DUI Probation in Indianapolis
In general, probation is a way to avoid jail time. You agree to certain rules and the court lets you avoid jail. Probation is not a guarantee. The judge must agree to it. You must meet certain criteria.
Probation is not a walk in the park. It can be very strict. It depends on what the judge requires. Drunk driving offenses can carry jail time. Your lawyer may get you probation instead. DUI probation is different than it is for other crimes. You didn’t commit murder. You didn’t hold up a liquor store. However, you still broke the law.
Probation for DUI focuses on preventing further violations. The judge will impose rules that center on alcohol and drug use. It can be expensive. It can last for a long time. It is, however, better than jail.
How Does DUI Probation Work?
Let’s assume you were convicted of DUI or OWI. Your conviction carries a jail sentence. Your jail time could be as high as 1 year. If it is a felony OWI, it can be as high as 2 and a half years. Your lawyer asks the judge for probation instead of jail time. The judge agrees. However, he sets probation rules. Here are some of these rules.
- You will not be allowed to enter bars or liquor stores. You may have to avoid restaurants that serve alcohol.
- You will be subject to random drug and alcohol testing. This testing can be as often as the court wants.
- You may be forced to take a medicine called Antabuse. This treatment makes you vomit if you swallow alcohol.
- You will likely have to install an ignition interlock device. This device requires you to take a breathalyzer before you drive. You cannot put the car in gear without passing.
- You may have to report to a probation officer. This could be by phone or in person. This depends on the judge.
- You usually will have to take substance abuse classes. You may have to go to meetings. You may even have to go to a treatment program.
You may have to do all or some of the above. These measures are very common. You will be on probation for a long time. The judge may sentence you to 6 months of probation. He may sentence you to 2 years of probation. You must serve out the entire probation period.
Is Probation Always Better than Jail?
Most people would think probation is a no-brainer. Who would want to go to jail if they don’t have to? It makes sense. However, probation is not easy. And it is not cheap. You need to talk to your DUI defense lawyer. Make sure you understand your probation terms.
Probation can be very expensive. You must pay for the ignition interlock device. You have to pay your fines. You have to pay for any treatment or classes.
Do not violate the terms of your probation. You will have to serve the entire jail sentence. You will be out any money you have already spent. You will not get a second chance from the judge.
Call a DUI Defense Lawyer for Advice
If you after you take a breath test and are charged with DUI, don’t try to handle the case yourself. Contact DUI defense attorneys like us at the Rathburn Law Office in Indianapolis for representation.