A simple DUI is considered a class-c misdemeanor. It has a maximum fine of $500, and often, first-time offenders can plead for leniency as the consequences of a guilty plea can remain on their driving record for life. That, however, is where the leniency ends. Repeat offenders face substantially greater penalties for subsequent DUIs than someone who is facing charges for the first time. In fact, Indiana’s laws are among the harshest in the county. Here is a look at how Indiana treats second and third DUIs.
To determine if you have committed multiple OWIs, the State of Indiana has a lookback period of five or 10 years. The penalties are worse for those who have committed an OWI offense within the past five years, but you can still face enhanced charges even if your DUI was nine years and 364 days ago. This makes Indiana’s laws among the harshest on the books, but stopping repeat offenders from endangering the lives of others on the road is considered a top priority.
If you have a conviction for OWI within five years of a second arrest, you will be facing substantially more serious charges than you did the first time. Instead of a class-c misdemeanor, you would be facing a class-d felony. A sentence between six months and three years is recommended in these cases. Your driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of one year.
Once your license has been reinstated, every vehicle you drive will be required to have an ignition interlock device for the entire period of your probation. You will need to blow into this device to prove that you are not under the influence before your car starts. You have to pay to rent the device and have it installed and removed. You may be required to get treatment for substance abuse issues.
Just because you faced charges for a prior OWI offense does not mean that you are automatically guilty of a second offense. The police still need to prove you had physical control of the car while you were under the influence. They also must ensure they had a good reason to pull you over in the first place. Lastly, the tests to determine if you are intoxicated must be performed in a very specific manner. Any mistakes mean that the results of the test are useless.
If you are facing second-offense OWI charges, you could be facing jail time and other serious penalties. Before you take a plea, consider the consequences and have an attorney look over the charges against you to poke holes in the state’s case. Call The Bellinger Law Office today to learn more.
Contact The Bellinger Law Office in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to learn how we can provide you with legal representation tailored to your precise needs. We listen to your concerns, learn about your case and act decisively to protect your rights. Call 260-428-2214 to learn how attorney Robert Bellinger can advocate for you. Or complete the intake form below to get started.