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Hardworking and Dedicated Advocacy for Drivers in Hamilton, Hendricks, and Hancock Counties
Charged with driving under the influence in Indianapolis? The consequences can be daunting; from jail time to fines to license suspension. However, having a skilled DUI defense attorney on your side could make a key difference in reduced penalties or even a dismissal of your charge. Gemma & Karimi, LLP have 20 years of combined experience, including former prosecution work. As a result, the attorneys have intimate knowledge of how the prosecution thinks and works, which can prove advantageous to the legal strategy you devise together.
Whether you have been charged with a DUI for the first time or have prior convictions, Gemma & Karimi, LLP can defend you. Schedule a free consultation online to get started today.
What Constitutes DUI/OWI?
Driving under the influence (DUI) is more broadly referred to in Indiana as "operating while intoxicated" (OWI). The main distinction is that DUI more commonly refers to drunk driving from alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two, whereas OWI is related to the capacity (or lack thereof) to manage a vehicle.
Under Indiana OWI law, it is illegal for motorists to operate a vehicle:
- with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more;
- with any amount of a Schedule I or II controlled substance in their system (opiates, hallucinogens, marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine); or
- while actually intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.
Be aware that the state implements a “zero tolerance” law that makes it illegal for drivers under the age of 21 years old to operate a vehicle with a BAC of .02% or more.
In unfortunate cases, lawful prescription drugs might be involved in a DUI charge. Keep in mind that there are several prescription medications and some over-the-counter medications that have specific warnings that their usage could impair a person’s driving abilities and should not be used while operating any dangerous equipment, including motor vehicles. In such a case, even if the medication was lawfully prescribed to the driver, they could still be at risk of a DUI if they take this impairing medication and operate a motor vehicle.
Jail Time, Fines, and License Suspension Penalties
Generally, OWI offenses are charged as misdemeanors. Drivers convicted of OWI in Indiana will face a range of penalties depending on the number of prior convictions they have:
- 1st offense – up to 60 days in jail (up to 1 year for those with a BAC of .15% or more); up to $500 in fines (up to $5,000 for those with a BAC of .15% or more); 180 days of license suspension; up to 60 days of ignition interlock device (IID) use (up to 1 year for those with a BAC of .15% or more)
- 2nd offense – up to 60 days in jail (up to 1 year for those with a BAC of .15% or more); up to $500 in fines (up to $5,000 for those with a BAC of .15% or more); at least 1 year of license suspension; up to 60 days of IID use (up to 1 year for those with a BAC of .15% or more)
- 3rd offense – up to 60 days in jail (up to 1 year for those with a BAC of .15% or more); up to $500 in fines (up to $5,000 for those with a BAC of .15% or more); at least 1 year of license suspension; up to 60 days of IID use (up to 1 year for those with a BAC of .15% or more)
An OWI conviction will stay on a driver’s criminal record. If a conviction occurs within 5 years of a prior conviction, it will be considered a felony. Felony OWIs have enhanced penalties of 6 months to 2.5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Note that Indiana also implements “implied consent” laws that require all drivers lawfully arrested for an OWI to submit to a blood or breath test. Drivers who refuse testing will face the following periods of license suspension:
- 1 year if they have no prior convictions;
- 2 years if they have at least 1 prior conviction.
Indiana requires an automatic driver’s license suspension for a chemical test failure. The law states that the license will be suspended for 180 days on a pre-trial basis from the date the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles receives notice that the prosecutor has filed the case.
Indiana treats habitual traffic violators (HTV) seriously, and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles might even suspend a habitual offender’s license for life. As a result, it is imperative that you take legal action in your defense immediately if you’ve been charged with a DUI/OWI violation.
OWI laws are enforced strictly in Indiana. It is advisable to retain an experienced attorney if you have been arrested or charged with an OWI. By immediately hiring a DUI attorney, there is a good chance that your charges will be reduced or possibly dismissed. The DUI defense lawyers at Gemma & Karimi, LLP have 20 years of combined experience defending clients in court, and they will do their best to protect your driving privileges and combat the harsh or unfair accusations against you. Whether this is a first-time offense or subsequent offense, the firm can strategize an aggressive defense in the protection of your rights.
Let the firm get you back on the road and out of your legal mess. Contact Gemma & Karimi, LLP online to schedule your free initial consultation.
“After debating a plea I finally refused the plea and went to jury trial. On 06/23/21 we went to trail and Kevin and Ron was able to get me a not guilty verdict.” - Jerry N.
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