Why Was My Plea Deal Rejected By the Judge?

Many criminal defendants wrongly assume that when they are presented with a plea deal, they are automatically granted the deal. However, it is possible for a judge to reject a plea deal after a defendant has agreed to one. Not only can this be fusing, but it can be highly frustrating when it comes time to stand trial for sentencing.

Continue reading to learn why plea deals are commonly rejected by judges, and what you can do to appeal the plea deal denial.

Plea Bargain Lawyer Indianapolis Indiana 317-636-7514
Plea Bargain Lawyer Indianapolis Indiana 317-636-7514

What is a Plea Deal?

A plea deal, or bargain, is just that: an agreement between the prosecuting attorneys and the defendant’s defense attorney in which each party sacrifices something to gain something when it comes time for sentencing. Essentially, it is a compromise regarding a defendant’s charges and penalties for their crimes. In most cases, this means a defendant accepts to plead guilty to their charges in return for a lower conviction and/or more forgiving sentence.

What You Need to Know About Accepting a Plea Bargain

But here is what most criminal defendants do not know: it is not up to the prosecution and defense to use a plea bargain. Instead, plea bargains must first be approved by the courts. A judge has to determine whether or not a defendant was strong-armed in any way; and once they confirm no pressure was made, they will approve a plea bargain. However, the process and regulations for plea bargains differ from state to state.

Why Pleas Get Denied By Courts

In most cases, criminal defendants will be granted their plea deal by the court. However, it is possible for the courts to deny a plea deal presented by the prosecution, especially in the case of habitual offenders. After all, if you are being charged with your tenth DUI, it is unlikely that the court will accept a plea deal in your favor. At this point, they will be ready to punish you and use you as an example to the community.

In less egregious scenarios, plea deals can still be rejected by the judge. This may happen if the judge strongly believes that A) it is in the best interest of the community or general public, or B) the plea agreement does not sufficiently address the nature of the offense or the rights of the victims involved, if any.

How to Get Help with Your Criminal Charges In Indiana

It is important to talk to a trusted and licensed Indianapolis criminal defense attorney about Indiana plea bargains and appeal procedures. A seasoned criminal lawyer will be able to navigate all elements of your case and build you in impactful defense in favor of a lighter or even served sentence.

Are you looking for a skilled criminal defense lawyer who can get you the best outcome to your Indiana criminal charges? Contact the Law Office of David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 to schedule a meeting with our experienced Indianapolis criminal defense law firm. We can hold meetings over the phone or in person at our Indy-based office.

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Should I Plead Guilty to My DUI Charge?
Should I Plead No Contest if My Criminal Charge is Minor?
The Pros and Cons of Taking a Plea Deal

Can a Person Be Arrested for Blackmailing?

Blackmail is a crime. Crimes come with penalties of all kinds, from fines and restitution to community service, house arrest, probation, and even jail time. And like all crimes, blackmailing another person, business, or organization will lead to these same consequences. Continue below to learn more about blackmail laws, including the common charges and penalties, plus what to do if you are being blackmailed by another.

Blackmail Criminal Defense Lawyer Indianapolis Indiana 317-636-7514
Blackmail Criminal Defense Lawyer Indianapolis Indiana 317-636-7514

Blackmailing Laws in Indiana

Blackmailing can be a state or federal crime depending on the circumstances or nature of the offense. Most people wrongly assume that blackmail is the act of forcing someone to do something they don’t want to do by means of threat or ultimatum (not by bribery or intimidation). But the true, universally accepted legal definition of blackmail describes a very serious offense that causes significant damage to one’s reputation, finances, or quality of life, all of which can subject a victim to extreme psychological and emotional traumas. For this reason, blackmail is deemed as a very serious offense under criminal law, and therefore, renders major penalties, including jail time.

West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, (2d Edition, 2008), defines blackmail as: “[t]he crime involving a threat for purposes of compelling a person to do an act against his or her will, or for purposes of taking the person’s money or property.

Forms of Blackmail

Blackmail crimes come in all forms. A blackmailer could threaten a person to do something they don’t want to do by threatening physical violence, or threatening to harm their 1) reputation, 2) employment status or privileges, 3) school admissions, 4) child custody rights, 5) social status, 6) membership status, 7) finances, 8) property, 9) loved ones, and much more. A blackmailer may even threaten to reveal secrets that can cause harm to all of these elements of life and more.

