What are wobblers? DUIs are severe offenses all over America, including Indiana. Therefore, suppose the prosecuting attorney convicts you. In such a scenario, you’ll be facing stiff penalties. Fortunately, excellent Indiana DUI defense lawyers can minimize some DUI offenses. This practice is known as “wobbling.” Several American states have laws on crimes that qualify as wobblers.
Therefore, DUI arrestees should familiarize themselves with these laws too. If DUIs can be wobblers in Indiana, you’d have escaped the stiff penalties that come with DUI convictions. This is one of the many reasons DUI attorneys are essential. So, if the police arrest you on a DUI, your first call should be to the Rathburn Law Office.
If you would like to know more information about getting your conviction expunged, view this page.
What Is a Wobbler?
A “wobbler” is merely a technical name for certain criminal offenses. These are crimes that aren’t purely misdemeanors or felonies. Therefore, the prosecuting attorney can choose to charge you for either offense class. Notably, too, the local DA considers several factors before making such a decision.
Generally, misdemeanors are lesser offenses in comparison to felonies. Therefore, if the DA charges you for a misdemeanor, you’ll get a lighter sentence. Indiana law classifies misdemeanors into Class A, B, and C.
Felonies, on the other hand, are the most severe crimes. The minimum punishment for a felony is six months imprisonment. Furthermore, you can pay up to $10,000 in fines for felonies. Indiana law also categorizes felonies into classes. Here, there are six classes of felonies, from Level 1 to 6. It’s Level 6 felonies that are wobblers in Indiana.
Can DUIs be Wobblers in Indiana?
Yes, Level 6 felony DUIs are wobblers. Therefore, the judge can convert Level 6 felonies to Class A misdemeanors with the relevant sentence. Level 6 felonies are typically punishable with a minimum of 6 months jail time and up to $10,000 in fines. However, the conversion of a felony DUI to a wobbler depends on:
- The judge’s discretion, and
- The severity of the crime.
Consequently, judges can’t convert all Level 6 DUIs to misdemeanors. Notably, Level 6 felonies are also called Class D felonies. Moreover, Class D felonies are felonies committed before July 1, 2014. In contrast, Level 6 felonies are felonies committed after June 30, 2014.
Conditions for DUI Wobbling
There are instances where the court cannot convert felony DUIs to Class A misdemeanors. They include where:
- The defendant has committed a prior unrelated felony
- A judge converted this prior felony to a Class A misdemeanor
- The defendant committed the previous felony less than three years before the second felony
- The previous felony was domestic battery or possession of child pornography
Notably, courts must always state why they converted felonies to misdemeanors. Furthermore, the court can validly wobble an offense after receiving a petition. The court would also conduct hearings. Only specific findings would justify DUI wobbling. They would include that the defendant:
- Isn’t a sex offender or violent offender
- Wasn’t convicted of a Level 6 felony that resulted in bodily injury
- Hasn’t been convicted of perjury or official misconduct
- Has stayed three years after completing a felony sentence or satisfying any other obligation
- Hasn’t been the subject of another conviction after the last sentence
- Has no pending criminal charges
Can the Court Reverse My DUI Wobbling?
Yes, the court can reverse Level 6 DUI conversions. This would be the case where the defendant is convicted of a felony within five years of the conversion. Here, the prosecuting attorney can petition the court for such reversal. However, it’ll be best to stay out of trouble for these five years. This is because Indiana’s Second Chance Law has made it possible to remove your criminal records from public access.
What’s the Punishment for a Converted DUI Felony?
If the prosecuting attorney converts your DUI felony, you’ll now serve the punishment for misdemeanors. So, Class A misdemeanors in Indiana carry a penalty of:
- Fixed imprisonment term of up to one year, and
- A fine of up to $5,000.
Arrested for a DUI in Indianapolis? Rathburn Law Can Help You!
Have the police arrested you for a DUI in Indiana? If so, you may be facing significant punishments. Fortunately, though, an excellent Indiana DUI defense attorney can help you beat these charges. Furthermore, suppose it’s a felony DUI. Here, a good lawyer can persuade the DA to charge it as a misdemeanor.
At the Rathburn Law Office, we have the right lawyer for such negotiation. Mr. Rathburn has spent decades defending Indianapolis DUI arrestees. Therefore, we can quickly notice DUIs that are wobblers. Once we do, we can begin negotiating for a misdemeanor charge. Consequently, it’ll be best to call us today for a DUI arrest consultation.