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how to get rid of a DWI

How To Get Rid Of DWI

If you’re reading this post, you may be wondering how to get rid of a DWI. Maybe you were out partying for a night and got pulled over and charged. Or maybe you have a DWI that’s been sitting on your record and affecting career opportunities you want to pursue.

Whatever the case may be, the bottom line is that getting a DWI is bad news. And figuring out how to get rid of it so you can move on and focus on more positive things is extremely important.

In this post we will discuss how to get rid of DWI and what that entails.

PRO TIP: You may also want to read this post: are DWI records public. We know it will give you some helpful information you may find useful.

how to get rid of DWI
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Differences And Similarities Between DWI And DUI

For those wondering, DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) are identical charges in Louisiana. One of the most common offenses in Louisiana is when a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

At this point, a good DWI lawyer will come in handy to work on your case; there will be different consequences for each time a person gets charged. The first and second charges are generally about the same, while the third provides harsh penalties, and by the fourth charge, a driver may not have the privilege to drive again.

PRO TIP: Read our blog post and learn what to bring to a lawyer consultation. It will discuss the benefits of a lawyer consultation and if you have DWI charges should be helpful.

What can be done after the first and second offenses?

According to the bar, a DWI first offense is a misdemeanor with lessened strict penalties, but it still can be severe. These punishments can include jail time, a fine of between one hundred and three hundred dollars, and a potential one-year suspension of the driver’s license; in some cases, a restricted license can be issued to allow commuting to work or attend assigned driving or substance abuse courses.

The second offense is still considered a misdemeanor, but this time will have financial penalties along with jail time of up to six months, with at least forty-eight hours in jail required. For this second charge, a driver could lose their license for a minimum of two years and up to four depending on if the BAC level is above 0.2 percent when recorded during the arrest.

In addition to jail time and license suspension, the required Driving, Substance abuse, and victims’ awareness course will be assigned. The driver’s privileges will not be allowed reinstatement for at minimum forty-five days before an application for a restricted license can be submitted, and as a precaution, a ‘blow-n-go’ system can be installed to ensure sober driving.

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DWI law firm in Louisiana

How severe are the penalties for a third offense?

At this point, the state of Louisiana considers this level of DWI a Felony which will carry stricter punishments and need additional requirements before the driver can reinstate their driving privileges. Along with upping the seriousness of the charge to a felony, the commonly given amount of jail time is between one year and five, to which a minimum of one year must be spent behind bars; there is also the extreme increase in financial penalties in which a two thousand dollar fine might be instituted.  

Additionally, there will be the seizure of the driver’s vehicle, potentially thirty days of required community service, and attendance of a four-month substance abuse program. If an inmate displays good behavior and completes the task assigned by the court, there is the chance for a restricted license in some cases.

How harsh are the penalties for a fourth charge and after that?

After getting to this point and consistently showing a disregard for the law, a driver from this point forward will be charged with a Felony. These penalties can include a fine of five thousand dollars and a minimum ten-year jail sentence, with the more severe cases getting upwards of thirty years.

A person charged with their fourth, or more, DWI must serve at least two years of the sentence and severe and additional one year of home incarceration. The added penalties will include serving forty days of community service, the seizure and sale of the driver’s vehicle, along with required attendance of substance abuse classes for up to a full year.

If a child is involved in the accident, there may be a child engagement penalty.

What are a person’s options when charged with a DWI?

To start, a driver’s first and second offenses are considered minor misdemeanors by the state of Louisiana, but hiring a lawyer is still a wise option when dealing with DWI. You and the lawyer will then sit down, get the truth of the story, then work out a solution during court for an appropriate punishment; often, a defense attorney can get a lesser charge, in these cases, for those who genuinely made a mistake and help a driver avoid unnecessary jail time.

As for those that have allowed themselves to get charged a third or more times, a lawyer will be an absolute must to avoid being hit with the proverbial book. At this point, a driver will have to serve time in jail, commit to substance abuse classes, serve community service, and pay a large sum of money in financial penalties.

From there, the best course of action will be to behave well for the remainder of the jail sentence, and a helpful lawyer can lobby for an early release and possibly more. Of course, anyone will tell you that the best way to avoid a DWI charge is not to drive intoxicated and plan ahead.

PRO TIP: Explore further details about the hit and run incident on this page to gain a better understanding.

Can a DWI be expunged from a Driver’s record?

In the state of Louisiana, three basic scenarios can take place when a DWI charge is involved. The first is when a driver is charged with a DWI under article eight and successfully completes the probation requirements, they and their lawyer will have the opportunity to file a motion to expunge the DWI from their record.

Another scenario is that a driver is not charged under article eight; for an expungement to occur, a driver will have to wait for a five-year period in which they complete all assigned court-appointed tasks. They will also be required to complete probation appointments and not commit serious felonies during that period (pending or otherwise).

The third scenario happens when a defendant completes a pretrial program that results in a dismissal, the driver can file a motion to expunge the arrest (only) from the arrest record after a five-year period in which they completed the court-appointed program. In this case, only the arrest would appear on the official documents.  

Final thoughts: How To Get Rid Of A DWI

Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Intoxicated is a serious offense and should not be taken lightly. In the US alone, drunk driving has been a top taker of human life year in and year out.

If you have made a mistake or got pulled over with a BAC over the limit, consider hiring a lawyer to represent you.  Barkemeyer Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm specializing in DWI charges. We have several locations throughout Louisiana. Please contact us or schedule a case evaluation at your convenience.

You should now better understand how to get rid of a DWI and we wish you all the best.


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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