Typically, the person doing the blackmailing is someone that has a level of authority or power over the victim, such as an employer, computer hacker, spouse, parent, guardian, conservatorship representative, lawyer, agent, teacher, school administrator, and similar authorities. However, this is not always the case. A blackmailing victim can be blackmailed by their best friend, romantic partner, neighbor, or even a minor.

Blackmail Versus Extortion

The terms blackmail and extortion are sometimes used interchangeably to describe the same type of crime. However, blackmail is typically reserved to describe crimes of threat, while extortion is more like blackmail that results in actually receiving funds, money, payment, or some other reward. Basically, when blackmail is successful, it turns into the crime of extortion.

Penalties for Blackmailing

Here in Indiana, if the defendant is charged with blackmail or extortion, they will face a long list of penalties, with the possibility of jail time. In most cases, a first offender convicted of a blackmailing crime will be sentenced to fines. In other cases, a defendant might be sentenced to fines and imprisonment. Aside from criminal penalties, a person convicted of blackmail or extortion may also face a civil lawsuit brought on by the victim. The victim could seek damages from the blackmailer in the form of compensation or settlement.

What to do if you’re being blackmailed: Immediately contact the police and give a full report. Never take matters into your own hands.

Are you currently facing criminal charges for bribery, blackmail, or extortion in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 for aggressive criminal defense for misdemeanor or felony criminal charges in Indianapolis, Indiana. We represent adults, minors, and juveniles all across the state.

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Can My Teen Be Arrested for Running Away?

As kids, many of us threatened to run away from time to time when displeased with our parents. But when does an innocent threat or pretense of running away from home cross the line into something more serious, possibly consequential? For teenagers, running away from home could inflict legal penalties, while parents may face certain liability.

Continue reading to learn the potential consequences for teenagers who run away from home, plus what to do if you or your teen are facing criminal charges as a result.

Juvenile Delinquency Lawyer Indianapolis Indiana
Juvenile Delinquency Lawyer Indianapolis Indiana 317-636-7514

Who Gets in Trouble for Running Away?

A runaway is a minor person under the age of eighteen years old who has fled their legal or temporary residence without parental or custodial permission. Although most states do not impose any sort of criminal penalties for parents or minors in the case of running away, there could still be legal consequences for both. Along with parents and guardians, any adult, relative or not, who houses or hides a runaway will face criminal charges in all states. So, all parties can face legal consequences or liability for a runaway.

Legal Consequences for Runaways

Parents are legally responsible for their minor children. For instance, parents cannot allow their children to miss too many days of school, whether their children live with them or not. If a child were to accrue compounded absences from school, their parents or legal guardians would be held responsible under truancy laws. Truancy is a status offense. In the case of a runaway, parents would need to contact the school every day to report that their child has still not returned to avoid being held responsible for their kid’s truancy.

Status Offenses

A status offense is only illegal for those who are underage, or minors. A minor is someone that is not old enough to partake in a certain behavior or action, which means a 20 year old is a minor. For example, a person under 16 years of age cannot operate a vehicle, a person under the age of 18 cannot smoke or purchase cigarettes, and a person under the age of 21 cannot consume nor purchase alcohol. These are all examples of minors. Juveniles are between the ages of 10 and 17 years old.

Running away from home as a minor is considered a status offense. Along with truancy and running away from home, teenagers can also get in trouble for curfew violations. Curfew violations are another type of status offense.

Another common status offense among teenagers is the act of being “ungovernable” or beyond the control of their parents or guardians. This can actually be used as a defense for parents who are facing liability for their teen runaway. They can claim that they cannot control the actions of their teenager, and therefore cannot enforce their attendance in school or an alternative program.

Penalties for Running Away From Home

The legal penalties for running away from home will depend on various factors, from the runaway’s track record to their current living situation and everything in between. In most cases, both parents and teenager are ordered to attend counseling and educational programs but may also face fines and restitution. Teenagers who are licensed drivers may have their license suspended temporarily and might be ordered to complete community service hours. In serious scenarios, the teenager may be placed with a temporary guardian.

Typically, when police catch a runaway, they just give them a ride home or convince the parents/guardians to let the teenager stay a friend’s house for the night. In other cases, police may detain the teenager temporarily at the juvenile center while making arrangements for them to go home or to a friend’s house, or to charge them with a status offense. Sometimes, they will take them to a nearby shelter for homeless youths.

Where to Get Help

If your child runs away from home, contact the police right away and make a report. The police department will submit your child’s full name and physical description into the National Crime Information Computer (NCIC).

