Criminal defense lawyers work with crime cases ranging from petty theft to child neglect. Drunk driving is one of the most common offenses in the United States and many laws have been changing to meet both the demand and evolving nature of this crime. If you are in need of a criminal defense lawyer in Indiana concerning an alcohol related offense but are not sure where to start, continue reading below to learn about drunk driving, their sentences and how you can seek the help you need.
What Constitutes Drunk Driving?
Drunk driving is when you drive under the influence of alcohol, though that definition has also been expanded to include operating a car under the influence of both illegal and prescription drugs. Recent advances in technology have seen attempts at curbing the rates of DUI (driving under influence) around the country, including but not limited to paid advertisements, ignition locks and awareness campaigns. Ignition locks are car detectors that can freeze the ignition if a significant amount of alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath.
Drunk Driving Convictions
Drunk driving rules and regulations vary slightly depending on the state. It’s commonly thought that Indiana, for example, requires adults age 21 or over to have a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08 or higher for a conviction. This isn’t true, as you can still be charged with an OWI (operating while impaired) even if you pass an alcohol test. While it’s commonly thought there is a minimum sentence for a first conviction, Indiana can see even a first-time DUI offender reaching the maximum sentence if the situation demands it.
Attending Criminal Court
Criminal court sees multiple branches of lawyer specializing in specific crimes. If you’re looking for assistance in approaching a DUI charge, a DUI attorney can help you navigate the legal system and find the most appropriate sentence possible for your situation. A plea bargain, for example, is more likely for first-offenses than repeat offenders. However, if your first DUI offense has a BAC of .15 or higher, you could see a year a jail, probation and a suspended license regardless. While up-to-date knowledge is essential in navigating the legal system, finding a criminal defense attorney and seeking out a free consultation before moving ahead should be your first goal when facing a conviction.