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Appealing the Administrative License Suspension in Ohio

You have the right to appeal your administrative license suspension (ALS). Keep in mind that even if you are subsequently found NOT GUILTY of the criminal charges in court, if you didn’t appeal the ALS, it stands.

Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 4511.197, an administrative license suspension may be appealed at the initial appearance (5 day hearing), or within 30 days of the initial appearance.


Scope of the ALS Appeal after an OVI in Ohio

Under Ohio R.C. 4511.197(C)(1)-(4), the scope of the ALS appeal in Ohio is limited to determining whether one or more of the following conditions have not been met:

  1. Whichever of the following applies:
    • If a failed test suspension was imposed, whether at the time of the offense, the bodily substance contained a prohibited concentration of alcohol or a listed controlled substance or metabolite. ORC 4511.197(C)(4).
  2. Whether the officer had reasonable grounds to believe the person was OVI, OVUAC or in physical control in violation of statute or municipal ordinance, and whether the person was in fact placed under arrest. ORC 4511.197(C)(1).
  3. Whether the officer requested the person submit to a chemical test or test. ORC 4511.197(C)(2).
  4. Whether the officer informed the person of the consequences of taking or refusing test or tests; or for repeat OVI offender that would be required to be sentenced under ORC 4511.19(G)(1)(c),(d), or (e), that in the event of test refusal officer could use whatever reasonable means were necessary to ensure the person submitted to a blood test. ORC 4511.197(C)(3).

The OVI Defense Attorneys in Cincinnati, Ohio, at Joslyn Law Firm will help you determine whether any of the above issues can be shown during an ALS appeal after a Ohio OVI arrest. If not, our attorneys will conduct a hearing. During the hearing the officer will testify and we would request the judge terminate your license suspension.

Our attorneys also determine whether the BMV Form 2255 was improperly filled out. Issues can include whether reasonable grounds were listed for arrest, whether the box was checked for “Was placed under an Administrative License Suspension” and whether the officer properly swore to and/or attested to the statements on the form.

Our Ohio OVI attorneys in Cincinati, Ohio, will determine whether there were any alterations or changes made to the BMV Form 2255 after it was served on you but before it was filed with the court. If there are problems with the way the BMV form is completed, it may be possible to convince the judge to terminate your license suspension.


Appeal to Terminate the Improper ALS

The correct procedure for seeking the termination of an allegedly improper ALS is through an appeal. Pursuant to R.C. 4511.197, a person arrested for OVI in violation of R.C. 4511.19(A) who has his license suspended under the foregoing section, “may appeal the suspension at the person's initial appearance on the charge resulting from the arrest or within the period ending thirty days after the person's initial appearance on that charge, in the court in which the person will appear on that charge.”

Additionally, a person seeking limited driving privileges under R.C. 4511.197(E) must file a petition “no later than thirty days after the arrested person's initial appearance or arraignment.”

“The time limits set forth under R.C. 4511.197(A) are obviously jurisdictional in nature. If an administrative license suspension is not timely appealed, the court has no jurisdiction to consider the appeal.” Westlake v. Pesta, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 92150, 2009–Ohio–4713, ¶ 5; State v. Derov, 7th Dist. Mahoning No. 08 MA 189, 2009–Ohio–4810, ¶ 13–14.

Failure to file a petition for reinstatement within 30 days of the initial appearance on the charge renders the appeal untimely. In other words, an ALS appeal is untimely unless filed at or within thirty days of the initial appearance. If you believe that your license was improperly suspended, then you must file a timely appeal.


Additional Resources

Ohio’s Administrative License Suspension (ALS) Refusal of Test - Visit the website of the ODPS Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles to learn more about driver license suspension and reinstatement procedures. Find information on the administrative license suspension ALS after an OVI arrest, reading of implied consent, and alleged refusal to submit to chemical testing of the breath, blood or urine. Read more about a frequently asked question: "What is the Administrative License Suspension in Cincinnati, Ohio."


Finding a Cincinnati Attorney for the ALS Appeal

If you were arrested for OVI (often called “DUI” or drunk driving) in Cincinnati, Ohio, then contact an attorney at Joslyn Law Firm. During a free consultation, we can talk with you about possible ways to avoid the administrative license suspension (ALS) through an appeal. We represent clients charged with OVI throughout the greater Cincinnati area.

Call (513) 399-6289 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney focused on OVI defense today.

This article was last updated on Wednesday, November 18, 2015.