The National Runaway Safeline (NRS) is a safe communication resource for homeless and runaway youths. They provide free advice and referrals to local resources for runaways and guardians. NRS is available in all 50 states.

Is your minor child facing criminal charges after running away from home in Indiana? Contact the Law Office of David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 to speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana. We can meet over the phone, via online video conference, or in person at our office.

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Important Laws That Pertain to Parents of Teenagers

Will Any Criminal Record Get Approved for Expungement?

If you are interested in learning more about petitioning for criminal record expungement or record sealing, it is safe to say you are a very wise person. So many doors will open for you after you seal or expunge your publicly-accessible criminal background. Opportunities for jobs, housing, loans, schooling, professional licenses, government services, and even dating will be a more comfortable and rewarding experience. Just knowing that your criminal past is private and not accessible by the general public will have you feeling more confident in life, overall. But be warned, not all petitioners will qualify, and some criminal records are ineligible as well.

 Continue below to learn some criminal record expungement information for Indiana that will help you understand your eligibility for approval.

Criminal Expungement Lawyer Indianapolis Indiana 317-636-7514
Criminal Expungement Lawyer Indianapolis Indiana 317-636-7514

Eligibility Guidelines for Criminal Record Expungement

Right now, you probably have many questions about the petition and approval process. The expungement process varies among jurisdictions, as do the legal perquisites to qualify. Qualifications also vary depending on several factors, including how long it has been since the date of your conviction, the severity of the crime, the extent of your criminal history, your current status with the law, and more. It is best to start with the question of whether or not you qualify.

To learn if you qualify, you must seek counsel from an Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer who is well-versed in the criminal record expungement laws in your state of offense. They can help you determine your eligibility and assist you with the filing of your petition. Keep in mind, one small mistake can get your application for expungement denied. You need a lawyer to help you file the paperwork and meet the strict deadlines in time.

Not everyone qualifies to have their records expunged. Sometimes this is because it has simply not been enough time, or because their crimes are not eligible for expungement. Virtually all crimes are eligible for expungement, with a few obvious exceptions.

Criminal arrests, charges, and convictions that CANNOT be expunged or sealed include, but are not limited to:

❌ Murder
❌ Homicide
❌ Manslaughter
❌ Human Trafficking
❌ Sex Crimes
❌ Sexual Offenses
❌ Child Abuse
❌ Endangering of a Child
❌ Driving a Commercial Vehicle Under the Influence

Hire a Criminal Lawyer Who Specializes in Expungement Petitions

Since procedures and qualifications are so different and depend on various factors, the filing process to expunge criminal records can be confusing and complicated. For this reason, it is vital to hire a professional Indiana criminal defense lawyer who specializes in record sealing and expungement services. They have the skills and the knowledge to ensure your petition is filed correctly and on time.

Are you ready to seal or expunge arrest records and criminal charges from your past? Contact the Law Office of David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 to learn your eligibility for Indiana criminal record expungement, restricted access, or appeal. Consultations are free and rates start as low as $850 for those who qualify. Put your past behind you for good with the help of our esteemed legal teams who specialize in Indiana’s Second Chance Law.

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Frequently Asked Questions About No Contest Pleas

Although a No Contest plea is a common alternative to a guilty or not guilty plea, it may or may not be the right choice for your criminal case. Continue below to learn what you need to know by reviewing these frequently asked questions about no contest pleas in Indiana.

Criminal Lawyers Indianapolis Indiana 317-636-7514
Criminal Lawyers Indianapolis Indiana 317-636-7514

FAQS About No Contest Pleas

What is a No Contest Plea?

“No Contest”, or nolo contendere in legalese, literally translates to, “I do not wish to contend.” A No Contest plea is used as an alternative to pleading guilty or not guilty. Essentially, when a defendant chooses to plead no contest, they are neither admitting nor disputing the charges against them. Although a defendant does not admit guilt, the plea will elicit a criminal conviction in court. Accordingly, a No Contest plea is essentially the same as a guilty plea.

Many people confuse No Contest pleas to “Alford” pleas. Although nolo contendere pleas are similar to Alford pleas in that both do not admit guilt, they still accept the punishment under a guilty conviction. Under an Alford plea, a defendant is saying they are innocent, but will accept the guilty conviction and subsequent penalties. Under a nolo contendere plea, a defendant is not admitting guilt nor claiming to be innocent. 

