Your first DUI case – What to Expect

A DUI (or OWI as it is referred to in Indiana) is usually one area where most people have contact with the criminal justice system.  With Indiana having its legal limit set at .08 BAC, it is not hard for someone to be charged with operating while intoxicated.  What happens if you are charged with your first OWI?

What type of OWI/DUI charge are you facing?

There are a variety of ways that an OWI charge can be written up by the prosecutor’s office.  You could be facing a Class C Misdemeanor if your BAC is between a .08 and .14.  With a Class C Misdemeanor you are looking at a potential jail sentence of 0 to 60 days.  If your BAC is a .15 or above then you are looking at a Class A Misdemeanor.  That Class A Misdemeanor means you could be looking at a jail sentence of 0 to 365 days.  There is also the potential that you could face an Operating While Intoxicated/Endangering a Person Class A Misdemeanor.  Believe it or not, that person does not have to be anyone other than yourself.

Am I going to jail for a OWI/DUI?

The realistic answer for most people facing their first DUI is that you likely can avoid an executed jail sentence and be placed into a variety of programs from probation to some type of ignition interlock program.  Some of this will depend on whether or not you have any prior criminal offenses and what county your charge is out of.  If placed on probation or other similar type of program you can expect that you will have to take some alcohol and substance abuse assessments and classes.  Additionally, you may be required to use an Ignition Interlock system to be able to oeprate a car while you are on probation.

What about my license?

Your license will be suspended once the judge signs the probable cause affidavit.  This form essentially lets the BMV know that you are facing an OWI charge and the specifics of your stop and why he officer believed that you where operating a vehicle while intoxicated.  However, there will be several ways to be able to get your driving privileges back depending on your circumstances.

If you have questions in regards to your OWI/DUI charge, contact my office at (574) 387-6529 for your free phone consultation.