You might have known people who made it through charges of driving under the influence (DUI) or operating while intoxicated (OWI) in Indiana, and it might not have seemed like that big of a deal from an outside perspective. However, when you see the flashing lights in your rearview mirror and find yourself getting arrested for your first DUI, it can seem like a much more concerning – and even frightening – matter.
You are right to take a DUI seriously, as even a first offense can have serious penalties and lasting effects on your life. It is important to immediately contact an Indiana DUI defense attorney who you can trust.
The DUI/OWI Process
Once you are arrested on suspicion of DUI, you will be booked at the police station, and you might have to undergo additional chemical testing, such as a breath, blood, or urine test. After posting a bond, you might leave with a summons or receive one in the mail.
The prosecutor will issue DUI/OWI charges if they believe that:
- A chemical test showed a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or above (or less for new drivers or commercial drivers)
- A chemical test showed you had unlawful drugs in your system
- The police had other evidence that your driving abilities were impaired
You should contact a DUI defense lawyer so they can prepare for your first court date. This involves examining the circumstances of your arrest, identifying any applicable defenses to your charges, and addressing any administrative penalties.
Your lawyer will then represent you at all court appearances, as well as prepare you for your role in the court hearings. They will be there every step of the way to navigate the process for you and seek the best possible resolution.
Resolving Your Case
There are different options when it comes to DUI case resolution. Some ways your case might resolve include:
- Dismissal, if your attorney gets key evidence thrown out or there are other problems with the prosecution’s case
- Guilty plea, which should be in exchange for a favorable plea bargain your attorney negotiated with the prosecutor
- Conviction at trial if you fight your charges in court
You should never plead guilty to any charges without guidance from your defense lawyer. They can help you make sure that you do not plead guilty when you shouldn’t or if you can get a better deal.
If you are convicted of a first DUI in Indiana, the penalties will vary depending on the circumstances of the allegations. You could face, for example:
- Up to $5,000 in fines
- Up to one year in jail
- Court costs and other fees
- Suspension of your driver’s license
- Substance abuse treatment or education
- Ignition interlock device
Speak with an Indiana DUI Defense Lawyer Right Away
Our Indiana OWI defense attorneys at Tanzillo, Stassin & Babcock help people avoid overly serious or wrongful penalties for first-time defendants, as well as multiple offenders. Contact us for assistance as soon as you can.