Understanding Potential DUI Charges in Indiana

Criminal Defense
Understanding Potential DUI Charges in Indiana

June 15, 2021

If you are facing a DUI charge in Indiana, it’s obviously a serious matter. A conviction can lead to serious penalties, and the social implications of such a conviction can also be extremely damaging. The first order of business if a DUI charge has been levied against you is obtaining the professional legal counsel of an experienced Indiana DUI attorney

The Charge of DUI

While the legal name for driving under the influence (DUI) in Indiana is actually operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI), the term DUI remains in common usage, so we’ll stick with that. DUI refers to operating a vehicle when your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 percent or higher, which is the national standard. While it is possible to be convicted of DUI with a BAC that is lower than this threshold, it isn’t common. Such cases are generally based on the arresting officer’s perception of the driver’s impairment, as measured by field sobriety tests, for example. 

Drugs and Metabolites

The drugs we take – whether they are legal or illegal – break down in our bodies in predictable ways that leave what are called metabolites. While the effects of alcohol and its traces in your body are metabolized relatively quickly, drug metabolites can linger for days and even weeks but can still be the basis of a conviction for an illegal drug DUI. While a valid prescription can serve as a viable defense for a drug like Adderall (an amphetamine), other mitigating factors can come into play, such as the presence of even a small amount of alcohol. 

Conviction Penalties in Indiana

A DUI charge in Indiana can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the circumstances involved. Whether or not you have any prior DUI convictions can play a critical role in your case. DUI charges generally break down as follows:

  • A DUI for a BAC of .08 to .14 percent is a Class C misdemeanor, which is the lowest criminal charge in the state. 
  • If your BAC reaches .15 percent or above or if your driving endangers someone else, the charge can be elevated to a Class A misdemeanor. 

Further, if any of the following apply, the misdemeanor charge can rise to the level of a felony:

  • You have a prior DUI conviction in the last seven years.
  • You are at least 21 years old, and you had a passenger in your car who is under the age of 18. 
  • If your prior DUI conviction caused someone else to die, suffer a catastrophic injury, or a serious bodily injury, the felony charge could be more serious still, and if your current DUI caused such damages, the felony charge could rise still higher. 

Reach out to an Experienced Indiana DUI Attorney

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, Robert Bellinger at The Bellinger Law Office in Fort Wayne is a formidable DUI attorney who takes great pride in employing his considerable experience in zealous pursuit of favorable case resolutions for clients like you. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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Robert H. Bellinger



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