Fort Wayne DUI Lawyer
Indiana DUI, DWI, and OWI laws are some of the country’s strictest. Those caught operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol face an uphill battle with the courts. This mistake need not ruin your life, however. Indiana law makes room for individuals who are charged with a DUI to make amends for their mistake.
The Fort Wayne DUI attorneys at Robert Bellinger Law Firm have handled numerous DUI cases and can negotiate a deal that you can live with.
Understanding Your Rights
When you are pulled over for what a police officer considers erratic or potentially dangerous driving, the officer might ask you to perform a sobriety test, a breathalyzer test, or a blood alcohol test. There is no way around this test. You cannot plead the Fifth and refuse the test. The Fifth Amendment does not apply to DNA samples or blood, only to testimony. Those who fail to submit to these tests will have their licenses automatically suspended and will be charged with DUI anyway.
Your best bet is simply to cooperate with police in these matters without volunteering any information. You can ask for a lawyer to be present when they interview you.
If the police determine that your blood alcohol level is over .08%, they will charge you with DUI. If you are under the age of 21, then that number goes down to .02%. Those under the age of 21 who are found with a BAC between .02% and .08% can be charged with a Class C Infraction and fined $500.
If a police officer asks to search your vehicle, you can refuse. There is no reason for a police officer to search the vehicle of an individual pulled over for simply driving erratically.
Criminal and Administrative Penalties for DUI in Indiana
Those who are charged with DUI in Indiana face two different kinds of penalties – criminal and administrative. Criminal penalties are doled out by the state of Indiana at your local Fort Wayne courts. Administrative penalties are handed down by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Even for first offenses, the penalties can be harsh. They include mandatory suspension or revocation of your driver’s licenses, significant fines, and even jail time.
In addition, the higher your blood alcohol level is, the stiffer the penalties get. Those who are operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated while they simultaneously have a child under the age of 18 in the car can face a class 6 felony charges in Indiana. If you are caught driving under the influence for the second time in five years and in the process injure a human or kill a law enforcement animal, you will also be charged with a class 6 felony. If you are under the influence and you cause the death of another person, you face a minimum class 5 felony.
How a Fort Wayne DUI Lawyer can Help
The penalties for OWI in Indiana are harsh. You will require an attorney to defend you in these matters. The Fort Wayne OWI lawyers at The Bellinger Law Office can help reduce your charges and explain your situation. Give us a call at (260) 428-2214 or contact us online and we can begin preparing your defense today.