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For a first-time offender, if this is your first OVI, first ever in your life, or if it’s a first in ten years, the mandatory minimum for a low-tier test is three days and jail. They consider jail time, but most of the time, a person never does it in jail; they do it in a Driver’s Intervention Program or a Residential Driver’s Intervention Program instead of jail. But the judge could technically send you up to 180 days in jail, yet I’ve never seen that happen for a first-time offender. The overwhelming majority of the time, you get the mandatory minimum, again, unless there’s something egregious about the case.
For a low-tier or an A1A case, you’re looking at a mandatory minimum of three days and a driver’s intervention program, and at least a one-year driver’s license suspension by the court up to three years. If you test over a 0.170 or above, the mandatory minimum penalty is six days in jail. Now, there are no 6-day driving programs, so the client will either have to do three days in jail and three days in a driver’s intervention program or just the six days in jail, which is why I’d say don’t take the breath test because you’re just making your situation worse. You don’t get that six days for a first offense refusal on there. So it’s always better to try to keep away from that high-tier test because not only do you have to do a more extended time in jail, but you also have to have what is known as Restrictive Plates. You’d have to have the DUI plates, which are different license plates than usual. The court could require that you have an ignition interlock device installed in your car if you’re going to be granted any driving privileges.
Get an excellent experienced OVI attorney. They’re going to give you advice on what you need to do in preparation for your plea and sentencing, and if you follow their advice when it comes to certain things like alcohol assessments, you will likely be better off in the long run.
What I have found is that that sentencing memorandum works out tremendously when it comes to mitigating a case, even one that could be pretty severe because then, like I said, instead of looking at my client as just a piece of paper, if somebody who did something that they should have been doing by driving while having too much alcohol, they look them in terms of their entire personal history.
So, an experienced attorney could provide sound mitigation in the form of advice for what you need to do in preparation or provide the court with a sentencing memorandum that would help tremendously when it comes to sentencing.
No one should ever attempt to defend themselves in an OUI or DUI case. I recommend that a client should always hire a person who does or concentrates in OVI and DUI defense when it comes to this because an OVI is not expungable, so if you get found guilty of an OVI, it’s going to be on the record for the rest of your life. Nobody plans on getting one OVI, so it’s incredibly important for them to get an attorney on the case for that.
It is still essential to find an attorney who predominantly practices OUI and DUI defense.
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