can be overwhelming in a criminal defense situation. When you’re facing a case that involves law enforcement agencies or government prosecutors with extensive resources, you need an advocate to ensure your rights are maintained at every step. Todd Uzelac Law is a skilled advocate, partnering with you to defend your rights in all situations.
Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated (OWI), Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offenses are charged at an alarming rate throughout Northwest Indiana. Furthermore, being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious charge in Northwest Indiana and comes with stiff penalties. These penalties are even harsher for repeat offenders and for car accident in which people died or suffered serious injury.
You have the right to counsel, provided by the United State Constitution’s Sixth Amendment And by Article 1, Section 13 of Indiana’s Constitution.
Potential consequences of OWI/DUI offenses are serious and without the right defense may seriously impact your future.
Truly there is nothing the acronyms simply indicate the language a particular state utilizes to describe its drunken driving offenses. Indiana law describes its drunken driving offenses OWI Operating While Intoxicated or OVWI Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated.
Were you charged with multiple DUI or OWI offenses even though you were only stopped once?
Often those charged with DUI/OWI are charged with several initial offenses. Indiana law allows the State to prosecute you in several ways and enhance the offense under certain circumstances. Here is a list of common DUI/OWI charges
If you are facing DUI/OWI charges in Northwest Indiana it is likely that you will be charged with the aforementioned enhanced offenses.
Upon the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles receiving notice that you either failed or refused a certified chemical test, the BMV will suspend your driving privileges. This administrative suspension will occur even though you are actively disputing your case, and have not been convicted of the offense.
The length of the administrative suspension depends on the following:
If you submit to a certified chemical test but fail your drivers license will be suspended for 180 days.
If you refuse to submit to the certified chemical test, your drivers license will be suspended for one year, the suspension will be doubled if you have prior OWI convictions
Potential Penalties: The following only references the penalties associated with Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Operating a Vehicle with an illegal B.A.C. , and OWI- Endangerment of a Person offenses.
First Offense: Up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.00
Second Offense: Up to 2.5 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.00
These are the base limits for the aforementioned offenses more severe penalties may be enforced based on the aggravating circumstances of your individual case. Examples of aggravating circumstances include but are not limited to the following:
Indiana Code 9-30-5-1(c) states, “A person who operates a vehicle with a controlled substance listed in schedule I or II of IC 35-48-2 or its metabolite in the person’s body commits a Class C misdemeanor.” Therefore, a person that refuses a certified breath test, and is brought to the local hospital for a blood draw could expose themselves to IC 9-30-5-1(c).
Each and every aspect of your case may be challenged:
When charged with Operating While Intoxicated the State must prove:
Operating a Vehicle:
Field Sobriety Tests
Reasonable suspicion for the stop:
The police must observe a traffic violation or have reasonable suspicion that you are operating a vehicle while intoxicated in order to stop your vehicle. Also an officer’s mistaken belief for a traffic violation is not a valid reason to stop you.
An experienced OWI attorney will challenge the test performed on you, investigate your case and challenge the officer’s opinion that you were intoxicated.
Being pulled over for a OWI/DUI can be frightening and humiliating. You may worry about what a conviction will do to your family, your standing in the community, and your employment. Getting to work in the future may be hindered by the loss of your license. At Todd Uzelac Law we understand the emotional turmoil and stress you are going through.
Don’t take your chances. Call the OWI/DUI defense attorneys at Todd Uzelac Law without delay, to protect your rights, your future, and your family.
Knowledge of the potential penalties of a criminal offense is necessary to forming the proper defense strategy. The majority of criminal cases include a sentencing element knowledge of the potential penalties and the lesser charged offenses is critical to evaluating the overall level of risk you’re exposed to.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of the potential penalties for each classification of criminal offenses in Indiana:
All Indiana felonies, regardless of classification or severity, subject an individual to a potential fine of up to $10,000.00.
Class A Misdemeanors: The highest level of misdemeanors charged in Indiana. Generally Class A misdemeanors are more severe than all other misdemeanors, yet less sever than all levels of felony offenses. Class A Misdemeanors can severely impact future employment, housing, and rights.
Examples of Class A Misdemeanors include but are not limited to the following:
What to do if you are charged with Class A Misdemeanor:
Class B Misdemeanor
Class B Misdemeanors are the second lowest level crimes charged in Indiana. Generally Class B Misdemeanors are viewed as being more sever than Class C, yet not as sever as Class A or felony offenses. Being convicted of a Class B misdemeanor can have sever negative impact on your future.
Examples of Class B Misdemeanors include but not limited to the following:
Class C Misdemeanors
Subject to a term of imprisonment for up to 60 days to be served in a local county jail and subject to a fine of $500.00
Examples of Class C Misdemeanors include but not limited to the following:
Level 6 Felonies – Lowest level of felonies charged in Indiana. Generally more severe than misdemeanors, yet less than all other levels of felonies.
Examples of Level 6 Felonies:
Level 5 Felonies – Second Lowest level of felonies charged.
Examples of Level 5 Felonies:
Level 4 Felonies –
Level 3 Felonies –
Examples of Level 3 Felonies:
Level 2 Felonies –
Level 1 Felonies –
Most individuals convicted of a crime have their lives severely impacted, denial of job opportunities, or housing. Expungement of a conviction may provide you with the second chance you need.
The Indiana legislature change the expungement law. The law allows any individual charged with a crime and not convicted of the offense, after one year, to petition the court to seal the record.
Those convicted of any misdemeanor or Level 6 felony reduced to a Class A misdemeanor such as OWI, reckless driving, domestic battery, battery, public intoxication, resisting law enforcement, conversion, invasion of privacy, fraud, theft, sexual battery or any other offense where the judgment is entered as a misdemeanor, may have their conviction expunged after five years from the date of the conviction as long as they have completed their sentence, have a valid driver’s license, have no pending criminal cases, and have not been convicted of another crime for five years.
Those convicted of a Level 6 felony may also have their conviction expunged under certain circumstances. Certain Level 6 felonies may be expunged eight years after the date of conviction as long as they have completed the sentence, have a valid license, have no pending criminal cases and have not been convicted of another crime for 8 years.
The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any matter.