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Bossier City DWI/DUI Attorney
Being charged with a DWI/DUI can be a frightening and embarrassing situation, but it’s important to remain calm. Remember that the outcome of your DWI/DUI case relies on how you choose to exercise your legal rights. It’s critical for you to contact a defense attorney as soon as you’re arrested. They can help make sure your rights are protected and help build a strong criminal defense to reduce the penalties you face or even get the charges dismissed.
DUI/DWI Louisiana Penalties
Louisiana may be known as a party state, but that doesn’t mean the law is lenient on DUI/DWI enforcement. The penalties for a DUI/DWI in Louisiana consist of:
A first offense is considered a misdemeanor with possible penalties including:
- Probation up to two years
- 10 days to 6 months jail time
- A fine of $300 to $1,000
- 48 hours in jail or 32 hours of community service
- Participation in a court-approved substance abuse program and driver improvement program.
Even for a first offense, you should contact an attorney. Depending on the circumstances, they may be able to help reduce the penalties or help dismiss the charge entirely.
A second offense is also considered a misdemeanor. However, the penalties increase substantially. Penalties for a second offense DUI/DWI may include:
- A fine ranging from $750 to $1,000
- 30 days to 6 months jail time
- 240 hours of community service
- Up to 6 months probation and 48 hours spent in jail
- Participation in a court-approved substance abuse program and court-approved driver improvement program
- An ignition interlock device to continue your driving privileges
Penalties often depend on the severity of the crime and prior history. A second offense means there’s prior history that plays into the conviction penalties. While it’s always important to contact a defense attorney after being charged with a DUI/DWI, it’s crucial if you have one or more prior DWI/DUI offenses.
While a first and second offense is considered a misdemeanor, a third offense moves into the felony threshold. The penalties for a third offense include:
- You could face a fine of $2,000
- One to five years imprisonment
- 240 hours of community service
- Up to 5 years of probation
- One year must be spent in jail
- Community service and re-education programs
- Substance abuse evaluation and substance abuse treatment
- The offender’s vehicle may be seized
- Some judges order you to have an ignition interlock device
- Probation for the full length of any suspended sentence
- Home incarceration for a minimum of 6 months
The penalties for a felony DWI/DUI are severe and can impact someone’s life for a very long time, if not forever. It’s imperative to contact an experienced and aggressive defense attorney who can help achieve a favorable outcome for your circumstances.
Fourth offense DWIs and additional offenses are considered felonies that carry severe including:
- Fine up to $5,000
- Minimum jail time of 10 years and a maximum of 30 years (two of these years are without the benefit of suspension)
- Probation up to 5 years
- 320 hours of community service
- Home incarceration for at least one year
- Seizure of the vehicle
- Required to undergo a substance abuse evaluation
- Substance abuse treatment for four weeks inpatient and 12 months outpatient
People arrested for a DWI/DUI in Louisiana have thirty days from the date of their arrest to request an administrative hearing discussing their license status. Before that hearing, it’s vital to have contacted an attorney. If possible, they may be able to prevent your license from being suspended.
In Louisiana, the legal alcohol limit changes depending on whether the driver is an adult, a commercial driver, or someone under 21. For adult drivers, the legal blood alcohol level is 0.08%, for those under 21, it’s 0.02%, and for commercial drivers, it’s 0.04%. Furthermore, drivers who commit a first offense with a BAC of 0.15% or 0.20% or have a minor of 12 years old or younger in the vehicle are likely to face more enhanced penalties.
DWI/DUI Procedure in Louisiana
When someone is arrested for a DWI/DUI, two separate procedures result from an arrest:
Administrative Procedure of Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicles
According to the Louisiana department of motor vehicles, the procedure consists of the state attempting to take away the alleged offender’s driver’s license for a minimum of one year for a first offense.
Criminal Proceeding by the District Attorney
Criminal proceedings are administered by the district attorney, who will attempt to put the alleged offender in jail for up to six months for a first offense.
Each of these proceedings results from the alleged offender refusing to take a breathalyzer test or a BAC above 0.08%.
It’s also important to note that Louisiana law offers a safe harbor for people with certain blood alcohol levels. People with blood alcohol levels below 0.05% will likely be presumed not to be driving under the influence. When the BAC is between 0.05% and 0.08%, there is no presumption about impairment. However, once the BAC is 0.08% or higher, there is a presumption that the person is impaired.
Contact a Bossier City DWI/DUI Attorney Today
Hiring an experiencing Bossier DWI/DUI attorney can significantly impact your case, especially if you’ve been arrested for a second or third offense. Eric Johnson of John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm is an experienced and knowledgeable DWI/DUI attorney that has worked on numerous cases throughout Louisiana. Eric is an experienced litigator who can help access your case and determine the best course of action to secure a favorable outcome.
Schedule a consultation today by filling out our contact form or calling (318) 377-1555.