While there are many things to worry about with your first OWI charge, one thing you need to be aware of is the fact that the Court may suspend your driving privileges at the beginning of an OWI case.
When an officer has arrested you for an OWI, he or she will fill out of a form that is titled “Affidavit of Probable Cause.” One function of this form is for the Court to determine if probable cause exists that you were operating a vehicle while intoxicated. If probable cause is found, then I.C. 9-30-6-9, will require that the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles suspend a person’s driving privileges for 180 days.
This suspension does not require the Court to find you guilty of Operating While Intoxicated, but instead only establishes that there was evidence that you may have been operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
One thing to keep in mind is that even with a finding of probable cause, you may still be able to legally drive under Indiana law. The same sets of statutes that require the Indiana BMV to suspend your license, also allows for an exception with the use of an Ignition Interlock device. The Court may have the ability to enter an order for Specialized Driving Privileges while the case is pending as well.
Having an attorney early in the process can be very beneficial to you in an OWI case. If you have been charged with an OWI in the South Bend area, contact me today at 574-387-6529 to discuss your case.