Attorneys for those accused of DWI in Northern Indiana
Driving while having a blood alcohol content (“BAC”) over the legal limit can be a costly mistake that can follow you far into the future. A conviction can permanently scar your reputation, cost you fines, raise your insurance rates, and may involve court-ordered rehabilitation. If you’ve been arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the stakes could not be any higher. So you’ll need experienced and aggressive counsel at your side as you contend with the aftermath of the charges.
Many people use different terms for drunk driving crimes, such as Operating While Intoxicated (“OWI”), Driving while Under the Influence (“DUI”), or Driving While Intoxicated (“DWI”). In Indiana the crime is statutorily defined as operating while intoxicated. Most often individuals who are charged with an OWI are operating a car, truck, SUV, or motorcycle, but individuals can also be charged with an OWI for operating a boat, ATV, or even a golf cart. If you have been arrested for a drunk driving charge, we are prepared to present factors on your behalf that might influence the court to lessen the charges, and possibly avoid any license suspensions or restrictions. We will guide you in understanding which options are best for your situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are our responses to some of the frequently asked questions that we receive:
I was pulled over and my BAC was over.08. What do I do now?
In Indiana the legal limit is .08 BAC and testing above it is damaging evidence, but it has been our experience that other factors can be presented at court: breath test instruments are not foolproof; your BAC may have been different at the time you were actually driving the vehicle; and the instrument makes assumptions which may not be accurate. Having attorneys experienced with BAC tests is critical.
My license has been suspended due to DUI. How quickly can I get it back?
In Indiana your license will be suspended after you have been arrested and charged by the Court with an OWI. Your suspension can last up to 180 days or until your case is resolved. While your case is pending an alternative to a license suspension is to petition the Court for an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. Under Indiana’s new law, effective July 1, 2014, you are eligible to get your license back immediately when you plead guilty, depending on the discretion of the prosecutor and the judge. Prior to the new laws, your license would have automatically been suspended on your first DUI offense for a period of at least 90 days (or for 30 days followed by a 180 day probationary suspension). Since the new law has come into effect, prosecutors have the discretion to recommend reinstating your license immediately, particularly in hardship cases, but we have seen many prosecutors recommend the old practice of 90 or 30/180 on license suspensions.
If my DUI was a first offense, am I able to bargain for a lesser charge?
Unfortunately, most jurisdictions take a tough stand on DUI, although a few are more lenient and will “cut a break” to a first-time offender. Most jurisdictions will require an attorney to show extenuating circumstances or problems with the state’s case.
I have a DUI conviction - how does that affect my car insurance premiums?
It is possible, depending on your carrier, that your current carrier may provide insurance. Many different insurance companies provide High Risk (so-called SR-22) car insurance that is required after a DUI. If you get a DUI, we’d advise you to shop around and compare rates. You should, of course, disclose upfront that you have a DUI conviction, as it will eliminate carriers who don’t offer SR-22 coverage. Sometimes the SR-22 rates aren’t much higher than what you are paying now.