Experienced Indianapolis drunk driving defense attorney in Indiana
If you have been charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence (OVWI) of alcohol in Indiana, it's critical that you take your charge seriously as soon as possible. You could lose your driver's license, be fined hundreds or thousands of dollars and imprisoned if you're convicted of OWI in Indiana.
While Indiana law enforcement primarily use the term OVWI, other states use terms that have the same meaning: DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI (driving while intoxicated).
At Hocker Law, LLC, we understand the seriousness of your impaired driving charge. That's because we have years of experience helping people charged with drunk driving in Indiana. People turn to us because they know we work tirelessly on criminal defense cases.
Contact us immediately if you've been arrested on an impaired driving charge in Indiana. Waiting to take legal action could have serious consequences, especially if you refused to take a breath, blood or urine test to measure your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).
Our experienced criminal defense attorneys have helped successfully helped clients get the results they are looking for. Talk to us today about your drunk driving arrest.
Why do I need a lawyer if I'm charged with OVWI in Indiana?
There are so many different ways an Indiana OVWI attorney can help if you're facing such a serious charge. The most important reason why involves having someone working for you who understands the law and has a proven track record of success.
Even if you believe you did nothing wrong, you could end up being fined or losing your driver's license due to a OVWI conviction. An experienced attorney can also challenge the results of many notoriously unreliable drunk driving tests, including field sobriety tests.
The stakes are simply too high if you're convicted of an OVWI charge in Indiana. The penalties also vary widely. When you have a lawyer working for you and advocating on your behalf, your attorney can gather evidence illustrating why the penalties should be reduced or such charges should be dismissed altogether.
Why should I hire Indianapolis OVWI law firm Hocker Law, LLC?
Indiana's OVWI laws can be confusing. Some tests are mandatory. Others are not. Even how the police store the evidence can make a dramatic difference in the outcome of a case. Strict protocols must be followed every step of the way throughout an OVWI arrest in Indiana.
Our attorneys know these rules and regulations inside out. When you choose to hire Hocker Law, LLC, we will work tirelessly to gather new facts and carefully analyze existing evidence. We work this way because we honestly believe everyone deserves to make a fresh start.
Frequently asked questions about OVWI charges in Indiana?
The following questions represent some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from people charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated in Indiana.
- What BAC is considered drunk in Indiana?
- Do I have to take a field sobriety test?
- What happens if I refuse to take a breathalyzer test in Indiana?
- What happens if I refuse to take a blood test?
- What are the penalties for an OVWI conviction?
- Can I file an appeal if I lose my driver's license due to an OVWI charge?
What BAC is considered drunk in Indiana?
If your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher, you are considered drunk and unable to drive in Indiana. The BAC is lower for drivers under 21 years old and for commercial drivers.
Drivers under 21 can be arrested for OVWI in Indiana if their BAC is 0.02 percent or higher. Drivers with a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) can be charged with OVWI if their BAC is 0.04 percent or higher.
Do I have to take a field sobriety test?
No. Field sobriety tests for drunk driving are strictly voluntary in Indiana. The results of such tests are frequently challenged in court due to their unscientific nature. You can refuse to take any of these tests without fear of being punished. There is no penalty for refusing to take any of the following common field sobriety tests:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) - This test involves participants following a light with their eyes and without moving their head. Police officers administer this test because they claim alcohol or drugs in a suspect's body will cause jerking or bouncing movements in the eyeball (known as nystagmus).
- One Leg Stand (OLS) - Participants stand on one leg, raise the other foot 6 inches and attempt to hold the raised foot in place for 30 seconds. Sober drivers and people with disabilities often have an extremely hard time completing this test.
- Walk and Turn (WAT) - Participants walk in a straight line heel to toe, turn around and attempt to walk back the same way. As with OLS, many sober people with poor balance or other mobility issues often have trouble successfully performing this test.
What happens if I refuse to take a breathalyzer test in Indiana?
Indiana's "implied consent" law requires anyone arrested for OVWI to take a chemical test, meaning a breath, blood or urine test. Under this law, refusal to consent to these tests will result in an automatic driver's license suspension.
You can challenge such automatic driver's license suspensions. However, you must do so within 20 days of your arrest. A court hearing will then be arranged where you can explain why you believe your license should not be automatically suspended.
What happens if I refuse to take a blood test?
As explained above, if you refuse to take a mandatory blood test to determine if you were operating a vehicle while intoxicated, your driver's license will automatically be suspended for at least 1 year.
Some police officers might ask you to take multiple chemical tests to determine if you're drunk. Under Indiana's implied consent law, you must take all the tests requested by the police officer. Taking one test but refusing to take another will be considered a refusal to take a chemical test.
As a result, your driver's license could automatically be suspended if you take a breath test but refuse to take a blood or urine test to determine your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).
What are the penalties for an OVWI conviction?
The penalties in Indiana mainly depend on whether you have been previously convicted for drunk driving in Indiana. Please note that the penalties are more severe if your BAC is 0.15 or higher. The penalties for most people arrested and convicted with BAC of 0.08 or higher include:
First OWI Conviction - A Class C Misdemeanor
- No more than 60 days in jail
- No more than $500 fine
Second OVWI Conviction Within 5 Years - Level 6 Felony
- 6 months to 3 years
- No more than $10,000 fine
Can I file an appeal if I lose my driver's license due to an OVWI charge?
Yes. You have many legal options available to you, including appealing the loss of your driver's license due to an OVWI arrest or conviction. In most cases, you need to appeal the loss of your license within 20 days of your arrest. We can help.
When you meet with us, we will discuss all the legal option available to you. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone deserves a second chance. We want to work with you and help you make a fresh start.