Criminal Law: Felony DUI Charges - DUI/OVWI - Chambers Law Office
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Criminal Law: Felony DUI Charges

Indianapolis Traffic and DUI Lawyer

Criminal Law: Felony DUI Charges

Charged with a Felony DUI? Why a Prior DUI Conviction Can Be Used to Enhance a New DUI Charge


Have you previously been arrested and convicted for operating a vehicle while intoxicated? Have you now been arrested for it again? Are you wondering what’s going to happen to you now? Will you be charged with another misdemeanor? Or will you be charged with a felony DUI? If this is you, there are couple of things you will need to know, including a recent change in the law.

Under Indiana Code 9-30-5-3(a)(1), a person who is arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (more commonly called a DUI) who has a prior DUI conviction can be charged with a level 6 felony, if the prior conviction occurred within seven (7) years of the new arrest.

What’s really important to understand is that the law recently changed regarding this seven (7) year time period. Prior to the recent law change, a person could be charged with a level 6 felony (or Class-D felony) due to a prior conviction that occurred within five (5) years of the previous conviction. With this recent change, there is now an additional two (2) years extending back to your previous conviction that might place you in peril of being charged with a felony instead of a misdemeanor if you are arrested for DUI again.

Additionally, if you have a prior DUI conviction and you are convicted of a new DUI, whether the new conviction is for a felony or a misdemenaor, the law requires that your license be suspended for one year. While you may be eligible for Specialized Driving Privileges during that suspension, you should discuss any concerns about your driver’s license with your attorney.

Highy Rated Indianapolis DUI and OVWI Attorneys

The DUI lawyers at Chambers Law Office are both former Marion County deputy prosecutors and experienced trial attorneys. We understand the ins and outs of the courtroom, DUI charges and how those DUI charges will effect your driver’s license and we aren’t afraid to go to trial if necessary. If you have been charged with a DUI, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Call Chambers Law Office today! 317.450.2971.

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Criminal Law: Felony DUI Charges

Felony DUI Charges

Indianapolis Felony DUI Attorneys


Indianapolis DUI lawyerIf you have been accused of DUI or OVWI (operating while intoxicated) as a Level 6 felony in central Indiana, you need an experienced DUI attorney on your side. You may be facing jail time, house arrest, a lengthy license suspension or probation. Having a criminal defense lawyer fighting for your rights can help find defenses for your case or help minimize possible penalties. Chambers Law Office can help you navigate these issues.



Felony DUI Charges: Operating While Intoxicated with a Prior Conviction

Under Indiana law,  a DUI charge is typically filed as a Class C misdemeanor or a Class A misdemeanor, depending on the facts and the alleged test results. However, if the person has a prior conviction for DUI as a misdemeanor in the seven (7) years immediately proceeding the new charges, the offense is a Level 6 Felony. I.C. 9-30-5-3.


If the DUI is charged as a Level 6 Felony, the minimum and maximum penalties range from 180 to 910 days and up to a $10,000 fine. Additionally, if a person is convicted of felony DUI and they have one prior conviction, the defendant must serve at least 5 actual days in jail. If there are two or more prior convictions on the person’s record, they must serve at least 10 actual days in jail. Additionally, if a person has a prior conviction for DUI, the court is required to suspend their driving privileges for at least 365 days (although they may still qualify for Specialized Driving Privileges). See IC 9-30-16-2.



Felony DUI Charges: Operating While Intoxicated with a Minor in the Vehicle

If a person is alleged to have operated a vehicle while intoxicated with a minor in the vehicle, the charge can be filed as a Level 6 Felony. Specifically, IC 9-30-5-3(a)(2) states that a person commits Operating While Intoxicated as a Level 6 Felony if “the person: (A) is at least twenty-one (21) years of age; (B) violates section 1(b) or 2(b) of this chapter; and (C) operated a vehicle in which at least one (1) passenger was less than eighteen (18) years of age.” Basically, operating while intoxicated as a misdemeanor is enhanced to a Level 6 felony is the person charged is at least 21 years old and there is a minor (under 18 years old) in the car.



Felony DUI License Suspensions – Post-Conviction

Under Indiana law, when there is a conviction for DUI or OVWI, the court may suspend a person’s driver’s license for up to the period of possible incarceration. For example, if a person is convicted of DUI as a Level 6 Felony, the license suspension could be up to 910 days, since that is the maximum sentence for a Level 6 Felony. Additionally, if a person has a prior conviction for OVWI, the court must suspend their license for at least 365 days. For someone with multiple convictions for DUI or OVWI, they should expect a longer suspension period to be imposed. However, if the person was suspended at the start of the case, they may receive credit for that suspension time, unless there was a refusal. Additionally, if the person otherwise qualifies, the court can stay any portion of the suspension and grant Specialized Driving Privileges.



Chambers Law Office – Indianapolis Felony DUI Lawyers

If you have been accused of felony DUI, either because you have a prior DUI conviction or were charged for DUI with a minor in the vehicle, Chambers Law Office can help.  Our DUI lawyers, Julie Chambers and Katie Kawiecki, are both former Deputy Prosecutors, bringing a unique perspective and experience to every case. If you have questions about your pending DUI case, OVWI driver’s license suspensions or you need representation in applying for Specialized Driving Privileges in a felony DUI criminal case, contact Chambers Law Office. Call 317-450-2971 to speak with a DUI lawyer today!

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