OVI process, and create a plan that protects you. Don’t hesitate to contact us. Call (513) 338-1890 or email us at We are available 24/7.

Bradley Groene made an exceptionally difficult situation much easier to handle. He kept me informed of everything that was going to happen and got results for my case far better than I could have hoped for. I would highly recommend him for anyone who finds themselves in legal troubles.