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Arrested for a DUI in Indiana?

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Indiana, it’s important to understand the gravity of the penalties associated with a conviction for this offense. First time offenders face the potential of up to a year in jail, fines of up to $5,000, and the suspension of their Indiana driver’s license. Repeat offenders, on the other hand, could be sentenced to up to 12 years in prison and risk being adjudicated as a habitual traffic offender, which could result in an extended prison sentence. Given this, the first thing you should do when arrested under the suspicion of drunk driving in Indiana is contact an experienced DUI defense attorney. This will ensure that everything is being done to minimize your potential penalties and to protect your freedom and reputation.

Anyone facing DUI charges in Indiana should not hesitate to call the drunk driving lawyers at Keffer Hirschauer LLP. Our two founding partners are both former Fatal Alcohol Crash (FACT) prosecutors who leverage their past experience to provide our clients with dynamic and highly effective defense strategies aimed at securing the optimal outcome in the case against them.  To begin building your defense, call us today at 317-751-7186 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Drunk Driving in Indiana

The Basics of Indiana’s DUI Laws

When a person operates a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or breath alcohol concentration (BrAC), or sometimes called an Alcohol Concentration Equivalent (ACE), beyond the legal limit for alcohol in Indiana, they may be charged with a DUI. In addition, a person may also be charged with DUI if it attending officer determines that they are operating a vehicle in a state of “intoxication.” Police officers make this determination by looking for certain indicators, such as slurred speech, visible swerving, or the failure of a field sobriety test.  

For the purpose of Indiana’s DUI laws, it should be noted that the phrase “motorized vehicle” includes off-road vehicles, snowmobiles, scooters, and bicycles. Furthermore, a person can also be charged for boating while intoxicated or boating under the influence in Indiana. 

On top of that, DUI’s are not limited to alcohol consumption. In fact, an individual may be arrested for driving while intoxicated in Indiana if they operate a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance in their system. However, several statutory defenses do apply for this law. For instance, it would be an applicable defense if the person held a valid prescription for the controlled substance. It would also be an applicable defense that the controlled substance was marijuana or a marijuana metabolite and the person was not intoxicated, did not cause a traffic accident and the substance was identified by means of a chemical test taken pursuant to the implied consent laws located in Indiana Code 9-30-7.

Penalties Associated with a DUI Conviction in Indiana

When someone is arrested for their first DUI offense in Indiana, they will face a variety of criminal penalties, and risk having to pay thousands of dollars to cover court costs, fines, probation fees, increased insurance premiums and more. In addition to criminal punishments, one may also face administrative penalties imposed by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). 

Per Indiana Code 9-30-5-1, the criminal penalties for a first-time DUI involving a BAC between .08 and .15 or schedule I or II controlled substance include: 

  • Class C misdemeanor charge 
  • Up to 60 days in jail 
  • Up to $500 in fines 
  • Driver’s license suspension for up to 60 days 
  • Probation 

The criminal sanctions for a first-time DUI involving a BAC of .15 or more include: 

  • Class A misdemeanor charge 
  • Up to 1 year in jail 
  • Up to $5,000 in fines 
  • Driver’s license suspension for up to 1 year 
  • Probation 

Administrative penalties for a first-time DUI may include:  

  • License Suspension for up to 2 years 
  • Mandatory Drug and/or Alcohol Testing 
  • Mandatory Substance Abuse Education 
  • Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device 

For those convicted of their second or third DUI in Indiana, the penalties they face will be much harsher, especially if the offense resulted in serious bodily injury, catastrophic injury, or the death of another person. As stated in Indiana Code 9-30-5-3 a person can be charged with a Level 6 felony DUI in Indiana if they have a prior conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated within the past 7 years; caused the death of a law enforcement animal; or they’re over the age of 21 and operated the vehicle with a passenger under the age of 18. Furthermore, if the person has a previous conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated that resulted in death, catastrophic injury, or serious bodily injury, they can be charged with a Level 5 felony. 

In addition, Indiana Code 9-30-5-4 and Indiana Code 9-30-5-5 provide several other circumstances where a person can be charged with a more serious felony. For example, a person can be charged with Level 5 felony DUI in Indiana if their offense resulted in someone else’s serious bodily injury. This charge can even be enhanced to a Level 4 felony if they have previously been convicted of a DUI within the last 5 years.

DUIs and Professional Licensure in Indiana

When someone is arrested for a DUI in Indiana, they may experience some collateral consequences for their actions. For instance, those with a criminal record often find it difficult to find a job, especially ones that require you to operate a vehicle. In addition, a conviction for driving while intoxicated in Indiana may also impact a person’s professional licensure. This is especially true for those that work in health care, such as doctors and nurses, and for individuals whose job requires them to hold a CDL license.   

In situations like these, where a person’s professional licensure is at risk due to an arrest or an affirmative answer upon license renewal, it’s best to hire an attorney who can handle both the criminal proceedings, as well as the administrative proceedings related to their licensure. The Indianapolis professional license defense attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP have successfully represented dozens of Hoosiers before the various boards of the Professional Licensing Agency. To speak with an attorney who can handle both your DUI and matters related to your professional license, call 317-751-7186.

Arrested for a DUI in Indiana? Call Keffer Hirschauer LLP today.  

If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Indiana, there’s no need to navigate criminal proceedings all on your own. Instead, you should opt to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Indiana from Keffer Hirschauer LLP. Our Indiana drunk driving defense lawyers will do everything in their power to protect you and will aggressively fight to prevent any restrictions on your driving privileges. Ultimately, our goal will be to reduce the charges against you or have them dismissed altogether. To begin building your defense, call Keffer Hirschauer LLP today at 317-751-7186 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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Arrested for a DUI in Indiana
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Arrested for a DUI in Indiana
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This article addresses the topic of being arrested for a DUI in Indiana
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Keffer Hirschauer LLP

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