OWI Charges: What You Need To Know
Drivers can face OWI charges if they are accused of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. Intoxicated drivers put others in danger, which is why this crime is so aggressively prosecuted in Indiana. The best way to fight these charges – and minimize the legal penalties you face – is to hire an experienced OWI attorney at Beeman Heifner Benge.
Understanding The Potential Consequences
The penalties for an OWI conviction can vary depending on the nature of the crime and the defendant’s prior criminal record. First-time OWI offenders will face Class C misdemeanor charges, which can lead to jail time in addition to hundreds of dollars in fines.
The penalties are even more serious for repeat offenders. If this is your second OWI offense, you could face a mandatory five-day jail sentence or 180 hours of community service. You may also be ordered to complete alcohol education counseling as part of your sentence. These penalties continue to increase in severity for subsequent offenses.
OWI offenders will face more than just jail time, fines, community service and counseling. Being arrested for OWI will trigger an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. This penalty can make day-to-day life far more difficult for OWI offenders. There are additional penalties for OWI offenders who were involved in an accident or caused serious harm while under the influence.
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The key to fighting test results is investigating the steps that authorities took when administering the test and transporting, storing and testing the sample. If law enforcement made a single mistake, the test results may not be accurate or admissible in your case. Losing this evidence can significantly weaken the prosecutor’s case, so they may decide to dismiss your charges if these results are thrown out.