A DUI arrest can impact every aspect of a person’s life. In addition to having a suspended license, you can be facing a criminal record. It’s important to make sure that you have skilled legal counsel representing you if you have been accused of drunk driving in Ohio. A DUI conviction can be very costly. However, some DUI arrests can result in felony charges which will have a much greater impact than a misdemeanor. Contact your attorney as soon as possible after an arrest. Our legal team has represented many clients after an arrest in the Cincinnati area. We know how important it is to protect your future from a serious criminal record. While every case is unique, this may involve reducing a charge for felony DUI to a misdemeanor.
Contact Luftman, Heck & Associates to speak with a Cincinnati defense lawyer about moving forward after your DUI arrest. We have years of experience working with Ohio prosecutors in order to have criminal charges reduced or dropped. Do not delay to call our office at (513) 338-1890.
What Makes a DUI a Felony Over a Misdemeanor
The state of Ohio considers felonies to be the most serious types of crimes. While these can often result in years in prison, many felony convictions bring about other consequences. These can include restricted civil rights and harsh punishments for repeat offenses. Your DUI arrest can bring about felony charges if one or several of the following facts are found to apply to your case:
- You have been convicted of DUI three times in the last 10 years;
- You have five DUI convictions in the past 20 years;
- You already have other previous felony convictions;
- Someone is injured or killed due to your intoxication behind the wheel; or
- You were considered to be in the commission of another crime when arrested for DUI.
Reducing Your Felony DUI to a Misdemeanor Can Have a Significant Impact
Felony convictions often send defendants to prison for years. However, while some convicted felons avoid long incarceration sentences, all felons will face consequences that can last for life. These include being unable to vote, own a firearm, or apply for certain jobs. It can be much more difficult for a convicted felon to apply for student financial aid. Our office has seen felony DUI arrests where the defendants are charged with multiple felonies on top of the DUI offense. Reducing your DUI charge, or having it dropped all together, is an extremely important objective for any skilled defense attorney. A misdemeanor will have much less of an impact on your life than one of the following charges that often result from a felony DUI:
- Third-degree DUI felony: This is generally the most serious felony DUI charge in Ohio, and it often comes when the offender already has a previous felony DUI on their record. The punishment can include a fine up to $10,500 and up to five years in prison.
- Fourth-degree DUI felony: This felony is often filed when the arrested person has four or more previous non-felony DUIs. Punishment can include up to $10,500 in fines and up to one year in prison.
How a Skilled Lawyer Can Reduce Your DUI to a Misdemeanor
Our Cincinnati defense lawyers know that the details of each case are different. We investigate DUI arrests with the objectives of having our clients’ charges lowered or completely dropped. The legal process moves quickly after a felony DUI arrest, and therefore it’s important to call your lawyer as soon as possible. Your arraignment hearing is where you are first formally charged, and you have the right to have your lawyer present. Being involved in your case at this early stage will give our team the ability to understand the prosecutor’s case against you. Defenses that can reduce a felony DUI to a misdemeanor include:
- The police improperly handled your arrest: Law enforcement sometimes make mistakes when conducting roadside sobriety tests, and often they fail to protect people’s rights against unlawful searches. Your lawyer can argue that your charges be dropped if this happened to you.
- Your previous DUIs were many years in the past: Repeat DUI offenses can result in a felony charge. However, your current arrest can be lowered to a misdemeanor if your previous DUI arrests were over six years ago.
- Chemical tests were improperly done : DUI convictions often rely on drug or alcohol test results after samples of blood, urine, or breath are collected. However, a tainted sample cannot be relied upon to secure a conviction after arrest.
A Lawyer From Luftman, Heck & Associates Can Help You
Felony alcohol and drug crimes are taken very seriously by police and prosecutors throughout Ohio. Your arrest can result in a conviction in relatively little time. A felony DUI will impact every part of your life. In addition to incarceration and fines, you can lose your employment and driver’s license. Do not wait to call a knowledgeable defense lawyer. Our Cincinnati legal team knows how much is at stake for a person who faces a felony conviction. We understand how the prosecutor will proceed with the evidence in your case. Our years of experience can help you through every part of the legal process necessary to reduce a felony DUI to misdemeanor, or to have your charges dropped completely.