Published in Criminal Law on November 19, 2021.
Police, prosecutors, and judges all take Indiana DUI offenses very seriously.
As is the case in most states, Indiana law provides for increasingly harsh sentences for each DUI conviction. If you face a 3rd DUI in Indiana, you need an experienced defense attorney to protect your interests.
The lawyers at Eskew Law LLC have extensive experience handling a wide range of DUI offenses, including those involving accidents, serious injuries, and child passengers. We can help you defend your freedom from the government’s allegations.
What Counts As a Third DUI in Indiana?
For the purposes of a criminal sentence, there is a seven-year lookback period. This means that any DUI conviction from the most recent seven years counts as a prior offense.
Additionally, Indiana courts consider out-of-state DUIs to be prior offenses. However, only unrelated DUI convictions count as prior offenses.
However, if you are facing a 3rd Indiana DUI, the prosecution may seek to label you as a habitual vehicular substance offender (HVSO). If the state proves you are an HVSO, you will face an enhanced sentence.
To prove you are an HVSO, the prosecution must establish that you had at least two prior DUIs. For the purposes of an HVSO enhancement, there is no limit on the lookback period.
This means that any prior DUI—no matter how long ago—counts as a prior offense for HVSO purposes.
Punishment for Third DUI in Indiana
A third DUI offense in Indiana is a Level 6 felony. Level 6 felonies are punishable by up to 2.5 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
However, if someone was seriously injured or killed in a DUI accident, you will face Level 4 felony charges. Level 4 felonies carry a punishment of between two to 12 years in prison, with an advisory sentence of six years, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.
In addition, third offense DUIs carry the following penalties:
- A minimum of 10 days in jail, with at least 48 hours served consecutively;
- Mandatory community service;
- Drug and alcohol assessment, and any appropriate treatment;
- Possible adjudication as a habitual traffic violator, resulting in license suspension for at least five years; and
- Additional charges of habitual substance offenses, carrying an additional jail sentence of between one and eight years.
The punishments for a 3rd Indiana DUI are severe and can impact the rest of your life. Thus, if you face a DUI charge and have two priors on your record, it is imperative you reach out to an experienced Indiana DUI defense attorney.
Are You Facing a 3rd DUI in Indiana?
If you were recently arrested for a 3rd DUI offense, your future and your freedom are on the line. The experienced lawyers at Eskew Law LLC aggressively represent individuals facing serious DUI charges, helping them move past their arrest with as little impact on their life as possible.
Our attorneys are strong negotiators and litigators, meaning we can effectively handle your case from beginning to end without interruption.
To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, give Eskew Law LLC a call today. You can also reach us through our online form.