Navigating the legal consequences of an Indiana DUI charge can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to understanding the potential impact on your driver’s license. This is why it’s so important to speak to a knowledgeable Indiana DUI lawyer.
For those facing DUI charges, the question looming large is: Will my license be suspended immediately? This can unfortunately be difficult to predict, and it depends on a number of different factors.
The Initial Aftermath of a DUI Arrest in Indiana
When someone is arrested for DUI in Indiana, their driving future may hang in the balance at their very first court hearing. The presiding judge will review the probable cause affidavit, which is a crucial document containing the official details of the arrest.
If the probable cause affidavit indicates an alcohol concentration equivalent (ACE) of 0.08* or more, the judge is obligated to inform the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) of your chemical test failure. Once the BMV receives this notice, your driver’s license is suspended for 180 days.
Not every judge, however, is eager to suspend a DUI defendant at the first possible opportunity. In the case of a blood draw, some judges will wait until the results are back from the Department of Toxicology. Other judges make it a policy to suspend the defendant immediately, based on the fact that police (allegedly) had probable cause to administer a chemical test in the first place.
The DUI defendant doesn’t have any say in which judge hears their case. It more or less comes down to what county their case was filed in, and that’s determined by where they were driving when they were arrested.
Specialized Driving Privileges: Hope for the Recently Arrested
In the turbulent days following a DUI charge, it’s vital to understand your options. Indiana has statutory provisions in place that allow for something known as specialized driving privileges. This lets a person charged with a DUI maintain limited driving capabilities, typically to and from work, and other necessity-based travel.
Obtaining specialized driving privileges can significantly lessen the hardships of a DUI charge. It’s important to remember, however, that there is no legal right to drive. All driving is a privilege, and driving with pending DUI charges is considered a specialized privilege. That means if a judge is willing to let you drive, it will be subject to certain limitations and conditions.
Judges vary in their receptiveness to specialized driving privileges. Some have a policy of allowing for driving privileges unless certain facts are present, such as an accident involving serious bodily injury or possibly a number of prior convictions for the defendant. Other judges draw the line at felony charges, and some may not entertain the prospect of specialized driving privileges until the case is concluded. It’s never automatic, and it’s always up to the judge.
The Importance of Legal Guidance
That said, in many cases, there are several things you can do to better position yourself for a positive outcome. Facing DUI charges without experience or a strategic plan can have a brutal impact on your life and livelihood. This is why it’s essential to speak with an experienced Indiana DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
At the Marc Lopez Law Firm, we understand that being charged with a DUI doesn’t put the responsibilities of your regular life on hold. By the time of your first court date, our team aims to have filings in place that will—wherever possible—pause your driver’s license suspension and facilitate the process of obtaining specialized driving privileges. When everything goes according to plan, we can get your driver’s license status to hop from VALID to CONDITIONAL, without ever becoming SUSPENDED.
Make the Right Call
If you’re dealing with a DUI charge and the prospect of losing your license, the intervention of a proactive Indiana DUI lawyer is indispensable. The earlier you involve an attorney, the more options and control you might retain over the outcome.
The Marc Lopez Law Firm is here to help. Give us a call at 317-632-3642 and remember—always plead the 5th!
*grams of ethanol per 100 milliliters of blood or 210 liters of breath