What are the Pros and Cons of Using a No Contest Plea?

There are many noted advantages of pleading no contest in a criminal case. As for benefits, nolo contendere pleas are wise in criminal cases that might also result in civil action. If a civil lawsuit were to arise, the defendant’s guilty conviction upon pleading no contest cannot be used as evidence against them. Additional benefits of a nolo contendere plea include:

▷ Lower Attorney Fees and Court Costs
▷ Shorter Trial Process
▷ Publicity/Reputation Protection
▷ Potential for Lighter Sentences
▷ Stopping Further Investigation

On the other hand, there are also some critical disadvantages of pleading no contest. First and foremost, a No Contest plea is essentially a guilty plea because it renders a guilty conviction and subsequent sentence. Basically, defendants are punished just as they would be had they entered a guilty plea. Additional disadvantages of No Contest pleas include having a conviction on your permanent.

How Do I Plead No Contest to My Criminal Charges?

Courts must grant approval before a defendant can enter a nolo contendere plea. So, your first step to determining your eligibility for pleading no contest would be to hire a criminal defense lawyer. They can arrange all the motions and paperwork asking the courts for permission to enter a No Contest plea. Some defendants will be denied.

Should I Plead No Contest to a Minor Charge?

Although they are a type of guilty plea, pleading no contest can be beneficial for you when facing minor criminal charges, especially if the prosecution is offering it in a plea deal. Most often, plea deals are used to negotiate, which is why they are also called plea bargains. Prosecution will offer a reduced charge or sentence in return for the defendant’s guilty plea, or in this case, a No Contest plea.

Do I Need a Lawyer if I Am Going to Plead No Contest?

It is important to discuss your plea options with your defense lawyer. Hopefully you choose to hire a private criminal attorney in Indianapolis, as public defenders are overloaded with cases and cannot put much time or focus on a defendant’s case like a private lawyer can. If you want the best possible outcome to your criminal case, you will need private, personal defense.

With your lawyer, you can decide which plea is the best fit for your criminal circumstance. Each case is different, and everyone’s criminal history is different, so your best options will differ from the defendant down the street. In fact, you cannot just choose a no contest plea; in most states, defendants require permission from the courts first.

Are you ready to fight your Indiana criminal charges and potential avoid having to enter a plea altogether? Contact Attorney David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 to schedule a free initial consultation with a seasoned Indianapolis IN criminal defense lawyer you can trust. We also represent defendants charged in Indiana but who live in another state.

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FAQS About Indiana’s Good Time Credit

If your pending criminal charges likely come with a jail sentence, you are wise to explore ways to reduce your imprisonment time with good inmate behavior. This is exactly what Indiana’s Good Time Credit program offers inmates in exchange for cooperation and obedience while in jail.

Unfortunately, not everyone qualifies for Indiana’s Good Time Credit, as there are several strict and specific criteria inmates must meet to be granted a reduced prison sentence. But for those who do qualify, the benefits are significant. Not only can you reduce your 18 month sentence to a 9 month sentence, but you can get back into the world you know, making money, taking care of family, attending school and church and so much more.

Continue below to review some frequently asked questions about Indiana’s Good Time Credit, including who might or might not qualify and where to get started in Indianapolis.

Get Out of Jail Lawyer Indianapolis Indiana 317-636-7514
Get Out of Jail Lawyer Indianapolis Indiana 317-636-7514

Frequently Asked Questions About Indiana’s Good Time Credit

What is Indiana’s Good Time Credit?

Indiana’s Good Time Credit allows eligible and approved inmates to get out of jail sooner than their original sentence length if they exhibit good behavior. The amount of Good Time Credit that can be earned depends on the inmate’s level of offense. Indiana’s Good Time Credit terms and conditions can be found under Indiana Code 35-50-6-0.5. Good Time Credit should not be confused with other times of sentence-reducing credit time, such as accrued credit, vocational credit, rehabilitation program credit, house arrest credit, work release program credit, and educational credit.

Who is Eligible for Indiana’s Good Time Credit?

Those who have been given an executed sentence are on the brink of qualifying for Indiana’s Good Time Credit. Beyond executed sentences, it is the judge’s discretion to grant approval for Good Time Credit. Habitual offenders and violent offenders may be denied eligibility. Individuals who are sentenced as “credit restricted felons” do not qualify.

How Can I Earn Good Time Credit in Jail?

