Indianapolis Felony DUI Attorney
If you have been accused of DUI or OVWI (operating while intoxicated) as a Level 6 felony in central Indiana, you need an experienced 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, Operating While Intoxicated 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 or OVWI as a misdemeanor in the five (5) 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 0 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 Lawyer
If you have been accused of felony DUI or OVWI as a Level 6 Felony, either because you have a prior OVWI conviction or were charged with OVWI with a minor in the vehicle, Chambers Law Office can help. 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. Julie Chambers is a former deputy prosecutor, giving her a unique perspective in defending her clients. Contact Chambers Law Office today!