Answer: It depends.

Whether the Franklin County (Columbus) or other local area prosecutor will be willing to reduce your first offense OVI charge to a lesser defense depends on a variety of factors including, for example:

  • Your prior record (other alcohol-related or traffic offenses)
  • Whether you have ever been charged with an OVI before (even if it was reduced to a lesser offense)
  • Whether you were in an accident
  • Whether anyone was injured as a result of your driving
  • Whether you took or refused a breath or other chemical test
  • If you took a test, was it much over the legal limit?
  • Was it a “high test” (i.e. over .17 BAC)?
  • What impact will the OVI have on your job and employment prospects (e.g. do you drive for a living?)
  • Were there any potential constitutional issues with the initial traffic stop (e.g. did the officer have reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle)?
  • Were you operating the vehicle when the officer stopped you?
  • Are there any other defenses that lead the prosecutor to believe he or she may not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were impaired and guilty of an OVI?

Your attorney will likely use one or more of the above examples in negotiations with the Columbus or other area prosecutor toward reducing your charge to a lesser offense.  Examples or lesser offenses might include, for example, physical control or reckless operation charge. 

Our attorneys offer a free OVI consultation.  If you would like to speak to a Columbus-area DUI attorney about whether your OVI charge could be reduced to a lesser charge in Franklin County or in a Mayor’s Court, call (614) 361-2804. 

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