Being charged with a DUI/OWI is not the same as being convicted of it. The prosecutor still has the burden of proving all of the elements of the offense. There are several ways to potentially have your charges reduced or even dismissed. This could save you time and money and help keep serious convictions off of your criminal record.
Never assume that an arrest or charge is the end of the story. If you’re facing a DUI/OWI, call the Indianapolis DWI defense law firm of Rathburn Law Office.
These are a few ways to possibly dismiss or reduce the charges against you.
Lack of or Unreliable Evidence
Under Indiana law, it’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over a certain limit. For most adults, the BAC limit is 0.08. If a driver is under age 21, however, the limit is 0.02. If you break the law, you can be charged with a DUI/DWI (known in Indiana as an OWI).
Two of the most common ways that traffic police use to prove a DUI/OWI are breathalyzers and chemical tests. The police will likely ask you to take a breathalyzer test first.
If the test indicates intoxication, you may be asked to take a chemical test. By driving on the roads of Indiana, you give implicit permission for these blood and urine tests. Refusing to take one may result in an automatic license suspension.
Lack of evidence, or untrustworthy evidence (perhaps due to mishandling it), is a major basis for seeking a dismissal. Your Indianapolis DWI defense lawyer will investigate to determine whether the state can actually prove its case.
Violations of Your Constitutional Rights
All criminal suspects enjoy certain constitutional protections against law enforcement and prosecutorial abuse. For example, police cannot conduct certain unlawful searches of you or your vehicle.
If law enforcement violated your rights to obtain evidence against you, the evidence could be thrown out. Your Indianapolis DUI defense attorney may be able to do so by way of a motion to suppress the evidence. Without this evidence, the entire case against you could be dismissed.
In most DWI/OWI cases, prosecutors are willing to enter into plea bargains depending on the nature of the charges. You may be able to plead to a lesser charge and have a more serious one dismissed.
Having an experienced Indianapolis DWI/OWI attorney negotiate on your behalf is key. Your attorney will also explain how a plea bargain can help your finances and your freedom.
Prosecutors are authorized to divert or defer certain DWI/OWI cases. For example, under a conditional deferral, a case may be deferred for up to a year. During this time, the court will likely require the defendant to complete an alcohol treatment program. Doing so can keep a serious conviction off your record.
Whether to defer is left up to the prosecutor, and some DUI offenses (e.g. those resulting in death) aren’t eligible. Ask your Indianapolis DUI defense lawyer about all available options.
Helping You Understand Your Legal Rights
Remember, a DUI charge is not the final word. Are you or a loved one facing a DWI/OWI offense? Are you concerned about what impact a conviction could have on your life? We’re here to review the facts of your charges and present the best possible defense. Give Rathburn Law Office a call today.