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What are the penalties for a DUI?

If you face DUI charges in Indiana or Kentucky, the question of what are the potential penalties looms as a major concern. The short answer is every lawyer's favorite: it depends. Penalties for a specific case can be based on a number of factors.

As a general matter, both Indiana and Kentucky have an assortment of penalties. These include fines, jail time, license suspension, completing a substance abuse program, community service and probation that may include installing an interlock device on your vehicle. Your judge may sentence you to one or more of these penalties.

Aggravating factors

Aggravating factors can raise the level of punishment significantly. Some factors include a blood alcohol count of 0.15 or above, having a minor in the car with you, causing an accident that results in death or serious injury, and refusing to take blood, breath or other tests to measure BAC. Repeat offenders can expect increased penalties with each additional offense. If you are a commercial driver, you are subject to additional, very stringent, standards.

Additional charges

When police officers stop you on suspicion of drunk driving, they may end up charging you with more than a DUI. Common charges include possession of controlled substances, endangering a minor and reckless driving.

Other consequences

Even in cases with relatively minor legal penalties, a DUI conviction can continue to cause problems for many years. If you are or plan to be a licensed professional such as a physician or nurse, a DUI can precipitate professional discipline. Noncitizens may also find their immigration status in jeopardy as, in some cases, even a misdemeanor DUI can rank as a "crime of moral turpitude," which can derail a green card, visa or citizenship application.

A DUI conviction can have a serious effect on your life, including your ability to earn a living now and in the future. If you face charges, retain an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. You need a lawyer who will fight to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.

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