Earning Good Time Credit in jail starts and ends with good behavior.  Inmates must adhere to all rules and regulations, avoid confrontations, stay away from criminal activity, and participate in healthy activities, like exercise, schooling, vocational programs, and more. Depending on the level of offense an inmate is serving, they may be assigned Credit Class A through Credit Class P, which can accrue them days off their sentence with good behavior.

Credit Class A:
Class A Misdemeanors and Level 6 Felonies
▶ 1 Good Time Day for Every 1 Accrued Day
▶ Potential to Reduce Sentence By 50%

Credit Class B:
Level 1 – 5 Felonies
▶ 1 Good Time Day for Every 3 Accrued Days
▶ Potential to Reduce Sentence By 25%

Credit Class C:
Any Charge Level – Generally inmates are moved from Class A or B to Class C as punishment for bad behavior.
▶ 1 Good Time Day for Every 6 Accrued Days
▶ Potential to Reduce Sentence By 14.3%

Credit Class D:
Any Charge Level – Generally inmates are moved from Class A, B, or C to Class D as punishment for bad behavior.
▶ No Good Time Days
▶ No Potential to Reduce Sentence

Credit Class P:
Any Charge Level – Assigned to defendants awaiting trial while on home detention. Convicted persons do not qualify.
▶ 1 Good Time Day for Every 4 Accrued Days
▶ Potential to Earn Up to 25 Days Toward Executed Sentence

Am I Free After Being Released From Jail on Good Time Credit?

After being released from jail on an executed sentence based on Good Time Credit, you are not yet free from the law’s grip. Individuals will still have to report to a probation or parole office on a regular basis, pass routine drug and alcohol screens, participate in court-ordered programs (community service, rehab, etc.), pay all fines, maintain full-time employment, and more. You may also be subjected to a curfew, housing requirements, and mandatory job placement, plus have your drivers’ license suspended and your firearm rights taken away. Typically, probation or parole lasts between 1 and 5 years, depending on the criminal history and level of offense.

Are you looking for criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your rights to getting out of jail faster after being convicted of a crime in Indiana? Contact Attorney David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 to speak with a seasoned criminal defense lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our legal team can help you obtain the best possible outcome to your criminal matters!

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Are Breathalyzers Reliable at Proving Intoxication?

Breath testing has been the most common method of investigating and confirming a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Law enforcement and similar authorities typically use handheld electronic devices known as breathalyzers to test an individual’s breath and obtain a BAC reading. But are these breath testing devices actually reliable? Are they accurate? Do they really prove intoxication?

Continue reading to learn more about breath testing and breathalyzers, including what to do if you believe you have been wrongly arrested after failing a breathalyzer test in Indiana.

DUI Defense Lawyer Indianapolis Indiana 317-636-7514
DUI Defense Lawyer Indianapolis Indiana 317-636-7514

Breathalyzer Testing

Breathalyzers are science-based electronic devices that are designed to read and compute blood alcohol levels based on breath. There are different types of breathalyzers. Some are designed with fuel cells that generate an electric current, while others use infrared light or chemical reactions.

The average person has no idea how these scientific electronic devices work, so many people tend to blindly trust whatever reveals. But like all manufactured commodities, especially electronic ones, design flaws and happen. In such a case, breathalyzers might incorrectly or inaccurately process the blood alcohol concentration in a person’s breath.

Breathalyzer Test Reliability

So, how reliable are these breathalyzers? Possibly not so much, at least not all the time. According to a post in the New York Times, thousands of people have been arrested based on flawed breath testing results over the years, and courts across the country have thrown out more than 50,000 tests.

As most fragile computer-based electronic devices go, breathalyzers require routine maintenance and care, including precise calibration. Not only must these devices be set up properly, but they must also be used correctly and by a certified operator. And the unfortunate truth is that the standards for proper breathalyzer usage and maintenance are not highly regulated.

Most law enforcement agencies are not monitored on how well they take care of or calibrate their BAC-measuring machines, how well they train their staff to use them, and how well they store their data. With all of these factors at play, there are many variables that can cause breathalyzers to compute inaccurately, and therefore, give unreliable BAC test results.

Get Yourself a Lawyer After Failing a Breath Test

Unfortunately, most law enforcement officials will take whatever reading the breathalyzer gives them and use it as just cause to arrest a person for public intoxication or drunk driving. For this reason, it is important to obtain professional and private criminal defense legal representation to fight your criminal charges. Good criminal defense attorneys have the resources, knowledge, and skills to reduce your charges or dismissed them entirely based on an unjust arrest.

