Former Fatal Alcohol Crash Prosecutors Now Representing the Accused

Indianapolis DUI Lawyer

Defense for DUI, OVWI, or OWI Charges in Indiana

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When you are arrested or charged with OWI in Indiana, your finances, freedom, and reputation are on the line. You need legal representation by experienced attorneys who know the intricacies of Indiana DUI laws and will fight tirelessly to retain your personal rights and freedoms.

At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, our team of experienced litigators has received numerous accolades for our DUI defense services—including for the quality representation we have brought to countless OWI clients. Our defense team is led by former Fatal Alcohol Crash Team (FACT) prosecutors, making us the only Indiana law firm with former FACT prosecutors representing clients accused of drunk driving. Who better to safeguard your rights and understand the prosecution’s methods? If you or a loved one has been charged with OWI in Indiana, then it is time to place your case in the trusted hands of an Indiana DUI lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer.

Call us at (317) 202-1163 today to schedule a free case evaluation. Fight your DUI charge today!

How Do You Find the Right Indiana DUI Lawyer?

Drunk driving is an offense that carries very serious consequences in Indiana and one of the most common criminal charges to occur statewide. These offenses are officially called "operating a vehicle while intoxicated" but are commonly referred to as OWI or DUI offenses. Those charged and convicted can easily find themselves with restricted driving privileges, significant fines, and even jail time. When you need an experienced Indiana DUI lawyer to fight for you and your best interests, call Keffer Hirschauer LLP to benefit from the experience of former FACT prosecutors.

The Seriousness of Indiana DUI Laws

The charges following an arrest for OWI in Indiana can range from Class A to C misdemeanor to felony levels. Several factors affect the level of offense charged and the related Indiana DUI penalties:

  • The blood alcohol concentration (BAC), indicating the amount of alcohol in your system (breath or blood)
  • The presence of illegal drugs in your system
  • Previous convictions for OWI in Indiana or elsewhere
  • The presence of underage passengers in the vehicle at the time of the arrest
  • An alcohol-related accident that results in the serious injury or death of another person or a law enforcement animal

Like many other states, Indiana DUI penalties become more severe with repeat offenses. However, even a first-time misdemeanor charge can have consequences that can turn the life of an otherwise law-abiding citizen upside down.

Time is a critical factor under Indiana DUI laws. It is important that you contact an experienced Indiana DUI lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest so the process of gathering evidence and preparing a defense for OWI in Indiana can begin.

Defining OWI in Indiana

The offense of operating while intoxicated sounds simple, but it’s not as straightforward as it sounds. The main elements are:

  • The operation
  • Of a motor vehicle
  • While intoxicated

The first element, “operating,” is not clear-cut. Indiana law defines the “operator” of a motor vehicle as someone who operates a motorized vehicle on land or water. But you don’t necessarily have to be operating the vehicle when the police stop you in order to be “operating” the vehicle. Direct or circumstantial evidence that you operated the vehicle, while intoxicated, is enough for a conviction. So, for example, if you’re intoxicated, sitting in the vehicle in a lane of traffic, and the keys are in the ignition, you may be convicted for OWI even if you were asleep.

Your level of intoxication or BAC is also a key element of the offense:

  • A BAC of .08 percent but less than .15 percent is a Class C misdemeanor
  • A BAC of .15 percent or higher is a Class A misdemeanor

For commercial drivers, the allowable BAC is even lower—a commercial driver cannot operate a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04 percent or higher.

Refusing a blood alcohol concentration test will not save you from an OWI charge. Under Indiana’s implied consent law, refusal to submit to a BAC test results in an automatic license suspension for one year. And the State can seek a warrant of probable cause to obtain the BAC test anyway.

Other factors that may elevate the offense higher than a Class C misdemeanor include:

  • Having a passenger under 18 years old if you are at least 21 years old
  • Causing serious bodily injury
  • Causing the death
  • Killing a law enforcement animal

Because a conviction depends in large part on the facts of each case, you need an Indiana DUI lawyer early in the process to protect your rights.

