Indiana has strict laws when it comes to dealing with the enforcement of drunk driving and drugged driving. Indiana law, like every other state, has .08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) as the legal limit for what’s considered as legally too drunk to operate a vehicle. If you are arrested for suspicion of a DUI, you need the best DUI attorney Indianapolis has available to help in your time of need. You can reach our office at (317) 743-0771 or email [email protected] now!
Indiana Operating While Intoxicated: It’s Never a Simple Proposition
Only certain types of crimes require the skill of an Indianapolis DUI lawyer or an Indianapolis OWI Lawyer. There are few criminal offenses as complex as operating a vehicle while intoxicated (“OVWI,” “OWI” or sometimes called “DUI”). Consider, that to prove even a “simple” charge for operating while intoxicated, which is a Class C Misdemeanor in the State of Indiana, the State must show that a Defendant:
1) Operated a vehicle and,
2) was “intoxicated.”
When Do You Need an Indianapolis DUI Lawyer? What About an Indianapolis OWI Attorney?
The answer to when you need an OWI lawyer should be simple, right? Not even close. Even here, the case is quite complex. Generally, you need to hire an Indianapolis DUI lawyer if:
- You want to minimize the time you spend in court
- You want more “one on one” time with your OWI lawyer
- You want an attorney with an in-depth understanding and has a command of information about Indiana DUI laws
Where Can You Find Indianapolis, Indiana DUI Lawyers?
This is because the terms “operate,” “vehicle” and, especially, “intoxicated” are all legal terms that have been defined by law and debated over by lawyers and judges for decades. What does it mean to “operate” a car, for example? The Indiana Code says that “Operate” means to “navigate or otherwise be in actual physical control of a vehicle, motorboat, off-road vehicle, or snowmobile. Ind. Code § 9-13-2-117.5. What does “physical control” mean? Is steering with the engine turned off enough? Does the engine need to be on at all? As you can see, there’s ample room to debate the issue. You need an Indianapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer, Jesse K. Sanchez at (317) 743-0771 today!
If the State wishes to make its charge a Class A misdemeanor, then the OWI defense gets even messier. In that case, the government must demonstrate that the Defendant “endangered” another person. And that raises a host of other issues and concerns. All this before we even begin to talk about:
- Whether the police had the right to pull the vehicle over
- Whether the police had the right to demand a breath test
- Whether the police performed the field sobriety tests in accordance with National Health Traffic and Safety Administration guidelines
- Whether the police officer was qualified as a drug recognition expert
- Whether the police performed the chemical test correctly and in appropriate time periods
Indiana is an implied consent state that uses BAC level as an indicator of Driving Under Influence. BAC is your blood alcohol concentration. Your BAC gives an estimate to the police how of much alcohol is in your system. However, even without a high BAC, you can be arrested for DUI. If this happens, you may want to consult a DUI defense attorney.
Drunk Driving Information
There is some foundational drunk driving information that holds true. Indiana law states that it is illegal to:
- Operate a vehicle with a BAC over .08
- Drive with any Schedule II or III drugs in your system
- Operate a vehicle while actually intoxicated with prescription drugs, illegal drugs or alcohol
Drugged Driving Information
With the decriminalization of marijuana, drivers may feel more comfortable in driving while drugged. Driving while drunk is by far the leading cause of highway deaths, drugged driving is quickly showing itself as a problem on the roads. Drugged driving in Indiana is the same as an Operating While Impaired incident, and comes with the exact same penalties, and fines. Additionally, we’ve found that those individuals that are driving while high are often in possession of drugs, requiring the need for a drug crime possession attorney. The fact of the matter is that driving while high or drugged driving is impaired driving.
There will be times when you can be arrested for OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) despite your BAC. If you are under the influence of drugs, you can be arrested. If you have a lower BAC but are actually intoxicated, you will be arrested. Once you are released from custody, recall this information, because the consequences of drunk driving are severe, and immediately call Indiana DUI defense attorney Jesse K. Sanchez at (317) 743-0771 today.
How Police Determine if You Are Intoxicated
Police can use a number of ways to determine if you are intoxicated. Including the standard run of Field Sobriety Tests, those ways that law enforcement uses to determine if you are impaired include:
- Field sobriety tests
- Personal experience that you are under the influence of drugs
- The officer may find drugs on your person
- The officer may find drugs or presence of alcohol in your car.
- Police can smell the odor of marijuana
- The officer can smell alcohol
As you can see the officer can cite a number of probable causes as to how they can determine intoxication by observation.
