In the charging information, an Indiana DUI is officially referred to as operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVWI), but it’s all the same. One term (OVWI) is formal, while the other (DUI) is more commonly used in informal, everyday language. 

Misdemeanor DUI Charges 

A DUI can be life-changing, even when it’s only charged as a misdemeanor. The lowest possible DUI charge in the State of Indiana is a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. 

If the police allege that you endangered someone—and this can include yourself—you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 365 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. 

Serious Injury Leads to Serious Consequences 

If you’re driving while intoxicated and you cause an accident that results in serious bodily injury, this is bad news. The prosecutor can charge you with a Level 5 felony, which carries a maximum penalty of six years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Yikes! 

So what is serious bodily injury? Well, it’s defined by statute, and unsurprisingly, it focuses on the victim. If the injury creates a substantial risk of death, that qualifies. It also counts as serious bodily injury if it causes:

  • serious permanent disfigurement;
  • unconsciousness;
  • extreme pain;
  • permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ; or
  • loss of a fetus. 

For example, if you’re drunk, and you cause a collision that breaks someone’s arm, you can be charged with a Level 5 felony. 

Make the Right Call 

If you’re facing criminal charges for DUI causing serious bodily injury, you owe it to yourself to speak to an experienced defense attorney. Give us a call at 317-632-3642 and remember—always plead the 5th!