No one is perfect, and sometimes, one mistake can lead to a second. 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 drunk driving case assessment.
Indiana Second DUI Law & Penalties
Indiana is strict on DUIs law, which is why subsequent offenses come with stiffer penalties. The state uses a five-year look back period, which means another OWI or DUI within five years of the first conviction could be charged as a felony.
The 6 Felony Levels in Indiana
Indiana classifies its felonies by level from one to six, with level one being the least severe and level six being the most serious. A second DUI is usually a level six felony which can bring a sentence of up to two and a half years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
However, if a first DUI charge resulted in serious bodily injury or the death of another, then a second offense will likely be a level five felony resulting in up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
While an initial DUI can be charged as a misdemeanor and you might have been able to avoid jail time, a subsequent DUI will likely carry much harsher penalties. Contact a skilled Indianapolis DUI lawyer who understands how to push for a lower charge or the minimum punishment upon sentencing.
Your License after a Second DUI
Indiana law states that a driver’s license should be suspended after a DUI arrest. Since this penalty is administrative rather than criminal, it only requires that you are arrested— you don’t have to be found guilty by the court. Your license can be suspended for up to two years.
How an OWI Attorney Can Help Reduce Your Charges
It is possible to have a Level 6 felony charge reduced to a Class A misdemeanor through a plea bargain. The judge can also sentence you to a misdemeanor penalty. With an experienced Indianapolis DUI attorney working on your behalf, you may be able to avoid a felony conviction.
Felony convictions can make it much harder to obtain work, go to school, receive loans, or be approved for affordable and safe housing. Pushing for another misdemeanor may be your best course of action.
Second OWI/DUI Defenses in Indiana
There are many ways to attack the charges against you. No DUI case is ever hopeless, even when there is a previous OWI/DUI conviction. Common OWI or DUI defenses in Indianapolis include:
Questioning probable cause
You can question whether the police had probable cause to pull you over. If you are simply driving down the road, a police officer must have reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed or is currently underway. Otherwise, pulling you over without probable cause violated your constitutional rights.
The police are allowed to use checkpoints to look for inebriated drivers. However, these types of stops are highly regulated by the law. If the police did not follow proper procedure, the evidence from this stop may not be admissible.
Incorrect field sobriety tests
Many people don’t know that field sobriety tests have standards for how they should be given and graded. If you were not given a standardized field sobriety test, your OWI attorney may have this evidence thrown out.
Improperly calibrated breath tests
Breathalyzer tests are popular evidence of intoxication. However, these machines are not always properly calibrated or accurate.
Inadmissible blood tests
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that the police cannot force an individual to take a blood test without a warrant. If you were advised that you must take a blood test or face an additional punishment, your lawyer may be able to have this evidence deemed inadmissible.
There are many legally prescribed medications that can mimic the effects of drinking such as slurred speech or lack of coordination.
A Hessler Law DUI Lawyer Can Help
Facing a second DUI can be disappointing and scary. You may be facing jail time, large fines, and the loss of your driver’s license. However, every situation is unique and a previous Indiana DUI conviction does not guarantee the most serious punishment.
By working with experienced Indianapolis DUI lawyers like those at Hessler Law, you have people on your side who understand the importance of fighting for your rights and freedom. Call our team of criminal defense attorneys from Hessler Law today at (317) 342-9283.