Indiana takes charges of operating while intoxicated (OWI) very seriously. Even first drunk driving convictions result in fines, jail time, license suspension and possible probation. If you have a previous OWI conviction on your record, you face even more severe penalties.
What penalties do you face with one prior OWI conviction?
If you are convicted of drunk driving with one prior drunk driving charge on your record, your sentence may include:
- Jail time—A second conviction will result in between five days and three years in jail.
- Community service—Your penalties may also include required community service.
- Fines—Penalties may include fines of up to $10,000.
- License suspension—If convicted, your license will be suspended for between 180 days and two years.
In addition to these penalties, you may be placed on probation, and the court may require you to enroll in a program to educate you on substance abuse. Probation requirements can include attending a victim panel, submitting to drug testing and other terms.
What penalties do you face with two prior OWI convictions?
With two previous OWI offenses on your record, penalties become even more severe. Your sentence may include:
- Jail time—You will spend at least 10 days in jail, though your sentence could include as much as three years.
- Community service—In addition to jail time, the court may require you to perform community service.
- Fines—Penalties can include fines of up to $10,000.
- License suspension—A third conviction will result in between one year and 10 years of license suspension.
In addition to these penalties, the judge may classify you as a habitual traffic violator or habitual substance offender. These classifications can add more jail time to your sentence.
What should you do when you face OWI charges?
Because of the severity of these charges, it is essential to speak to an attorney. Experienced legal counsel could be key to protecting your freedom and your rights after a drunk driving arrest.