Penalties for OWI in Indiana

Each situation is unique, and individuals involved in different circumstances—from first-time offenders to habitual traffic violators —face a variety of different penalties. It is important for those charged with OWI offenses to know the possible consequences. Indiana DUI penalties for an intoxicated driving offense may include the following:

Indiana DUI Penalties for a First-Time Offender

  • Probation for up to two years
  • Fines between $500 and $5,000
  • Jail term up to one year
  • Payment of court costs and fees in excess of $300
  • License suspension for up to two years
  • Mandatory substance abuse education
  • Attendance at a victim impact panel
  • Random urine testing for drugs and alcohol

Indiana DUI Penalties for a Second-Time Offender

  • Probation for up to 2.5 years
  • Fines up to $10,000
  • Jail term between up to three years
  • Payment of court costs and fees in excess of $300
  • License suspension for a minimum of 180 days up to 2 years
  • Mandatory substance abuse education
  • Attendance at a victim impact panel
  • Court-ordered community service
  • Conviction for a felony on your criminal record

Indiana DUI Penalties for a Third-Time Offender

  • Probation of 2.5 years
  • Fines up to $10,000
  • Jail for between up to three years
  • Payment of court costs and fee in excess of $300s
  • License suspension up to ten years (if determined be a habitual traffic violator)
  • Mandatory substance abuse education
  • Attendance at a victim impact panel
  • Adjudication as a habitual traffic violator under Indiana Code chapter 9-30-10, which can result in a license suspension ranging from five years to life
  • Charges of habitual substance offenses under Indiana Code chapter 9-30-15.5, which can carry additional jail time of up to eight years
  • Conviction for a Class D Felony (or Level 6 Felony) on your record

An Indiana DUI lawyer can also help with the collateral consequences of a DUI conviction. A license suspension is regularly a mandatory part of Indiana DUI penalties. Other consequences, like alcohol or substance abuse education, probation, or even the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle may also be applicable. For more specific information on what penalties your OWI charge could yield, call us to speak with a knowledgeable Indianapolis DUI defense attorney today.

And for commercial drivers, conviction affects your ability to earn a living because you can lose your CDL for one to three years.

Avoid Maximum Indiana DUI Penalties with the Help of an Indiana DUI Lawyer

The Indiana DUI penalties listed above are maximum penalties. This means that, while they are possible, they can be argued down, minimized, and, in some cases, completely dismissed. At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, we have developed dynamic and effective defense strategies that give each and every one of our OWI clients the best possible chance at an optimal outcome of their case.

You do not have to resign yourself to receiving maximum penalties. Call an Indianapolis DUI lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer LLP at (317) 202-1163 to start exploring your OWI defense options today. Our defense team is led by former deputy prosecutors, Bradley Keffer and Tom F. Hirschauer III, both members of The National Advocacy for DUI Defense, LLC, the National College of DUI Defense, and former Fatal Alcohol Crash Team (FACT) prosecutors. Keffer Hirschauer LLP is the only law firm in the state with two former FACT prosecutors representing clients accused of DUI, and their prosecution experience provides invaluable insight into how best to protect your interests.

When you work with our team, we can take the time to fully investigate your case and actively pursue a favorable outcome for you. Contact our offices as soon as possible to learn if we are the right fit for you. We handle each case urgently and seek the appropriate defense strategy that can help reduce or completely dismiss the charges against you. Choose Keffer Hirschauer LLP today!

Indiana DUI Laws Don’t Stop at Motor Vehicles

You might have noted that the terminology “operating while intoxicated” leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Indiana DUI laws interpret what qualifies as OWI broadly. Obviously, the law applies to intoxication when you are driving a car, truck, or motorcycle. However, you can also be arrested and charged with OWI in Indiana when operating off-road vehicles, snowmobiles, scooters, and even bicycles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In addition to the Indiana DUI laws that apply to the vehicles mentioned above, you can also be charged for operating watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, we also handle boating while intoxicated (BWI) or boating under the influence (BUI) cases. There may be special considerations that apply to your case, so please reach out to our Indianapolis DUI attorneys to learn more if you or someone you know has been arrested for a BWI offense.

Contact an Indiana DUI Lawyer at Keffer Hirschauer LLP

Are you ready to move forward with your case? Urgency is of the utmost importance when your life, future, and driving privileges are on the line. In order to protect yourself and ensure that your rights are protected, you need to contact a trusted Indiana DUI lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer LLP right away. Our firm stands ready to aggressively pursue the best possible resolution to every case, and we will apply that same determination to your case as well.

If you have questions or concerns about OWI in Indiana and your legal situation, contact an Indiana DUI lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer LLP to schedule a free consultation. You can reach us by calling (317) 202-1163 or by completing our online contact form.

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