DUI Arrests Affect All

At 11:40 p.m. on March 16, 2014, Indianapolis Colts Owner Jim Irsay was arrested in Carmel, Indiana for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in the body.

 At the time of his arrest, prosecutors alleged he had “oxycodone and/or hydrocodone” in his system.  Following his arrest, however police had filed four preliminary charges of felony drug possession, but they were not included in the prosecutors’ formal charges at an earlier hearing.  Mr. Irsay’s hearing on the remaining counts is currently set for August 28, 2014.

 Pursuant to Indiana Code IC-9-30-5, each charge that Irsay faces carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail, a fine of $500, and a 2-year license suspension as a Class C Misdemeanor. He could have been charged with the higher Class A Misdemeanor, which carries a higher fine (up to $5,000 per charge), but it appears that he had enough cash on hand when he was arrested to cover any fines assessed. But whether you are worth billions of dollars and own an NFL team or not, the DUI laws in our state apply to everyone.

As this high-profile case demonstrates, DUI charges are quite common in the state, and many local residents find themselves dealing with a possible drunk driving conviction.

More significantly, early intervention by competent legal counsel could have played a significant role in the prevention of felony drug possession charges based upon the prescription drugs found within Irsay’s vehicle during the arrest in question. As events unfold I suspect the facts will come to light as to whether any and all medications(s) found within Irsay’s control were, in, fact, prescribed by a licensed medical provider.

In the state of Indiana, to be charged with a DUI you must have a blood alcohol content of at least .08%. The charges and penalties increase with any subsequent DUIs, with up to $10,000 in fines, 10-year license suspensions, and 3 years in jail. Penalties can be far worse when the drunk driving leads to an accident or injury.

Considering the harsh penalties, if you face a DUI charge it is critical to seek out professional help to defend yourself. Law enforcement officers make mistakes and cut corners on many occasions, often leading to unfair arrests. Never forget that being charged with a crime is far different than being convicted.

If you are arrested for DUI, the first step in the process should be an attempt to get the charges dropped completely. Your attorney can evaluate the circumstances of your arrest and evidence against you to determine if beating the charge completely is a prudent option.

At other times the best approach is to attempt to get any proposed jail time removed from consideration and focus on various alternative forms of “rehabilitative” treatment in order to make a case resolution more of an inconvenience than an everlasting nightmare.

Your attorney can also help to blunt some aspects of any punishment. For example, one of the most crippling aspects of a DUI conviction is a license suspension, as we use our vehicles to get to work, school, or to transport our kids. State law gives the courts the discretion to issue probationary licenses to individuals convicted of DUI. This can prove critical in allowing you to keep your job and otherwise move past the DUI with less disruption in your life.

DUI charges can be overwhelming at first, but they do not have to be debilitating. With the right combination of experienced, skilled, and compassionate legal representation, many citizens are able to overcome the obstacles of a DUI conviction and are able to get on with their lives. And they don’t have to be billionaires to do it.

I understand the pressures that comes along with facing a DUI conviction, the embarrassment, the fear of the unknown, the fear of loss of standing, employment, and sometimes the loss of freedom. I understand and guarantee to fight on your behalf and in your best interests so that your rights are protected and you can get back on with your life.