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A person convicted of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol (OVI) will very likely be placed under community control (formerly known as probation) as part of their punishment. While under community control, the individual will have to meet several requirements as set out by the sentencing judge. A violation of any of the terms of community control can result in serious consequences.
In Ohio, community control is just one of the consequences for an OVI conviction. A person convicted of OVI will face punishment such as the likelihood of having to serve jail time, paying significant fines, and losing their driver’s license. Community control is a way of monitoring a person’s behavior and activity with the goal of helping the individual avoid committing another violation of the law. Community control may include basic supervision or general intensive supervision. The level of supervision will determine the individual’s reporting requirements to their probation officer.
The terms of an individual’s community control are in the discretion of the judge. Some of the requirements that are often placed on individuals include the following:
Regular meetings with a probation officer;
Random drug and alcohol testing;
Obeying all laws;
Staying within certain geographical limits;
Paying court fees;
Performing community service; or
It is important to note that the above requirements are not an entire list of the potential terms the judge can impose. A person’s community control terms will depend upon the specific circumstances of their case.
If a probation officer has reasonable grounds to believe that an individual has violated any terms of their community control, he or she may bring the matter to the attention of the court. The court will hold a hearing to determine whether a violation of the terms of community control has occurred. This hearing will be very different from a normal trial. For example, the person alleged to have violated the conditions of community control is not given the right to a jury trial and the standard of proof required is lower, making a finding that a violation occurred more likely.
If the judge determines that a violation has occurred, it is possible that he or she will revoke the community control. In the event this happens, the judge can impose any sentence that was suspended in relation to the offense that was the basis for the community control. Further, if the basis of the community control violation is the conviction of a new offense, the individual will face punishment for both the new offense and the original offense that caused the individual to be placed under community control.
Unfortunately, for some individuals, a second OVI conviction is often the basis of an OVI-related community control violation. This may be indicative of a problem and, as a result, the court will treat the matter very seriously. Further, committing the same offense which resulted in you being placed under community control will likely make the judge believe the original punishment was not significant enough. Understanding and abiding by the terms of your community control is imperative to avoiding further negative consequences.