Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can lead to serious penalties, including time behind bars and expensive fines. However, it may be possible that a DUI offense in Ohio could also lead to the confiscation of personal property. Recently, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that it was permissible for law enforcement to take the property of a driver who had committed multiple DUI offenses in the past.
Confiscation of valuable assets
The case came before the highest court in the state after the driver committed his third drunk driving offense within a 10-year period. After the last offense, the government took his pickup truck, an asset valued at $31,000. The defendant challenged the law that allowed the government to do this, claiming that it violated his 8th Amendment rights.
The court ruled in the state’s favor, opting to uphold the existing law that allows the government to take property owned by individuals who commit crimes. The court explained that it is difficult to determine whether a fine or forfeiture of property is excessive. Those who disagreed with the ruling pointed out that property confiscation can cause financial duress, which can lead to substance abuse problems and other struggles.
Fighting a DUI
The potential for the confiscation of personal property is only one of the penalties a driver could face if he or she gets a DUI in Ohio. It is critical to tenaciously fight these charges, regardless of whether it is a first offense or there are previous offenses on one’s criminal record. After a DUI arrest, it is beneficial to discuss options with an experienced attorney.