Let’s discuss what happens if you are placed on probation for misdemeanor DWI in Louisiana. Depending on your case and the circumstances surrounding your case, the judge in your misdemeanor DWI case may sentence you to six months in jail, suspend that sentence, and place you on probation. The state legislature has created specific conditions of probation that require the judge order you to complete. There is some room for the judge to tailor the sentence as he sees fit, however, not much.
The required conditions of probation for DWI first offense in Louisiana are that the defendant must serve 48 hours in jail, or in lieu thereof, perform no less than thirty-two hours of court-approved community service, at least half of which shall consist of participation in a litter abatement. If the conviction is for second offense DWI, the defendant must serve at least fifteen days in jail, without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence, or in lieu thereof, perform 240 hours of community service, at least half of which shall consist of participation in a litter abatement. The amount of community service is the biggest difference between DWI first and second offenses.
In both scenarios, the defendant must be evaluated for substance abuse and following any recommended treatment. Also, the judge must order the defendant to complete a driver improvement program. Some judges may order the defendant to attend a MADD victim impact panel and show proof of attendance. Although not required by statute, judges may also order the defendant to complete AA meetings as well. The judge may order the defendant to pay a fine of up to $1000 and court costs.
Probation can either be supervised or unsupervised. Courts differ as to whether the misdemeanor DWI probation will be supervised or not. If it is unsupervised, the defendant will simply bring proof of completed conditions to the judge on his scheduled review dates. If the DWI probation is supervised, additional probation fees will be required and the defendant will have a probation officer who will receive proof of conditions. Probation can be for a term of one year or two years. If our clients complete the conditions of probation early, we often ask the judge to terminate the probation early. Finally, depending on how your case is sentenced, you may be eligible for an expungement at the end of your probation.
If you need a DWI lawyer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, feel free to give me a call at 225-964-6720. I’ll be happy to help.