It’s never a good thing to get a DUI. Not only does it stay on your criminal record, but it also carries serious penalties. If you get pulled over and arrested for DUI, you could be facing fines, jail time and a suspension of your license.
The law in Indianapolis is pretty strict when it comes to DUI. The State needs to prevent both drunk driving and driving under the influence of drugs. Not only do they pose a danger to you, but they pose a danger to everyone else on the road.
The law does understand that people make mistakes. Although there is never an excuse to drink and drive, things happen. The law imposes serious penalties for a first DUI offense, but they are not insurmountable.
Your DUI Lawyer in Indianapolis Knows the Penalties for OWI
In Indiana, they refer to a DUI as an OWI. You will be found guilty of Operating While Intoxicated if you are caught driving with a blood alcohol content of at least .08%. It also applies in the following circumstances:
- You’re found to be driving with a Schedule I or II drug in your system
- You are intoxicated under alcohol or any other substance
If you are convicted of your first DUI, you’ll face the following penalties:
- Up to 60 days in jail
- $500 fine
- License suspension for 6 months
It’s important to know that if you refuse to take a breathalyzer in Indiana, your license will be suspended for a year, not 6 months. Essentially, by agreeing to drive on their roads, you give implied consent to a breath or blood test. If you refuse to take the test, your license will automatically be suspended for a period of one (1) year.
Your Attorney Can Defend Against Enhanced Penalties
There are certain circumstances in Indiana where your OWI will come with more severe penalties than those described above. Enhanced penalties carry longer jail terms, higher fines, and a longer suspension of your license.
If you are found to have a BAC of more than .15, your penalties will be more severe. OWI with a BAC of over .15 is a Class A misdemeanor. The same rule applies if you were caught driving in a way that endangered other people. These offenses are subject to the following:
- Up to one (1) year in jail
- Fines of up to $5,000
- License suspension of up to one (1) year
When it comes to your license suspension, there are really two different levels of suspension. The DMV will apply an administrative suspension of at least six (6) months. The court will then impose the criminal suspension. Depending on your case, the Judge may impose your criminal suspension in addition to the administrative suspension. In most cases, the court will allow your suspensions to run at the same time.
What if You’re Convicted of Felony OWI?
If you get convicted of felony OWI in Indiana, the penalties will be much higher. In order to be convicted of a Felony OWI, you would have to meet the following criteria:
- You’re at least 21 years old
- You had BAC of at least .08
- You drove in a way that endangered other people and
- You had a passenger in your car under the age of 18
This stricter law is designed to punish people who put the lives of others in jeopardy. If you’re involved in an accident that causes serious bodily harm or death, expect to be charged with felony OWI. The same is true if you have kids in your car.
Because felony OWI is so serious, the penalties that come with a conviction are quite steep:
- 6 months to 2 ½ years in jail
- Fines of up to $10,000
- License suspension of up to 2 ½ years
Basically, your license can be suspended for as long as your jail sentence. So, if you’re sentenced to 1 year in jail, your license will be suspended for one year.
Contact a DUI Lawyer in Indianapolis Today
If you or your family member have been charged with OWI, you need to call a DUI lawyer in Indianapolis today. You could be facing some serious penalties if convicted. And, if your being charged with your 2nd or 3rd DUI, you could be facing serious jail time.
Your DUI lawyer in Indianapolis will fight to get your charges dismissed or reduced. He’ll work with the prosecutor to try to get you the best plea possible. He can also ask the court to allow you to apply for special driving privileges if you qualify.
Call and schedule your consultation with an experienced DUI attorney today. There’s too much at stake to try to handle this yourself.