Indiana uses the Operating While Intoxicated laws, which for most purposes is similar to a regular drinking and driving offense in other states. You still have the BAC limit of .08% or greater, as used by all 50 states. There are some differences, such as on penalties and in legal help. What are the charges for a first time offense? And how can you hire an experienced OWI lawyer?
First Time OWI Offense
After your first offense you will face felony charges, but even a first time offense can be quite severe. You can face from 60 days to one year in jail. Fines can be from $500 to $5,000. Your license can be suspended for 180 days. When pulled over and Indiana officer has the right to give you a breathalyzer, and you also have to submit to a blood and urine test, if asked for. If you refuse to take any BAC tests, you can have your license suspended for up to 1 year.
You do have the option of what’s called a deferment, where you go through an alcohol and treatment program. This is an option for a first time DUI, but can only be used once. If you do so, you can limit the penalties you face.
Finding An OWI Lawyer
Where do you go for a OWI lawyer? Online is a good resource, if not via referrals from your family lawyer. You can always find an experienced lawyer by looking at his or her experience online. You do want a lawyer who specializes in OWI law, not someone who has no relevant experience. While you have the option of a court appointed lawyer or to defend yourself, these options are quite dangerous. You simply won’t know what to expect with a court appointed lawyer, or if you defend yourself and are not a lawyer, you simply won’t know what is occurring in the court room.
Indiana OWI Defense
If you are facing a first time OWI offense, you do have many more options for limiting the charges. You might get a deferment after going through counseling. You have more options for defense because you are not a habitual offender. And your lawyer might be able to prove you were not over the limit. As noted, if you get further penalties, you face felony charges. Felony charges mean longer jail time, bigger fines, and longer license suspensions, among other penalties. While you still have option for defense, it will be more difficult, and require the help of an experienced OWI lawyer.
To get started, continue studying your options when charged with an OWI. Again, if you can get a deferment, unique to Indiana, you might be able to come out of this much better. If you have any questions, it’s time to consult with an experienced Indiana OWI lawyer. Do not wait until days before your trial to consult with a lawyer; hire one as soon as possible.