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.
How Can Banks & Brower DUI Lawyers Help?
Indianapolis DUI attorneys at Banks & Brower are here to help those charged with DUI offenses in Indiana. 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 FREE consultation. We will review the charges you’re facing and let you know what to expect from the legal process in Indiana.
DUI 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 Indianapolis and understand how prosecutors build their cases. Review the following information about DUI charges in Indiana and then contact our criminal defense attorneys to take the next step in your case.
DUI/OWI Penalties in Indiana:
- Suspended License
- Jail Time
- Paying Court Fees
- Community Service
- Ignition Interlock Device
- Substance Abuse Program
Hiring a DUI attorney in Indianapolis is not nearly as costly as losing your license, going to jail, or losing your job. If you, or someone you love, has been arrested for driving while intoxicated, it is essential to immediately find experienced representation to minimize the potential impact of the arrest.
How Do I Fight My DUI or OWI 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.
Driving Under the Influence (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.
DUI Traffic Statistics
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) collates accident and traffic data in annual reports. Approximately three people die every two hours from DUI-related highway accidents, according to the DOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Alcohol-related highway crashes cost American taxpayers billions each year, and the damage they cause at the local level is also significant.
In Indiana, one of the determining factors in whether or not a driver will receive a DUI charge is the driver’s blood-alcohol concentration, or BAC. The legal limit in all 50 states is .08%, so a driver with any amount above this level would qualify as DUI. It’s vital to note that simply driving under the influence is enough to lead to a DUI charge, even if the offender does not break any other laws on the road and causes no harm or damage. However, DUIs strongly contribute to accident rates, property damage, and personal injuries all over the country.
Legal Penalties for DUI Violations in Indianapolis
A driver will face multiple charges after receiving a traffic violation citation while driving under the influence. Running a red light or speeding may only lead to a small fine, but extreme traffic violations such as driving on the wrong side of the road or the wrong way down one-way streets can cause catastrophic damage. If you cause an accident while driving under the influence of alcohol, you will likely face criminal DUI charges from the state and civil actions from the other drivers you harmed.
Indiana imposes gradually increasing penalties for successive DUI violations. Penalties may also increase depending on the severity of the damage the driver caused, passengers in the vehicle at the time of the DUI violation, and the driver’s age. A first-time DUI offense will often lead to fines, license suspension, and even jail time. With each subsequent DUI conviction these penalties increase:
- First offense: Jail time of 0 days to one year, fines up to $5,000, and a license suspension for up to two years.
- Second offense: within 5 years. Jail time of minimum of 5 days up to three years, $10,000 in fines, and a maximum of 2 ½ year license suspension up to two years.
- Third offense: Jail time of 10 days to three years, up to $10,000 in fines, a maximum 2 ½ -year license suspension.