5 Things to Know about Your First OWI in Indiana

Getting an OWI charge is easier than people realize.  It does not take much to get past the legal limit of .08 ACE.  In some cases, it is easy for the State to present a case even if the legal limit is not met, but the State is still able to show some level of impairment.  

If you have been charged with an OWI you are probably wondering what should you expect. Here are 5 common questions that I receive regularly regarding OWI cases:

  1. You probably won’t go to jail. Generally speaking, most first time OWI convictions lead to a scenario where you will be placed on probation instead of going to jail.  Now, if you mess up while you are on probation, you can expect to have to do some jail time.  
  2. Your license will be suspended. In the beginning of an OWI case the court will typically review and in most cases sign the Affidavit of Probable Cause.  This document is a sworn statement by the arresting officer indicating why he believes you were Operating While Intoxicated.  Once the judge signs this document, you will be facing a 6 month suspension from the BMV.  There are ways around this and in each case it varies based on the person and the facts surrounding the OWI charge.  
  3. It will cost you money. Between probation fees, attorney fees, ignition interlock fees, and drug and alcohol class fees, be prepared to pay quite a bit of money during the entire process.  
  4. You cannot just pay a fine and make it go away. For some reason this still comes up quite a bit in my practice.  OWI’s are serious business and every prosecutor’s office I deal with treats them as such.  You are not going to just be able to make it go away with paying a fine.  In many cases there will be a lot of substance abuse classes you will have to complete, ignition interlock devices you will have to get installed, and drug tests that will have to be taken.  
  5. Make this the only OWI you’ll get. Getting one OWI is hard enough on you, but subsequent OWI convictions create much bigger problems for you.  With multiple OWI convictions you will be facing possible felony charges, mandatory jail time, longer license suspensions, and stiffer plea bargains.  

If you have questions about your South Bend OWI case, give me a call today at 574-387-6529.

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