Are you ready to preserve your freedom by getting started on your defense now? Contact Attorney David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 for the best chance at reducing or dismissing your public intoxication or DUI charges in Indianapolis, Indiana. We represent clients all throughout the state of Indiana.

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Facts About Aggravating Factors in a Criminal Case

Facing criminal charges is a confusing matter to experience. When aggravated factors are involved, it can be more challenging for a defendant to understand what’s at stake in terms of their rights and future freedoms. If you are concerned about defending aggravating factors in a criminal case, continue below to learn the right facts you need to know.

Indiana Criminal Defense Representation 317-636-7514
Indiana Criminal Defense Representation 317-636-7514

Aggravating Factors Make Criminal Charges Worse

Have you ever heard the phrases, “the straw that broke the camel’s back” or “the icing on the cake” before? Aggravating factors are certain details about a criminal act that make the crime more serious and the penalties much harsher. For instance, if a person is caught selling drugs out of their home, they would face certain charges and penalties. However, if that person is caught selling drugs near or on school grounds, they would face even higher charges and penalties since being at or within 500 feet of a school is an aggravating factor to the crime.

Common Types of Aggravating Factors

There are many types of aggravating factors, and a person can face multiple ones in their criminal case. Aggravating factors can enhance a criminal charge by many levels. They can bump a Class A misdemeanor to Level 6 Felony, or even a Level 5 felony. They can also bump low level misdemeanors to higher level misdemeanors. For instance, if a person with no prior criminal record gets busted for a DUI, they would face lighter charges and penalties compared to a person with no prior criminal record who gets busted for a DUI but also causes a car accident that results in bodily harm to a passenger or a driver.

Examples of Aggravating Factors:

Assault on a police officer or firefighter
Crimes involving minors
Crimes committed on or nearby schools or government buildings
Use of a deadly weapon
Causing bodily harm
Egregious recklessness or disregard
Battery causing death

Mitigating Factors Versus Aggravating Factors

Aggravating factors are opposite of mitigating factors, which are factors that can lessen the severity of a crime. For instance, if a person is caught in possession of a non-prescribed prescription narcotic, such as opioids or barbiturates, they would face a particular set of charges and penalties. However, if that person has no prior criminal record and is a good standing citizen within the community, such characteristics could be deemed as mitigating factors in their case, and therefore lessen their charge and penalties.

Are you currently facing criminal charges with aggravating factors in Indiana? Contact Attorney David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 to speak with a skilled and aggressive criminal defense lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana. Act fast so that you may avoid the maximum penalties for your probation violation.

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What are the Penalties for Having a Fake ID in Indiana?

Whether you are a parent of a student who was just picked up for using a fake ID, or someone under the legal drinking age entertaining the idea of obtaining one to get into local bars and make alcohol purchases, it is important for you to understand the possible penalties for being caught with a fake ID in Indiana.

Continue reading to learn what to expect after being arrested on a fake ID charge, plus what you can do to best protect your rights and your future freedoms.

Criminal Lawyer for False ID Charges Indianapolis Indiana 317-636-7514
Criminal Lawyer for False ID Charges Indianapolis Indiana 317-636-7514

Expected Fake ID Penalties in Indiana

False identification can come in the form of a card, like a driver’s license or state ID, as well as a federal form of identification, like a passport or passport card. Even claiming to be eighteen or twenty-one years old to a shopkeeper or bartender can result in a false identification charge in Indiana. If arrested for being in possession of or attempting to use false identification in Indiana, the expected criminal charge will be a Class C misdemeanor, which comes with a long list of possible and serious consequences.

Although the penalties for a Class C misdemeanor conviction on a fake ID charge are wide-ranging and will vary from case to case depending on the unique circumstances and criminal history of a defendant, all convicted individuals face up to 60 days in jail, plus can expect to have their driver’s license suspended for one year and be fined up to $500. It is also possible for them to be court ordered to serve community service, usually around 40 to 80 hours.

Fake ID Charges and Penalties:

Class C Misdemeanor

▸ $500 Fine
▸ Up to 60 Days in Jail
▸ 1 Year Suspended Licensed
▸ Marks on Driving Record

Why Indiana Criminal Defense is Vital After a False ID Arrest

As you can see from the penalties listed above, being convicted of a class C misdemeanor for a fake ID charge can come with some serious and lasting consequences. That is because it is considered an alcohol-related offense. In the case that you are sentenced to 60 days in jail, you face the risk of missing work pay, being terminated from your job, missing school, losing time spent with family, and all sorts of other life responsibilities and pleasures.

