Alternatives to a DUI conviction in South Bend

If you are facing your first DUI (or known in Indiana as an OWI) you may have options available to you in having your case ultimately not be adjudicated as an OWI conviction. In St. Joseph County, Indiana, the prosecutor’s office does have a programs available that could ultimately have your OWI misdemeanor plead down to a Reckless Driving Charge, with the final outcome usually being a fine and court costs. 

There is some criteria that you have to meet to generally be eligible for this program and there are many things you will have to complete to receive the agreed drop in charge to the Reckless Driving offense. For starters, you usually cannot have had an accident as part of your OWI case and you usually have to have a BAC that is below a .15%.

If the prosecutor and your attorney work out your eligibility for the program, you will have several things that you need to complete over a period of six months. This usually includes alcohol and substance abuse classes, the use of an Ignition Interlock system, and attendance at a Victim’s Impact Panel. Upon successful completion, you will be granted the Reckless Driving offense and the OWI will be dismissed.

The reason this program makes sense is that most plea bargains that do not involve immediate jail time will generally require that you complete the same steps as part of probation, however, you now have the OWI conviction on your record. 

If you are facing an OWI charge and need an attorney, please call me at 574-261-8770 to discuss your options.

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