Protect your rights and future with our experienced OWI attorneys by your side.
Being accused of drunk driving (OWI or DUI) can be a very frightening experience and one that can have lasting repercussions on your life if not handled properly. The state of Indiana does not take OWIs or DUIs lightly. Pursuant to Indiana Law, those accused of operating while intoxicated or operating under the influence face immediate driver’s license suspension or suspension at the time of the initial court hearing. Unless you work with an experienced attorney who is familiar with this particular area of the law, you could end up facing serious consequences.
What is commonly referred to as “drunk driving,” or operating under the influence of marijuana or some other drug, is charged in Indiana as Operating While Intoxicated (OWI). In other states, including Illinois, this may be referred to as Driving under the Influence (DUI). This charge is, without a doubt, the most prevalent offense in our courts today. However, it is also one of the most challenging charges to defend. The complex nature of OWI cases involves intricate scientific and legal considerations, surpassing even some felony charges, while also offering diminishing constitutional protections for the accused.
By equipping yourself with knowledge about this challenging charge, you can better navigate the legal system to protect your rights and build a solid defense.
The field of OWI and DUI litigation has become significantly more complex over time, involving a range of substantive, evidentiary, and procedural aspects. Simultaneously, the consequences for individuals facing OWI/DUI charges have become increasingly serious. In recent years, there has been a revolutionary shift in the entire OWI/DUI landscape and driver’s license privileges.
Concurrent with these changes is a marked increase in the severity of sentences rendered in OWI/DUI cases. Whereas in the past, an offender could expect a fine, probation, and perhaps attendance at a “drunk driving school,” they are now increasingly faced with the loss of their driver’s license and mandatory jail sentences – and, in cases of repeat offenders, with long terms or even felony status.
Like many other states, Indiana’s Criminal Code prohibits any licensed driver (who can legally drink) from driving with a .08 percent or higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC). However, driving under the “influence” doesn’t just apply to alcohol but rather to being under the influence of drugs, as well.
For many who are driving while under the influence of prescription medication, the question may ultimately become: was your impairment – according to the officer’s subjective judgment – caused by medication? This can lead to innocent drivers being falsely accused of an OWI charge.
An officer only needs to possess reasonable suspicion that a driver is impaired to perform a field sobriety test on the driver. Both failing the test and refusing to take the test result in the suspension of your driver’s license. If the field sobriety test shows that the driver may be under the influence, the officer can then place the driver under arrest and take them to the police station, where they are asked to submit to chemical testing (blood, urine, or breath).
What’s more, if the officer feels that evidence shows that the driver was impaired, they can be charged with an OWI even if their blood alcohol content is less than .08. In these instances, sometimes the OWI charge will remain until the court takes action, which may require an attorney’s intervention.
In comparing the fees quoted by an attorney, you should consider the experience and reputation of that attorney, along with the likelihood that they will be able to expose weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
Will they reanalyze any blood tests, for example, or subpoena the police maintenance, usage, and calibration records for the breath machine used on you? The attorney’s reputation and the evidence they uncover will be major factors in how the prosecutor views your case — and thus in how it is finally resolved.
Will they be able to petition the court to allow you to operate a vehicle while your charges are pending in the court system? Remember you are innocent until or unless proven guilty; our attorneys will do everything possible so you can drive and continue to access the necessities of life while your case is being worked out and concluded.
If you have been arrested for an OWI or drunk driving charge in Northwest Indiana, you need experienced legal representation. Contact The Law Office of Paul A. Rossi, LLC, to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation. We will answer your questions and give you an honest and accurate assessment of what we can do to help and what you should expect.
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