Understanding Indiana’s DUI Laws
At the Law Office of B.D. Williams, you can depend on the knowledge, experience and skills of our Indianapolis criminal defense attorney, who is backed by 20 years of experience. That experience includes litigating in trials as well as handling case investigations, analyzing evidence, negotiating with prosecutors and more. In order to increase your chances of a favorable outcome, you will need this kind of experience on your side along with the commitment to excellence that our lawyer offers every client.
You can start by discussing your case with our attorney as soon after an arrest as possible. He will review it and advise you on how best to proceed.
Our Lawyer Will Fight Hard To Protect Your Rights
Our Indianapolis OWI attorney will analyze your case and determine whether it may lead to a dismissal. When that seems unlikely, he may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf for a reduced charge leading to lesser penalties. Should that option be unavailable, your case will likely end up at trial. Our lawyer has significant trial experience that he will use to argue your case with skill and tenacity.
When you receive a criminal traffic violation, you can expect serious legal consequences. If you receive an OWI charge, a conviction can lead to penalties including points on your license, fines, a driver’s license suspension and even a prison sentence. This is why you need an Indiana OWI lawyer.
What Is A DUI In Indiana?
In Indiana, driving under the influence (DUI) is officially referred to as operating while intoxicated (OWI).
The penalties you will face with any OWI conviction will be based on various circumstances, including your criminal record and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
- Operating your vehicle with a BAC of .08% or higher
- Operating your vehicle with any level of a Schedule I or II controlled substance (including marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, hallucinogens and opiates) in your system
- Operating your vehicle when intoxicated by drugs or alcohol (regardless of the amount)
What Is The Legal Limit In Indiana?
As we mentioned above, if a driver’s BAC reaches .08%, no other evidence is required to show that the driver was impaired to be convicted of an OWI charge. This is a “per se” BAC limit DUI law. Indiana law also has a zero-tolerance policy regarding the drinking of anyone under the legal drinking age in Indiana, which is 21 years old. Indiana holds those individuals to an even lower BAC level of .02% because they aren’t old enough to drink.
What Are The Penalties For OWI In Indiana?
One of the moving violations that is taken most seriously by law enforcement is driving under the influence.
If you have been arrested for OWI in Indianapolis, you need to contact an OWI lawyer to seek immediate legal help. The driving while impaired case against you will move very quickly.
A first-offense OWI often carries the following penalties:
- Up to 60 days of jail time
- Up to $500 in fines
- A license suspension for 180 days
- Substance abuse treatment
- Education or counseling
- An SR-22 insurance policy
- The installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle for up to 60 days
If you refused to submit to a chemical test, your license suspension will be for one year.
On top of all this, you will end up with a permanent criminal record that can hamper future opportunities for employment, housing, professional licenses and more.
High Blood Alcohol Concentration
If your BAC measured .15% percent or higher, jail time can increase to up to a year, your fine can increase to up to $5,000 and your IID time can increase to up to a year.
Repeat DUI/OWI Offenses
Subsequent offenses may result in increased penalties.
A first-offense OWI is enhanced to a Level 6 felony if your driving endangered others or if you had a passenger in your vehicle who was under the age of 18. This carries six months to 2 1/2 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
If you are convicted of OWI while having a previous conviction within the last five years, you will also be charged with a felony carrying the same penalties.
We Are A Full-Service OWI Defense Law Firm
At the Law Office of B.D. Williams, our Indiana OWI defense attorney is a top-rated drunk driving legal representative. He has the skills and experience needed to provide you with the quality legal defense that you deserve.
If you or a family member has been arrested for drunk or drugged driving, please contact our law firm today for a confidential and thorough consultation. Our attorney truly cares for you and your case. He is experienced in handling all major traffic charges, including:
- OWI offenses
- OWI defense
- OWI penalties
- OWI and manslaughter
- OWI driver’s license suspensions
- OWI and personal injury enhancements
- Multiple OWI offenses
- Prescription drug OWI charges
- Refusals of breath tests
- Field sobriety tests
Understanding OWI Laws In Indiana
No matter the specific circumstances, receiving an OWI is a very serious criminal offense. The penalties that you may face if you are arrested on suspicion of OWI can be severe.
Penalties in your case will depend on a number of factors, such as:
- The nature of your arrest
- Your criminal background
Even if you don’t have prior offenses on your record and were only alleged to have been just a small amount above the legal limit, you still need to speak with an experienced Indianapolis OWI defense lawyer.
An OWI Charge Can Easily Become A Felony
There are other aggravating factors that can potentially turn a misdemeanor OWI charge into a felony charge. These include situations in which you were drunk driving and:
- Caused a major accident
- People were injured
- There was a child in your car
Have you ever heard the saying: The person who represents themselves in court has a fool for a client? If there is a good possibility that you may be charged with a felony OWI charge, then you need to contact a top Indiana OWI law firm in order to have the best representation available to you. When you’re charged with a felony, your next steps require you to look for an attorney.
