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DUI / OVI Defense Attorney

If you’ve been charged with or even accused of driving under the influence or operating a vehicle while intoxicated, you are facing complicated penalties. 

At Hiltner Trial Lawyers, our Ohio defense attorneys have successfully defended people with DUI / OVI charges time and again.

Call 330-475-3164 for a free consultation

“As my lawyer Max Hiltner had me readily informed and up to date about everything that was happening. I was never confused, and anytime something new came about he handled it quickly and did everything needed to get a good outcome for me. Hiltner made the whole process as easy as possible for me.”

- Paul

DUI / OVI Cases in Ohio

Many of us have had a night out that led to a few drinks, but the danger arises if we try to get behind the wheel afterwards. 

Driving under the influence charges (also known as DUIs) are referred to as operating while intoxicated charges (OVIs) in Ohio, and the penalties are dependent upon the number of OVI convictions the offender has had within the past ten years.

While possession is a misdemeanor, drug trafficking if a felony charge with serious consequences.

1. First-Offense OVI/DUI in Ohio

If your blood alcohol level is less than .17% (low level), you could be facing any of the following:

  • Maximum 6 months in jail
  • Minimum 3 days in jail or 3-day Drivers Intervention Program
  • Maximum 5 years of probation
  • Fine between $375-$1,075 
  • Suspended license (1-3 years)

If your blood alcohol level was more than .17% (high level), you could be facing double the jail time, but the other penalties typically remain the same.

2. Second Offense OVI/DUI in Ohio

If you’re arrested for a second OVI in 10 years, you could be facing any of the following for low level blood alcohol findings:

  • Maximum 6 months in jail
  • Minimum 10 days in jail or 5 days in jail and 18 days of house arrest with electronic monitoring 
  • Maximum 5 years of probation
  • Fine between $525-$1,625 
  • Suspended license (1-7 years)
  • Mandatory alcohol/drug assessment and recommended treatment

Again for high level second-time offenses, the jail time (or house arrest time) could be doubled.

3. Third Offense OVI/DUI in Ohio

If you’re arrested for a third OVI in 10 years, you could be facing any of the following for low level blood alcohol findings:

  • Maximum 1 year in jail
  • Minimum 30 days in jail or 15 days in jail and 55 days of house arrest with electronic monitoring 
  • Maximum 5 years of probation
  • Fine between $850-$2,750
  • Suspended license (2-10 years)
  • Mandatory alcohol/drug assessment and recommended treatment

Again for high level third-time offenses, the jail time (or house arrest time) could be doubled.

4. After a 4th Offense, the charge becomes a felony.

At Hiltner Trial Lawyers, we have successfully defended many people with DUI / OVI charges.

Call 330-475-3164 for a free consultation


What is considered operating a vehicle while intoxicated?

In Ohio, non-commercial drivers are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .08 or more. (Generally speaking, this is equivalent to three drinks an hour for women and four drinks an hour for men, although this estimation varies widely according to age, body type, and experience with alcohol.)

What about implied consent, breathalyzers, or blood and urine tests?

Ohio’s implied consent law requires all drivers arrested for an OVI to submit to chemical testing to determine the blood alcohol level. When the officer suspects you of drunk driving, the officer will choose which type of test you’ll have to take: blood test, breath test, or urine test. However, if you refuse to submit to your test, your license could be automatically suspended for one year.

What about a sobriety test?

Police officers across the country use field sobriety tests when making DUI stops and arrests. The three main tests are:

  • Walk and Turn Test – The officer will ask you to take nine steps in a straight line, heel to toe, and turn around to walk back the same way without using your arms for balance
  • The One Leg Stand Test – The officer will ask you to stand on one leg with the other leg six inches off the ground
  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test – The officer will stand in front of you and move an object for you to follow with your eyes

Other tests exist, as well, but each comes with its own problems and potential for misleading results.

Can an OVI be related to drugs?

Yes, in Ohio you can be charged with an OVI if you have a certain concentration of amphetamine, cocaine, heroin, LSD, marijuana, methamphetamine, or PCP in your body, or a mix of these with alcohol.

Why Choose Hiltner Trial Lawyers

At Hiltner Trial Lawyers, we have successfully defended many people with DUI / OVI charges.

