Webster & Garino LLC is Full Service Law Firm in Westfield - Serving Indiana

OWI/DUI | Criminal Lawyer in Indiana

Webster & Garino LLC is Full Service Law Firm in Westfield - Serving Indiana

OWI/DUI | Criminal Lawyer in Indiana

OWI/DUI | Criminal Lawyer in Indiana

owi in Indiana

1. INTRODUCTION

Webster & Garino LLC provides critical advice that could preserve your freedom after a drunk driving arrest in Indiana. A DUI lawyer helps you make informed decisions in the high-stakes environment of the criminal justice system. Taking the time to learn about your rights is always better than immediately pleading guilty. A knowledgeable DUI attorney might keep you out of jail and help you regain driving privileges.

On April 18, 2019, William Webster of Webster & Garino argued and won the Indiana cell phone case before the Supreme Court of Indiana. The case, Katelin Eunjoo Seo v. State of Indiana, Trial Court Cause No. 29D01–1708–MC–5640, and Appellate Court Case Number 18S-CR-595, went up on appeal to the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeals of Indiana ruled in favor of Mr. Webster’s client, criminal defendant, Ms. Seo.

owi in Indiana

2. What is the difference between OWI / DUI / DWI?

2. What is the difference between OWI / DUI / DWI?

These three abbreviations stand for:
OWI – Operating While Intoxicated
DUI – Driving Under the Influence
DWI – Driving While Intoxicated

The terms are mostly interchangeable, but OWI is the specific offense under Indiana law. In general conversation, people in the Indianapolis area tend to refer to this criminal charge as a DUI. This is why you might have searched for a DUI lawyer after an arrest. For all practical purposes, the terms DUI, DWI, and OWI describe the offense of operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol or controlled substances.

Webster & Garino LLC is Full Service Law Firm in Westfield - Serving IndianaTypically, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more provides evidence that can convict you of an OWI, DUI, or DWI. Penalties increase if your BAC exceeds 0.15% or if you have previous OWI convictions. For example, for a first time offense, a Class C misdemeanor charge results if the BAC is less than 0.15%, but beyond that level, a Class A misdemeanor charge is likely. However if you have an prior OWI or DUI conviction, then you will likely face felony DUI charges. Various factors can complicate your criminal case. The circumstances that led to your arrest can affect your defense and penalties either positively or negatively.

owi in Indiana

3. OWI / DUI Involving Accident

As you can imagine, getting arrested for OWI because you were in an accident presents more significant challenges in court compared to an arrest not involving an accident. An accident causing injury or death raises the stakes significantly and increases the importance of talking to an OWI attorney right away. In this situation, you are likely looking at a felony charge. For the sake of your future, you should seek the best DUI lawyer you can find in the Indianapolis area.

Webster & Garino LLC is Full Service Law Firm in Westfield - Serving IndianaIf convicted of an OWI involving an accident, incarceration for multiple years is on the table, depending on the extent of injuries that may have occurred and your prior DUI history. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles will also lengthen the time of your driver’s license suspension. At the accident scene, law enforcement is expected to perform a mandatory blood draw of the driver instead of or in addition to a breath test. Although both tests can produce evidence of intoxication, the blood draw could uncover evidence of prior drug use, whereas a breath test only detects recent alcohol consumption. A prosecutor may seek additional penalties when a blood draw reveals the use of a controlled substance.

owi in Indiana

4. OWI / DUI Involving Drugs

Intoxication is the subject of OWI laws, and impairment does not arise solely from alcohol consumption. The state views a driver’s intoxication from any controlled substance as a criminal offense. If law enforcement suspects you committed the offense of an OWI, but the OWI breath test does not detect alcohol, then law enforcement will routinely require you to submit to a blood draw to determine if any drugs are in your system. Even legally prescribed medications that impair you create criminal liability. A DUI blood draw may not truly indicate guilt because drug metabolites do not mean that you were intoxicated at the time of the traffic stop. Drugs may linger in people’s systems longer than their intoxicating effects, especially marijuana, which can persist for weeks after a single use.

Webster & Garino LLC is Full Service Law Firm in Westfield - Serving IndianaFines, jail time, and license suspensions for an OWI conviction involving drugs follow the guidelines for alcohol-related arrests. Prior convictions, level of intoxication, or accidents and injuries influence sentencing. However, being accused of possessing illegal drugs at the time of your arrest is likely to produce drug charges as well. DUI lawyer from Webster & Garino LLC is prepared to wage a detailed defense that questions every step taken by law enforcement. Such an effort could yield a dismissal of the charges or a better outcome compared to a worst-case scenario that is likely in the absence of an effective legal defense.

owi in Indiana

5. OWI / DUI Boating

Responsible operation of a vehicle includes staying sober on the water. A fun day at the lake can unravel and send you to jail should law enforcement suspect you of Boating While Intoxicated (BWI). For a first offense, depending on your blood alcohol level, the charges will likely be a misdemeanor, which still could result in a fine, jail time, and a suspension of your driving privileges.

