Your driving privileges open you to countless opportunities. But maintaining them requires a commitment to obey the rules responsibly. So, once you commit a violation, you may face an operating while intoxicated (OWI) charge.
Per Indiana laws, an OWI differs from a driving under the influence (DUI) offense in that it encompasses not just cars but also other modes of transportation, like boats, bikes or tricycles. Also, operating a vehicle does not necessarily entail driving. Sitting inside your car or in other similar conditions with your engine on may still count as being operational.
But before you can anticipate the consequences of an OWI charge on your future, you must first brace for the impact of your situation on your current finances.
The expenses associated with an OWI primarily depend on the severity of your offense. It can range from $5,000 for a first-time misdemeanor to a third-time felony amounting to $10,000.
Aside from penalty fines, on average, you can also expect to pay the following fees:
- Towing or impoundment
- License reinstatement
- Court or administrative processes
- Ignition interlock installation and maintenance
- Substance abuse treatment programs and corresponding medications
More than these monetary consequences, you may also be subject to incarceration lasting from a year to six years. Posting bail is possible, but amounts greatly vary, worth as much as thousands of dollars.
The high cost of being an offender
The economic repercussions of having an OWI can devastate your finances. But beyond these, you may also face overwhelming difficulties in other areas of your life after a possible conviction. A criminal record often results in housing and employment struggles and damaged reputation and relationships. As you try to overcome these hurdles, investing in a legal defense team will serve you well as they can fight for your rights and future.