Indiana DUI Misdemeanor Penalties

Most DUIs in Indiana are misdemeanors. Indiana refers to drunk driving as operating while intoxicated (OWI). There are several categories of 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.

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What Are the Possible Penalties for DUI in Indiana?

An OWI misdemeanor can carry several different types of penalties. You may have to pay fines. Your license will be suspended. You may have to install an ignition interlock device on your car. Finally, you may have to face jail time.

You will face all or some of these. If you are convicted of OWI you will not walk away. You will have to pay a fine. You will lose your license for a period of time. You usually won’t have to face jail time. It depends on how serious your charge is. It also depends on whether you have had an OWI charge in the past.

Specific Penalties for DUI in Indiana

The penalty for a first offense is much lower than for later offenses. The penalties increase for subsequent offenses. They only go up when it becomes a felony. 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 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

Every state has two main types of crimes. There are felonies (Learn more about a level 6 felony in Indianapolis Indiana) and misdemeanors. Felonies are more serious crimes that carry a year or more in jail. Misdemeanors are where the penalty cannot exceed 365 days.

Drunk driving is a serious crime in Indiana. It can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the facts of the case.

Impounded car concept of DUI misdemeanor penalties

Class A Misdemeanor v Class C Misdemeanor

Class A misdemeanors have potentially higher fines and periods of incarceration. Your alcohol concentration level determines what type of charge you face.  Contact an experienced Indiana DUI attorney for more information.

If your BAC is .08, you are charged with a Class C misdemeanor. If it is .15 or higher, it will be increased to a Class A misdemeanor.

What Is the Penalty for a Class C Misdemeanor?

A class C misdemeanor is punishable by up to 60 days in jail. It also carries a fine of up to $500. For OWI, there can also be additional penalties. You will lose your license for a period of time. The suspension can range from 0 days to one year.

Class C misdemeanors may not sound that serious. However, for OWI they can be very serious. First, they stay on your record forever. Second, if you get another OWI within 5 years, it will be charged as a felony. Felonies carry higher jail terms and bigger fines.

Is There any Plea Bargain for a Class C Misdemeanor?

Some counties give you two options – plead guilty or go to trial.  They are unwilling to offer a plea agreement to any other type of offense. Other counties, depending on the facts, may allow a plea to a lesser charge, if you take part in their OWI deferral program.

Contact A DUI Defense Attorney to Fight Your Case

If you have been charged with a Class C misdemeanor, you need a lawyer. Call the skilled DUI defense attorneys at Rathburn Law Offices. This will give you a better chance of receiving a positive outcome.

Contact a DUI Defense Attorney in Indiana

A conviction for OWI creates long-term problems. It never comes off your record. It can show up in a background check. It can prevent you from getting certain jobs. It raises your car insurance. It can cost you surcharges. It can also restrict your ability to travel to foreign countries. If you are charged with an OWI, call an attorney. You will want an OWI defense lawyer to help you in court. Call Rathburn Law Office today.