Many DUI cases are the result of a single poor decision or even a simple mistake. Unfortunately, the consequences of an OWI conviction could cause difficulties for you for years. You could face jail time, thousands of dollars in fines, and many other harsh penalties. Prosecutors are aggressive and will often recommend the harshest consequences in an effort to “get tough” on drunk driving. Unfortunately, this means that you could be unfairly punished if convicted.
The best thing you can do is hire an experienced DUI/OWI lawyer. With offices in Anderson and Noblesville, we help people across Indiana face their OWI charges and get a fair result. If you’ve been charged with OWI and need someone on your side, call GDS Law Group at 765-358-7108 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation today.
Indiana OWI Basics
Like every other state, you can be charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated (“OWI”) if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or above. The penalties you face will depend on your specific BAC, your driving record, and other circumstances of your case. That said, you could face jail time even on a first-time OWI charge. Here are some of the penalties you face if convicted:
- Anywhere from a few days in jail to 6 years in prison
- Fines of $500 to $10,000
- Suspension or permanent revocation of your driver’s license
- Mandatory alcohol or drug treatment
- Installation of an interlock ignition device
For most people, OWI charges are the most serious charges they will ever face. You could face jail time even if this is your first OWI charge.
Think About the Consequences of an OWI Conviction
If you’re facing OWI charges, you should give careful consideration to the consequences of a conviction beyond fines and jail time. Your conviction could result in the following:
- Considerable embarrassment among your friends, family, and the community at large
- Loss of employment and/or difficulty securing future employment.
- Suspension or revocation of professional licenses for lawyers, medical professionals, accountants, etc.
A skilled OWI lawyer can help you avoid not only jail time or thousands of dollars in fines, but can also help you avoid damage to your reputation and your livelihood.
Pleading Guilty to a Wet Reckless
If your BAC was at or just slightly higher than .08, you may be able to plead to a “wet reckless” rather than face a conviction for OWI. This means that you would be convicted of reckless driving rather than OWI. Pleading to a wet reckless has the following advantages:
- You will not have an OWI conviction on your record, thus avoiding considerable embarrassment.
- You will not have to face the more harsh consequences of an OWI conviction. Specifically, you are less likely to face jail time.
- The judge will probably not require installation of an interlock ignition device.
However, it’s important to note that you are not entitled to be offered a wet reckless plea agreement. In addition, a wet reckless plea is typically not offered if you have prior OWI charges or you caused an accident or injury to another person.
Agreeing to Alcohol or Drug Treatment
Another way to avoid the harshest penalties of an OWI conviction is to voluntarily agree to participate in an alcohol or drug treatment plan. Courts are increasingly focused on helping people get treatment to help them avoid future issues with the law. You could possibly avoid jail time and thousands of dollars in fines by admitting that you have a drug or alcohol problem and agreeing to undergo intensive treatment.
How an Indiana OWI Lawyer Can Help
If you’ve been charged with OWI, we strongly recommend that you at least talk to an experienced OWI lawyer. OWI cases are prosecuted aggressively, and it’s almost impossible for a non-lawyer to get a fair result. A skilled Indiana OWI lawyer can help you in the following ways:
- Your lawyer can review whether your constitutional rights were violated. If your arrest was illegal or the evidence was unlawfully obtained, they may be able to get your charges dismissed.
- Your lawyer can challenge how the breathalyzer test was administered and the accuracy of the results.
- If dismissal of your charges is not an option, your lawyer can evaluate any plea offers and negotiate the best possible result on your behalf.
The best way to avoid the harshest OWI penalties is to hire an aggressive and skilled OWI lawyer who will fight for your rights.
Contact the Indiana OWI Lawyers at GDS Law Group
If you’re facing OWI charges in Indiana, you are facing some of the harshest penalties in the country. Protect your future by contacting the OWI defense lawyers at GDS Law Group. We will fight for your rights and make sure you get a fair result. Call us at 765-358-7108 or contact us via our online contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.