In Indiana, a DUI charge can have serious personal and financial repercussions. Fortunately, those who are arrested for driving under the influence are not without options, so if you were recently accused of or charged with a DUI, it is important to speak with an experienced Munster DUI lawyer who can help protect your interests.
Before a person can be convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Indiana, prosecutors must establish that the defendant drove a vehicle:
Drivers who are under the age of 21 years old have a much lower threshold, as they can be convicted of driving under the influence if their BAC is .02 percent or higher. Although these individuals do not usually face jail time, they could have their licenses suspended for up to one year.
A driver’s BAC is usually established through either a chemical test or a breathalyzer test. All Indiana drivers are required to submit to these tests, as they impliedly consent to do so when they operate a vehicle in the state. For this reason, refusing to submit to a DUI test is punishable as a separate offense.
Being convicted of a DUI in Indiana can have severe consequences. For example, pursuant to Indiana law, a first offense may result in a sentence of up to 60 days in prison, a fine of $500, and a driver’s license suspension for up to two years if their BAC was between .08 and .15 percent. That being said, it is important to note that Indiana law includes an enhancement for operating a vehicle while endangering others under IC 9-30-5-2 that is always used in DUI cases; when this is applied, the offense automatically becomes a Class A misdemeanor. Furthermore, if a driver’s BAC was .15 percent or higher, his or her charge will also be a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in prison and a $5,000 fine. Fortunately, if handled properly by an experienced OWI defense attorney, suspension can be avoided or reduced.
Second offenses are considered Level 6 felonies and so are penalized even more severely. Those who are convicted of driving under the influence a second time face imprisonment for up to three years, a two year license suspension, and a fine of $10,000. Third and subsequent offenses are punishable by an even longer sentence and a license suspension of ten years. A defendant’s penalties can also be enhanced if another person was injured as a result of their intoxication.
If you were arrested for driving under the influence, please contact Tanzillo Stassin & Babcock P.C. at (219) 865-6262 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced DUI attorney.
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