A drunk driving charge (known as an OWI, or Operating While Intoxicated in Indiana) is a serious criminal charge under the laws of Indiana. And frighteningly, is a criminal charge that can happen to almost anyone. If you happen to have a drink or two, and are stopped for something innocent like a broken tail light or traffic infraction, you can find yourself arrested by an aggressive and reflexive law enforcement system that tends to arrest anyone even suspected of being impaired.
If you are facing an OWI charge, you have to deal with the stress of appearing in criminal court, losing your drivers license, and even a risk of jail time.
And the system is not on your side. Breath test machines have many known flaws. Field sobriety tests are designed in a way that many people simply cannot perform these exercises in a high-stakes stressful environment, like being under threat of arrest.
But there are attorneys who can help fight these charges. We are Indiana defense lawyers who are dedicated to fighting for the rights of our clients. Decent people who are often being treated unfairly, or in some cases people who made an honest mistake.
Our Indiana OWI lawyers have fought countless cases in Indiana, and have helped many people beat drunk driving charges, or at least get fair treatment in court. Everyone deserves a fair shake. And every case is important to us and we will treat yours with the level of professionalism that you deserve.
Please contact us to find out how we can help you at this difficult time.
Indiana OWI Laws
Operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI), DWI, and DUI are all terms used interchangeably. While Indiana law refers to the offense as OWI, it’s the same thing and carries the same penalty as DWI.
There are essentially two different ways you can be charged with a drunk driving offense:
- If you operate a vehicle and your blood alcohol level is greater than .08%, or
- If you operate a vehicle while under the influence of any alcohol or drug that impairs your driving ability.
This means that a breathalyzer is not a necessity for an OWI conviction. If it can be proven that you were under the influence and driving erratically, the OWI charge can stand up in court.
Indiana OWI Penalties
OWI is charged as a Class A misdemeanor for first time offenders. A Class A misdemeanor carries a potential sentence of up to one year in jail and fines reaching up to $5,000. Along with the typical penalties of a Class A misdemeanor, an OWI conviction can carry additional sanctions.
For a first offense OWI conviction, you will face a driver’s license suspension of 90 days to 2 years.
With the help of an experienced and aggressive attorney you may be eligible for a probationary driver’s license. This just means that while your license is under suspension, we may be able to help you get some driving privileges, such as driving to and from work or school.
The judge can also order community service hours and drug alcohol education classes. In most instances, for a first time offense, you will be required to fulfill a requirement of 180 hours of community service.
Ref: IC 9-30-5
With our help you may also be entitled to serve some of your sentence under probation rather than in custody. By highlighting your lack of a criminal record and positive attributes, we may be able to convince the judge to suspend your sentence.
Free Consultation on any Indiana OWI Charge
When facing a serious criminal charge of drunk driving, with the risk of extensive penalties like these, you need the skills of an experienced OWI attorney. We know what the judges want and we know how to defend clients, we’ve been doing it for years. Call to discuss your case right away and find out how we can help you. Our consultation is free.