If you have been charged with a DUI involving drugs or driving while high, you are likely worried about the harsh penalties that a conviction could bring. Drugged driving charges in Indianapolis are taken very seriously and can include harsh penalties, such as license suspension and spending years in jail, even if it is your first offense.
If you or a loved one has been accused of a DUI involving drugs, contact Hessler Law Firm at (317) 886-8800 for a free consultation. Our experienced Indianapolis drugged driving lawyers will evaluate every detail so that your side of the story is told. We will work tirelessly to get your charges reduced or dismissed, if possible.
Defining an Indiana DUI Involving Drugs
In the state of Indiana, driving under the influence is loosely defined as operating a vehicle while intoxicated. In terms of blood alcohol content (BAC), the legal limits are .08%, .04%, and .02% for those over 21, commercial vehicle drivers, and those under 21, respectively. When it comes to controlled substances, however, there is no legal limit. You will be charged with a DUI if any controlled substance is found in your system.
Indiana DUI laws clearly state that impairment is not a factor when drugs are involved. If an officer suspects you are on drugs, it is likely that you will be charged with a DUI. This is especially true if you refuse a chemical test or if the results of your test come back positive for a controlled substance. A number of drugs fall under the controlled substance category. These include, but are not limited to:
- Several prescribed medications
In a DUI case, drug use is an aggravating factor, meaning it can enhance a sentence. Other aggravating factors are listed below:
- Serious bodily injury or death
- Having a passenger who is under the age of 18 in the vehicle
- Past DUI convictions
- Driving with a suspended license
Indiana Drugged Driving Laws
Unfortunately, the penalties for a DUI involving drugs are more severe than those assigned to alcoholic DUIs. This is especially tragic for medical and recreational weed users. Marijuana may remain in a person’s bloodstream for nearly a month. Even though this drug has no mind-altering effects after a few hours, a person who smoked marijuana days or weeks in the past can be arrested if a test reveals traces of THC in their blood.
For a DUI involving drugs, the penalties are split into two categories. The first involves an administrative license suspension by the BMV. The other includes the various criminal consequences if you’re convicted.
When a person is arrested for a DUI, their license is suspended immediately. When the case involves drugs, the automatic suspension is for 180 days. They are also subject to an additional license suspension based on their prior record and whether they refused a chemical test.
For a Chemical Test Refusal, your license suspension will last a minimum of one year for a first drugged driving offense, two years for a second offense, and three years for a third.
In addition, those convicted of a DUI involving drugs face fines and jail time. Sentences typically include:
- 1st Offense: 60 days to 1 year in jail and up to $5,000 in fines
- 2nd Offense: 5 days to 3 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines
- 3rd Offense: 10 days to 3 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines
Talk to an Indianapolis Drugged Driving Lawyer Today
DUI charges involving drugs can be difficult to fight. This is because the prosecution only needs to prove that drugs were in your system when you were operating a vehicle. However, a skilled Indianapolis DUI attorney can use certain defense tactics to protect your freedom and get your charges thrown out. One strategy is revealing issues with your arrest. If, for example, you were not read your Miranda rights, the subsequent charges are invalid. You might also have been using prescription drugs or marijuana for a medical purpose, in which case you cannot be charged with a DUI.
The Indianapolis drugged driving attorneys at Hessler Law are well-versed in helping people fight their DUI charges. There are many advantages to hiring an Indianapolis criminal defense attorney – someone with knowledge of local and state laws. If you believe that your rights are being violated, call us at (317) 886-8800. We will evaluate every possible option to ensure that your case reaches a desirable outcome.