There are a number of legal terms that apply to the government's ability to take your stuff. Here is a guide to help you understand the different terms which may apply to your case.
1. Seizure. Your car may be subject to seizure at roadside at the time of your arrest under certain circumstances. The officer's decision on whether or not to impound in an OVI arrest are governed by R.C. 4511.195. However, seizure of your vehicle is required for the following offenses,
- A second or greater OVI within six years, and any felony OVI offense. see R.C. 4511.19(G)(1)(b)(v), R.C. 4511.19(G)(1)(d)(v) and R.C. 4511.19(G)(1)(e)(v).
- Driving Under Suspension (DUS). see R.C. 4510.11(C)(2);
- Driving Under and OVI Suspension. see R.C. 4510.14(B)(3)(d);
- Driving Under a financial responsibility act (FRA) suspension (also known as an Insurance Suspension). see R.C. 4510.16(B)(3);
- Wrongful Entrustmet. see 4511.203(C)(3); and
- Violation of an Immobilization Order. R.C. 4503.236(B)
2. Impoundment. R.C. 4511.19(G)(1)(d)(v) and R.C. 4511.19(G)(1)(e)(v) authorize a court, under certain conditions, to take a person's license plates. Most of the time, impoundment is used pursuant to the issuance of "party plates" which are designed to shame and humiliate OVI offenders. If you are convicted of OVI in Ohio, yellow “restricted plates” are required,
- If you are convicted of OVI as a first offense, the judge has discretion to order restricted plates as a condition of granting you limited driving privileges.
- If you are placed under and administrative license suspension, a judge has discretion to order restricted plates as a condition of granting limited driving privileges.
- If you are convicted of O.V.I. as a first offense that involves a “high test”, the judge must order restricted plates as a condition of limited driving privileges.
- If you are convicted of OVI as a second offense or more within six years, the judge must order restricted plates as a condition of limited driving privileges.
- If you are convicted of O.V.I. as a fourth offense or more within 20 years, the judge must order restricted plates as a condition of limited driving privileges.
In addition to the problems of living with the plates is the inconvenience of obtaining the plates. If you are required to use these plates, you must surrender your plates to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles who, in turn, will give you the restricted plates. The restricted plates must remain on your vehicle for the duration of any license suspension imposed by the court and/or during the duration of the administrative license suspension.
3. Immobilization. The temporary taking of your automobile is called immobilization. If you are convicted of a DUI and you have one prior conviction within six years, the judge will immobilize your vehicle for 90 days and impound its license plates. During the period of immobilization, the vehicle may not be driven or sold. Depending on the court, you may have to purchase a “club” and arrange for the car to be towed to your house or a secure location within the court’s jurisdiction. There is a “hardship” exception to this rule. A court may waive the immobilization requirement if a family or household member residing with the defendant is completely dependant on that vehicle for the necessities of life so that immobilization of the vehicle would be an undue hardship. If the immobilization requirement is waived by the court, the vehicle will be required to have restricted plates (yellow license plates) and must not be operated by the defendant.
4. Forfeiture. Forfeiture is the permanent surrender of your vehicle to the government. A third conviction within six (6) years, or a fifth conviction within twenty (20) years will result in the forfeiture of your vehicle. Frequent readers of this blog will note my numerous objections to this laws operation. The law does not have a provision to protect the credit or property interest of an innocent third party and works to create a great deal of harm to innocent people. No immobilization waiver is available for a third offense within six (6) years or a fifth within twenty (20) years.
DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in Fairborn, Dayton, Springfield, Kettering, Vandalia, Xenia, Miamisburg, Huber Heights, Beavercreek, Centerville, Springboro, Franklin and throughout Ohio. He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself the Miami Valley’s choice for DUI defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671. For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500. Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter @DaytonDUI or Get Twitterupdates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook,www.facebook.com/daytondui and on the DaytonDUI channel on YouTube. You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.