Have you ever been arrested for drinking under the influence of alcohol (DUI)? Drunk driving is a prosecuted crime in Indiana, especially if you are a repeat offender. However, your first drunk driving offense can also result in you getting a license suspension and facing jail time.
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) or operating while intoxicated (OWI), or a DUI, is a significant charge. If you commit a DUI offense, you must seek a Notre Dame DUI Defense Lawyer to fight the charge.
At Rathburn Law, we know the Indiana DUI laws and the events surrounding DUI arrests that breach your rights. When faced with a DUI charge, you will need an experienced drunk driving defense attorney who can explain what is happening as you move through the system. We ensure our clients have a fair chance at fighting their DUI charges.
Call 317.671.8965 our Rathburn Law, OWI defense lawyers in Notre Dame, and let us help you fight your DUI charge.
What Is The BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) Limit In Indiana?
Driving under the influence is both illegal and dangerous. As in most states, Indiana has a legal level of alcohol consumption.
The blood alcohol content is considered an accurate way to measure one’s intoxication. .08% is considered the legal level of alcohol consumption in Indiana. However, people are different, and you may feel intoxicated with a lower BAC. Here is how one is considered legally drunk in Indiana:
- Drivers below 21 years are considered legally drunk when their BAC measure is .02% or greater.
- Commercial vehicle drivers are considered drunk when their blood alcohol level is .04% or more.
- Non-commercial drivers aged 21 or older are considered drunk when their BAC is .08% or greater.
What Penalties Can I Face For A DWI/DUI In Indiana?
Your Indiana DUI penalties are significantly influenced by how you were charged for your DUI, your BAC, and whether you have a prior DUI charge in Indiana. Indiana DUIs can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony DUI depending on your case’s circumstances and facts. Here are the possible penalties you may face in Indiana for DUI:
- Community service
- House arrest
- Drug and alcohol classes
- Ignition interlock device
- Court costs
- AA meetings
If it is your first time OWI offense, you will face a 90-days to two years driver’s license suspension and a fine of up to $5,000.
If this happens within five years of your first offense, it will result in jail time of at least five days to three years, a maximum of up to 2 years of license suspension, and $10,000 in fines.
- A third offense results in up to 2.5 years of license suspension, up to $10,000 in fines, and jail or prison time of 10days-3years. You may have to complete 360 hours of community service if found guilty.
A DUI can be a life-altering event that will affect your life for several years, and subsequent offenses often increase the consequences. Have you been charged with a DUI in Indiana? Call us 317.671.8965 and let our Notre Dame DUI lawyers work to ensure your rights are fully protected at each stage of your case.
Can I Refuse A Breathalyzer Test In Notre Dame, Indiana?
When accepting your driver’s license, part of your agreement with the state is to comply with any chemical testing needed by law enforcement. By refusing to take a breathalyzer test, you automatically face a license suspension for a year by the BMV.
If you fail the test, you also face a penalty of license suspension of up to 60 days if it’s a class C misdemeanor, up to a year for a class A misdemeanor, and six months to two and a half years if it is a level 6 felony.
You should not take a DUI charge in Indiana lightly. When you face a DUI charge, get in touch with our Notre Dame DUI lawyers, who will investigate your case thoroughly and help you establish what defenses you may have for your DUI charge. Once we establish those defenses, we will devise a legal strategy in your best interest. For the best results when facing a drunk driving charge, call 317.671.8965 our drunk driving defense attorney as soon as possible.
Implied Consent Laws In Indiana
As long as a law enforcement officer has presumed cause to believe you are driving while intoxicated, Indiana has enforced an implied consent law requiring you to submit to chemical intoxication tests. These tests can either be blood or breath tests. You impliedly consent to submit to these tests when you drive on all public roads in Indiana. While you can refuse the test, an officer can get a search warrant for a chemical test.
Under Indiana law I.C.9-30-6, “an individual operating a vehicle consents to submit to the chemical test provision of this chapter as a condition of operating a vehicle in Indiana.”
What Is A Felony DWI/DUI In Indiana?
You will need our skilled Notre Dame DUI lawyers on your side if you are accused of OWI or DUI as a level 6 felony in Indiana. This charge means you face potential house arrest, jail time, probation, or an extended license suspension. Our OWI defense lawyers in Notre Dame will fight for your rights and find defenses that can help minimize the potential penalties. Call us 317.671.8965 for more information.
A felony DWI/DUI in Indiana includes:
Driving under the influence with a prior conviction
Depending on your case’s facts and circumstances, a DUI charge will typically be filed as a misdemeanor. However, if you have a prior DUI conviction as a misdemeanor in the first seven years before your new charges, your offense is considered a level 6 felony.
Getting convicted of a level 6 felony when you have a previous conviction demands that you stay in jail for a minimum of five days. If you have two or more convictions on your record, you will have to serve a minimum of ten days in jail. The court must suspend your driving privileges for a minimum of one year if you have a prior DUI conviction.
