September 16, 2020 | Kentucky Law
Being arrested for DUI is a stressful situation. You face severe penalties if you are convicted of drunk driving. However, when you are arrested for DUI somewhere other than your state of residence, the matter becomes much more complicated.
A DUI is not a speeding ticket. You cannot mail a check from home and consider the matter resolved. You need to show up for all court appearances, which means travel expenses each time you are scheduled for court.
Additionally, you must miss time from work and be away from your family each time you must travel to court. However, you may have no other choice. Depending on the type of DUI charge filed against you, you could be fighting to avoid years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.
You may also need to hire two DUI defense lawyers, unless you choose a Kentucky DUI defense law firm that also has lawyers licensed and practicing in Ohio.
What Law Applies in My Case?
If you live in Ohio and you are arrested for DUI in Kentucky, Kentucky’s DUI laws apply in your case, so you will definitely need an attorney who knows the DUI laws in Kentucky.
By hiring a local attorney, your attorney may appear on your behalf for some court hearings, which decreases the number of times you must travel from Ohio to Kentucky. Also, a local lawyer is familiar with the judges and courts that handle your case. That could be a benefit if you want to negotiate a plea deal.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that your DUI charges will go away if you return to Ohio. If you fail to show up for a court appearance, the judge may issue an arrest warrant.
The Ohio police can pick you up on the Kentucky arrest warrant and return to you Kentucky, where you will remain in jail until your case is resolved.
What are You Facing for a DUI Conviction?
Kentucky has the same legal limit for drivers over the age of 21 years as Ohio. If your BAC (blood alcohol content) is .08 or higher within two hours of operating a motor vehicle, you can be convicted of DUI in Kentucky. Drivers who are under the age of 21 years have a legal limit for BAC of .02.
The penalties for a DUI conviction depend on how many DUIs you have had during the past ten years. If you have out-of-state DUI convictions during the past five years, that can also enhance your sentence.
For a typical DUI in the first offense, you may receive up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. You may also be sentenced to substance abuse treatment, community service, and your driver’s license may be suspended.
For a second and third offense DUI, you may also receive jail time, fines, community service, and substance abuse treatment. The only difference is that the time periods and the fines increase with each subsequent conviction.
If there are aggravating circumstances, the penalties increase.
In most cases, you must serve your jail time in a Kentucky jail or prison. However, you can request that the court allow you to complete your other punishments in Ohio.
What Happens to My Driver’s License?
Kentucky does not have the authority to seize an Ohio driver’s license. However, that does not mean you will not lose your Ohio driver’s license for a Kentucky DUI conviction.
The Kentucky Department of Transportation notifies the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles if you fail a BAC test or if you refuse to take a BAC test after being arrested for DUI. If you are convicted of DUI in Kentucky, Ohio laws state that your driver’s license is subject to a Class D suspension.
Therefore, you cannot drive in Kentucky for the time set by the judge, and your Ohio driver’s license is suspended according to Ohio laws regarding out-of-state DUI convictions. You may appeal the suspension with the Ohio BMV according to the laws and requirements in Ohio.
What Should You Do if You are Arrested for DUI in Kentucky?
Take the matter very seriously. You need to understand the charges against you and your legal rights. Therefore, talk to a DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible.
An attorney can explain the laws and your options for fighting the DUI charge. The attorney can also explain other options, such as agreeing to a plea deal. If you want to explore a plea deal or you want to fight the DUI charges, you need legal counsel if you want to have the best chance for a positive outcome in your case.