June 09, 2020
A Terra Haute man is facing a litany of charges after he was caught driving while intoxicated with his children in the car. He then proceeded to blow a .29 on a breathalyzer after he rear-ended another vehicle with his 2005 Dodge truck.
27-year-old Austin Sedletzeck fled on foot after the accident, leaving the children in the vehicle, but an Indiana state trooper found him a short distance away from the crash. He then proceeded to blow a number that was nearly four times the legal limit.
The children who were found in the vehicle were released to their mother shortly afterward. There were no reported injuries.
Sedletzeck has been charged with a litany of felonies for the role he played in this incident. These include:
Indiana has three classes of misdemeanors, A, B, and C. Of those, a class-A misdemeanor is considered the most severe. It is punishable by up to one year in jail, while class-B misdemeanors are punishable by 180 days in jail. Class-C misdemeanors are punishable by up to 60 days in jail.
In terms of felony charges, level-6 felonies are considered the least severe. However, you can face a maximum of two years in prison after being convicted of a level-6 felony and there is an advisory sentence of one year in place. This would be served in state prison as opposed to county jail.
So, this gentleman is facing a maximum of six and a half years behind bars.
Having blown a .29, it is unlikely that an OWI lawyer would be able to argue that a malfunction in the breathalyzer test inflated his numbers. Breathalyzer tests usually have an error range right around 10% or .02 points upward or downward. This man will not be able to claim that probable cause was an issue, since he rear-ended another vehicle and then fled on foot. The police could have also charged him with leaving the scene of an accident.
In a case like this, when the client is dead to rights, you hope that throwing them on the mercy of the court and promising to enter an alcohol and substance abuse program will be the ticket they need to stay out of prison and get their life back in order. This generally works better when the defendant does not have any prior OWIs on their record. While we do not know why from the article, this individual was driving on a suspended license.
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