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James Dickinson

2023 Indiana DUI Law Updates

The law is always changing, and it is vital to keep up to date on the latest developments. Recent changes in the law over the last several years may affect you if you are charged with DUI in Indiana. DUI's are  

How Long Does A DUI Stay On Your Record In Indiana?

  • If you have a misdemeanor DUI on your record, you can petition the court for expungement after five years.  
  • If you have a Felony DUI on your record, you can petition the court for expungement after eight years.    
  • If you were found not guilty or the charge was dismissed, you can apply for an expungement of the charge off your record after one year.    

If you are charged with a DUI, and the court sets bail, one recent change in 2022 can play a role in your ability to post bail.    

What is Charitable Bail?

As of 2022, Indiana law allows charitable organizations to pay bail for individuals in need who are not charged with a violent crime and do not have a prior conviction for a violent crime. So, in most cases, this would apply to DUI charges allowing a charitable organization to bail you out if you are deemed indigent.    

Were there Sentencing Changes?

House Act 1004 allows judges to sentence level 6 felony offenders to state prison. A previous law required low-level felons to serve their sentences in county jails which led to overcrowding. This change will likely result in more DUI convictions being served in state prisons in Indiana.    

What Rights do Pregnant Inmates Have?

If you have been charged and convicted of DUI and are pregnant, House Act 1294 has changed the requirements the state has to follow. In your second and third trimesters of pregnancy, the least restrictive restraints necessary must be used at all times. Additionally, a pregnant inmate cannot be restrained during labor, delivering a baby, or the post-delivery period unless she is an immediate danger to herself or others or a substantial flight risk.    

Changes to Turn Signal Requirements

Indiana previously had a statute that required a turn signal to be used 200 feet before the turn. This was a precise distance that was hard to comply with in certain situations, such as city driving. Failure to follow this law could give law enforcement probable cause to stop you and investigate a potential DUI. The new law, House Act 1167, states that motorists signal all turns and lane changes "a reasonable time" before completing them. This change removes the distance requirement and leaves reasonableness up to law enforcement to judge depending on the surrounding circumstances.  

Constitutional Carry Without a Permit

You no longer need a license to carry a handgun in Indiana. As long as you are legally eligible to have a handgun, you may now constitutionally carry your handgun. There are many restrictions, however, on who is eligible to have a handgun in Indiana. There are restrictions based on your prior record, which include convictions that are punishable by more than one year in jail. This can apply to many DUI offenses, so it is essential to know if a prior DUI restricts you from constitutional carrying before you attempt to do so.    

Driving Under The Influence In Indiana

The DUI statute in Indiana is 9-30-5-1. If you are charged with a DUI, the state has to prove that you operated a motor vehicle and that you were intoxicated at that time.  

The penalties for DUI in Indiana vary on multiple factors, including your blood alcohol content, any prior offense, and if there are any aggravating factors such as a car crash or injuries.    

Statutory Presumption

In Indiana, if you are administered a chemical test within three hours of the alleged time of driving, and the test shows alcohol of .08 or greater, there is a statutory presumption that you were intoxicated at the time of operating the vehicle. This means that the state can use this evidence in court to establish that you were intoxicated while operating the vehicle. This can significantly strengthen the state's case against you in Indiana when you are charged with a DUI.    

Penalties for DUI in Indiana

Misdemeanor DUIs are charged if your blood alcohol content is between .08 and .15 percent. If you have scheduled one or two controlled substances in your system, you can also be charged with a misdemeanor DUI.  

Felony DUIs are charged if your BAC is over .15. Additionally, DUIs involving death, injury, or a minor in the vehicle or if you have a prior DUI within seven years can be charged as a Felony in Indiana.   For more information on reducing DUI charges read our article, Here's How to Reduce Your DUI Charges in Indiana.  

What Does "Implied Consent" Mean?  

Indiana abides by the implied consent standard, which means that by driving on the roads, you consent to give a certified breath sample during the course of an investigation. You can be charged with an additional penalty called a refusal if you refuse to give a breath sample to law enforcement.    

Suspended License In Indiana

If you are charged with DUI in Indiana, the BMV will typically suspend your license for 180 days once a certified chemical test shows that you had a BAC of .08 or higher.    

If you refuse a chemical test during a DUI investigation, your license will be suspended for one year. However, if you have any prior DUIs, your suspension can be increased to two years.    

The maximum suspension for a DUI suspension is the same amount as the maximum period of incarceration on the charge.    

While your criminal case is pending, you may be able to apply for specialized driving privileges even if your license is suspended. If a judge allows this, you may drive while your case is pending in a restricted manner, limited to necessities such as work, school, childcare, etc.    

Do I Need An Attorney If I Get A DUI In Indiana?

In Indiana, DUIs are criminal charges that may include fines and jail/prison time. Most judges will advise you to retain an attorney to assist you with your defense and ensure your rights are preserved. A DUI attorney can review your case and may challenge case based on the following:  

  • The probable cause for the initial traffic stop  
  • Roadside field sobriety testing  
  • Challenging a DUI checkpoint  
  • Chemical tests such as a breathalyzer or blood draw.  
  • The probable cause for arrest  
  • Miranda warning challenges  
  • Constitutional challenges  

Every case is unique, and there can be other areas to challenge as well when you are facing a DUI. Having an experienced DUI attorney representing you when you are charged with a DUI in Indiana is very important.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.

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