Were you or your loved one recently arrested for an alleged DUI or DWI crime in Shreveport, Bossier, or the surrounding area? If so, turn to a law firm that has extensive experience defending those who have been charged with alcohol-related crimes. Dwi defense attorney Ebonee Norris and the team at The Norris Law Group have successfully defended people just like you in Shreveport, Bossier, and across Louisiana who have been charged with DUI or DWI, and we are ready to put our experience to work for you.
Louisiana Revised Statute § 14:98 establishes the crime of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (sometimes referred to as OWI), which is more commonly referred to as driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). Whichever abbreviation you choose to use, any kind of drunk or drugged driving arrest is a serious matter that can cause an enormous number of complications in your life.
DUI and DWI crimes involve enhanced penalties for repeat offenses, and alleged offenders can also face tougher consequences for violations involving high blood or breath alcohol concentrations (BACs). Many people assume that they will be convicted when they are arrested for drunk or drugged driving, but it is important to remember that you are entitled to a presumption of innocence when you enter a courtroom. With criminal offenses like DWI, the prosecutor has the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Norris Law Group can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Call (318) 771-7000 or contact us online to speak with a dwi defense attorney and to set up a confidential consultation.
Under Louisiana Revised Statute § 14:98, a person commits the crime of operating a vehicle while intoxicated if they:
The consequences of a DUI or DWI in Louisiana depend on several factors. Your alleged BAC can impact sentencing, but the number of prior convictions is also an important factor. Louisiana has a "lookback period" of 10 years, which means that any drunk or drugged driving offenses committed within the decade prior to your most recent arrest can be used to enhance your criminal charges.
In general, operating a vehicle while intoxicated convictions are punishable as follows in Louisiana:
Fine of at least $300 up to $1,000, minimum 10 days up to six months imprisonment, and 90-day suspension of driver's license. If a first offense involves a BAC of 0.20 or more, the alleged offender will have their driver's license suspended for two years and can apply for a restricted license if their vehicle has been equipped with an ignition interlock device (IID).
Fine of at least $750 up to $1,000, minimum 30 days up to six months imprisonment, and one-year suspension of driver's license. At least 48 hours of the sentence must be served without the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. If this conviction follows a conviction for vehicular homicide or first degree vehicular negligent injuring, it is punishable by a fine of $2,000 and a minimum of one year up to five years imprisonment, with or without hard labor. A person convicted of a second DUI or DWI will have to install an IID in their vehicle for six months. If a second offense involves a BAC of 0.20 or more, the alleged offender will have their driver's license suspended for four years and can apply for a restricted license if their vehicle is equipped with an IID.
Fine of $2,000, minimum one year up to five years imprisonment, and two-year suspension of driver's license. A person convicted of a third DUI or DWI will have to install an IID in their vehicle until they have satisfied the requirements of substance abuse treatment and home incarceration or, if applicable, the requirements of the drug division probation program. An alleged offender can apply for a restricted license after one year of suspension if their vehicle is equipped with an IID.
Fine of $5,000, minimum 10 years up to 30 years imprisonment, and two-year suspension of driver's license. An alleged offender's vehicle may be seized and sold by the state.
Louisiana Revised Statute § 32:661 is known as the state's implied consent law. Under this law, any driver in the state automatically consents to blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substance tests for the purpose of determining alcohol content.
A person still has the right to refuse a DUI or DWI test, but they can face immediate administrative penalties for doing so. A first or second refusal to submit to testing results in a six-month driver's license suspension, but a third or subsequent offense can lead to possible jail time.
It is also important to note that Louisiana Revised Statute § 14.98.B is known as the Child Endangerment Law. Under this law, a DUI or DWI that is committed with a passenger who is 12 years of age or younger means that the execution of a minimum mandatory sentence cannot be suspended. Thus, a first DUI or DWI offense involving a violation of the Child Endangerment Law is punishable by a minimum of 10 days imprisonment, a second offense is punishable by a minimum of 30 days imprisonment, a third offense is punishable by a minimum of one year imprisonment, and a fourth offense is punishable by a minimum of 10 years imprisonment.
While many people assume they will automatically be forced to deal with harsh penalties after being arrested for DWI, the truth is that these charges can often be negotiated, reduced or may be dropped altogether.
In some cases, arresting officers may have made critical mistakes that affect the admissibility of certain evidence. In other cases, there may have been issues with testing equipment that impacted the accuracy of the results. You deserve to know if everything that was involved in your arrest was in accordance with state law, as any deviation from the necessary requirements can lead to your case possibly being too difficult to prosecute.
If you or your loved one has been arrested for an alleged DUI or DWI in the Shreveport or Bossier area, you will want to quickly seek legal representation. An experienced criminal defense attorney will know how to identify the weakest parts of a prosecutor's case and fight to help you achieve the most favorable resolution.
Our team of attorneys will also work to protect your driver's license, following the DWI arrest. We can handle the driver's license hearing on your behalf to give you the best possible chance of retaining your driving privileges.
The Norris Law Group handles all kinds of drunk and drugged driving cases, whether it is your first offense or you have multiple prior convictions. Let our lawyer review your case when you call (318) 771-7000 or contact us online to take advantage of a confidential consultation.