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Louisiana DWI Frequently Asked Questions

DWI Questions and Answers by a Louisiana DWI lawyer
Carl Barkemeyer wrote the book on DWI: Practical Information for the Accused and Attorneys in Louisiana.

DWI Questions Answered by a Louisiana DWI Lawyer

I refused to take the breathalyzer. What will happen to my driver’s license?

You should be issued a 30-day temporary license. Next, you should contact an attorney immediately so he can request an administrative hearing in an attempt to get your license back. (You only get 30 days from the date of arrest for this request). If a hearing is held, and the administrative law judge determines a list of prerequisites existed, you could lose your license for one year.  Read more.


I refused to take the breathalyzer. What are my chances of beating the DWI charge?

Your chances are better than if you blew over the limit. However, you could still be convicted if the prosecutor can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs.  The prosecutor can still use other types of evidence against you such as the police officer’s observations of you while speaking, walking, and performing standard field sobriety tests. Read more.


I took the breathalyzer and blew over .08 BAC. What will happen to my driver’s license?

You should be issued a 30-day temporary license. Next, you should contact an attorney immediately so he can request an administrative hearing in an attempt to get your license back. You only get 30 days from the date of arrest for this request. If a hearing is held, and the administrative law judge determines a list of prerequisites existed, you could lose your license for 90 days. Read more.


The police officer said I passed the field sobriety tests. What are my chances of beating the DWI charge?

Frequently, the police officer tells the DWI arrestee that he/she is passing the field sobriety tests. He does this to keep obtaining the arrestee’s cooperation because the request for the arrestee to take the breathalyzer is coming. As long as he acts like he and the arrestee are cool with each other, he ensures the arrestee will take the breathalyzer which is often the final dagger that solidifies a DWI conviction if the reading is above the legal limit. Read more.


Can I get a hardship license?

Acquiring a hardship license depends on your situation. If your license goes into suspension as a result of a DWI conviction, refusal, or blowing over the limit, you may apply for a hardship license.  The DMV may require the ignition interlock device to be installed in your vehicle prior to issuing the hardship license. Read more.


Will this conviction affect my car insurance?

It is possible. The DMV requires people convicted of DWI and those who have refused the breathalyzer to carry SR-22 insurance, which is extremely expensive. Furthermore, you may have difficulty finding an insurer to insure you. Read more.


Will this conviction affect my school and/or job?

Yes. A DWI is a serious charge, never to be taken lightly. A DWI conviction involves many consequences. For instance, obtaining licenses, certifications, employment, housing, and admission to schools may be difficult.  If you have the opportunity, filing to expunge the record is a good way to protect your future.  We always try to set up our client’s case so they can file a DWI expungement at some point after the case is over. Read more.


Is a DWI or OWI a felony in Louisiana and which one is worse?

DWI and OWI are the same charge in Louisiana. They stand for Driving While Intoxicated and Operating While Intoxicated. The actual true name of the charge in Louisiana is Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated which is found under La RS 14:98. The DWI statute involves driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. DWI first and second offense are misdemeanors. DWI third offense and fourth and subsequent offenses are felony charges. Read more.


How long does a DWI affect you getting a job in Louisiana?

There is a difference between having a DWI arrest on your record and a DWI arrest and conviction on your record. Either way, they will remain on your record until you file an expungement.  The rules vary as to when you can file the expungement, depending on if you were convicted, and the sentence you received.  Also, if you do pretrial for DWI in Louisiana, you must wait five years before filing an expungement to remove the arrest. Read more.


How much is the bond for 1st DWI in Louisiana?

The bail for DWI first offense in is usually set by a judge but can be according to a scheduled bail.  It depends on the parish where the DWI arrest took place.  Many times, the bail is set around $2500 for a DWI first offense. You can hire a bondsman to put up the bond. You will pay him 10-12% of the bail amount, which is his fee for putting up the entire amount. Learn more.


How long does it take to get a DWI off your record in Louisiana?

It depends on the outcome of the case. For instance, if you do the pretrial program in Louisiana, then you have to wait five years.  If you were convicted and sentenced under article 894, you can file the motion to expunge soon after you complete probation successfully.  Either way, you must file a motion to expunge for the record to get clean. It is not automatic. Learn more.


How long does DWI stay on your driving record in Louisiana?

DWI arrests and convictions will always be on your driving record.  There is no motion or method for removing a record from your driving record. If you are concerned about your driving record and the implications of a DWI, you probably have that concern because of insurance. Contact your insurance provider or multiple insurance companies to see what their policy is regarding a DWI arrest and/or conviction on your driving record. Learn more.


How long does DWI count against your insurance in Louisiana?

There is no law that requires a DWI to count against your insurance in Louisiana. However, the insurance companies will have specific guidelines for writing policies for those with DWI records. Insurance companies are private companies that can choose to insure you or not. Learn more.


What to do if you get a DWI in Louisiana?

If you refused the breathalyzer or blew over the limit, you must keep in mind that you have 30 days from the date of arrest to request an Administrative Hearing to fight the suspension of your Louisiana license or driving privileges in Louisiana if you have an out-of-state driver’s license.  After that 30 days has passed, you lose the rights to request the license hearing.   We send in the request for you if you can hire us in time. We can then start working on your case and helping develop a defense strategy. Even if you think you have a bad case, we should be able to help. Learn more.


What is the sentence for 3rd DWI in Louisiana?

