Last week, I wrote about what happens before, during, and immediately after you arrested for DWI in Louisiana as a result of a charge for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. I ended last week’s post at the point where you are released from jail. This week, I’m going to talk about what you need to do in order to beat the charges against you and hopefully get an innocent verdict.
How Do I Beat a DWI Charge in New Orleans or Louisiana?
By hiring an experienced New Orleans DWI lawyer, you have the opportunity to fight the DWI violation you were recently charged with. You want to consider hiring a lawyer who specializes in drunk driving charges in New Orleans immediately. The first step you will take is to apply for an administrative hearing within 15 days of your arrest to determine whether you will be able to maintain your driving privilege. This hearing will also help your DWI lawyer get necessary information by questioning police officers who arrested you while they are under oath.
How Much Will a Lawyer Cost?
Getting arrested or charged with a DWI is a scary situation and can cause anxiety on all levels. One of the most largest impacts will be on your finances. When you hire a lawyer to help fight your DWI charge, there are a few factors that are taken into consideration to determine how much it is going to cost you. Each lawyer may have a different billing method, the rate will fluctuate from lawyer to lawyer, how much additional legal expenses there might be like filing and court fees, and the length of time it will take to resolve your DWI case. Your lawyer may charge an hourly rate or may charge a flat fee. A flat fee is based on how long the lawyer believes it will take to fight your case from start to finish. This will also depend on whether you choose to plead guilty or not guilty. Some additional legal expenses may include additional personnel such as investigators, paralegal, expert witness, travel-related expenses or even photocopying.
Is it worth fighting your DWI charge?
Absolutely. When you are charged with drunk driving, there are hidden costs like insurance increases or driving classes. If you are convicted for drunk driving 3 or more times, you can lose your vehicle, your driving privileges, and essentially curtail your constitutional rights. Even one DWI conviction can having serious consequences at your job and will result in a criminal record.
First Offense DWIs in Louisiana: Potential Penalties & Opportunities
Whether you were involved in a car accident, people sustained injuries or you were simply pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving, there are many potential penalties if you are convicted of a DWI, even if it is a first offense. This is one very good reason you should hire a confident Louisiana DWI attorney. If you are convicted for a first offense DWI, you run the risk of having your driving privileges suspended for up to 90 days, spending up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine in addition to court fees. The good news is that I can help you fight all these charges. During the administrative hearing, a lawyer can learn whether the arresting police officer followed all proper procedures. This could help to initially determine whether your driver’s license will be suspended. I can also help keep fines down and most importantly keep you out of jail.
What Happens While I Wait for Trial?
If your driving privileges are revoked, you may be eligible for a hardship license. In order to receive a hardship license, you may have to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle by a state approved installation center. You will also have to complete an SR-22 with the State, and pay required fees. First time offenders who refuse to submit to a breathalyzer will have their driving privileges revoked for 1-year. If your driving privileges are not revoked, you may have to wait from your criminal hearing, but you can ease your worries as this means they have little evidence to charge you with DWI. This does not mean you will not be convicted, but it is a possibility for acquittal. In addition to your driving privileges, the court may require you to attend substance abuse evaluations, driver improvement courses, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, and participate in community service. All of these will cost you money, but successful complete may help you avoid higher fines, court fees, or a conviction after trial.
Drunk Driving Pleas & Ways to Beat a DWI in Louisiana
It is possible to receive a “wet reckless” or reckless driving conviction as a result of a plea bargain. A reckless driving conviction is considered a reduced charge to a DWI. Additionally, there are opportunities for your lawyer to determine whether you are being wrongfully charged for a DWI. Some opportunities include:
- Stopping a Person or Vehicle Illegally: In Louisiana, law enforcement must have a reasonable and articulate basis to believe that a driver of a vehicle has violated a traffic law or other law in order to be pulled over and stopped.
- Sobriety Testing: The field sobriety tests are never 100% accurate and therefore cannot be validly judged by these tests.
- Providing a “Speedy Trial” in Louisiana: You, as the driver and defendant must be provided a trial within a specific period of time or else your charges could be dismissed.
- Failure of Mirandize: If an officer failed to issue Miranda Rights to the driver, then any statements used by the driver cannot be used as evidence in a court of law.
These are just a few out of many opportunities and reasons why you may not be convicted of a DWI even if you were charged with the crime. Through my knowledge of the law, and experience with many types of clients, I am confident I will be able to help you with your DWI charge whether in New Orleans or in the surrounding Louisiana areas.
Multiple Offense DWIs in Louisiana
I have defended many clients with multiple DWI charges. What can you expect if you are convicted of multiple DWIs? Some of the penalties in Louisiana could include:
- Driving privileges suspended for up to two years
- Court Required Sobriety
- Mandatory jail time
- Up to 30 years in prison depending on the repeated number of offense
- Possible loss of vehicle
- Possible fines up to $5,000
- Possible home confinement
- Possible substance abuse education or outpatient programs
- A possible felony criminal record
- Community service
Call an Experienced DWI Lawyer Now
Again, you have many opportunities to lessen a charge or have a DWI charge dismissed due to the many opportunities presented in and surrounding your case. If you have recently been released from jail as a result of a drunk driving charge in New Orleans, take a few minutes to call me at (504) 264-9492 or (866) 459-4478 for a free consultation. I am ready to take your call or e-mail and eager to help you lessen or beat your charge. There is no need to worry if you take the time to speak with an experienced drunk driving lawyer; I am here to answer your questions and take the next steps towards fighting your DWI charge.