Indiana DUI Penalties
In Indiana the sentences for an OWI conviction will vary depending on the BAC results of your blood or breath test and whether your conviction was for a first time OWI offense or if this was any subsequent OWI offense. The potential penalties for an Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) in Indiana are the following:
- House Arrest
- Community Service
- Drug and Alcohol Classes
- Court Costs
- Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
- Community Service
- AA Meetings
- A first OWI/DUI offense consists of jail time of 1 day to one year, fines up to $5,000, and a license suspension for up to two years.
- A second OWI/DUI offense within 5 years of your first offense will result to jail time of minimum of 5 days up to three years, $10,000 in fines, and maximum of 2.5-year license suspension up to two years.
- A third OWI/DUI offense will result to jail or prison time of 10 days to three years, up to $10,000 in fines, a maximum 2.5-year license suspension.
How a Top Drunk Driving Attorney Makes a Difference
- DUI Attorney Indianapolis Lawyer Jesse K. Sanchez is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- Hiring an Indiana DUI lawyer is key to a favorable result for your drunk driving case
- Indianapolis DUI lawyers are high in number but finding the best for your case is the most difficult
To Find the Law Office of Jesse K. Sanchez Just Search:
- Top DUI Lawyers Close to Me
- Drunk Driving Attorney Near Me
- Local DUI Lawyers
- Indianapolis Field Sobriety Test Attorney
- Marion County Drunk Driving Attorney
Your Indianapolis OWI Lawyer or Indianapolis DUI Attorney
FAQ’s for a DUI Attorney
- Q. Is it an OWI or a DUI in Indiana?
A. Indiana is a state that considers operating a vehicle while intoxicated as a slightly nuanced version of a DUI or DWI. Operating a vehicle can occur if keys are in the ignition and the headlamps, or A/C or even radio are being used, thus the vehicle is in “operation”. This is slightly different than Driving Under the Influence.
- Q. Can I still be charged with an OWI/DUI with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .08?
A. A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more constitutes evidence of drunk driving in Indiana. However, you can still be charged with, OWI if you are under the influence of a Schedule I or II substance. Also, if your BAC comes in as measuring below the legal limit and you have demonstrated an impaired ability to drive as witnessed or observed by law enforcement, you could be charged with an OWI based on the opinion of the arresting officer. This assessment can be made if there is a field sobriety or other tests conducted at the time of the interaction.
- Q. Is Indiana a zero tolerance state?
A. Indiana has a law, the Zero Tolerance Law, that makes it illegal for an underage driver to operate a vehicle with a BAC of .02% or higher.
- Q. Do I have to submit to a breathalyzer test in Indiana?
A. No you are not REQUIRED to submit to a breathalyzer test. However, refusal to submit to a Breathalyzer will result in more significant penalties. As an example, a refusal to take a breath test will cause your driver’s license to be automatically suspended for one year.
- Q. Do I have to submit to field sobriety testing?
A. The purpose of field sobriety tests is to give officers even stronger evidence to make an arrest for suspicion of an OWI. A refusal to perform a field sobriety test will not result in more severe punishment, unlike the punishment from refusing to take a Breathalyzer.
- Q. Will I lose my Operators license if I am convicted of an OWI/DUI in Indiana?
A. Under the implied consent law in Indiana, your operator’s license will be automatically suspended. The length of the suspension of your operator’s license will depend on the type of charge and whether you have previous convictions on your record. It may be possible to secure specialized driving privileges. Specialized driving privileges are driving privileges issued by the court that enable you to travel to and from work, as well as the ability to perform other limited errands.
- Q. Is a reduction to a “wet reckless” charge possible in Indiana?
A. In Indiana, a “wet reckless” is a reckless driving charge where alcohol or drugs is a factor is possible in some extemporaneous instances. The penalty for a “wet reckless” conviction includes a $200 “alcohol and drug countermeasures” fee.
- Q. What is the minimum amount of time in jail for an OWI/DUI in Indiana?
A. In Indiana, the minimum jail sentences are from 60 days up to 1 year, depending if it is a first, second or third DUI offense.
- Q. How long does an OWI/DUI stay on your driving record in Indiana?
A. In Indiana, a conviction for an OWI/DUI will remain on your operator’s license record for life.
- Q. How many points will be assessed on my operators license if I am convicted of an OWI/DUI?
A. In Indiana eight additional points will be added to your license.
- Q. How long will the additional points from an OWI conviction stay on my driving record?
A. The additional points from a conviction of an OWI/DUI will remain on your driving record for two years.
- Q. Can an OWI/DUI be expunged in Indiana?
A. Yes, an OWI/DUI can be eligible for expungement under the Indiana Second Chance Law. If you are in need of an expungement for an OWI/DUI conviction you can contact Indiana expungement attorney, Jesse K. Sanchez with assistance in obtaining an expungement for your OWI conviction.