DWI Third Offense is a felony in Louisiana punishable for 1-5 years and a fine of up to $2000.  This is a very serious charge not to be taken lightly.  The legislature has made the law so that the defendant must be sentenced to prison. However, recent changes have allowed for exceptions if the defendant completes a drug division program.  This is an extremely intense program. Learn more.


How long does a DWI stay on record in Louisiana?

It will stay on your record forever unless you file a motion for an expungement.  You will be required to pay hefty filing fees as well as the attorney’s fee if you hire an attorney. There are different rules for removing the fact of an arrest and/or conviction. We always address expungements after the case is completed. But, we always strive to get the case so it can be expunged. Learn more.


How do I appeal a suspended driver’s license for DWI in Louisiana?

By filing a request for an Administrative Hearing within 30 days from the date of arrest. If you fail to file during that time, you lose the right to do so. We will file it for you if you hire us in time. There is no guarantee that we will win. In fact, it is difficult to do. However, there are many benefits to filing the request. Learn more.


What to do if you get a DWI in Louisiana?

Hire an experienced DWI lawyer is key. We have handled hundreds of DWIs for our clients. This is what we do day in and day out. We take a lot of stress off of our clients. If you received a DWI, you need to get back to focusing on work or school.  You do not need to be worrying about the DWI. That’s what you hire us for. We take care of all the details. Learn more.


In Louisiana, how much time can I get for DWI with child endangerment?

For DWI first offense, the judge could sentence you to 10 days in parish jail if convicted under the child endangerment statute and DWI in Louisiana.  If it is a DWI second offense, you’re looking at 30 days in jail on child endangerment. Learn more.


How to obtain drivers license after 1st DWI in Louisiana?

There are many ways to keep you driving after receiving a DWI in Louisiana.  If your license has become suspended, you may apply for a hardship license. The requirement to getting a hardship license in Louisiana is to first have an ignition interlock device installed in any vehicle you are driving.  We always try to minimize any driver’s license suspensions for our clients. Learn more.


How long until you can have a DWI expunged in Louisiana?

Once the motion to expunge a DWI is filed in Louisiana, it can take a few months to go through or even up to one year.  Most of the problems with expungements occur because the defendant will file it himself and mess up the information that goes into the motion.  The state will then send it back and the defendant will lose his/her money and time.  It is advised to hire an expungement attorney to clean your DWI record. We file expungements for our clients regularly. Call us for your expungement. Learn more.


What is blood alcohol level for a DWI and dui in Louisiana?

The blood alcohol content level for the presumption of being under the influence of alcohol is 0.08 or more.  If the driver is under the age of 21 years old, the legal limit is under 0.02 before the presumption of the driver being under the influence of alcohol kicks in. Learn more.


How long do you have to carry SR-22 insurance after DWI in Louisiana?

The DMV requires the driver to carry SR-22 insurance to continue to drive after a DWI refusal or conviction.  The driver will have to carry it for the specified period of time stipulated by the DMV which is usually the period of suspension. For a first refusal or first offense DWI conviction, the period of suspension is one year.  There are other variables that may affect that time period. Learn more.


How to get a temp license in Louisiana for a DWI?

After your DWI arrest, you should have been given a temporary license which is a sheet of paper. It is good for 30 days from the date of arrest. However, we may be able to get that temporary license extended upon the filing of a request for an Administrative Hearing.  Every situation is different. We must first analyze your particular situation to see what is possible for your DWI. Learn more.


How long is your license suspended for a DWI in Louisiana?

The license suspension varies based on whether or not you were convicted of DWI, refused breathalyzer, submitted, submitted over the legal limit, and if you have any prior DWI arrests, convictions, submittals, and refusals. Learn more.


When you are arrested for DWI in Louisiana is your license automatically suspended?

You license is not automatically suspended after being arrested for a DWI in Louisiana.  You will have 30 days from the date of arrest to request an Administrative Hearing for the proposed suspension of your driving privileges.  During that 30 days, you can drive on the temporary license provided to you during your DWI arrest. Learn more.


What might the sentence be for a 2nd DWI in Louisiana?

The sentence for a DWI second offense in Louisiana is 30 days to six months in jail, and 48 hours of the sentence must be served.  The judge can suspend all but the 48 hours.  Sometimes, we are able to get home incarceration for our clients for that 48 hours. It just depends on the facts and circumstances of the case.  The fine is $750 – $1000.  The judge must also order the defendant to complete 240 hours of community service, participate in a driver improvement program, do a substance abuse evaluation and/or treatment, and other conditions. Learn more.


What are the fines for DWI first offense in Louisiana?

The fines for a DWI first offense conviction in Louisiana are $300-1000.  There will likely be many more costs associated with the DWI arrest. Other costs include classes, evaluations, court costs, prosecutor and court fees. DWIs are notorious for being expensive cases because after you total all the costs, it gets quite expensive. Learn more.


How many DWI is a felony in Louisiana?

To be charged with a felony DWI in Louisiana, you must have two prior DWI convictions within the last ten years. It does not matter if they were in different states or if the prior conviction happened after the arrest for the current charge. Even if you think the prior DWI was expunged, it will likely still show to the prosecutor and he may use it to enhance the new DWI.  Learn more.

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Louisiana DWI & Criminal Lawyers

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Louisiana criminal lawyers and DWI attorneys at the Barkemeyer Law Firm providing legal defense services for clients in Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Port Allen, Alexandria, New Orleans, Lafayette, Metairie, Kenner, Gretna, Hahnville, Chalmette, Slidell, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John, St. Bernard, Mandeville, Covington, Shreveport, Bossier, Jefferson, and all of Louisiana.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not formal legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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