November 13, 2018

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Indiana OWI and DUI Charges

Indianapolis OWI and DUI Law Firms

Operating while intoxicated (OWI), known as DUI in many states, is a very serious charge which can have severe consequences even if you are not convicted. There are many legal defenses against on OWI charge, and it is in your best interest to pursue them.

Read below to learn how to defend against Indiana OWI and DUI charges.

Refusal to Take Chemical Tests

In Indiana, if you are arrested for OWI and refuse to take a breath, blood, or urine test, your driver’s license can be suspended for one year for your first refusal and two years for subsequent refusals.

If you refuse the officer must inform you of the consequences and give you the opportunity to change your mind. Indiana’s implied consent law does not allow the officer to physically force you to take a test.

If your license is suspended for refusal, a hearing must be set within 20 days, giving you the chance to argue your case for getting your license back.

OWI Defense

OWI defendants should never plead guilty without talking to an experienced Indianapolis OWI attorney first. There are many possible defenses against an OWI charge. In many cases, the evidence itself is flawed.

There are very strict rules regarding breath tests. The breathalyzer machine must be certified and recertified on a regular basis, and the officer using the machine must also be certified and recertified on a regular basis. Obviously, both certifications must have been valid on the date that you were tested. Breathalyzer machines must be properly maintained, and maintenance records must be kept.

Field sobriety tests must be conducted properly, and any physical condition or impairment which may have affected your results must be taken into consideration.

For blood tests there must be a properly documented chain of custody to prove that the sample was not tampered with, intentionally or accidentally.

Videotape evidence from the officer’s dashboard camera may also be used in your favor. The video may contradict the officer’s statements or conclusions. It may call into question probable cause for pulling you over in the first place. If the officer actually stopped recording, it raises questions as to why and the officer’s honesty regarding what actually happened during the stop.

Indiana OWI Consequences

Penalties for a first conviction can include:

  • Jail time up to 60 days for BAC under .15 and up to one year for .15 and over

  • Probation up to two years

  • Fine up to $500 for BAC under .15 and up to $5,000 for .15 and over

  • Court fees of $300 or more

  • License suspension up to two years

  • Community service

  • Alcohol classes

  • Urine testing

  • Ignition interlock device (breathalyzer installed in your vehicle)