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How do injuries or fatalities affect an Indiana OWI case?

On Behalf of | Jan 22, 2024 | Criminal Defense

In Operating While Intoxicated cases in Indiana, the occurrence of injuries or fatalities can intensify the legal consequences for those involved. The impact of such incidents extends beyond typical OWI charges, bringing forth a complex web of legal considerations.

Understanding how injuries or fatalities influence the trajectory of an OWI case is important for anyone navigating the legal aftermath of impaired driving incidents in Indiana.

1. Aggravated charges

When an OWI incident involves injuries or fatalities, it often results in aggravated charges that carry more severe legal consequences. The escalation from a standard OWI charge to an aggravated offense underscores the gravity of the situation. Indiana’s legal system recognizes the heightened risk associated with impaired driving that leads to injuries or loss of life, leading to more stringent penalties and long-term repercussions for those involved.

2. Impact on sentencing

In cases where injuries or fatalities occur due to OWI, sentencing considerations become more intricate. The severity of harm influences the court’s decision on the appropriate punishment. The legal system aims to tailor sentences to match the gravity of the situation. This nuanced approach recognizes the need for justice while acknowledging the complexity of individual cases.

3. Civil liability

Beyond the criminal sphere, those involved in OWI incidents with injuries or fatalities may face civil liability. Victims or their families may seek compensation for damages, medical expenses or wrongful death. The interplay between criminal charges and potential civil lawsuits adds layers of complexity to the legal aftermath.

Per, there were 8,524 OWI arrests in Indiana in 2019. Understanding the gravity of the consequences and potential repercussions of drunk driving underscores the importance of making responsible choices behind the wheel.