DUI Defense Attorney in South Bend, Indiana

Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any combination of intoxicants is a serious criminal offense that has potential long-term repercussions. Whether it’s your first offense or you're facing repeat charges, the penalties for DUI (Driving Under the Influence), also known as OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) in Indiana, are strict and can escalate with subsequent offenses. 

If you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge, consulting with experienced legal representation is crucial for protecting your rights, preserving your driving privileges, and minimizing the impact on your future.  

At Jay Lauer Attorney at Law, I recognize the gravity of DUI charges and the profound effects they can have on an individual's future. I am dedicated to providing robust defense strategies for DUI offenses aimed at achieving the best possible outcome for my clients.  

Located in South Bend, Indiana, I proudly serve clients throughout Granger, Mishawaka, and Northern Indiana. 

What Constitutes a DUI in Indiana? 

Police and prosecutors in Northern Indiana take DUI charges seriously. A DUI is defined as operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. However, drivers can still face charges with a lower BAC if their ability to operate a vehicle is impaired by alcohol, drugs, or both. Indiana law outlines several classifications of DUI offenses, including: 

  • Standard DUI: Typically refers to drivers operating vehicles with a BAC of 0.08% or higher or showing signs of impairment. 

  • Felony DUI: Involves cases where the driver obtains multiple DUI charges over a specific period. 

  • Commercial DUI: Targets those operating commercial vehicles with a BAC of 0.04% or higher. 

  • Underage DUI: Those under the age of 21 can be charged with DUI for a BAC of just .02 percent. 

Charged With a DUI?


Penalties for DUI in Indiana 

In Indiana, a DUI conviction remains on your record indefinitely and counts as a prior offense. Adults charged with a first-time DUI offense face a class C misdemeanor charge that can result in serious legal consequences. These can include: 

  • Jail time of up to one year 

  • A fine of up to $5,000 

  • Driver's license suspension up to two years 

  • Possible requirement to attend a victim impact panel 

  • Possible requirement for an ignition interlock device (IID) 

If you have a BAC of .15 percent or higher or are charged with a repeat offense, you can face a felony charge. In Indiana, a DUI charge is classified as a level 6 felony if you have at least one prior conviction within the past seven years or at least one passenger was a minor (under 18). A DUI is classified as a level 5 felony if the driver had a previous conviction involving death or severe injury. 

The consequences for a felony DUI charge include:  

  • Jail time between six months and six years 

  • A fine of up to $10,000 

In addition to these penalties, a DUI conviction also leads to a criminal record that can impact your ability to obtain employment, housing, and other opportunities in the future. That's why it's essential to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney, like my firm Jay Lauer Attorney at Law. 

How to Defend Against DUI Charges in Indiana 

Defending against DUI charges in Indiana requires a nuanced understanding of the law and a strategic approach tailored to the specifics of each case. At Jay Lauer Attorney at Law, I employ several defense strategies depending on the circumstances of your arrest and charges:

  • Challenge the traffic stop: Under the Fourth Amendment, police must have probable cause to stop a vehicle. If the stop was without just cause, any evidence gathered during the stop may be deemed inadmissible in court. 

  • Question the accuracy of BAC testing: The reliability of the breathalyzer and blood tests can be contested, especially if there was irregularities in testing procedures, issues with calibrating the device, or mishandling of the sample. 

  • Field sobriety test discrepancies: A driver's field sobriety test performance can be influenced by various factors unrelated to intoxication, such as medical conditions, nervousness, or poor weather conditions. These factors can be used to cast doubt on the reliability of these results. 

  • Rising blood alcohol concentration: This defense argues that the defendant's BAC was below the legal limit while driving but rose to 0.08% or higher by the time the BAC test was administered, due to the time it takes for alcohol to be absorbed into the bloodstream. 

  • Necessity: Claiming that driving under the influence was necessary to prevent a greater evil, a defense more applicable in situations where the driver had no choice but to drive to avoid a significant threat. 

Each defense strategy requires thorough investigation and evidence gathering to support the claim. With a deep understanding of Indiana DUI laws and extensive courtroom experience, I am prepared to scrutinize every detail of your case to mount a defense that aims to protect your future and minimize the consequences of a DUI charge. 

How Can My Firm Assist You? 

DUI is a serious charge, but it doesn't have to ruin your future. In most cases, I can handle the DMV administrative hearing to protect your driver's license, as well as the criminal procedures without your presence in the courtroom. I work aggressively to protect your driving privileges while doing everything possible to find a solution that avoids the harsh penalties of a conviction. 

I understand that you’re going through a lot, which is why I assure each of my clients that they will receive personal, one-on-one treatment. With over 40 years of experience, I have an in-depth understanding of local Indiana laws and regulations, and as a solo practitioner, I manage my caseload to make sure I can be available to answer any questions you may have. 

DUI Defense Attorney in South Bend, Indiana 

At Jay Lauer Attorney at Law, I am committed to providing experienced legal representation against DUI charges. I understand the challenges associated with DUI allegations, and I strive to achieve outcomes that enable you to move forward positively. If you or a loved one is facing DUI charges, you don't have to deal with them alone. Reach out to me at Jay Lauer Attorney at Law in South Bend, Indiana, to set up a consultation.