Driving under the influence, or DUI, refers to a driver operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. OVI refers to operating a vehicle while impaired. An individual can be charged with OVI under various circumstances. One situation is heroin OVI.

What Is Heroin?

Heroin is a synthetic derivative of morphine. It can be snorted, smoked, or injected. It causes euphoria, relaxation, nausea, and drowsiness.

What Is Heroin OVI?

Heroin OVI occurs when an individual operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of heroin. In some jurisdictions, this criminal charge may be heroin DUI.

What are the Penalties Associated with Heroin OVI?

The amount of time in jail depends on the jurisdiction. Most of the time, it’s a misdemeanor. For example, a heroin OVI conviction in Ohio is a misdemeanor with at least three days in jail and a fine. In California, a heroin DUI is a minimum of six months in jail plus a fine, probation, suspended license, and DUI driving school for six months.

Can the Penalties Increase?

Yes. Penalties can increase for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of heroin. The harshness of the potential penalties depend on circumstances such as:

  • Being a repeat offender
  • Causing serious bodily injury to another
  • Having children in the vehicle at the time of traffic stop

What If I was Charged with Heroin OVI Even Though I’m No Longer Under the Influence?

Heroin can stay in a person’s system for a few weeks after it was consumed. Police may charge a driver with operating a vehicle under the influence of heroin after it’s detected in a blood or urine test.

Should I Talk to an Attorney about My Heroin OVI?

Yes. A drug-related DUI charge is hard for prosecutors to prove because there are no immediate tests to determine BAC like with an alcohol stop. Contact a criminal defense attorney for help with your criminal charge.