Were You Arrested on DUI Charges in Southern Indiana? Our Evansville DUI Defense Lawyer Can Help
At Thomas Law, our Evansville DUI defense attorney is an aggressive, reliable advocate for our clients. Jared Michel Thomas will fight to protect your rights, your license, your freedom, and your future. If you or your loved one was arrested on intoxicated driving charges, we are more than ready to help. For a confidential, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Indiana criminal defense lawyer, please call our Evansville office at 812-492-1900 or reach out to us directly through our website.
An Overview of DUI Charges in Indiana
In Indiana, you will generally hear intoxicated driving referred to as a DUI (Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or an OWI (Operating While Intoxicated). They are among the most common criminal charges filed by prosecutors in Southern Indiana. Here are the most important things to know about DUI charges in our state:
- Indiana’s BAC Limit is 0.08: Similar to other U.S. states, the general BAC limit in Indiana is 0.08. If you are caught operating a motor vehicle—car, truck, motorcycle, boat, motorized scooter, etc—with a BAC above 0.08, you can be arrested and charged with a DUI/OWI. Notably, the BAC limit is reduced for certain drivers. If you are operating a commercial vehicle, then the maximum blood alcohol concentration is just 0.04. If you are under 21 years of age, then the maximum BAC level is just 0.02.
- Drivers Can Also Be Charged with Drugged Driving: Indiana also has drugged driving laws on the books. State law strictly prohibits drivers from operating a motor vehicle while unlawfully impaired. While the majority of DUI/OWI charges are filed because of (alleged) alcohol use, drivers can be arrested if intoxicated by a wide range of other substances, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and many prescription drugs. Drugged driving cases tend to be more complicated because there generally is not an accepted, widely available test to measure a person’s level of intoxication. Often, these charges are filed based on the police officer’s observations. If you or your loved one was arrested for drugged driving in Southern Indiana, call an experienced Evansville DUI defense lawyer for immediate assistance.
- DUI/OWI Penalties Vary Based on a Driver’s History: The penalties for a DUI/OWI in Indiana depend on many different factors. First and foremost, prosecutors will review a defendant’s prior history of drunk driving charges or lack thereof. In Indiana, a first-time DUI conviction is usually a Class misdemeanor offense. You may not be required to serve jail time and you may not even lose your license. However, subsequent DUI convictions bring enhanced penalties in Indiana, potentially including large fines, court-ordered counseling, automatic license suspension, and mandatory jail time.
- A Driver May Also Face a Felony Because of ‘Aggravating’ Factors: There are other factors that could enhance first-time DUI penalties. If the driver was highly intoxicated, caused a serious accident, or had a child in the car, they may face serious felony charges, even if only accused of a first-time drunk driving offense. If you or your loved one was arrested for a felony DUI in Southern Indiana, it is imperative that you speak to an aggressive Evansville criminal defense lawyer right away.
- You Should Expect to Face Administrative Sanctions: Beyond the criminal charges, anyone arrested for a DUI in Indiana should be prepared for the administrative penalties. After learning of an OWI arrest or a DUI refusal, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will automatically suspend your license for a period of six months or one year—depending on the specific circumstances. Put another way, the BMV could take action against your license before you ever get your day in court. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your right to driving, potentially including getting a temporary hardship license.
After a DUI arrest, it is normal to have a lot of things running through your mind. This may be the very first time you have ever been involved in the criminal justice system. Drunk driving/drugged driving is a serious criminal charge—but there is always a way forward. A lawyer can review the specific allegations, assess the evidence, and take action to get you through the legal process. The sooner you take action, the more options you have on the table.
Indiana DUI Defense Attorney Jared Michel Thomas Will Protect Your Rights
DUI cases are notoriously complex. You need a strong, trial-tested criminal defense advocate in your corner. With deep experience practicing criminal law in Southern Indiana, Jared Michel Thomas has the skills and knowledge that you can rely on. Do not plead guilty to an intoxicated driving charge without speaking to us first. When you reach out to our Evansville law firm, you will be able to consult with an Indiana DUI defense lawyer who will:
- Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the criminal charges
- Answer any questions and guide you through the next steps in the legal process
- Investigate the traffic stop and secure all exonerating evidence
- Craft a legal strategy designed to get you the best outcome
We do not provide one-size-fits-all representation. Every DUI case is different. False or unsubstantiated drunk driving charges must be challenged aggressively—the case should be dismissed. Alternatively, in some cases, it is best to focus on finding a plea agreement that keeps you out of jail and protects you from long-term consequences. We will help you find the right answer.
Call Our Evansville DUI Defense Lawyer for Immediate Help with Your Case
At Thomas Law, our Indiana DUI defense attorney is an aggressive and solutions-focused advocate for clients. If you were arrested on drunk driving charges or drugged driving charges, we are more than ready to get started. Contact us at 812-492-1900 to set up your strictly private initial criminal defense consultation. From our Evansville office location, we handle intoxicated driving charges throughout Southern Indiana, including in Vanderburgh County, Posey County, Warrick County, and Spencer County.