Being arrested for DUI/OWI can be a very scary experience. If you, or a family member, find yourself in this position, you should immediately meet with an attorney to discuss your rights.
When reviewing the tickets you have received and the charges against you, you may discover that you have been charged with more than one count. This is NOT unusual when someone has been cited for OWI. Indiana law allows for several different levels/types of charges. However, if you are convicted, the court will usually only allow for you to be convicted of one of these charges.
Whether it is referred to as Driving Under the Influence (DUI), or Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), a DUI or OWI is a serious, and often, complicated offense. As used on this website, there is no difference between DUI/OWI—both are used in reference to the charge in Indiana of Operating While Intoxicated. Not only are there the traditional penalties of possible jail time and fines, a DUI or OWI charge and conviction, whether as a Misdemeanor or Felony, can also lead to driver’s license suspension, and multiple DUI/OWI convictions can lead to permanent license suspension and even time in prison.
Often, even before a trial or a determination of your guilt or innocence, your driver’s license will be suspended. In the state of Indiana, simply being charged with an OWI results in an administrative license suspension of 180 days. Upon finding probable cause that you have tested above .08 blood alcohol content, the Indiana BMV will administratively suspend your license upon notice of the charge. This suspension will not be terminated until the case reaches some conclusion and/or disposition.
There are ways in which you can continue to drive while your license is suspended during the prosecution of your case. Whether you Petition the Court for a Specialized Driving Privilege, and/or an interlock device, commonly referred to as a “blow and go,” there are ways in which you can make a Motion upon the Court to continue driving during the pendency of your case. This is why it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney, as soon as possible, after your arrest.
Depending on if this is your first OWI charge, your third, or even your fourth OWI charge, you may be charged with either a Misdemeanor or Felony. Moreover, there are the considerations of the level of which you tested, your blood alcohol content (BAC), the fact of whether you chose to “blow” and/or be tested, whether you were involved in an accident, all of which can lead to more and enhanced charges and a longer license suspension. Every OWI case is different, and each case needs to be specifically researched to determine the legitimacy of the traffic stop itself, and the level of charges alleged against you.
The attorneys and staff of Harper and Harper can help you or a loved one navigate the OWI charges, defend you against such charges, and help you, if possible, find a way in which to continue to drive during the prosecution of your case.
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