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Driving Under Suspension

Many residents of Columbus and surrounding areas of Ohio need to be able to drive in order to get to school, to work, or for their basic livelihood. One of the most common reasons that motorists in the Buckeye State temporarily lose their driving privileges are convictions for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OVI).

For many people, it is imperative to still be able to drive in order to pay bills and support their families. An arrest for driving under suspension (DUS), however, could mean additional time being added to the original suspension length as well as other harsh penalties. 

Columbus Driving Under Suspension Lawyer

While a DUS is technically a misdemeanor offense, a conviction can have serious consequences. If you have been charged with driving while your license was suspended following an OVI or refusal to submit to chemical testing when suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) in Central Ohio, it will be in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation.

Columbus DUS attorney Brian Joslyn of the Joslyn Law Firm represents clients throughout the greater Columbus area, including communities in surrounding areas of Franklin County, Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County, and Fairfield County. Call (513) 339-6289 right now to take advantage of a completely free initial consultation.


Overview of Driving Under Suspension in Franklin County


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DUS Charges in Ohio

Driving under suspension or in violation of license restriction is a first-degree misdemeanor under Ohio Revised Code § 4510.11. Repeat offenses may trigger impoundment or possibly even criminal forfeiture of an alleged offender’s vehicle.

Some of the most common reasons that people have had their licenses suspended include, but are not limited to:

  • DUI or OVI;
  • Refusal to submit to chemical testing during stop for suspected DUI or OVI;
  • Accumulating 12 points on driving record in two-year period;
  • Failure to provide proof of insurance;
  • Previous DUS offense;
  • Security suspension (causing an accident that resulted in $400 or more of damage while uninsured); or
  • Suspension ordered by judge following conviction for separate offense.

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DUS Penalties in Columbus

Driving in Ohio with a suspended or revoked license is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Additionally, the court can also impose a class seven suspension of the alleged offender's driver's license for up to one year in addition to the length of the original suspension or revocation.

Repeat convictions can also lead to immobilization or forfeiture of an alleged offender’s vehicle. The possible penalties depend on the number of previous DUS offenses an alleged offender has:

  • Second Offense in Three Years — Immobilization of the vehicle involved in the alleged offense and impoundment of that vehicle's license plates for 30 days;
  • Third Offense in Three Years — Immobilization of the vehicle involved in the alleged offense and impoundment of that vehicle's license plates for 60 days; or
  • Fourth or Subsequent Offense in Three Years — Criminal forfeiture to the state of the vehicle involved in the offense.

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Wrongful Entrustment in Franklin County

If the vehicle involved in a DUS offense is not registered in the driver's name, the owner of the vehicle involved in DUS offenses can still be held criminally liable under Ohio Revised Code § 4510.11. This crime is called wrongful entrustment of motor vehicle, and it is a first-degree misdemeanor when an alleged offender knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the other person's act of driving would be a violation of the driving under suspension statute.

In addition to a maximum sentence of 180 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000, alleged offenders are also subject to a class seven suspension of their driver's licenses for up to one year. People convicted of wrongful entrustment are also subject to the immobilization or forfeiture penalties, depending on whether they have been previously convicted of this offense:

  • First Offense — Immobilization of the vehicle involved in the alleged offense and impoundment of that vehicle's license plates for 30 days;
  • Second Offense — Immobilization of the vehicle involved in the alleged offense and impoundment of that vehicle's license plates for 60 days; or
  • Third or Subsequent Offense — Criminal forfeiture to the state of the vehicle involved in the offense.

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Ohio Resources for Driving Under Suspension

Driver License Suspension & Reinstatement | Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) — The BMV oversees driver licensing in Ohio. On this website, you can learn what you need to do to restore your driving privileges following any suspension. The website addresses specific types of suspension as well as the lengths of suspension, reinstatement requirements, and whether limited driving privileges can be applied for with each kind of suspension.

Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
1970 West Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43223
(614) 752-7500

Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) — While it is not always ideal, public transportation is one of the surest ways to avoid DUS charges without having to hassle friends or relatives for rides. On the COTA website, you can plug in specific addresses to plan a trip. You can find bus schedules, stops, routes, and additional information.

COTA Administrative Offices
William J. Lhota Building
33 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 275-5800


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Find a DUS Lawyer in Columbus, OH

Were you recently charged with driving while your license was suspended in Ohio for an OVI or DUI-related offense? The Joslyn Law Firm fights to get driving privileges reinstated and have criminal charges reduced or dismissed for clients in Columbus, Dublin, Westerville, Reynoldsburg, Grove City, and many surrounding areas of Franklin County.

Brian Joslyn is an award-winning DUS attorney in Columbus, Ohio, who has been named one of Central Ohio’s Top Lawyers by Columbus CEO Magazine. He can review your case and discuss potential OVI defenses as soon as you call (513) 339-6289 or submit an online form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.


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