The Marc Lopez Law Firm built its reputation on DUI / OVWI defense, and one thing that’s always been true is that the State of Indiana has lots of punishment in store for DUI / OVWI defendants. If you’re charged with DUI / OVWI (no matter what it’s called), there are at least four distinct penalties you might be facing, in addition to fines and court fees.

The Administrative Suspension

When you’re charged with DUI / OVWI, the State suspends your license before you’ve been proven guilty. If a certified chemical test showed evidence of your intoxication, the court will notify the BMV and “recommend” a 180-day license suspension. This is supposed to happen at your initial hearing, or possibly later if the State is waiting on blood results.

Some courts, however, won’t wait for the initial hearing to suspend your license—they’ll do it sooner and without warning. Other courts aren’t interested in the test results that are supposed to show intoxication. As far as they’re concerned, they can (order the BMV to) suspend you simply for having been arrested on DUI / OVWI charges. This isn’t the way it’s supposed to work.

You’re supposed to have some advance notice and an opportunity to let the court know you want Specialized Driving Privileges, but telling a judge they’re wrong is a tricky and delicate thing. One way or another, that administrative suspension is coming and it’s probably arriving sooner than you want it to.

Specialized Driving Privileges are available in many situations, but they’re also completely discretionary. Some judges have personal policies, such as only granting driving privileges after the case has been resolved. Other judges won’t grant them at all and in that situation, you’re simply out of luck. If they were owed to you, the State would call them Specialized Driving Rights.

Click here to read on about what penalties you may be facing once your criminal case is resolved.