When you get arrested on suspicion of operating while intoxicated (OWI), also known as driving under the influence (DUI), you will usually go to either a medical facility or the local police station, where you be asked to submit to a blood alcohol content (BAC) test. Next, the police will book you if your BAC is over the legal limit. If your BAC is, indeed above .08 percent, a police officer will charge you with an offense, and the legal process will begin. In the United States, people are considered innocent until proven guilty, but the truth is that people frequently spend time in jail while awaiting trial.
If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence, you’re likely asking yourself, “will I go to jail for a DUI?” To learn more about this possibility, contact the OWI lawyers from GDS Law Group, LLP at (765) 313-7092, or reach out online to schedule a free case consultation.
Most People Spend at Least a Few Hours in Jail After a DUI Arrest
If you do end up spending time in jail after your arrest, and in the end you get convicted of DUI, it is possible that the judge will sentence you to “time served.” This means that the days you spent in jail after your arrest will be counted as your criminal sentence. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could get sent back to jail, or even prison, to serve more time.
This why it is essential for you to retain an experienced Indiana DUI attorney willing to fiercely advocate on your behalf at every stage of the criminal justice process. Your trial is not over when the verdict is handed down. The sentencing hearing is an opportunity for your lawyer to show the judge why you are deserving of a lenient sentence. For this reason, a good lawyer will come to this hearing prepared with arguments and evidence as to why you shouldn’t be sent back to jail.
Will I Go to Jail for a DUI in Indiana?
In Indiana, there are several categories of drunk or drugged driving offenses. Depending on the circumstances in which you are caught and the consequences of your actions, you may face the following criminal punishments:
- Class C misdemeanor (up to 60 days in jail) – This is the standard charge for someone with a BAC between .08 percent and .15 percent, or whom the officer believes to be too intoxicated to drive because of alcohol or drug consumption.
- Class A misdemeanor (up to one year in jail) – If your BAC is over .15 percent, or if there is evidence you put others at risk through your actions, you may receive a longer jail sentence.
- Level 6 felony (six to 30 months in prison) – Drunk driving becomes a felony if there was a minor in the car, you caused an injury, or you had a previous OWI conviction within the last five years.
- Level 5 felony (One to six years in prison) – The penalties increase further if your drunk or drugged driving injured another person and you’ve had a prior OWI conviction within five years, or if your drunk driving caused a death.
- Level 4 felony (two to 12 years in prison) – The longest sentences are reserved for those who cause a death while drunk driving with suspended license, a high BAC, or a prior conviction within the last ten years.
You’ll notice that a mandatory minimum jail or prison sentence doesn’t appear until drunk driving reaches the felony level. This means that in many DUI cases, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to avoid jail time for their client, even if they get convicted. Instead of incarceration, a judge might include probation, community service, fines, and restitution orders in the sentence.
How an Indiana OWI Lawyer Can Help
At GDS Law Group, LLP, we are dedicated to achieving positive case resolutions for our clients through swift action and zealous advocacy. Additionally, we focus on approaching our clients with compassion and understanding. We know how hard it is to face criminal charges, and that for most of our clients, it’s their first time being on the wrong side of the law. The whole process can be overwhelming, so we’re here to help. If you’ve been charged with driving while intoxicated and are wondering, “will I go to jail for a DUI,” reach out today for help. Call (765) 313-7092, or reach out via our online form to schedule a free case evaluation.