New Orleans DWI Attorney
What is Drunk Driving in Louisiana?
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is defined as operating any motor vehicle when under the influence of a controlled dangerous drug or with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or greater. If you’ve been accused of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated, it’s imperative to retain an experienced New Orleans criminal defense attorney.
Only your New Orleans DWI and DUI defense attorney can advise you about your rights and how to ensure that you are protected as you move through the court system. Many different laws have been passed in the Louisiana legislature related to DUIs and associated penalties in recent decades. Understanding the possibility for this situation to affect your future and your freedom is imperative.
Your New Orleans DUI defense lawyer’s goal should be to allow you to keep your driver’s license, freedom, and insurance; all while avoiding the payment of any fines if possible.
If you were driving under the influence, don’t assume that all hope is lost after you’ve been charged. You might still have options to fight these charges. However, time is of the essence! Whether it is your first DWI offense or a subsequent offense, the sooner you contact us, the faster we can expedite your case.
Pulled Over for Suspected Drunk Driving?
If a police officer in New Orleans pulls you over on suspicion of a DWI, you need to:
- stay calm
- provide cooperation but avoid making unnecessary statements
- avoid field sobriety tests where possible
- know your rights
Speak calmly and quietly with the officer without providing too many details. The officer must have probable cause in order to proceed with claims that you’re under the influence, but you should never allow the situation to become worse by getting angry. This only serves to push the officer further.
You also should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you are arrested for driving while impaired. A DUI attorney can help you to understand how to fight the Department of Motor Vehicle’s attempts to suspend your license, how to plead during your arraignment, and how to prepare for navigating the criminal justice system.
Recognizing that a drunk driving arrest is a serious matter, you need to know that it will not go away if you ignore it.
The only way to appropriately respond to a DWI allegation is to consult with an experienced attorney immediately. If you or another person you know has already been arrested for DUI or DWI in Louisiana, it is crucial that you hire an attorney quickly.
Deadlines associated with drunk driving laws in Louisiana come into action very quickly and are not extended. Furthermore, you need someone who understands the system and the key stakeholders involved when it comes to negotiating different punishments, such as jail time, classes, suspensions, and fines.
You need a New Orleans DUI defense lawyer who has broad experience in defending clients who have been accused of driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated. You need legal representation from an attorney you can trust with your reputation and your freedom.
Evaluate Your Case
Develop Legal Strategy
Fight for Your Rights
Penalties for DUI in Louisiana
The penalties can be much more severe if the person driving the vehicle has a blood alcohol content of over 0.15 or 0.20. As you are accused of a second, third, fourth or subsequent offense for DWI, the penalties will also increase.
At the third offense level, your DWI will be classified as a felony rather than a misdemeanor.
You need to speak to a lawyer who will help you to understand the possible penalties for a DWI conviction which can include:
- Time in jail
- Community service
Defense Strategies for DUI Cases
Present the details of your arrest to your attorney as soon as possible. This gives your lawyer a chance to review all possibilities for your defense strategy.
Here are some commonly used defense strategies after a DUI arrest:
- Improper stop due to lack of probable cause to stop you in the first place
- Inaccurate results on a breathalyzer test due to improper use or non-calibrated machines
- Inappropriately administered field sobriety tests, especially if the officer used the horizontal gaze nystagmus test as the basis
- Problems with chain of custody of the blood test for cases in which you believe evidence was tampered with or improperly stored after it was collected. Your lawyer can question the integrity of that evidence as a whole.
- Violation of your rights at the traffic stop.
What Can a Lawyer Do for Me in a DUI Case?
You need the services provided by an experienced New Orleans DUI and DWI defense lawyer immediately as your best opportunity to identify mistakes made on the part of the police officer pulling you over and arresting you could enable you to have your charges dismissed entirely. The specifics of your case need to be shared with your defense attorney immediately so that you can identify a comprehensive defense strategy to protect your rights.
Being accused of a DUI not only carries legal penalties upon conviction but can also damage your reputation and show up in a background check in the future. Your best opportunity to respond to this situation is to retain a criminal defense attorney immediately.
If you have recently been arrested for DWI in Louisiana, you need assistance from an attorney who cares and will provide you with compassion. A good person who might have made a mistake or misjudgment can suffer from the consequences of a DWI allegation for years to come. Your criminal defense attorney should be committed to looking into all circumstances to verify whether or not there are options to have your case dismissed.
If you have been arrested for DWI in Louisiana, your first step is to get out of jail and a knowledgeable DUI attorney in Louisiana will help you to identify the right method to secure your release.
Some people might assume that using a bail bond service is appropriate, but in some situations your criminal defense attorney can work directly with a judge to secure your release.
Your attorney can:
- Challenge evidence
- Help you with administrative issues regarding your driver’s license
- Fight for dismissal
What appears on my Official Driving Record (ODR) and for how long do violations remain?
The following violations will appear on your ODR and the retention period for violations various depending on the type of violation.
- DWI, Vehicle Negligent Injury and Out-of-Service convictions remain on the record for 10 years from the date of conviction.
- Refusals are displayed for a ten year period from the date of arrest or until all requirements have been met. However, they are not displayed while the record is in pending.
- Other major traffic convictions (suspendable/disqualifying violations) remain on the record for 5 years from the date of conviction.
When Do I Need a Lawyer?
While the penalties for a conviction are serious and can stack up for subsequent offenses, your best opportunity to avoid having this conviction on your record is to engage with a lawyer immediately.
You have the right to speak to an attorney and your lawyer will help you understand the stages of this process and avoid early mistakes that could compromise your freedom down the road, too.
Contact my office at (504) 482-2900 today for help with your DUI or DWI in New Orleans.