Physical Control

A physical control conviction is similar to OVI conviction in that they are both drug or alcohol-related misdemeanors, but a physical control conviction comes with lighter penalties since the offender was not operating a vehicle and put others at risk.

Physical control charges commonly occur when the offender decides they cannot drive home, so they end up getting in their parked car and falling asleep with the keys in the ignition or within arms reach.

Attorney for Physical Control in Cincinnati, OH

If you have recently been charged with physical control, retaining an experienced defense team from Joslyn Law Firm will make all the difference in your case. Our attorneys will fight to possibly get the charges dropped or reduced.

Joslyn Law Firm proudly serves communities in the Cincinnati area that include Hamilton, Middletown, Lebanon, Sharonville, Blue Ash, Fairfield, Mason, Oxford and many others. Call us today at (513) 339-6289 or submit your information in our online form and one of our attorneys will review your case for free.


Overview of Physical Control in Ohio


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What is Physical Control?

Physical control and OVI are similar offenses that involve drugs or alcohol, but there is one factor that sets them apart. OVI involves operating a vehicle while under the influence while physical control is being in the driver’s seat of a parked vehicle.

Ohio Revised Code 4511.194 defines physical control as being in the driver’s seat of a vehicle and having possession of the vehicle’s keys or other ignition devices while under the influence of drugs, alcohol or a combination.

Because Ohio has no safe harbor laws, there are circumstances where a physical control charge could be an OVI. For instance, if an individual who is under the influence decided not to drive but they start their car to turn on the AC, they could be charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence even though they were trying to do the right thing.


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Physical Control Penalties

Physical control penalties are not as harsh as OVI even though the convictions are similar. Most importantly, being convicted of physical control does not carry the stigma of an OVI conviction and could save you future ramifications. This law was designed for that purpose.

If you are convicted of physical control, you could face the following penalties:

  • A first-degree misdemeanor that carries the potential of up to 180 days in jail, no more than $1,000 in fines, court-ordered alcohol or drug treatment and a possible license suspension for up to a year.

Unlike an OVI charge, a physical control charge cannot be enhanced. The conviction also carries no points on your driver’s license.


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Possible Defenses

The potential defenses for physical control are similar to an OVI since they are both drug or alcohol-related offense. Some of the possible defenses for physical control include the following:

  • The driver did not have physical control of the vehicle. The prosecutor will need to prove that you did, in fact, have access or possession to the keys and that you were in the driver’s seat.
  • Breath test results are invalid. The breathalyzer was faulty and not properly calibrated, influenced by medical issues, dental alcohol or the officer administered the test wrong. 
  • Improper traffic stop. The officer must have had probable cause and reasonable suspicion to approach the vehicle.
  • Field sobriety test was not properly administered. Law enforcement is required to follow specific instructions when admitting a field sobriety test. If it is done incorrectly the case could be thrown out.

 


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Ohio Physical Control Resources

Ohio Revised Code 4511.194- Full text of the Ohio Revised Code that governs physical control laws in Ohio can be read in full on codes.ohio.gov. The statute provides in-depth explanations of what physical control is, penalties and what is not considered physical control. 

Physical Control and OVI Q&A- The Ohio State Bar Association provides a Q&A column over physical control and OVI. Some of the questions include the difference between OVI and physical control and when it is legal to drink and drive. The Ohio State Bar Association is an association that promotes legal education in Ohio.

Lawyer for Physical Control in Cincinnati, OH

If you plan to fight a physical control charge, you should contact Joslyn Law Firm as soon as possible. Our defense attorneys will strive to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation by possibly getting the charges reduced or dropped.

Joslyn Law Firm is experienced with physical control cases, so you can rest assured your case will be handled with diligence and trust. We proudly server communities in central Ohio that include, Cincinnati, Hamilton, Middletown, Lebanon, Sharonville, Blue Ash, Fairfield, Mason, Oxford and many others. 

Call us today at (513) 339-6289 or submit your information in our online form and an attorney with Joslyn Law Firm will review your case for free.


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