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How to Reduce the Penalties for a Second DUI in Indiana?

Feb 26 2020, by Sean Hessler in Legal Blog, OWI

Indiana is strict on DUIs. But for a second DUI – you are facing much harsher punishments.

A second DUI conviction can be a felony. It can include real jail time, expensive fines, and will impact your record forever. If you’ve been arrested for another DUI, it’s important to call a lawyer as soon as possible.

Contact Hessler Law to speak with an experienced Indianapolis DUI lawyer about your charges and your options. You can still fight the charges and reduce the penalties you are facing.

Call us today at (317) 886-8800 to set up a free case assessment.

Penalties of a Second DUI in Indianna

A second DUI arrest can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor in Indiana. This is largely decided by whether your first DUI was more or less than five years ago. It’s important to understand that the court has discretion in your case.

Your second DUI can be filed as one of the following:

  • Misdemeanor – Often filed if your first DUI was over five years ago. Depending on your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), you can face up to one year in jail and a fine up to $5,000.
  • Level 6 Felony – Filed when the previous DUI was within the last five years. This can result in up to two and a half years in prison.
  • Level 5 Felony – Filed when the first or second DUI resulted in serious bodily harm or death. This conviction can bring up to six years in prison.

Your License after a 2nd DUI

Indiana law states that a driver’s license should be suspended after a DUI arrest. This administrative penalty is different than a criminal penalty since it only requires that you are arrested. You don’t have to be found guilty of the DUI by the court.

Your license can be suspended for up to two years. Your lawyer will have to understand the considerations taken by the court as you fight to reduce this administrative burden that can have a significant impact on your life.

How to Reduce or Dismiss a Second DUI

DUI offenses can be complicated, and sentencing takes many factors into account. Your attorney should understand how DUIs are approached by the Indianapolis courts. Second DUIs are considered wobblers, which are crimes that can be either a felony or a misdemeanor. Therefore, your attorney can argue for a reduction due to the factors surrounding your incident and your life in general.

A strong defense to reduce your second DUI can begin immediately after your arrest. And it’s important not to delay calling your attorney after being taken into custody.

While your lawyer can argue for a reduction in the criminal charge and license suspension, it may also be possible to have your charges should be dropped altogether. Law enforcement can still make mistakes in second DUI cases. You may have been unfairly charged because the test equipment was faulty or should never have been pulled over.

Some of the many defenses against repeat DUI charges include:

  • You were not driving, or you’re the victim of mistaken identity.
  • The equipment to test your BAC was defective or not used properly.
  • The officers did not have probable cause to stop you.
  • Your breath sample was tainted by an outside substance.
  • The police violated your civil rights in another way.

Read about how we’ve helped people in Indianapolis with DUI charges

A DUI Lawyer From Hessler Law Can Help

Indiana DUI laws are rigid, and a second DUI conviction can turn your life upside down. You may be facing serious prison time, large fines, and the loss of your driver’s license.

However, you always have options. Fortunately, Indiana allows you to seek a reduced penalty over what the prosecutor may be offering. A skilled lawyer at Hessler Law can help you reduce the punishment or negotiate to have your charges thrown out altogether.

To speak with an experienced Indiana DUI lawyer about a second DUI charge, contact us right away at (317) 886-8800 to schedule a free consultation.