Indiana Misdemeanor DUI Penalties

Most DUIs in Indiana are misdemeanors. Indiana refers to all drunk driving charges as operating while intoxicated (OWI). There are several categories of drunk driving arrest for OWI. Each depends on how drunk you are. It also depends on how often you are convicted.

If your BAC is .08, you will be charged with a Class C Misdemeanor. If your BAC is as high as .15, it becomes a Class A Misdemeanor. Obviously, a Class A misdemeanor is more serious. Both carry strict penalties. It is recommended you contact an experienced DUI lawyer for representation.

For Indiana DUI misdemeanor help, call 317.671.8965 today.

What Are the Possible Penalties for DUI in Indiana?

A misdemeanor in Indiana entails various potential penalties, encompassing fines, license suspension, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, and the possibility of jail time.

The specific penalties you will encounter depend on the unique circumstances of your case. It’s crucial to understand that an OWI conviction carries consequences that cannot be avoided. This typically involves the imposition of fines and a period of license suspension.

The likelihood of facing jail time hinges on the seriousness of your charge and your prior OWI history. Generally, for first-time offenders, jail time is less common.

However, it is essential to recognize that the outcome varies based on the specific details of your case and prior convictions. Consulting with an experienced attorney is advisable to assess your situation comprehensively and determine the best course of action for your defense.

Misdemeanor Penalties for DUI in Indiana

Impounded car concept of DUI misdemeanor penalties

Penalties for OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) in Indiana exhibit a distinct pattern: they are notably less severe for first-time offenders compared to those with multiple offenses.

The severity of these penalties progressively escalates with each subsequent offense, but the most significant increase occurs when an OWI charge advances to the felony level.

Understanding this trajectory of penalties is crucial when facing OWI charges. For first-time offenders, the penalties are comparatively lower for subsequent convictions, reflecting the importance of early intervention and rehabilitation. However, with each subsequent OWI conviction, the consequences become increasingly harsh, impacting your life and future significantly.

Ultimately, the critical turning point is when an OWI offense is classified as a felony, which carries the most severe penalties, including substantial jail time and substantial fines. It is imperative to recognize that the stakes rise considerably as OWI charges accumulate, underscoring the importance of legal counsel and a proactive approach to addressing these charges. The penalties are as follows:

Class C Misdemeanor

  • A first offense gets up to 60 days in jail. You will get a $500 fine. There may be a license suspension as well.
  • The second offense, depending on how it’s charged, will require mandatory jail time and a license suspension of a minimum of one year.

Class A Misdemeanor

  • A first offense results in up to 1 year in jail. It carries a $5,000 fine. The suspension is similar to the Class C suspension.
  • The second offense is similar to the penalty for the Class C misdemeanor.

In Indiana, OWI can be a felony depending upon your driving history and other factors surrounding the event.  If you get a second OWI within 7 years of a prior conviction, it is a felony. The penalties for a felony are much higher than a misdemeanor.


Indianapolis Class C Misdemeanor and First-Time Offender – Examples

In every state, including Indianapolis, Indiana, criminal offenses are categorized into two primary types: felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies represent the most severe crimes, often resulting in a up to one year or more of incarceration, while misdemeanors are less serious offenses, with penalties that do not exceed 365 days in jail.

Drunk driving under the influence is a particularly grave offense in Indiana. Its classification as a misdemeanor or felony hinges on the specific details of the case. Understanding whether a DUI charge falls into the misdemeanor or felony category is crucial, as it significantly impacts the potential consequences and legal proceedings.

Indiana DUI Laws, avoid DUI conviction or adding to a prior DUI conviction Class A Misdemeanor • A first offense results in up to 1 year in jail • $5,000 fine • The second offense is similar to the penalty for the Class C misdemeanor Class C Misdemeanor • A first offense gets up to 60 days in jail • $500 fine • The second offense may require mandatory jail time and a license suspension of a minimum of one year.

Class A Misdemeanor v Class C Misdemeanor

Class A misdemeanors in Indiana come with the potential for more substantial fines and longer periods of incarceration. The determination of your charge depends on your blood alcohol content or concentration (BAC). To gain a clearer understanding of how these factors apply to your situation, it’s advisable to reach out to an experienced Indiana DUI attorney for comprehensive information and guidance.

In specific terms, a BAC of .08 will result in a Class C misdemeanor charge, while a BAC of .15 or higher elevates the offense to a Class A misdemeanor. These distinctions underscore the importance of knowing your BAC level in relation to the potential severity of your DUI charge.

What Is the Penalty for a Class C Misdemeanor?

A Class C misdemeanor in Indiana can result in a jail sentence of up to 60 days, along with a maximum fine of $500. When it comes to OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) offenses, there are additional penalties to consider, such as the suspension of your driver’s license.

The duration of the driver’s license suspension can vary, ranging from 0 days to one year. While Class C misdemeanors might not initially appear highly serious, they assume significant gravity within the context of OWI cases.

Notably, these offenses have lasting implications: they remain on your record indefinitely. Moreover, if you receive another OWI conviction within 5 years, it escalates to a felony charge. Felonies carry heavier jail terms and more substantial fines, emphasizing the need for careful consideration and legal guidance in OWI cases.

Is There any Plea Bargain for a Class C Misdemeanor?

In certain counties, your legal options may be limited to either pleading guilty or proceeding to trial when facing an OWI charge. These counties may not be open to negotiating plea agreements for different types of offenses.

Conversely, in other counties, the possibility of a plea to a reduced charge exists, contingent upon the specific circumstances of your case. Some counties offer an OWI deferral program, which allows individuals to pursue this alternative resolution, without court costs and potentially leading to a favorable outcome.

Contact A DUI Defense Attorney to Fight Your Case

When facing a Class C misdemeanor charge in Indiana, it is imperative to secure legal representation. Reach out to the highly competent DUI defense attorneys at Rathburn Law Office P.C. P.C.s.

Taking this step significantly enhances your prospects for achieving a positive and favorable outcome in your case. An experienced lawyer can navigate the complexities of the legal system and work diligently to protect your rights and interests. Don’t hesitate to contact us for the expert guidance you need during this challenging time.

Contact a DUI Defense Attorney in Indiana

Facing a conviction for OWI in Indiana can lead to persistent challenges that extend beyond the immediate legal consequences. An OWI conviction remains on your record indefinitely, potentially affecting your future. It can surface in background checks, jeopardizing your prospects for certain job opportunities. Additionally, this conviction may result in higher car insurance rates and surcharges.

Moreover, an OWI conviction can impose limitations on your ability to travel to foreign countries, as some nations may deny entry based on your criminal record. Given the gravity of these consequences, it is crucial to seek legal counsel promptly if you are charged with OWI.

Contacting an experienced OWI defense lawyer, such as the professionals at Rathburn Law Office P.C. P.C., is essential.

An attorney can provide invaluable assistance in navigating the legal complexities, protecting your rights, and pursuing a favorable outcome in court. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Rathburn Law Office P.C. P.C. 317.671.8965 today for the expert guidance and representation you need during this challenging time.

|Drunk Driving Attorney specializing in Indiana DUI laws |
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With over 25 years of experience, Rathburn Law is your ideal choice. If you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge, Reach out to us today!