Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense that can have severe consequences. In Indiana, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. However, certain aggravating factors in a DUI case can enhance the penalties and fines in Indiana.
In these situations, it’s crucial to seek the help of an experienced Indianapolis DUI lawyer who can prepare your defense and protect your rights.
Understanding DUI Laws in Indiana
In Indiana, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. This means that if you are caught driving under the influence, you can face serious consequences such as fines, jail time, and license suspension.
It’s important to understand that DUI laws in Indiana apply not only to alcohol but also to other substances such as prescription drugs and marijuana. If you are found driving under the influence of any substance that impairs your ability to drive safely, you can be charged with DUI.
Additionally, Indiana has an implied consent law that states that by obtaining a driver’s license in the state, drivers automatically consent to chemical testing if they are suspected of driving under the influence. Refusing a chemical test can result in immediate license suspension for up to two years.
In addition to these aspects, an experienced Indianapolis DUI lawyer knows that certain factors may aggravate the charges in your DUI case.
Having a High BAC
Having a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is one of the aggravating factors in a DUI case in Indianapolis. In other words, if your BAC level is at or above 0.15%, you could face harsher penalties than those who have a lower BAC level.
Driving under the influence of alcohol significantly impairs your motor skills and judgment, making it dangerous for you to operate any vehicle. As such, Indiana law has set limits on how much alcohol one can consume before driving.
If an officer pulls you over and suspects that you are driving under the influence of alcohol, they may administer a breathalyzer test to determine your BAC level. If your test results show that you have exceeded the legal limit of 0.08%, then you will be arrested for DUI.
However, if your BAC is higher than 0.15%, then expect more severe consequences since this is considered an “aggravated” offense under Indiana law. You might end up facing hefty fines, extended jail terms, or even license suspension depending on several factors surrounding your case.
Being a Repeat DUI Offender
Being a repeat DUI offender in Indianapolis can significantly aggravate your DUI case. In Indiana, if you’re convicted of two or more DUI offenses within five years, you will face harsher penalties.
Repeat offenders may face longer jail sentences, higher fines, and longer license suspensions than first-time offenders. Additionally, the court may order the installation of an ignition interlock device that requires a breath sample before starting the vehicle.
If you’ve been charged with a second or subsequent DUI offense in Indianapolis, it’s crucial to hire an experienced DUI lawyer who understands how to handle these types of cases. A skilled attorney can help you prepare a strong defense and work towards reducing your charges or sentence.
Having Minor Passengers in the Car
Having minor passengers in the car during a DUI offense is considered an aggravating factor in Indianapolis. It means that you have endangered not only yourself but also innocent children who were unable to make their own decisions and protect themselves.
The presence of minors can significantly increase the penalties for a DUI conviction, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time. Judges take this aggravating factor very seriously because they want to ensure that children are protected from dangerous situations.
If you are facing charges for driving under the influence with minor passengers in your vehicle, it is important to seek legal representation immediately. An experienced DUI lawyer will be able to thoroughly examine all aspects of your case and develop a strong defense strategy.
Causing an Accident Resulting in Injury or Property Damage
One of the most serious aggravating factors that can result in harsh penalties for a DUI offender in Indianapolis is causing an accident resulting in injury or property damage. Not only has the individual endangered their own life and the lives of others on the road, but they have also caused physical harm or financial loss to innocent victims.
If someone is injured as a result of a DUI accident, it becomes an even more severe offense. The driver may face felony charges and lengthy prison sentences, particularly if there are aggravating circumstances such as excessive speed or reckless driving involved.
If property damage occurs during a DUI crash, it can lead to expensive repairs and insurance claims. This can cause a significant financial burden.
Having an Open Container in Your Car
One of the most aggravating factors in a DUI case in Indianapolis is having an open container of alcohol in your car. This means that you had access to and were possibly consuming alcohol while driving, which is a serious offense.
In Indiana, it is illegal to have an open container of alcohol within reach of the driver or passenger area while operating a motor vehicle. Even if you are not intoxicated, having an open container can result in penalties such as fines and license suspension.
The presence of an open container can also increase the severity of other charges related to DUI offenses. For example, if you caused an accident resulting in injury or property damage and there was an open container found in your car, this could result in more severe legal consequences.
It’s important to note that even if the open container does not belong to you, you could still face charges for its possession. If someone else left their drink behind when they exited your vehicle, it’s crucial that you dispose of it immediately.
If you find yourself facing charges related to having an open container during a DUI stop or arrest, it’s essential that you seek the guidance and representation of an experienced Indianapolis DUI lawyer who understands how these cases are prosecuted and what defenses may be available for your specific situation.
Let an Experienced Indianapolis DUI Lawyer Prepare Your Defense!
Facing a DUI charge can be a daunting experience, but it’s important to remember that you have options. With the help of an experienced Indianapolis DUI lawyer, you can begin building your defense and working towards the best possible outcome for your case.
When looking for a DUI lawyer in Indianapolis, it’s essential to find someone with experience and knowledge of Indiana’s specific laws and regulations. They should also have a proven track record of success defending clients against similar charges.
Don’t let aggravating factors in your DUI case prevent you from seeking legal assistance. Contact an experienced Indianapolis DUI lawyer at Rathburn Law Office today to discuss your options and start preparing your defense.
We offer each new client a free case review, so don’t wait any longer and seek legal help: 317-671-8965!