Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving All Areas of Louisiana


DWI Court Process After an Arrest in Louisiana

DWI Process
DWI Process


Every DWI case begins with an arrest. The law requires that the arresting officer has reasonable cause to believe a traffic violation has occurred prior to a stop. An exception to this is checkpoint cases. The law requires that an officer must have probable cause to arrest someone. This means that the officer must have an articulable factual basis to believe that the arrestee was operating a vehicle while under the influence.

The point of call when it comes to both DWI offenses usually starts on the road and reasonably so. A police officer could stop you if he feels that you have committed the offense. An arrest may subsequently be followed if he believes that you are guilty of the offense. The first step which would follow this would be the suspension of your license. You would need to act swiftly with your criminal defense lawyer in Covington. So, the work to free you of this offense starts from just after the arrest.

It is important to note that one of the criteria which would be used in checking if you are guilty of this crime would be your blood level. The limit which you are to keep if you have to hit the road is .08. Anything higher than that would be deemed to be an offense. Another punishment which you could receive apart from the suspension of your license would be incarceration.

Administrative Hearing

If you have been arrest and your license is about to be revoked, you would have to act swiftly to avoid that from happening. One of the ways to do this is to request an administrative hearing to be heard. When your license is seized, you would have about 30 days to request for such hearing. During this period, you would be issued with a temporary license.


An arraignment is the first court date. The arraignment date may be the date on your ticket or it will be served on you at a later time. The purpose of the arraignment is so the court can inform you of the formal charges filed against you. The defendant then must enter a plea of not guilty, guilty, nolo contendere, or not guilty by reason of insanity.

After the request for the administrative hearing has been done, the next step would be the arraignment. Simply put, this would be the first appearance in court for you. The day of arraignment would usually vary. Sometimes, you might have to go to court the very day the alleged offense took place. Regardless of the day, you would have three options in court when you arrive. You could either plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. The implications in your plea are large. For this reason, having a lawyer go through the details with you would be quite significant. He would thus know how to approach the matter effectively based on the circumstances. Going for a criminal defense lawyer in St. Tammany would be a great choice as they would be able to get to you faster if the incident took place in that parish. Barkemeyer law firm is always interested in helping clients get a good representation in court when accused of such offense. There is simply so much at stake and it is important to act quickly to avoid being caught in the mess.


Some of the matters which would be attended to here would be motion hearing and getting what you need to make your case stronger. A good criminal defense lawyer would go out ways in which motions can be raised to support his client’s case. Once the pre-trial stage is done, the hearing would take place.

It is important to remember that when it comes to proving evidence, it is the job of the prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, all you have to do is to raise some doubts as to the claim of the prosecution. Doing it well could swing the case in your favor.

Once the main hearing is over, the judge would decide if you are guilty or not guilty. If found guilty, you would most likely face sentencing. Most sentencing would usually be harsher if you are not a first time offender. It could also be harsh if your alcohol levels were high. The general principle here is that the higher the alcohol level in your blood, the more likely that your sentence would be more extreme.

Motion Hearings

Depending on the charge and court, the process may include motion hearings in which the court hears motions by the attorneys. The facts of the case will determine the types of motions hearings that are necessary.  Our experienced Louisiana DWI lawyers know what important motions to file in your case.


In misdemeanor DWI cases, the defendant has a right to a trial by judge. In felony DWI cases, the defendant has a right to a jury trial or judge trial. The defendant decides if he will waive his right to a jury trial.


If the defendant pleads guilty or is otherwise found guilty at trial, the judge will determine the sentence based on statutory law, the defendant’s criminal record, and the facts of the case.

Depending on the court and judge, a presentence investigation may be ordered. This investigation will reveal to the judge the defendant’s background, facts of the case, and other important information that can help guide the judge in determining an appropriate sentence. 

Getting a DWI Lawyer in Louisiana

If you find yourself in this situation and you have a DWI in Louisiana, you must get yourself a lawyer as fast as you can. The Louisiana DWI lawyers at the Barkemeyer law firm would be a good option for you. You would have experienced lawyers who have good track records of representing their clients well. Getting convicted of such offense can be devastating. Getting our help could help you save yourself and possibly your career. Get a lawyer as soon as you can.

Contact the Louisiana DWI lawyers at Barkemeyer Law Firm.

Carl Barkemeyer wrote the published book on DWI: Practical Information for the Accused and Attorneys in Louisiana. He regularly gives lectures and advice to other attorneys regarding how to successfully defend clients for DWI.

Louisiana DWI & Criminal Lawyers

criminal lawyer

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.

criminal defense law firm that accepts credit cards

Louisiana DWI And Criminal Law Firm

Barkemeyer Law Firm has multiple locations in Louisiana. Click Office Locations to find out which office is right for you.

st. tammany chamber of commerce member
Our DWI Lawyers are members the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce
© 2023 Barkemeyer Law Firm