Webster & Garino LLC is Full Service Law Firm in Westfield - Serving IndianaConsulting a DWI lawyer in Indiana is a good idea after a BWI arrest. The same skills needed to defend a driver apply to defending a boat operator. In fact, the chances of a successful defense are high due to the difficulties that law enforcement officers have collecting evidence of intoxication. A field sobriety test on the water is a difficult because it cannot be conducted on a level area.

owi in Indiana

6. OWI / DUI Underage Drinking & Driving

As noted above, an OWI conviction usually requires a BAC of 0.08% or more, although circumstances can lead to a conviction for a lower BAC. For minors under 21, the BAC threshold drops to 0.02%. The person does not need to act impaired, and any evidence of consuming alcohol represents breaking the law against minors drinking. With the state taking a zero-tolerance approach to minors and alcohol, you will want the representation of a DWI lawyer.

Webster & Garino LLC is Full Service Law Firm in Westfield - Serving IndianaIt’s possible for a driver’s license suspension for a minor’s OWI to be one year if it is charged as a Class A misdemeanor instead of a Class C misdemeanor. Either misdemeanor often produces penalties that include fines, participation in a Victim Impact Program, and possibly jail time, with a Class A misdemeanor demanding harsher penalties. Criminal defense is especially significant for a young person. A school might take disciplinary action or even expel a student. Passing an employment background checks or applying for college may become more challenging as well.

owi in Indiana

7. OWI / DUI Field Sobriety Tests

Police conduct field sobriety tests to judge your impairment. The best DUI attorney will scrutinize how these tests were performed. Mistakes could create opportunities to challenge the arrest or weaken a prosecutor’s case.

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests include:
Eye test
One-leg-stand test
Walk-and-turn test

Issues that affect a police officer’s conclusions from these tests are:
Demonstrated knowledge of testing procedures
Lack of light at a traffic stop
Bad weather
Defendant’s normal physical abilities
Uneven surfaces

Webster & Garino LLC is Full Service Law Firm in Westfield - Serving IndianaAn OWI attorney may raise any of these issues to cast doubt on an arresting officer’s opinions. This approach might cloud the issue and motivate prosecutors to negotiate a plea agreement or drop charges. However, your chemical test results (blood or breath) carry most of the weight when a prosecutor tries to prove guilt. The chemical test typically comes after failing a field sobriety test.

owi in Indiana

8. OWI / DUI Breath Test, Blood Draw

The breath test and blood draw are chemical tests, creating evidence that poses the most significant challenge to a DWI lawyer. These provide what the court views as significant evidence of alcohol or drug consumption. When you obtain a driver’s license, that action includes consenting to a breath or blood test when asked. Refusal results in legal sanctions whether or not you are ultimately convicted. It is important to note that if you refuse chemical testing, your license will likely be suspended for 1 year in addition to the OWI suspension or if you have a previous DUI, your refusal suspension could be 2 years. Further, during your OWI refusal suspension, you are not eligible for Specialized Driving Privileges. The best OWI attorney can argue that it’s in the best interest of society for the Court to lift the refusal suspension, but the DUI attorneys at Webster and Garino LLC recommend that you comply with the chemical test and not refuse.

Webster & Garino LLC is Full Service Law Firm in Westfield - Serving Indiana

Whenever possible, the best OWI lawyer employs tactics to challenge the accuracy of a blood or breath test. A DWI lawyer in Indiana will check if all regulations were followed when your samples were collected. A breath analysis machine requires ongoing certification to confirm that it is measuring samples accurately. If a machine has an expired certification, the accuracy of its results becomes questionable. As for blood tests, an unclear chain of custody for the sample can introduce uncertainty. Ideally, a DUI attorney succeeds in removing this critical evidence due to technical errors. It is important to note, however, that an OWI conviction is not entirely reliant on chemical test results. Evidence of apparent intoxication or video of you drinking or using drugs before the arrest could convict you.

Regardless of the status of your chemical test, the representation of a DUI lawyer is likely to shield you from the worst consequences compared to simply pleading guilty at your arraignment. For example, Indiana police are increasingly seeking blood tests in search of evidence of drug use. As mentioned earlier, a blood test positive for drugs does not automatically mean that you consumed the drugs the day you were arrested for OWI. A savvy OWI lawyer will work hard to ensure fair treatment at every turn.

owi in Indiana

9. DUI Lawyer Near Me

Webster & Garino LLC aids people accused of OWI throughout the greater Indianapolis area, including Westfield, Carmel, Sheridan, Noblesville, Fishers, and Zionsville.

Getting a detailed evaluation of your case from an OWI attorney will inform you of your options for a defense. Additionally, assistance from a DWI lawyer could help you get Specialized Driving Privileges (SDP) when your license is suspended.

For support during a difficult time, contact a DUI attorney at Webster & Garino LLC, right away. Call us at 317-565-1818.

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