Aggravating Factors in Your DUI Case

Criminal Defense
Aggravating Factors in Your DUI Case

May 30, 2022

Getting charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Indiana is one of the worst things that can happen to a driver. Having any amount of alcohol in your system when stopped can result in serious penalties, but our Fort Wayne DUI attorneys detail aggravating factors that can make the situation even more severe. 

Factors That Increase the Severity Of DUI Charges in Fort Wayne

Indiana DUI statistics show that an average of more than 100 people are killed in car accidents due to impaired driving each year. Alcohol is a contributing factor in nearly 15% of all motor vehicle crashes throughout the state. As a result, law enforcement is aggressive in apprehending offenders and prosecutors fight to make charges stick. Penalties for violations may include heavy fines, loss of your driver’s license, mandatory community service and attendance at alcohol education classes, and in some cases, a mandatory minimum jail sentence. 

As bad as this is, there are certain situations in which DUI charges in Fort Wayne are even more severe. Aggravating factors that increase the penalties you face include: 

  • Driving with a high blood alcohol content (BAC) level;
  • Having more than one DUI on your driving record;
  • Having underage passengers in your vehicle at the time of a DUI stop;
  • Being involved in an accident while under the influence. 

Penalties for DUI in Indiana Increase Based on Aggravating Factors

Under the Indiana Code (IC 9-30-5), driving under the influence is referred to as Operating A Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated (OWI). A first offense is considered a Class C misdemeanor, with penalties that include probation, a $500 fine, up to 60 days in jail, and a 180 day driver’s license suspension. These penalties increase based on aggravating factors involved: 

  • A high BAC: This can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, with penalties that include up to $5,000 in fines, up to a year in jail, and a considerably longer driver license suspension period. 
  • Second or subsequent DUI: This is a felony offense, punishable by up to three years in prison and a license suspension of up to two years 
  • Underage passengers: This is also a felony offense, involving heavy fines and a lengthy jail sentence;
  • Causing injuries: if it is your first DUI and you are in an accident causing serious personal injuries to others, you could face up to six years in prison. If you have had prior DUIs, this sentence could increase up to 12 years. 

Contact Our Fort Wayne DUI Attorneys Today

Being charged with DUI, or Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) in Indiana, is a serious matter. To protect yourself against the penalties associated with a conviction, call or contact The Bellinger Law Office online and request a consultation with our Fort Wayne DUI attorneys today.

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