A DUI Conviction In Indiana Means A Suspended License
In the majority of U.S. states, your driver’s license will be suspended for some time as a penalty for DUI. This is true even in cases of first-time drunk driving charges. In Indiana, the consequences of your first OWI conviction comes with a 90-day suspension. These strict regulations underscore the seriousness of the charge, and subsequent OWI convictions will result in longer suspension times, all the way up to receiving the habitual traffic violator designation, which can result in you losing your license for the rest of your life.
A DUI In Indiana May Result In An Interlock Ignition Device
An interlock ignition device (IID) is an apparatus that connects directly to the ignition system of your vehicle. Before you start the car, you must blow into the IID to ensure that you are not drunk. Many states, including Arizona and Nevada, mandate IIDs for those convicted of DUI. In certain California counties, an IID is required in all OWI/DUI convictions. But let’s discuss the consequences of an OWI in Indiana. State ignition interlock laws require that an IID (also known as an in-car breath test) be installed on an offender’s vehicle after the second violation of Indiana OWI laws. Also, the cost of installing and maintaining the IID is the responsibility of the defendant.
When An Indianapolis OWI Attorney Can Help
While an OWI charge in Indiana can be an intimidating experience, an Indianapolis criminal attorney can provide valuable assistance in several situations. For example, if the prosecution’s case is weak, evidence wasn’t correctly collected or you passed the chemical test, they may be able to argue for a potential dismissal, if not a plea bargain for a more favorable sentence.
You should also consider hiring a lawyer if you have previous OWI convictions or if there were other aggravating factors in your arrest. The higher the stakes are, the more necessary it is for you to seek an Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer’s advice in identifying the best legal options and choosing the most optimal strategy for your case.
What if I can’t afford a criminal defense lawyer?
Criminal defendants have the right to a public defender, which is a state-designated and no-cost lawyer. These pro bono lawyers typically have heavy caseloads. Sadly, they can only give each case so much time – often, much less than what it needs. Fortunately, there are private lawyers who take care to offer affordable, cost-effective legal aid, like ours at the Law Office of B.D. Williams. He is proud to handle each case quickly and efficiently, wasting no time but also giving your case the time it needs and deserves.
When do I need a criminal lawyer?
Most legal professionals recommend getting a criminal lawyer for any type of criminal case, even for a minor charge. This is because even a minor charge may lead to a permanent criminal record, fines, jail time, strained relationships and stigma for years to come. The more severe the charge is, the more important it is that you get a lawyer to protect your rights.
Why hire a criminal defense attorney?
Having a lawyer gives you a better shot at getting your case dismissed or charges dropped. The truth is that the deck is almost always stacked against the defendant in a criminal case. Police officers and prosecutors have the advantage. Not only is it their job, but they have already gone through this process countless times. If you’ve been charged with a crime, you need someone whose job it is to protect you. That’s exactly what our attorney does. Let’s even out the playing field. He will do whatever He can to get the best results for you, your future and your family.
When is the best time to hire an OWI lawyer?
The earlier, the better. While an OWI charge can be an intimidating experience, an Indianapolis criminal attorney can provide valuable assistance in several situations. The more time your attorney has to review and build your case, the higher your chances will be of obtaining a favorable outcome.
When do I need a lawyer for an OWI charge?
From a suspended license all the way up to a month or so in jail, there are a number of stiff penalties for an OWI conviction. It’s for this very reason that it’s important to hire an Indianapolis OWI lawyer to defend your rights if you’ve been arrested.
You should also consider hiring an attorney if you have previous OWI convictions on your record or there were other aggravating factors in your arrest. The higher the stakes are, the more necessary it will be to get a criminal defense lawyer.
At the Law Office of B.D. Williams, our attorney can give legal advice, go over your options and choose the most optimal strategy for your case.
What is the difference between OWI and DUI?
Depending on the state in which you live, drunk and drugged driving may be known by many different terms, such as driving under the influence (DUI), operating while intoxicated (OWI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). In Indiana, it is called OWI.
What is the legal limit in Indiana?
In Indiana, if a driver’s BAC reaches .08%, then no other evidence is required to show that the driver was impaired to be convicted of an OWI charge. This is a “per se” BAC limit OWI law. State law also has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking. According to the law, anyone under the legal drinking age (21 years old) will be considered intoxicated if their BAC is .02% or higher.
How can I beat a drunk driving charge?
If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, it is crucial that you work with an experienced defense attorney who can carefully analyze your options and determine the best course of action. Even if you intend to plead guilty, working with a lawyer is essential to minimize the sentence and damage.
What if I lost my license because of a DUI conviction but continue to drive?
If your license is revoked from a drunk driving offense and you still choose to drive, serious penalties can result if you’re pulled over. It is best to rely on friends and family for rides rather than further risk your freedom.
Can I refuse a breath test?
In many cases, a refusal of a breath test can result in a criminal violation that leads to penalties. If your case is proven, additional penalties may result from the drunk driving offense. By obtaining a driver’s license in the state of Indiana, you have given your implied consent to chemical testing.