how many DWI's is a felony?
How many DWI’s is a felony?

How Many DWI’s Is A Felony

If you’re wondering how many DWI’s is a felony, this post will explain the answer. Read on to learn more!

Receiving a DWI Charge in the state of Louisiana is a life-changing event. Even first offense driving while intoxicated charges will have an impact on you and your family. A felony DWI charge means a serious disruption in your life could happen. 

The requirement for a person given a felony DWI charge is that it must be their third arrest after two previous convictions and within the last ten years. 

Those living in places like New OrleansShreveport, and other towns across the state are held accountable for multiple DWIs. Let’s discuss further what it means to have several DWI convictions and what happens if you continue getting arrested and convicted on these charges. 

PRO TIP: Read this great article to learn how DWI cases get dismissed! Believe it or not, it does happen!

A night of fun may lead to another DWI!

What it Means to Have a Felony DWI Charge

To fully appreciate what it means to get a felony DWI, we must look at the penalties leading up to and after your felony charge. These punishments can be enhanced higher, depending on the blood alcohol level at the time of the arrest. Here is a breakdown of these penalties. 

First Offense-Misdemeanor

  • Jail time: 10 days to 6 months 
  • Fines: $300 to $1000 (Enhanced $750 to $1000)
  • Suspension of license: 12  months (2 years enhanced)
  • Ignition interlock during the suspension of license
  • Drug and alcohol program
  • Community service (up to 32 hours)
  • Insurance requirements (SR22)

Second Offense-Misdemeanor 

  • Jail time: 30 days to six months 
  • Fines: $750 to $1000
  • Suspension of license: Two years (4 years enhanced)
  • Ignition interlock during suspension and after reinstatement
  • Drug and alcohol program
  • Community service (up to 240 hrs)
  • Insurance requirements (SR22)

Third Offense-Felony

  • Jail time: 1 to 5 years
  • Fines: $2000
  • Suspension of license: 36 months
  • Ignition interlock if enrolled in a drug and alcohol program
  • Drug and Alcohol Assessment
  • Seizure of automobile
  • Insurance requirements (SR22)

Other Costs

As you can see, the cost of each level of a DWI charge is substantial. It’s crucial you hire the best lawyer for representation. These requirements also don’t mention court and attorney fees you will need to pay. Other fees include the cost of having an ignition interlock on your car or the price of drug and alcohol classes. These are all your responsibility to pay. 

how many DWI's is a felony conviction?
how many DWI’s is a felony?

The total cost of fines and fees can quickly run into the $10,000 range and more for felony charges. An even higher cost to you and your family is that you may not be able to find a job after having a felony DWI. This will create an even harder burden on you since you will need a paycheck to pay for your defense, fines, and fees. 

How to Avoid a Felony DWI Case

Hire a Lawyer

The best answer is to not drink under the influence of alcohol or drugs, of course. If you find yourself facing a DWI charge, whether a misdemeanor or felony, you must hire an attorney to represent you. A defense attorney experienced in defending DWI cases knows the detriment of having multiple convictions. 

Your DWI lawyer will work to reduce enhancements, try to have subsequent DWIs penalties reduced, have your case dismissed, or work to have you found not guilty. Showing up to court on your own and without an attorney to represent you will always get you the maximum punishment. By having a criminal defense attorney to represent you in the right way, your chances of avoiding a felony conviction for a DWI is increased. 

PRO TIP: Read this article here on whether your DWI can be expunged!

Get Help

By the time of your second driving while intoxicated charge within a ten-year span, you will need to look at your life and habits. Realizing you have a problem puts you on a path to recovery and breaking those habits. 

To keep from getting that third DWI case in the future, find a counselor or substance-abuse specialist who will help you work out your issues with alcohol. 

Don’t Drive

If you cannot stop drinking, make sure to stop doing the other portion of the criminal activity, operating a motorized vehicle. In today’s world, there are plenty of ways to avoid driving. Having a designated driver in the form of a friend, a taxi, or a rideshare company may sound expensive, but it is thousands of dollars cheaper than a DWI conviction. 

In Summary

Getting multiple driving while intoxicated charges takes a costly toll on you. Each misdemeanor case has its own punishments that eventually lead to even higher ones with a felony charge. Keeping yourself from being convicted of several DWIs is something you and your attorney will need to address together. 

While your lawyer fights for you in court, you will need to take care of the underlying causes of why you have progressed to a felony charge. Hopefully, this realization takes effect after your first or second DWI. This way, you can get the help you need to make the right decisions in your life to avoid more DWI charges and convictions. 

Barkemeyer Law Firm is a great law firm to help with your DWI case. Give them a call to learn more. We hope you now understand how many DWI’s is a felony and wish you luck!


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, Monroe, Lake Charles 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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