Here are some of the cases we’ve tried in recent years:

A 63 year-old woman in poor physical health was involved in a traffic accident while driving her disabled husband home from dinner. Both cars were totaled by the force of the impact. The arresting officers mistook her disorientation from the accident for intoxication and charged her with causing the accident and a DUI. Our client admitted she was at fault for the accident, but maintained for the last six months that she was not intoxicated and hadn’t been drinking. The officers testified that she failed the field sobriety tests, had slurred speech, red-bloodshot-glassy eyes, strongly smelled of alcohol, and refused the breathalyzer test. Hiltner explained to the jury that in order for them to find our client guilty, they’d have to believe that a loving spouse who retired to take care of her severely ill husband, would put his life in danger by drinking and driving. The jury agreed, and the client was not only found not guilty of the DUI, but also not guilty of causing the accident entirely.

Hiltner represented a young doctor facing an allegation of drinking and driving. If convicted, the young doctor could have suffered serious career repercussions. During the stop, the man admitted to having several drinks, performed all field sobriety tests, and was arrested. At the station, he refused to submit to an alcohol test. At trial, Hiltner played video of the stop and the trooper admitted that the sobriety tests he administered were not done properly. Again, after being confronted with the video, the trooper admitted that the young doctor actually passed most of the field sobriety tests. Hiltner put on no witnesses or testimony. The court reached a not guilty finding instantly.

A young woman was charged with her 4th lifetime OVI. She was pulled over for driving the wrong way on the freeway. A police officer observing the young woman immediately pulled her over. The woman admitted to sometimes drinking and taking prescription medications, and at the scene she failed all field sobriety tests and refused a breath and chemical test. The young woman was adamant that she wasn’t intoxicated and refused to accept any plea deals. Hiltner prepped fully for trial and showed up the morning of the trial with the young woman. However, instead of proceeding to trial, the State chose to dismiss all charges instead of risking trial. 

A young professional was pulled over in the early morning hours for a report of an intoxicated driver. Several vehicles had reported the vehicle due to reckless driving to authorities before she was finally stopped. During the stop, the woman admitted to drinking several drinks. She also failed all field sobriety tests. She had also just been convicted of an OVI/DUI less than 6 months prior to this stop. She was facing a minimum of 30 days in jail, losing her children, job, etc. Hiltner worked up the case and found several crucial weaknesses in the State’s case. Less than one month after Hiltner was hired, all charges were dismissed against the woman except for a minor traffic infraction which resulted in a small fine.

A young business professional and well-respected member of the community was stopped and cited for an OVI (DUI). His career, livelihood, and reputation hung on the outcome of this case, so Hiltner was trusted to handle it. After months of negotiations and a pending motions filed by Hiltner, the prosecutor agreed to amend the OVI charge to a minor misdemeanor charge of failure to control a vehicle for a minimal fine.


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Contact Ohio attorney Max Hiltner if you’ve been charged with a DUI / OVI

DUI / OVI charges — especially when compounded — can be life-changing, affecting your career, reputation, and family situation. Don’t let it happen to you. Contact Max Hiltner if you’re facing a DUI / OVI.
Call 330-475-3164 for a free consultation

“Max Hiltner is dynamite in the courtroom by connecting with the jury, recalling facts and cultivating good relationships with the opponents and presiding judge. He is professional, dedicated, honest and cares about the livelihood of his clients and their families. He excels in negotiating and hiring experts necessary for a well rounded defense. Max was one of my lawyers that stood between me and a life sentence. Without him on my team I would still be in prison. He will fight for you.”

- Colleen O.

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    Ger VangGer Vang
    15:23 04 Mar 24
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    16:13 07 Feb 24
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    13:00 07 Feb 24
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    15:47 05 Feb 24
    I am grateful for the outstanding legal representation I received from Max Hiltner. He not only possesses a deep understanding of the law but also goes above and beyond to prioritize clients' needs. Max guided me with clarity and transparency, making a complex legal situation more manageable. The communication was prompt, and his dedication to my case was evident throughout. I highly recommend Max for anyone seeking a knowledgeable and reliable attorney. Thank you for your exceptional service!
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    15:57 30 Jan 24
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    Brian AultBrian Ault
    23:02 25 Jan 24
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    16:22 25 Jan 24
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    Cody SchatzCody Schatz
    13:45 24 Jan 24
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