Let us start with the assumption that the State has only charged you with a misdemeanor operating while intoxicated (OWI) charge. Now, the next question is what happens if you have a prior conviction for OWI/DUI?
The first thing that you have to be aware of is that there is a statute in Indiana that requires a mandatory sentence of five (5) days in jail. This sentence cannot be suspended. For example, if you enter a plea bargain that calls for a sentence to be suspended, the Court will suspend all of that sentence except for the five (5) days that is required by Indiana Code 9-30-15-5.
The only way around this five (5) day mandatory sentence is to be willing to complete 180 hours of community service. Yes, that number is correct. Let’s just say most of my clients are more willing to do the five (5) days because 180 hours of community service is quite a bit.
The other requirement is that the Court will have to order a substance abuse evaluation as part of the resolution of the case. Most courts that I have been order this type of evaluation regardless, as well as the fact that most prosecutors typically require this to be part of any plea deal.
Again, these are just additional requirements outside the normal sentence a court may impose or a plea that the prosecutor may offer.
If you have been charged with a DUI case, contact me today at 574-966-0433 to discuss your case.