According to the law of Louisiana, it is considered against the law for a person under the influence of any substance to operate a motor vehicle. If your blood concentration is greater than .08%, you could be arrested and face serious jail time. You might not be required to show any signs of impairment, however, all you need is for the BAC to indicate that it is .08% or greater to be violating the DWI offense in the state of Louisiana.
Now you may still be arrested if you are below the legal limit and still driving while intoxicated as it is assumed you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs as the case may be. There are a number of ways an officer can use to determine if you are truly under the influence and some of those methods include observation of your driving pattern before you are supped or how you stoped the vehicle or how you answer questions thrown at you or your BAC reading and how you perform on your field sobriety test. If found wanting, all these can lead to a charge and is punishable by the law.
If by chance the officer concludes that you are definitely under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you would then be arrested for a DWI offense in the state of Louisiana. Once you have been arrested, the officer has the right to confiscate your driver’s license and then proceed to give you a temporary driving permit which is usually valid for a period of 30 days. When this exercise is completed, the officer would then forward your license as well as all the evidence they have gathered to the department of motor vehicles.
You get a period of 15 days from the day of your arrest for which you can request a hearing with the DMV. This is in order to restore all your driving privileges and also to avoid the suspension of your license. To be able to get these, you would need a good criminal defense attorney to represent you as well as your case and avoid getting you suspended of all your driving privileges.
Different DWI offenses usually come with different penalties and a good criminal defense attorney would know how to explain it better to you while finding which applies to your case and how well the case is most likely to go. Some of these offenses and their penalties are;
When you have been charged in the state of Louisiana with a DWI, you basically have just 15 days to get a lawyer who can petition for your hearing in order to save your driver’s license and prevent it from getting suspended.
The very first time you receive a DWI in Louisiana, you stand a chance of facing up to 6 months in jail and getting a fine of up to a thousand dollars. You could also have your license suspended for up to twelve months and in a case where your BAC is over 0.20, then it could be up to two years.
You could always apply for a restricted hardship driver’s license which checks your BAC before it starts due to the installation on your ignition. Other things you could stand a chance of facing include community service, attending an abuse program and also taking a driver’s education program, all of which are approved by the court of law.
For a second DWI offense, it is handled almost the same as the first. It is still considered a misdemeanor instead of a felony however there could be longer jail time but it doesn’t exceed the period of 6 months. A person could also lose their license for a period of 4 years in a situation their BAC is over 0.20.
When your license gets reinstated, there would be a need for an ignition interlock and also a period of community service. There are also the chances of attending an abuse program and also a driver education program. It is best to keep in mind that this could have an effect on your car insurance.
If you reach the third conviction, a DWI could be a lot more serious and is considered a felony. A person could be fined up to 2000 dollars and also spend a period of 5 years in jail.
There could be a license suspension of a period of 3 years and volunteering for a DWI program could mean you are eligible to get an ignition interlock system after a period of 45 days suspension to be able to get a restricted driver’s license if you qualify. You could also lose your vehicle and a substance abuse program could be enforced.
When you finally reach your fourth DUI, there are more penalties and the fines could increase up to 5000 dollars and also a possible jail time of up to 30 years. Not only could you lose your license but you could also lose your car. You must also attend programs like six weeks of inpatient as well as a year of an outpatient substance abuse treatment.
The state of Louisiana has a 10-year enhancement period. This is to say that after 10 years of the previous DWI conviction, it is not considered as a previous conviction any more and one of 10 years ago cannot be used against you.
After your first DUI, it is very possible for you to make a plea bargain but your lawyer is better off standing in for you. You should know that this can be dependent on the circumstances which surround your arrest and how close or far your BAC is to the limit and also your criminal defense attorney as well as the prosecutor and the judge. Even though you stand a chance of losing your license, you get the chance of not facing harsh penalties.
Carl Barkemeyer is a criminal defense attorney with years of experience in this field to represent you in your case in court. The DWI laws in Louisiana tend to carry some stiff penalties and we are here to walk you through it. You need an attorney who not only specializes in these kinds of cases but also has extensive knowledge of the law and that’s what we offer here at Carl Barkemeyer, so give us a call today.