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Should I go for a reckless op instead of Ovi?

Columbus, OH |

I got an Ovi when I was 17 and am now almost 23. Last weekend I got pulled over for not using my turn signal and I had a few glasses of wine to drink with coworkers. Did field sobriety test but refused to blow on the scene. Got taken to the police station where I blew a .097. My lawyer is hopeful we can get it treated as a first offense as I was 17 when I got my first and didn't have a lawyer. If that's the case, what are the chances of me getting mine down to a reckless operation and what are the benefits?

Attorney Answers 4


The benefits are that a reckless operation charge is a less-serious offense than OVI. The penalties (and possible future penalties) are less severe. You will still have to pay a fine and court costs, plus complete a mandatory 72-hour alcohol education program, plus serve a 2-year probation, but keeping an OVI off your record is always a good thing.

Disclaimer: This does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been formed through this answer.

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I always advise my clients to take a know result to keep an alcohol offense off their record rather than risk getting one at trial.

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The penalties for a reckless can be the same as an OVI with the overwhelming benefit of the R.O. being the fact that it is NOT another OVI on your record. I have personally represented many clients who were treated as a first offense when it was actually a second in 6 yrs., but the decision to enter a plea to a first offense was made by the client after I had fully reviewed the case and explained all of the strengths and weaknesses if the client should choose to fight the case.

Make sure your attorney has substantial experience FIGHTING OVI cases so he/she can provide you with sufficient, and more importantly - accurate information about fighting your charge.

If you are in the Columbus area, I suspect there was only a single breath test measurement taken. This can be problematic and challenged on a Constitutional basis. Many attorneys think that a 1984 decision by our supreme court prevents an attack of the BAC Datamaster result, but that really isn't true. Again, this is where an aggressive Ohio OVI attorney comes in to play.

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For Franklin County there are 2 important issues for your scenario. 1) If your first DUI was within 6 years ago the penalties could all be doubled. 2) Blowing under a .1 is a big plus, and dramatically increases the chance that a reckless op charge can be agreed to. There is a variance with breathalyzer tests that can be argued upon.

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