Drinking and driving, or driving under the influence (DUI), is a serious offense in the state of Indiana, and if you are arrested for it, you could face hefty fines or even jail time. But if your DUI charge is upgraded to a felony, then the consequences can be much more severe. A felony DUI conviction can have long-lasting effects on your life, including job loss, difficulty finding housing or loans, and even prison time. It’s important to understand what makes a DUI charge become a felony so that you know how to protect yourself from these harsh penalties.
In this blog, we will discuss the circumstances under which an individual may face felony charges for driving under the influence in Indiana and what steps to take after being charged with such an offense.
What a Felony DUI Arrest in Indiana Might Mean for Offenders
Indiana considers a drunk driving offense to be a felony if the accused has three or more prior convictions within the past 10 years. If this is your first offense, you will likely face misdemeanor charges and not have to worry about felony repercussions. However, it’s important to note that any subsequent conviction could result in harsher penalties. Furthermore, if you are convicted of a DUI crime while operating a commercial vehicle, you may also be charged with a felony.
Hire a Drunk Driving Lawyer
If you are facing felony drunk driving charges in Indiana, it’s essential that you get an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. An Indianapolis DUI lawyer can help you understand your rights and ensure that you receive the best possible outcome for your case. Your attorney can also provide guidance on how to proceed with mitigating factors that could help reduce your sentence, such as participating in rehab or taking a defensive driving course.
How the Law Views Repeat Offenses for DUI in Indiana
DUI laws in Indiana take repeat offenses seriously, with harsher penalties for those who have been arrested for multiple drunk driving crimes. Habitual offenders may face high fines, lengthy jail sentences, and suspension or revocation of their driver’s license. In addition, any prior DUI arrests can be used to increase a person’s sentence if they are found guilty of another intoxicated driving offense.
In Indiana, drivers may receive enhanced punishment based on the number of prior DUI convictions on their record. For example, someone convicted of a second drunk driving offense within 5 years must serve at least 5 days in jail and may be fined up to $10,000. A third or subsequent conviction in the same time period carries even tougher penalties, such as 10-30 days in jail and fines up to $10,000. The court also has the option to order additional sanctions that can include longer probation periods and mandatory alcohol education courses.
Furthermore, some counties may have local ordinances which carry their own separate punishments for repeat DUI offenders which can include fines ranging from $500 to $2,500, additional community service hours beyond what is required by the state laws and/or installation of an ignition interlock device. Ignition interlock devices (IID) require drivers to blow into a breathalyzer before starting the vehicle; if the device detects alcohol above a predetermined level, then it will prevent the car from being started. Indiana state law also requires IID installation for certain repeat offenders as part of any probation agreement following a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI).
In short, it is important to understand that the consequences associated with multiple drunk driving arrests in Indiana can be severe. It is recommended that anyone charged with driving under the influence seek legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney to ensure they are aware of all possible penalties and available options for defending against these charges.
Overall, it’s important to understand what constitutes a felony drunk driving charge in Indiana so that you can be prepared if you are ever charged with one. A felony conviction can have serious implications for your future, so make sure to contact a qualified DUI lawyer right away if you find yourself facing felony charges. With the right representation and understanding of the law, there is hope for a favorable outcome and protection from life-altering penalties.
After being arrested for drunk driving, it’s crucial to work with an experienced DUI lawyer right away. Contact Attorney David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 to speak with a seasoned DUI defense lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our law firm will get you the best possible outcome to your drunk driving case!