Also known as driving while intoxicated (DWI), operating while intoxicated (OWI), operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVWI), operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) and drunk driving, if you have recently been stopped, arrested and charged with driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the clock is ticking.
At the law firm of Coots, Henke & Wheeler, we have been handling criminal defense of DUI cases throughout Hamilton, Boone and Marion counties for more than 30 years. During this time, the law has changed a great deal and the number of arrests and the severity of the penalties for conviction have grown by leaps and bounds. But one thing hasn’t changed – our approach to helping clients in these cases. Attorneys Jim Crum and Jenna Bailey are aggressive and thoughtful, devoting their full energy to each defense case.
In addition to the tremendous expense of court costs, fines, attorneys’ fees and skyrocketing insurance rates, criminal penalties for OWI include:
- First offense: This includes possible jail time, likely driver’s license suspension and the possibility of 180-day specialized driving privileges thereafter
- Second offense: If this occurs within five years of the first offense, it is a Level 6 felony and results in a minimum five-day jail term and one-year license suspension.
- Felony offenses: If you have had two previous OWI convictions, including one within the last five years, you run the risk of a much longer prison sentence and a possible 10-year license suspension. This 10-year suspension results if you have had three major traffic convictions within 10 years (including violations like reckless driving as well as OWI) and you are considered to be a “habitual traffic violator.” If you are caught driving during that time period, you lose your license for life. Specialized driving privileges may be granted in some cases.
In some of these cases, we are able to help clients avoid convictions by challenging constitutional issues such as probable cause or search and seizure violations. In others, defective testing equipment or improper testing procedures may have been used. We will work to uncover these avenues of defense wherever they exist.
In cases where a dismissal or reduction of charges is not possible, our experience and the strong working relations we have built with prosecutors and judges in the central Indiana legal community becomes a great asset to our clients. We are often able to help them avoid the most severe penalties and minimize the amount of time their licenses are under suspension.
To learn more about OWI, license suspensions and the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, contact one of our experienced Indiana DUI attorneys at Coots, Henke & Wheeler today. Our lawyers represent clients throughout central Indiana in matters concerning all types of traffic offenses and license suspension cases.