Aggressively Defending Against Drunk Driving Charges
Like all states, Indiana carries strict laws regarding driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. These laws are strictly enforced and aggressively prosecuted in state courts in an effort to send a message to potential offenders and to protect the public. However, law enforcement as well as prosecutors can get it wrong and engage in zealous overreach efforts that violate your rights. At The Region Lawyers, we operate on the basis that you are innocent until proven guilty and that your legal rights in any criminal charge need to be vigorously protected. One of those rights is to have your voice heard in a fair and just trial.
An Indiana DUI charge is a criminal matter and, like all criminal matters, it calls for a professional who understands the system and how to devise effective defenses that can minimize the damage to your life. Our Gary DUI/OWI defense attorneys bring over a decade of extensive state and federal trial experience to your case. In DUI cases, this is extremely advantageous as these charges are a complex mix of police procedure, technical standards for the operation and administration of chemical tests, and other factors. Our attorneys are well-versed in all aspects of the law and procedure in DUI cases and can use this extensive experience in deconstructing your arrest to discover weaknesses and failings that may successfully counter the prosecution’s case against you.
DUI/OWI In Indiana
While commonly referred to as DUI, this charge is officially known as Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) under Indiana law. Intoxication can be in the form of alcohol and/or drugs. Drugs can include controlled substances such as cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, and heroin as well as prescription medicines such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Adderall, Fentanyl, and more.
Under Indiana OWI law, you are prohibited from operating your vehicle as follows:
- When your blood alcohol concentration measures .08 percent or more; this is known as “per se” OWI
- When you have any quantity of an Indiana Schedule I or II drug in your system
- When you are intoxicated by alcohol or drugs and thus too impaired to drive safely; you can be charged with this regardless of your BAC
- When you are under the age of 21 and your BAC measures .02 percent or more
What Is An OWI Charge?
In Indiana, an OWI is a serious offense. If you are convicted of an OWI, you will face significant penalties, including jail time, a fine, and a driver’s license suspension. In some cases, you may also be required to attend alcohol education classes or treatment. If you are facing an OWI charge, it is important to understand the potential consequences and seek experienced legal help.
The state of Indiana prohibits driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI) or operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI). In accordance with OWI laws, driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is prohibited. As part of the Indiana DUI laws, you may be subject to blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits, criminal sentences including jail time and fines, license suspensions, and implied consent to alcohol and drug testing.
Criminal Penalties For OWI
In a first-offense OWI, you will be charged with a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. If your BAC measured .15 percent or higher or if you were found driving in a manner that put others at risk, you will likely face a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. Class A misdemeanor OWI rises to a level 6 felony charge if you also had a minor in your car under the age of 18. Level 6 felonies are punishable by six months up to two and a half years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. If your OWI caused the death or catastrophic injury to another, you will likely face a level 4 felony punishable by two up to 12 years with fines of up to $10,000. In second, third, and subsequent offenses, the penalties generally increase.
Like other states, Indiana maintains “implied consent” laws which means that you are obligated to comply with chemical testing when requested by law enforcement in a suspected OWI traffic stop. This is part of the agreement you have with the state when accepting your driver’s license. If you refuse such testing, you will face an automatic license suspension by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) for a year.
For those who comply with testing, you will also face the administrative penalty of a license suspension when failing the test. Your suspension will be for up to 60 days for a Class C misdemeanor, up to a year for a Class A misdemeanor, and for six months up to two and a half years for a level 6 felony.
During your license suspension period, you may be allowed specialized driving privileges that generally requires the installation of an ignition interlock system in your car. These systems make it impossible to drive your vehicle if you fail its breath test.
Turn To The Region Lawyers For The Competent Help You Need
Defenses do exist for OWI charges in Indiana. Our attorneys will thoroughly investigate your case to determine what those defenses may be and create a legal strategy on your behalf. When facing an OWI charge, we advise that you call us as soon as possible for best possible results.