People are being arrested daily in Marion County, IN, for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). In fact, Marion County sees 0.89 DUI deaths for every 100,000 residents as per the latest statistics. Whether you were out in Marion County with your loved ones and friends or attending a social event, being arrested for DUI or DWI can be quite a stressful experience. You are most probably concerned about your future right now. The arrest can have devastating consequences on whatever you plan to do in the future such as finding a new job. On the other hand, you might also be worried about losing your driver’s license and spending some time in jail.
Before you stress yourself out, you should remember that you can only be punished if the prosecution can successfully convict you. Hence, you should immediately try to make their job as difficult as possible by hiring an experienced Marion County DUI Defense Lawyer.
Considering the impact it can have on your future, you should never take a DUI or DWI lightly. The best way to minimize or neutralize the impact of a DUI or DWI on your future is to work with a reputable and experienced DUI defense lawyer at Rathburn Law. Once you talk to an experienced DUI defense lawyer at Rathburn Law, we will evaluate your case and let you know what your options are. In fact, there are many factors that may come into play when dealing with your case since every DUI or DWI case is unique. Our expert team knows how to handle any type of situation and will recommend the best course of action for your situation. Our experienced DUI lawyers are available anytime to discuss your case. Call the expert team of DUI defense lawyers at Rathburn Law today at 317.671.8965 to learn more about how we can help.
What Is The Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Limit In Indiana?
As per Indiana law, you cannot operate a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) that is above the legal limit of 0.08. If you are under 21 years of age, the limit is just 0.02. The law enforcement officials in the county will use a variety of techniques to determine your BAC. They may ask you to take a breathalyzer test to check your BAC levels. If you refuse the test, your license can be automatically suspended. On the other hand, if you are convicted by any means, you should be looking at a one-year jail time or a $2,500 fine, or both depending on the nature of the offense.
When your BAC is above the legal limit, Indiana law prohibits you from the operation of a motor vehicle. Here are the BAC limits in Indiana for different categories of drivers:
- Non-commercial vehicle drivers, who are 21 years or above, are legally prohibited from operating a motor vehicle when their blood alcohol level is .08 or more.
- Commercial vehicle operators are prohibited from operating a vehicle in Indiana when their blood alcohol level is .04 percent or greater.
- If you are below the age of 21 years, you cannot legally operate a vehicle in Indiana when your blood alcohol measures .02 or more.
The traffic police in Indiana will start the investigation by asking you to take a breathalyzer test. If there are signs of intoxication after such a test, the officer may ask you to take another chemical test to prove the results. You have already given your consent for blood or urine tests to be performed on you when you decide to drive on a public road in the state of Indiana. Don’t try to refuse such a test since the officer can automatically suspend your driving license under such circumstances.
What Penalties Can I Face For A DUI Or DWI In Indiana?
The penalties for a DUI or DWI may largely depend on your past record. Repeat offenders are seriously dealt with according to the DUI and DWI laws of Indiana. Here are the penalties you could expect for being charged with a DUI or DWI in Indiana:
The first DUI is classified as a Class C misdemeanor in Indiana. If this is your first offense, you can expect misdemeanor punishments of jail time of up to one year and a fine between $500 to $5,000 depending on your BAC level. The state might decide to suspend your license for up to one year. Don’t refuse to submit to a chemical test since the state can suspend your license for another year under such circumstances.
A second DUI or DWI offense within 5 years of the first offense is categorized as a Class D felony in Indiana. You can expect jail time up to 2 1/2 years and a fine of up to $10,000 depending on the seriousness of your offense. The state might also decide to suspend your license for between 1 to 2.5 years. They can suspend your license for an additional two years if you refuse to take a chemical test.
Being convicted for a third DUI or DWI is punishable as a Class D felony in Indiana. You should expect a jail time between 2.5 to 8 years if the prosecutor files a habitual substance offender enhancement. A fine of up to $10,000 is also applicable depending on the seriousness of your offense. The state can suspend your driving license for between 1 to 10 years. The suspension can be extended for another 2.5 years if you refuse to take a chemical test.
Subsequent DUI/DWI offenses
The state of Indiana has enacted some of the strictest DUI and DWI laws compared to the other states of the United States. In case you are arrested for the fourth time while driving under the influence of alcohol or driving while intoxicated, you will face serious charges. The best thing is to get in touch with an experienced DUI defense lawyer at Rathburn Law to discuss your legal options and the best course of action to follow.
Can I Refuse A Breathalyzer Test In Indiana?
