If you’ve been charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI/DUI) in Indianapolis, IN, you’re likely wondering what kinds of penalties you’ll face if convicted. You may also want to know how long your potential jail sentence (if any) will last.
In this guide, the Indianapolis DUI attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC have provided some information regarding sentencing for an OWI/DUI. You’ll significantly improve your chances of minimizing your penalties if you hire a skilled criminal defense attorney.
Our legal team has over 100 years of combined experience, and we’re well-equipped to handle your DUI case and obtain the best possible results. Contact our criminal defense law firm in Indianapolis, Indiana today for a confidential, free consultation to learn more. We can be reached by calling (317) 759-2599 or contacting us online.
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How Our Indianapolis Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help Reduce Your Sentence for a DUI/OWI
It’s no surprise that a DUI conviction can result in jail time, fines, and other potential consequences. However, many people try to handle their criminal cases alone, resulting in harsher sentences and severe collateral consequences.
Hiring an experienced Indianapolis criminal defense attorney is the best way to protect your rights against aggressive prosecutors. Our legal team at Suhre & Associates, LLC features a former prosecutor who knows how the other side thinks and works. This insight is highly beneficial to our clients.
If you hire our Indianapolis DUI defense lawyers, we’ll:
- Review every aspect of your case, including the circumstances of your arrest and the evidence against you
- Identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case
- Gather evidence to support your defense, including witness statements, surveillance, breath or blood test results, and more
- Negotiate with prosecuting attorneys for a favorable plea deal or dismissal of your criminal charges
- Aggressively represent you in any and all court proceedings and at trial, if necessary
Don’t hesitate to contact our law office if you’ve been arrested for a DUI-related offense in Indianapolis. We offer a free initial consultation, so call today for immediate legal assistance.
What Are the Potential Penalties I’ll Face If Convicted of a DUI in Indiana?
The penalties you face if found guilty of driving under the influence will depend on various factors, including:
- The circumstances of your arrest
- Whether you refused to submit to a chemical test
- The level of intoxication (your BAC)
- Whether you have prior DUI-related convictions
- Whether you caused bodily harm or death when driving while impaired
Accordingly, aggravating factors or additional criminal offenses (such as resisting arrest) could increase the standard penalties. On the other hand, an experienced Indianapolis DUI lawyer can argue on your behalf and minimize your punishment. For example, they may argue that you’re eligible for probation in lieu of serving jail time.
In general, these are the potential consequences of a DUI conviction:
- Jail or prison time
- DUI probation with certain conditions, such as random drug testing
- Community service
- Successful completion of an alcohol or drug use treatment program
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- Driver’s license suspension and loss of driving privileges
- Participation in a victim impact program
Here are the specific jail sentences and fines a court may impose if you’re convicted of a DUI in Indiana:
Class C Misdemeanor DUI
You can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor if it’s your first-time DUI with a BAC between 0.08 and 0.15 g or if you have certain controlled substances in your system.
- Up to 60 days in jail
- Up to $500 in fines
Class A Misdemeanor DUI
You can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor if you operate a vehicle with a BAC of at least 0.15 g or if you drive while intoxicated in a way that endangers people.
- Up to one year in jail
- Up to $5,000 in fines
Level 6 Felony DUI
You can be charged with a Level 6 felony if you’ve been convicted of a DUI in the last seven years or drive intoxicated with a passenger under the age of 18 (if you’re over age 21).
- 6 months to 2.5 years in prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
Level 5 Felony DUI
You can be charged with a Level 5 felony if you cause serious bodily injury while driving drunk or if you’ve been convicted of a prior DUI that caused serious bodily injury or death.
- One to six years in prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
Level 4 Felony DUI
You can face a Level 4 felony if you cause catastrophic injury or death when driving while impaired. You can also be charged with a Level 4 felony if you cause serious bodily harm to someone while driving intoxicated and have a prior DUI conviction within the last five years.
- Two to twelve years in prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
Habitual Vehicular Substance Offender (HVSO): Two or Three Prior OWI-Related Convictions
The State of Indiana may have you sentenced as a habitual vehicular substance offender if you have:
- Two prior DUI-related convictions, one of which occurred within the last ten years; or
- Three or more prior DUI-related convictions at any time
This designation carries an additional one to eight years of imprisonment in addition to any underlying penalties. This is a sentence enhancement that serves to punish repeat offenders.
Driver’s License Suspension After an Indiana OWI/DUI
In addition to jail, fines, and other penalties, an Indiana DUI typically results in the suspension of your driving privileges by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) as follows:
- 180 days for first-time offenders who took a chemical test that indicated intoxication (or less if the DUI case is dropped)
- One year if the person refused to submit to chemical testing
- Two years if the person refused to submit to chemical testing and has a prior OWI conviction
The court can order a longer license suspension period based on the circumstances of your charges, jail sentence, and any other relevant factors.
In some cases, a person may qualify for a hardship license. This will allow for specialized driving privileges, such as driving to work or school. However, you will not be eligible if you refuse to submit to chemical testing.
You may be required to install an ignition interlock device to qualify for limited driving privileges. This device checks the driver’s BAC before they start the car.
An experienced DUI attorney in Indianapolis will evaluate the options available to minimize the suspension of your driving privileges.
What Are the Collateral Consequences of an Indianapolis DUI Conviction?
It’s essential to understand that a DUI conviction can have far-reaching consequences beyond what is imposed by a court or the BMV.
A criminal record, no matter what the charge, can result in the following collateral consequences:
- Lost job opportunities
- Inability to find employment or keep a professional license
- Child custody and visitation issues
- Immigration issues
- Trouble applying for housing or loans
- Loss of reputation amongst family, friends, and colleagues
Many people are surprised to discover these and other consequences stemming from a criminal history. Accordingly, speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Indianapolis to protect your rights and reputation.
How Can I Minimize the Consequences of a DUI Conviction in Indianapolis?
The best way to protect yourself when charged with any type of crime is to hire a dedicated criminal defense lawyer in Indianapolis, IN. At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we’ll thoroughly examine all facets of your case to find the most effective defense strategy.
Potential defenses in your OWI case may include:
- Insufficient evidence proving that you drove under the influence
- Defective breathalyzer or chemical tests
- Faulty field sobriety test results, such as a law enforcement officer failing to use accepted standards
- Constitutional rights violations, such as an illegal traffic stop or lack of Miranda warnings by the police
- Evidence of a medical condition or alternative substance, such as mouthwash or prescription medication, that affected the chemical test results
- The “rising blood alcohol” defense
Various other defenses may apply based on the specific facts of your DUI arrest. Call our OWI defense attorneys in Indianapolis today to get a skilled legal advocate in your corner.
Contact Our Indianapolis DUI Defense Attorneys for Help With Your Criminal Charges
Whether it’s your first DUI charge or your fifth, hiring an experienced Indianapolis OWI defense attorney is in your best interest. We’ll work to have your DUI charges dropped or reduced, minimizing the penalties you’ll face.
Contact our Indianapolis criminal defense law firm today for a free case evaluation to learn more about our services and how we can help with your DUI case.
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