Looking for a Carmel DUI Lawyer?
If you get caught drunk driving in Carmel, Indiana, you could face very serious consequences, ranging from a Class A misdemeanor all the way up to a felony offense. And like most other states, the penalties for those convicted of a DUI in Indiana only become more severe with repeat offenses. If you have been arrested for drunk driving, it is imperative that you call an experienced Carmel DUI lawyer immediately.
Keffer Hirschauer LLP employs a team of skilled litigators that have received numerous accolades for their DUI defense services. Our DUI defense team is the only one in the state of Indiana led by two former Fatal Alcohol Crash Team (FACT) prosecutors. Who better to represent and protect you than a team who fully understands the prosecution’s strategy?
Time is of the essence when it comes to a DUI arrest. If you or your loved one needs a drunk driving attorney in Carmel, or elsewhere in Hamilton County, you should call a Carmel DUI lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer LLP today. We are ready to begin building your defense and will pursue the best possible resolution in your case, whether that be minimizing your penalty or having the charges dismissed altogether. Contact a Carmel DUI attorney at Keffer Hirschauer LLP by calling (317) 751-7186 or by completing our online contact form today.
The Penalties for a DUI in Carmel, Indiana
Those convicted of a DUI in Carmel, Indiana face a variety of different penalties depending on the specific circumstances surrounding their arrest. For first-time offenders, the penalties may be on the lighter side, whereas habitual traffic violators often receive the most severe penalties. Regardless of your specific situation, it is important for those charged with OWI offenses to know the possible consequences.
Indiana DUI Penalties for a First-Time Offender
- Probation: 2-year maximum
- Fines: $500-$5,000
- Jail: 1-year maximum sentence
- Court costs and fees: $300+
- License suspension: 2-year maximum
- Other Penalties: Mandatory substance abuse education; attendance at a victim impact panel; and random urine testing for drugs and alcohol
Indiana DUI Penalties for a Second-Time Offender
- Probation: 2.5-year maximum
- Fines: $10,000 maximum
- Jail: 3-year maximum sentence
- Court costs and fees: $300+
- License suspension: 180-day minimum, 2-year maximum
- Other Penalties: Mandatory substance abuse education; attendance at a victim impact panel; court-ordered community service; random urine testing for drugs and alcohol; felony conviction on your criminal record
Indiana DUI Penalties for a Third-Time Offender
- Probation: 2.5-year minimum
- Fines: $10,000 maximum
- Jail: 3-year maximum sentence; if deemed a habitual vehicular substance offender, additional jail time of up to 8 years (see Indiana Code 9-30-15.5,
- Court costs and fees: $300+
- License suspension: If determined to be a habitual traffic violator, 5-year to lifetime license suspension (see Indiana Code 9-30-10)
- Other Penalties: Mandatory substance abuse education; attendance at a victim impact panel; court-ordered community service; random urine testing for drugs and alcohol; conviction of a Level 6 Felony on your criminal record
Carmel DUI Lawyer: Remember The Collateral Consequences Too
In addition to the penalties associated with a DUI conviction, offenders also experience a variety of collateral consequences. For individuals with certain parental rights, a DUI conviction could result in loss of child custody and restricted visitation. Furthermore, it may cause additional strain when it comes to making child support payments, given the negative impact a criminal record may have on finding employment.
If convicted of a criminal offense in Indiana, your criminal history will be available to any potential employers running a criminal background check. For occupations that require a professional license, a DUI conviction could result in that license being suspended, revoked, or denied. But even if you do find solid employment following a DUI, what sort of transportation will you use if your driving privileges are suspended or limited to certain hours?
To limit both the legal and collateral consequences of a DUI arrest, you will need to retain the services of a Carmel DUI lawyer who has experience mounting a successful DUI defense in Indiana courts. The former prosecutors at Keffer Hirschauer have successfully defended hundreds of clients charged with DUIs in Indiana. When you choose to work with our DUI Defense team, we take the time to fully investigate your case and actively pursue the most favorable outcome for you. We handle each case urgently and tailor our defense strategies to help reduce or completely dismiss the charges against you. Want to speak with a drunk driving attorney in Carmel today? Contact Keffer Hirschauer LLP at (317) 751-7186 or complete our online contact form today.