As per the law in the state of Indiana, as soon as you get your driver’s license and get behind the wheel of a car or any other vehicle, you have given your implied consent to submit to chemical testing. If you refuse a breathalyzer test, you will be violating that implied consent and are subject to arrest. When you are arrested for refusing a breathalyzer test, it’s important that you immediately contact a DUI defense lawyer at Rathburn Law.
On the other hand, Indiana law states that in the event you refuse to take a chemical test, your driving license can be suspended for one year if it’s your first offense. If it’s your second or third offense, the driving license can be suspended for between 1 to 10 years depending on the seriousness of the offense. In case your license has been suspended as a result of refusing a breathalyzer test, you are entitled to a hearing, and the hearing should take place within 20 days of your arrest.
Implied Consent Laws In Indiana
When you are stopped for suspicion of DUI/DWI in Indiana, you are more likely to be offered a breath test or blood test. But before the officer performs the test, you must read the DUI implied consent law. The test may be invalid without this step. What do the implied consent laws mean for you and your driving privileges?
Under Indiana law I.C. 9-30-6, you give consent to submit to chemical testing if the law enforcement has probable cause to believe you are driving the vehicle under the influence of alcohol or while intoxicated – when you obtain your driver’s license. In other words, when you get your driving license in Indiana, you have already agreed to submit to the chemical test. Refusing to submit to a chemical test may have negative consequences including the loss of your driving privileges. If the police offer has probable cause to believe that you are driving the vehicle while intoxicated, he or she will ask you to submit to a chemical test. The chemical test should be conducted within three hours of suspected intoxicated driving. Even though the police officer is allowed to offer more than one chemical test, he or she can’t offer it to an unconscious person as per I.C. 9-30-6-2.
When the police officer has probable cause to believe that you are driving drunk and wants you to submit to a DUI breath test, he or she must first read you the implied consent law. When you refuse to submit to a chemical test, certain consequences may kick in. A chemical test refusal can be used as evidence at trial as per Indiana law I.C. 9-30-6-3. Your driving privileges can be suspended for one year for the first refusal & two years for a subsequent refusal.
What Is A Felony DUI In Indiana?
Even though the first DUI/DWI offense is a misdemeanor in Indiana, it can be classified as a felony DUI in Indiana when the person:
- Was driving while intoxicated with a minor in the vehicle.
- Seriously injures or kills another person/s while driving while intoxicated.
- Had a DUI or DWI conviction within the last seven years.
The penalties for felony DUIs in Indiana are more severe than a misdemeanor DUI. For example, a misdemeanor DUI can imprison you for one year with a fine of up to $5,000, a felony DUI can have the following consequences:
- Up to 2.5 years of imprisonment for a Level 6 felony with a felony on your record
- Court-ordered participation in an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program
- Higher fines compared to a misdemeanor DUI conviction
- Suspension of your driver’s license
Here are some of the penalties for felony DUI/DWI charges in Indiana:
Level 6 felony
If you drive the vehicle while intoxicated with at least one minor in it, cause serious injuries to someone, have a prior DUI/DWI within the last five years, or cause the death of a law enforcement animal, you can be charged with a level 6 felony DUI/DWI. The penalty for a level 6 felony may include 6 months to 2.5 years of jail time and a fine of up to $10,000.
Level 5 felony
When you drive the vehicle while intoxicated and cause the death of another or have a conviction within the last five years that involved serious injury or death to another, you can be charged with a level 5 felony. The penalty for a level 5 felony may include 1-6 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Level 4 felony
When you have a prior DUI/DWI within the last 10 years, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15% or higher, or a suspended license for a prior DUI/DWI or for being a habitual traffic offender, you can be charged with a level 4 felony. The penalty for a level 4 felony may include 2 to 12 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Common Defenses In DUI Cases
An experienced DUI defense lawyer can help reduce or drop your charges altogether. Here are some of the most effective DUI/DWI defense strategies:
If the attending police officer didn’t have reasonable suspicion to conduct the traffic stop, your lawyer can argue to dismiss your case.
The lawyer should prove that the results of the test were inaccurate.
If the suspect has a medical condition such as diabetes, the test results can be inaccurate or unreliable.
How Can A Marion County DUI Defense Lawyer Help Me?
Our lawyers have the necessary expertise, negotiation skills, knowledge, and trial experience to reduce or completely drop your charges and let you carry on with your life.
A DUI or DWI charge can have devastating consequences on your entire future. When you are arrested in Marion County, IN, for driving under the influence of alcohol or driving while intoxicated, you should hire an experienced DUI defense lawyer to handle your case. The DUI defense lawyers at Rathburn Law can argue to reduce your charges or completely dismiss your case. Call the expert team of DUI defense lawyers at Rathburn Law today at 317.671.8965 to learn more about how we can help.