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As with most states, Indiana has tough penalties for those who are convicted of drinking and driving. Officially, in Indiana, driving under the influence is called operating while intoxicated or OWI, but OWI and DUI are essentially the same offense. In any case, if you have been arrested and/or charged with DUI/OWI in the state of Indiana, then you might be wondering what penalties you could be facing if you end up being convicted.
First off, if you are in this situation, then you should speak with an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. In order to fight the charges successfully, time is of the essence. If you do end up being convicted, then the penalties could be stiff, depending on your circumstances. However, first time offenders can expect the following penalties.
In Indiana there are two types of penalties for DUI/OWI, administrative penalties and criminal penalties. First-time offenders can expect to have their license suspended for 180 days. However, in many cases a person can receive a hardship or restricted license during that time. In order to have your license reinstated you will have to apply for that privilege. The courts handle these petitions on a case-by-case basis. In some instances the court rules that a driver must install an ignition interlock device in his or her vehicle before a license is reinstated. In addition, should a person refuse to submit to a breath, blood or urine test, then his or her license could be suspended for a year.
Besides the administrative penalties, people convicted of OWI/DUI could also face criminal penalties, including jail time of up to 60 days. However, there is no mandatory jail sentence for first time offenders. Likewise, there is no mandatory requirement to take alcohol abuse education courses, but many times the courts will order such requirements. First-time offenders could also face fines if convicted. The amount will depend on the offender’s blood alcohol content at the time of the arrest. The fines range between $500 and $5,000. Those fines do not cover other expenses such as surcharges and court costs.
Facing DUI/OWI charges in the Fort Wayne area is always a serious matter and should not be taken lightly whether it’s a first offense or not. Of course, repeat offenders face even stiffer penalties. If you or someone you know has been arrested and/or charged with operating while intoxicated, then please contact The Bellinger Law Office for assistance. You can reach us at 260-428-2214.
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