How a Carmel DUI Lawyer Defend You
The penalties for DUI convictions listed above are maximum penalties. This means that, in some cases, they can be argued down, minimized, or even dismissed altogether. The Carmel DUI lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP, we have developed dynamic, effective defense strategies that provide every one of our DUI clients with the best possible chance at an optimal outcome of their case. The following are examples of DUI defense strategies that our deploys to protect our clients.
Improper Stop by Police
In Indiana, police cannot just pull you over for no reason. Instead, they must have reasonable suspicion that a crime or infraction has occurred or will occur. For example, some observed actions that could constitute reasonable suspicion include swerving in and out of lanes, driving without your headlights or speeding.
False-Positive Breathalyzer Test
There are a number of reasons why the results of a breathalyzer test could be skewed, including the DUI suspect’s medical conditions, food intake, and use of certain oral products. Furthermore, the results could be skewed when a police officer doesn’t operate the device properly or fails to observe the suspect for 15 minutes prior to administering the test. These results can be found through careful examination of arrest records and data by a Carmel DUI lawyer and form the basis for an argument that the test results should be thrown out completely.
Failure to Administer Field Sobriety Tests Properly
The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) includes the horizontal gaze nystagmus, one-leg stand, and walk-and-turn. When administering this test, officers must follow specific protocols and adhere to strict rules to ensure the SFSTs are accurate and reliable. Unfortunately, many police officers give improper directions, administer these tests in poor conditions, and make other mistakes that lead to drivers being falsely accused of intoxication, resulting in their arrest.
Illegal Search and Seizure
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects US citizens from unreasonable search and seizure. By law, police officers must obtain a valid search warrant under certain circumstances. However, those circumstances are limited and warrantless searches are permitted more often than you might think.
For example, if an officer pulls you over for driving 15 mph below the posted speed limit and spots empty beer bottles in your passenger seat—in plain sight—the officer may seize that evidence without a warrant. This is because the bottles are in plain view and are potentially connected to criminal activities.
However, if the officer conducted an unlawful search or seizure and that search or seizure produced the only evidence that would support a conviction, your Carmel DUI attorney could potentially get your case dismissed.
Violation of Miranda Rights
After you are arrested, and before you are interrogated, police must read you your Miranda warning. If you are in custody, the police cannot ask you questions unless you have been Mirandized. If the police take you into custody but fail to Mirandize you, then any statements you make can be excluded in the case against you.
Police, however, are not required to read your Miranda Warning if you are not in custody. So, if you have not been arrested and say something voluntarily, that statement can be used against you in a court of law.
Lack of Probable Cause for Arrest
Reasonable suspicion alone is not enough to warrant an arrest. An officer must also follow proper protocol and examine the driver’s license and registration, administer SFSTs, and do the breathalyzer test. After all this, if there is not sufficient evidence to support the officer’s suspicion, the driver should be free to go. If the officer arrests the driver anyway, a skilled Carmel DUI lawyer might be able to successfully argue that the officer lacked probable cause for arrest, dismissing the case altogether.
Poor Maintenance of Blood Samples
A trained, licensed professional must collect, analyze, and store a DUI suspect’s blood tests properly. If the blood samples are not stored in the right temperatures, are mislabeled, or are collected by an untrained professional, then the entire blood sample can be called into question, and possibly, tossed out.
Inconsistent or Unreliable Testimony by Police
Any police officer involved in your arrest may be called to testify in court about the charge(s) pending against you. When on the stand, the officer may ask about their observations during the arrest and what is included in the resulting police report. If the officer’s testimony does not reflect what was recorded in the police report, then an experienced Carmel DUI attorney may question the officer’s integrity and reliability. If the questioning is successful, that officer’s testimony may be disregarded, which could lead to the case being dismissed.
Need to Speak with a Carmel DUI Lawyer Today?
When you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Carmel, the first thing you need to do is call an attorney. Timing is critical to minimizing your potential penalties and protecting your rights. If you or your loved one needs to speak with an aggressive and experienced attorney, call a Carmel DUI lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer LLP at (317) 751-7186 or fill out our online contact form today.