To avoid the maximum penalties for your criminal charges, it is critical to retain aggressive and skilled Indiana criminal defense. They can build you a strong case against your charges and reduce the severity of your penalties.

Looking for a criminal defense lawyer to fight your false ID charges in Indiana right now? Contact the Law Office of David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 for fast and experienced criminal defense in Indianapolis, Indiana. We represent both adolescents and adults, and can hold meetings over the phone, via video conferencing, or in person at our office.

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8 Ways You Can Be Charged With Intoxicated Driving

Intoxicated driving charges are very serious, and the law is designed to use such cases as a means to set an example for the rest of the public. The laws surrounding OWI charges vary from state to state, as do the possible enhancements that can increase the severity of the charges. There are several ways you can be charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Continue below to learn the 8 types of DUI charges, what they mean, and how you can beat them with skilled legal representation.

DUI Lawyers Near Me Indianapolis Indiana 317-636-7514
DUI Lawyers Near Me Indianapolis Indiana 317-636-7514

Types of OWI Enhancements

Potential OWI enhancements depend on several factors, but the most common types of enhancements to drunk driving charges include operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15% or higher, drunk driving with a minor as a passenger, drunk driving that causes another person bodily injury, and drunk driving that causes the death of another person.

Aggravated DUI

An aggravated DUI is any average DUI charge, but with enhancements. See enhancement examples above. Aggravated DUI charges are the same thing as Felony DUI charges, which is the term used in Indiana. Additional aggravated DUI offenses include DUI in a school zone, operating a school bus under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving intoxicated without a valid license, having multiple convictions within a short time frame, and more.

Drugged Driving (DUID)

Alcohol is not the only substance that can lead to a DUI arrest. Operating a vehicle while under the influence of Schedule I or Schedule II drugs, whether legal or illegal, can lead to a DUID charge in Indiana, which stands for “driving under the influence of drugs.” A police officer can legally arrest you for a DUID charge simply based on a reasonable suspicion that such drugs are in your system.

DUI Accidents

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious crime in itself; but couple it with an accident and the charges get worse. In Indiana, DUI-related accidents are labeled as Felony DUI charges, and come with severe penalties.

DUI Manslaughter

When DUI accidents end with fatalities, the charges increase to DUI manslaughter. Although the fatalities in these cases are unintentional, the charge still come with very severe penalties in Indiana. DUI manslaughter is a Level 5 Felony, which is a very serious charge.

Felony DUI

First-offense DUI charges are generally misdemeanors. But with enhancements or previous convictions, DUI charges turn into a felony very fast. Such factors include multiple convictions, fatalities, presence of children, bodily harm, property damage, and more. With the help of a tough defense lawyer, felony DUI charges can sometimes be reduced to lower felonies or misdemeanors.

Misdemeanor DUI

A typical DUI charge in Indiana is a misdemeanor crime, unless there are enhancements involved, or a person has prior DUI convictions within a certain time frame (usually 5 to 10 years). First time DUI offenses are Class C misdemeanors, but with BAC levels higher than 0.15%, they jump to Class A misdemeanors. With the help of a tough defense lawyer, Level 6 felony DUI’s can often times be reduced to DUI misdemeanors.

Property Damage DUI

When a DUI accident ends with property damages, the penalties and fines increase dramatically. A person can expect longer jail time, harsher sentencing agreements, and extreme fines. And although these are considered aggravated DUI’s, they are not always charged as felonies. However, if property damages are extensive, the charge is likely to increase to a felony.

Underage DUI

Indiana has a “per se” stance on underage drinking and driving. This means there is a zero-tolerance rule for underage drinking. Any person under the age of 21, the national legal drinking age, is forbidden to consume or purchase alcoholic beverages. Underage drinking is a crime in itself, but combined with driving and DUI charges, underage drinkers face serious penalties. Standard penalties include license suspension, jail time, probation, hefty fines, community service, and diversion programs.

Are you looking for criminal defense attorney who can help you reduce your OWI criminal charges in Indiana? Contact Attorney David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 to speak with a seasoned criminal defense lawyer about your Indiana DUI charges. Our legal team can help you obtain the best possible outcome to your criminal matters!

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