Hammond OWI/DUI Attorney
Facing DUI or OWI charges in NW Indiana or Illinois
Calumet City, Munster, Highland, Gary & Crown Point IN.
South Holland, Calumet City, Lansing & Chicago Heights IL.
DUI(Driving under the influence) or OWI(Operating while intoxicated) are used interchangeably, but in Indiana it is called an OWI. OWI in the state of Indiana is a serious crime that occurs when the driver of a vehicle, personal or work-related, is found to have a blood alcohol content level, or BAC, or .08 or higher. The legal limit for drunk driving in Indiana is .08, and any driver who is stopped on suspicion of DUI or OWI may face a number of stiff penalties including fines, jail time, prison time, civil injury suits and other crimes that may have been associated with the incident. If you have been charged with DUI or OWI, then call Steve E. Haddad, Attorney at Law to discuss your legal options for defense.
Legal Consequences for DUI / OWI in Indiana
The penalties and consequences associated with DUI and OWI laws in Indiana can be confusing. Unfortunately for most people who drive to work or need a vehicle everyday, a license suspension can range anywhere from 90 days to 2 years. Multiple convictions could result in you being deemed a Habitual traffic offender in the state of Indiana. Further, if you are an Illinois driver one conviction for an Indiana OWI will result in the Illinois Secretary of State revoking your Illinois License.
Penalties for OWIs/DUIs in Indiana vary based on the driver's BAC level, the age of any passengers, and the number and type of prior convictions. A first OWI with a BAC of 0.08% to 0.15% or using a controlled substance commits a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
If found driving a vehicle with a BAC of 0.15 or above, it's a Class A misdemeanor. In addition, if a vehicle is operated in a way that endangers another person, it’s a Class A misdemeanor. Class A misdemeanors can result in up to one year incarceration and up to a $5,000 fine.
It's a Level 6 felony to be 21 years or older and operating a vehicle while intoxicated with at least one passenger under 18 years old. It's also a Level 6 felony if a person is convicted of a second OWI in the last five years, causes serious bodily injury, or kills a law enforcement animal. Sentences for Level felonies range from 6 months to 2.5 years incarceration and a fine up to $10,000.
If the prior conviction was for an OWI causing death or serious bodily injury, the second offense, even where no one is injured, is upgraded to a Level 5 felony. If the second OWI causes serious bodily injury, it's a Level 5 felony, even if the prior offense didn't injure anyone. You can be sentenced to 1 to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for a Level 5 felony.
If your drinking and driving causes the death of another person, it's a minimum of a Level 5 felony. However, it'll be Level 4 felony if you had a prior OWI in the last five years, your license was suspended, or you had a 0.15 BAC or above. A Level 4 felony can be punished by 2-12 years of imprisonment and a fine up to $10,000. Each person injured or killed in one drinking and driving accident is treated as a separate offense, so you could be charged with multiple felonies for one incident.