Indianapolis DUI Attorney
DUI, or driving under the influence, is a serious offense that has increasing penalties for each consecutive charge. Multiple DUI convictions can lead to permanent license suspension, heavy fines, and even time in prison. If you or a loved one recently received a DUI charge, it’s vital to know your options for legal defense and what to expect from the criminal justice system in Indiana.
The attorneys at Banks & Brower have more than 40 combined years of experience in criminal defense, and our attorneys are former prosecutors. This means they have intimate knowledge of the criminal justice process in Indiana and understand how prosecutors build their cases. Review the following information about DUI charges in Indiana and then contact our firm to take the next step in your case.
DUI in Indiana
Law enforcement officers use several methods for detecting and stopping intoxicated drivers. Traffic stops are common in heavily traveled metropolitan areas, especially during holidays and weekends. If a community reports higher than average DUI accidents and stop in an area, it’s likely the law enforcement officers in the area will start checkpoints and other preventative measures in the area. Patrolling police officers will also stop drivers for erratic or suspicious behavior that may indicate DUI, such as swerving between lanes, driving too slowly, or failing to stop or signal when necessary.
Once a law enforcement officer stops a suspect, the officer will administer a field sobriety test or Breathalyzer test to determine whether the driver is under the influence of alcohol. A driver whose blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is over the legal limit of .08% will receive a DUI charge. It’s important for Indiana drivers to consider the consequences of refusing a Breathalyzer test, even if you know you will fail it. Failing a chemical test will lead to a 1 or 2-year suspension, depending on prior offenses. Refusing a chemical test will result in an automatic one-year license suspension, in addition to other charges. These immediate suspensions are administrative and a suspect will likely face additional suspension time after conviction. If you have a prior conviction and refuse a breath test the suspension is a 2-year license suspension.
Indiana has increasing penalties for DUI convictions based on multiple criteria. A suspect who has never had a DUI charge before and has a BAC only slightly over the legal limit and who caused no harm to other drivers may only receive a first-time misdemeanor charge. However, BAC over .15%, driving under the influence while younger than 21, or driving under the influence with underage passengers in the vehicle will all lead to more significant penalties, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time.
How Do I Fight My DUI Charge?
There is little you can do to escape a DUI charge if the police detect a BAC of .08% or more, or if you refuse a Breathalyzer test. However, hiring an attorney can help mitigate the penalties, especially for a first-time offense. If you need to drive to maintain employment, your attorney will help you make your case in this regard as well.
Repeat and habitual offenders will benefit most from legal representation. Without a lawyer, these individuals can face prison time as well as permanent license suspension and heavy fines. These penalties can cause financial strain, impact present and future employment opportunities, interfere with an academic career, or cause a host of other possible penalties.
The attorneys at Banks & Brower are here to help those charged with DUI offenses in the Indianapolis area. As former prosecutors, our attorneys understand how the state builds DUI cases and the reasonable limits for penalties. If the police recently charged you or a loved one for DUI, reach out to our firm today to schedule a consultation. We will review the charges you’re facing and let you know what to expect from the legal process in Indiana.