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Columbus, Ohio OVI or DUI Defense Lawyer

Driving under the influence, or “DUI,” is a criminal offense in the State of Ohio. State law relating to driving a vehicle while impaired is differently formulated from that of legislation you’ll encounter in most other states. When faced with Ohio’s Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI) charges, it’s important to engage a Columbus DUI lawyer who understands how OVI charges apply and who possesses a solid grounding in Ohio vehicular law generally.

Under Ohio law, there are three ways you may be charged with an OVI:

  1. Operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or greater (with even lower levels for certain drivers),
  2. Operating a vehicle while under the influence of any controlled substance, alcohol, or combination of the two, such that it has an adverse effect on your driving ability, and
  3. Operating a vehicle with a certain concentration of specified controlled substances in your body.

Depending on the amount of a substance in your system and the number of previous OVIs you’ve had, the penalties for OVI in Ohio can be quite severe, including substantial fines and substantial jail time. As a local practice with years of criminal law experience, Jay Perez Law can equip your DUI defense with a DUI lawyer in Columbus who is deeply familiar with local legislation and its implications for your case.

Sentencing Guidelines


When it comes to criminal cases in Columbus, in federal court, The United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines apply to those convicted of felonies and Class A misdemeanors. The guidelines determine sentences based on two factors: the conduct associated with the offense and the defendant’s criminal history.

There are 43 offense levels and six criminal history categories. There are four sentencing zones that determine incarceration length. The offense level and the criminal history category will determine which zone your matter will fall in.

There can be modifications to this which are called adjustments, and further, during sentencing, there can be departures, meaning deviations upward or downward from the guidelines depending on a number of circumstances. 

Federal law is multifaceted, and being found guilty under federal law typically involves strict punishments and long prison terms. If you’re facing federal charges, it’s critical that you hire a criminal defense lawyer with considerable experience in navigating the federal system.


Ohio classifies Misdemeanors into 5 levels: M1, M2, M3, M4, and MM.  M1 is the most serious and MM (Minor misdemeanor) is the least serious. Felony offenses call into 5 levels as well: F1, F2, F3, F4, and F5. First-degree felonies are the most serious category, while fifth-degree felonies are the least serious. With both misdemeanors and felonies, there are numerous factors that can determine a sentence.  

Felony Level    Prison Time   Maximum Fine


3-11 years



2-8 years



12-60 months** or

9-36 months



6-18 months



6-12 months


**Longer sentence range applies to aggravated vehicular homicide and assaults, sexual battery, gross sexual imposition, sex with a minor, and robbery and burglary with two or more separate aggravated or non-aggravated robberies or burglaries as well as certain F-3 drug offenses

Misdemeanor Level                  Jail Time    Maximum Fine


Up to 180 days



Up to 90 days



Up to 60 days



Up to 30 days





The sentencing guidelines in Ohio are complex and subject to many different factors. If you are facing any sentence in the Ohio legal system, a Columbus criminal defense attorney at Jay Perez Law has the requisite experience, passion, and insight to help you minimize your sentence to the greatest extent possible.

A Columbus OVI & DUI Defense Attorney Can Help You With Your Case

If you’ve been arrested, make sure your first call is to reach out to Jay Perez Law. It’s imperative that you gain quality representation and a strong legal advocate as early as possible. Acting without delay places you in the best position to reach a favorable outcome.

Attorney Jay Perez has years of experience handling criminal defense cases and the positive case results to prove his efficacy. Contact us 24/7 to schedule your consultation.