Immobilization and Criminal Forfeiture

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Immobilization And Criminal Forfeiture

The court will order the immobilization or forfeiture of a person’s vehicle, usually after the police arrest that person for drunk driving or violating Ohio law Section 4511.19. This law is better known as operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The police might arrest the defendant for this crime even if the defendant’s driving wasn’t impaired. Instead, the law may assume the defendant is under the influence per se if their blood alcohol content is 0.08 or higher. Under this law, the defendant may not operate a vehicle while intoxicated by controlled substances either. For example, if 2000 ng or more of heroin is found in the defendant’s urine, the police may arrest them for this charge.

If a jury has found a defendant guilty multiple times for drunk driving, the court may impose immobilization and criminal forfeiture as an additional sentence. However, the vehicle must belong to the driver for this to occur.

Ohio Immobilization And Criminal Forfeiture Attorney

If you are arrested for drunk driving, it is possible that the police may seize your car or other property under Ohio’s law. During a case like this, having an experienced attorney by your side can make a considerable difference in your future. To retain skilled counsel in Ohio, contact Joslyn Law Firm. Our attorneys can ensure your rights are protected.

Joslyn Law Firm represents clients all over the greater Dayton area, including Kettering and Huber Heights in Montgomery County and surrounding communities like Springfield, Beavercreek, Piqua, Fairborn, and Troy. To schedule your first consultation with Joslyn Law Firm, call (937) 356-3969 today.

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Information Center

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Immobilization And Criminal Forfeiture Penalties

First Offense

Courts in Dayton, Ohio, cannot issue an immobilization and criminal forfeiture order against the defendant’s vehicle if it is the defendant’s first OVI or DUI offense. However, the judge can order a tow truck company to seize the defendant’s car. In this case, the defendant must pay the necessary fines and fees for the towing to retrieve their vehicle. If the judge placed an administrative license suspension against the defendant, they must have another person drive their car from the car impound lot to their home.

Second Offense

Ohio law stipulates that a defendant, whom a jury convicted of an OVI or DUI offense within the past ten years, must have their car immobilized or forfeited for a mandatory minimum of 90 days. The defendant may not sell nor drive the vehicle nor have anyone else sell or drive the vehicle. This restriction can be burdensome if the defendant must sell the vehicle to pay court fees or other necessary expenses. The burdens are amplified if the impounded vehicle is the only vehicle for a household. In this case, the other adults in the household, who are likely hardworking and productive citizens, must struggle to commute to work, school, doctor’s appointments, etc.

Third Offense

If the defendant was convicted of two or more OVIs or DUIs within ten years or five or more in twenty years, the court must order a mandatory forfeiture of this person’s vehicle. Once this happens, the defendant’s car is the state’s property, and the defendant must pay for a title transfer.

The penalties for vehicle immobilization and criminal forfeiture are as severe as they are troublesome. Once the court orders the defendant’s vehicle to be immobilized or forfeited, that person is inconvenienced significantly. Without reliable transportation, even a trip to the grocery store can take longer than expected and cost more money than anticipated, particularly if the defendant must pay for a rideshare service. The lack of a vehicle can be detrimental if the defendant wants to be on time for work interviews, a court case, a child custody case, medical appointments, or other important meetings.

Suppose the defendant is on probation. The defendant may be late to a mandatory appointment due to having an immobilized vehicle. Thus, the defendant may incur additional consequences from not having stable transportation. Furthermore, paying for public transportation and rideshares is expensive, and these transportation systems often run late or stop running at unexpected times, further hindering the defendant from maintaining a steady life.

Other penalties included operating a vehicle while intoxicated charge. If a jury finds the defendant guilty of this offense, the judge may sentence the defendant from three days to one year in jail and order the defendant to pay a fine of up to $2750. If this is the defendant’s first offense, the fine is only a maximum of $1075. If the defendant violates this law continuously, the fines and sentencing increase.

Immobilization And Criminal Forfeiture Waiver

A family or household member may request an immobilization or forfeiture waiver so that others in the home can access the vehicle. A judge will grant this request under two conditions. One, the requester can prove the family will suffer undue hardship without a vehicle. Two, the requester filed this motion before the judge wrote either order. The requester states they depend on the vehicle entirely for necessities, and the loss of the vehicle will cause them undue hardship. It costs $50 to file.

When considering the necessities, a judge will determine whether the requester needs this vehicle and has no other reliable or viable option to make it to work, take their children to school, attend routine doctor appointments, and get groceries. Every case is unique.

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Operating A Vehicle While Under The Influence Defenses

A defendant may prevent the court from impounding their car by raising a reasonable doubt about their intoxication. Bringing into question the arresting officer’s handling of the breathalyzer equipment, whether the breathalyzer was defective, and the improper instructions the officer may have given during a field sobriety test can suffice to create reasonable doubt. Each case is different, so the defendant should trust the experience of their operating a vehicle while intoxicated lawyer to advise them on which defense is most fitting to that case.

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Additional Resources

Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.19 – This Ohio website provides information on the operating vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs statute.

Ohio OVI (DUI) Laws – This commercial website provides information on operating vehicles under the influence, including legal limits and penalties.

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Ohio Immobilization And Criminal Forfeiture Lawyer | Joslyn Law Firm

If you have been charged with a DUI / OVI offense in Dayton, Ohio, contact Joslyn Law Firm. Brian Joslyn is a criminal defense lawyer who has years of experience addressing drunk driving cases. He will discuss the details of your case, how to protect your ability to drive and fight the charges against you.

The Joslyn Law Firm represents clients in communities such as Troy, Fairborn, Beavercreek, Huber Heights, and Piqua. Call (937) 356-3969 to schedule a free consultation with Joslyn Law Firm today.

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