Fort Wayne DUI/OWI Defense Attorney
Facing DUI or OWI charges in Indiana?
DUI, or driving under the influence, is a serious crime that occurs when the driver of a vehicle, personal or work-related, is found to have a blood alcohol content level, or BAC, of .08 or higher. The legal limit for drunk driving in Indiana is .08.
Any driver who is stopped on suspicion of DUI or OWI may face a number of harsh penalties including:
- Serious fines
- Jail time
- Prison time
- Civil injury suits and other crimes
These may been associated with the incident, such as: hit-and-run, reckless driving, or vehicle accidents. If you have been charged with DUI or OWI, it may be a good idea to consult a Fort Wayne DUI attorney to discuss your options for defense.
Call us today to discuss your case with our Fort Wayne DUI lawyer.
What Happens if You Are Charged With Drunk Driving in Fort Wayne?
When a law enforcement officer suspects that a driver may be under the influence, a series of field sobriety tests may be used for further confirmation. Typically, three standardized field sobriety tests (FST) are given. The one leg stand test is conducted by having the driver balancing while standing on one leg. The walk and turn test requires the driver to walk a straight line, taking heel-to-toe steps, pivoting/turning, and taking additional heel-to-toe steps. A horizontal gaze nystagmus test (HGN), or pen test, may be given. This test requires the driver to follow the tip of an object (usually a pen) with his or her eyes. An officer is makes a determination either by the driver's performance on the tests, or the behavior of the driver while undergoing the tests, as to whether the driver is impaired.
What Tests do Law Enforcement Use for a DUI?
Law enforcement also relies heavily on chemical tests such as breathalyzers, or blood or urine samples to determine what substance, whether drugs or alcohol, and how much, is in the system of the suspect. If you refuse the blood or breath test, additional charges may be imposed, and your driver's license will be suspended. If you have been arrested for drunk driving, speaking with a Fort Wayne DUI attorney may be the best way to determine how to proceed. Being convicted of a drunk driving offense often results in jail or prison time, costly fines, probation, license suspension or revocation, and in cases of accidents, possible civil lawsuits where additional financial damages may be awarded to the victim.
Penalties depend largely on the evidence presented as well as the specific circumstance, and having a lawyer with a strong attention to detail is a vital aspect of a successful defense. Attorney Gregory A. Miller has over 14 years of experience defending those accused of drunk driving in Indiana, and has a thorough understanding of the legal system, drunk driving laws and how to best challenge the prosecutor's evidence. Attorney Gregory A. Miller will use all resources available to him whether negotiating for a reduced charge or for an acquittal at trial.
’What Are the Penalties for Drunk Driving in Indiana?
The offenses and penalties associated with DUI and OWI laws in Indiana can be quite complicated. The least serious offense is the first where the driver has a BAC of .08 to .14 or with a controlled substance like marijuana, cocaine, prescription medicines or other restricted drugs. This is classified as a class C misdemeanor and those found guilty can expect up to 60 days in jail with up to one year probation. Financial penalties include fines up to $500 in addition to court costs.
Is a DUI a Felony in Indiana?
Perhaps most potentially damaging is the license suspension which can range anywhere from 90 days to 2 years. The most serious DUI/OWI in Indiana offense occurs when the driver at least 21 years old has a BAC greater than .14, and whose drunk driving is the cause of another person's death. This is a Class B felony and offenders may face anywhere from 6 to 20 years in prison, with probation of up to 20 years. Financial penalties range up to $10,000 in addition to court costs, and license suspension or revocation is anywhere from 2 to 5 years.
Why Would I be Pulled Over for Drunk Driving?
There are a variety of reasons where a driver may be involved in a traffic stop and the law enforcement officer has a suspicion of drunk driving. These reasons include, but are not limited to swerving, driving without headlights, running traffic lights and signs, automobile accidents, speeding, and driving to slowly. Even if the officer is does not initially suspect that a driver may be drunk, observational evidence of the driver may play a role and prompt field sobriety tests and perhaps a breath test.
How Long is Your License Suspended for a DUI in Indiana?
For a DUI in Indiana, you can expect your license will be suspended for 180 days. If you refuse a field sobriety test, you can now expect for your license to be suspended for a year. However, you may be granted restricted driving privileges so you can go to certain places like school or work if the circumstances of your case warrant them.
What Happens if I Violate My Probation?
During the probationary period the convicted person is subject to critical examination and evaluation. If they violate any one or more terms of their probation, they potentially face a number of repercussions. In Indiana when the court places someone on probation the court shall specify and record their conditions of probation and the court shall advise the person that if they violate a condition of their probation during the probationary period, then a petition to revoke their probation may be filed either within one (1) year after the termination of probation or within 45 days after the state is notified of the violation.
What Are the Different Conditions of Probation that Can be Imposed?
There are many different conditions of probation that may be imposed, some of which may require that the probationer register as a sex offender, work faithfully at suitable employment, undergo medical or psychiatric treatment, support their children, pay victim restitution, report to their probation officer, perform community service, undergo drug testing, and refrain from possessing a firearm etc.
What Are Violating Conditions of Probation?
Under Title 35, Section 35-38-2-3 Violation of conditions of probation of the Indiana Code, the court may revoke a person's probation if he or she violates a condition of probation during their probationary period.
If one or more conditions of probation are violated, penalties include:
- A warrant for their arrest may be issued
- A summons may be issued for the person to appear
- Continue the person on probation, with or without modifying conditions
- Extend the probationary period for not more than one year
- Order execution of all or part of the suspended sentence
- Reinstate the probationary period
Note that probation may not be revoked for a failure to comply with imposed financial obligations unless the person intentionally and recklessly failed to pay. With probation violations the court shall conduct a hearing concerning the alleged violation and the court may allow for bail pending the hearing. It will be up to the state to prove that a violation occurred based on a preponderance of evidence. The individual is entitled to confrontation, cross-examination and to be represented by a Fort Wayne DUI attorney.
Penalties depend largely on the evidence presented as well as the specific circumstance, and having a Fort Wayne DUI lawyer with a strong attention to detail is a vital aspect of a successful defense. Attorney Gregory A. Miller has over 14 years of experience defending those accused of drunk driving in Indiana, and has a thorough understanding of the legal system, drunk driving laws and how to best challenge the prosecutor's evidence. Attorney Gregory A. Miller will use all resources available to him whether negotiating for a reduced charge or for an acquittal at trial.
Why Choose Gregory A. Miller?
- He has direct contact with all clients, and will personally handle any matters that may arise in your case.
- He has received training on drunk-driving defense with NACDL and National College of Drunk Driving Defense, and he understands how to present a DUI defense that challenges the evidence against you.
View our firm's profile at FindaDUIAttorney.com.
Contact a Fort Wayne DUI attorney if you have been charged with DUI or OWI and want an aggressive defense against the charges.
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