Driving while intoxicated with a minor in the vehicle
Your charge can be filed as a level 6 felony if you allegedly have been driving under the influence with a minor in your car. I.C 9-30-5 3(a)(2) states that you commit a level 6 felony if :
- You are at least 21 years old
- You violate section 1(b) or 2(b) of this chapter
- You operated a vehicle in which at least one passenger was below 18 years
- License suspension after conviction
Per Indiana law, the court can suspend your driver’s license for up to a period of possible incarceration when there is a conviction for a DUI. For instance, if you have been convicted of DUI as a level 6 felony, your license suspension can last up to 910 days, which is the maximum sentence for individuals with a level 6 felony.
If you have a conviction for DWI, the court must suspend your license for a minimum of 365 days. If you have several convictions for DUI, you should expect an extended suspension to be imposed. Although, if you were suspended at the beginning of your case, you might get credit for the suspension time, except if there was a refusal. If you qualify, the court may grant you specialized driving privileges.
Common Defenses In DUI Cases
A DUI charge can significantly impact your life, so fighting it is vital even if you think the law enforcement officer has proof your BAC surpassed the legal limit. There are multiple defenses in a DUI charge when you have a skilled lawyer. Do you want to beat a DUI charge in Indiana? Here are common effective defense strategies our lawyers might use in DUI cases:
Challenge the arrest
Police officers often break protocol or make mistakes when arresting someone they believe is intoxicated. The best way to fight against your DUI is to fight the arrest. Any mistakes made by the law enforcement officer can work in your favor, making it possible for you to beat the DUI charges by proving in court that the officer who arrested you made a mistake.
No proof of driving
The prosecutors must prove you were driving your vehicle for a DUI charge to apply. For instance, if you get in an accident, but no one sees you driving the car, it can be hard for the prosecutors to prove that you were drunk driving.
Fight the ‘evidence’
Demonstrating that the provided evidence is not true is another common defense in a DUI case. Failing a chemical test does not mean you will be automatically convicted. Our Rathburn Law DUI defense lawyers can help you establish that the officer who performed the test made an error during the test procedure. Alternatively, the test may not have been to the standard of the recently updated chemical testing laws, making it possible for you to avoid a DUI conviction.
The disconnect between your actual impairment and BAC
You may not exhibit any impairment, but the chemical tests show a high BAC level. We can use this disconnect to challenge the presented evidence effectively.
Lack of probable cause for the stop
DUI stops must be supported by probable cause. Suppose a law enforcement officer has no probable cause or reasonable suspicion to stop you. In that case, the DUI defense lawyers at Rathburn Law can file a motion to suppress the evidence and disregard any evidence illegally obtained. Police are required to prove a DUI with valid and admissible evidence, so suppressing major evidence increases the chance of the DUI being dismissed.
Challenging the accuracy of the tests
The most common BAC test is with a breathalyzer. However, breathalyzers do not measure BAC directly. Instead, they measure breath alcohol and multiply that by a partition ratio. As a result, multiple issues can cause false breathalyzer results, including auto-brewery syndrome, a breathalyzer’s margin of error, and physical differences in individual drivers, which can impact the partition ratio. Your DUI lawyer can challenge the test’s accuracy.
How Can A Notre Dame DUI Defense Lawyer Help Me?
At Rathburn Law, we are committed to serving our clients throughout Indiana. We understand that all cases are different, so we will take our time to evaluate and understand the unique demand that your case poses. We will go over your present and future objectives and then develop a legal solution that addresses your specific needs. Call us at 317.671.8965 today to learn how we can help.
Here are the different ways our Notre Dame DUI defense lawyers can help you:
Evaluate your case
We have years of experience dealing with different types of DUI cases and know that not all arrests follow protocol. We will carefully examine your arrest and review all available evidence to establish if your rights were violated. We ensure you get superior representation, secure a reduced sentence, or have the criminal charges dismissed if something is wrong with your DUI arrest.
We know the law
Rathburn Law specializes in DUI cases, and our lawyers have extensive knowledge of DUI law and how to get the best sentence.
Prevent you from pleading too fast
Most individuals make the error of pleading out too quickly, especially when they do not have legal representation. We are fully knowledgeable about DUI law and will help you negotiate the best deal.
Negotiate on your behalf
Our experienced DUI attorneys will negotiate the best deal possible on your behalf to ensure you get a reduced sentence.
Help you determine the best plea
The plea you will make will significantly impact the sentence you receive. You do not have to plead guilty or not guilty. On the contrary, you have other choices, such as no contest, allowing you to enter a plea that closes the case faster. Our skilled team will help you determine the best plea.
Start Your Defense Today – Contact A Notre Dame DUI Lawyer To Schedule A Free Consultation
Getting a DUI charge can result in you going to jail, paying ridiculous fines, or losing your license. When you or a loved one are charged with a DUI/OWI, the best thing is to hire an experienced local DUI attorney to help you fight the charge. Our Rathburn Law DUI lawyers are well versed with the law in Notre Dame, Indiana, and will offer you superior legal representation. Call us at 317.671.8965 to discuss your case.