Louisiana DWI Results in Suspended License and Incarceration
In Louisiana, you can be arrested for driving drunk if you show signs of impairment and/or if your blood alcohol content is above the legal limit of .08 percent. If you are arrested, you will face serious penalties including the suspension of your driver’s license and incarceration.
It is important to understand what to expect after a drunk driving arrest so you can navigate the DWI process and protect your rights. A New Orleans DWI defense attorney at Bloom Legal can guide you through every step in the process and ensure you make the choices that are most likely to lead to a positive outcome.
What to Expect Following a DWI Arrest
After a drunk driving arrest in Louisiana, you can expect the following actions to occur:
- License Suspension: Your license will be seized and you will be issued a temporary permit. This temporary permit is valid for a total of 30 days.
- Administrative Hearing: You have 15 days to request an administrative hearing. If you do not act within the 15-day period, the Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your license. If you wish to argue against this suspension or attempt to obtain a hardship license, you must request a hearing within 15 days.
- Arraignment: The arraignment is the first time you appear in court. It may occur on the day you are arrested for driving drunk. You will be informed of the formal charges that are pending against you and you will need to plead guilty, not guilty or nolo contendere (no contest). You should retain an attorney before you are arraigned so that you can be advised on the best way to plead.
- Pre-trial: The pre-trial process includes gathering evidence, building your case and attending motion hearings. Motion hearings allow the lawyers involved in the case to submit and argue specific requests to the court. For example, if evidence was collected in a way that violated your constitutional rights, your lawyer will file a motion to suppress the evidence (prevent the evidence from being used against you). If there is not enough evidence to potentially prove your guilt, your lawyer may also file a motion to dismiss.
- Trial: If you do not plead guilty and the charges are not dropped, your case will move to trial. The prosecutor has the legal burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, you do not have to prove you were innocent but just introduce doubt or raise questions about whether you were guilty. An experienced lawyer will explore a variety of approaches in order to make it difficult for the prosecutor to prove the case. For example, your lawyer may argue that the tests administered to determine your BAC were not calibrated correctly or that the police were not properly trained. It will be up to the judge or jury to decide whether the evidence presented by either side was credible.
- Sentencing: If you plead guilty or are found guilty, the judge will apply statutory laws to determine the penalties. Repeat offenders and those with a high blood alcohol content level (BAC) will receive harsher sentences.
Questions Your Lawyer Should Ask
If you have been accused of a crime or are being questioned by the police in connection with criminal activity it may be time to seek legal counsel from a New Orleans criminal defense lawyer.
Before hiring your lawyer you will likely visit for a consultation to exchange paperwork and determine if your case is a good fit for the law firm or lawyer.
It is natural to be nervous about your initial consultation, but it is important to listen carefully to the questions he or she asks to determine if they have your best interests at heart. You should also be prepared to share important paperwork, which may include police reports, medical records and state identification.
At Bloom Legal we listen carefully to the facts of your case. Using this information – and taking into consideration your priorities for the case – we use our consultation time to formulate a personalized defense that is right for you.
Some questions you can expect a New Orleans criminal defense lawyer to ask include:
- Do you have a past criminal record?
It may be uncomfortable to talk about your past charges or your arrest record but you must give your lawyer this information. You could potentially face harsher penalties if you have a previous record. For example, if you were previously convicted of drunk driving, you will likely face bigger fines and a longer incarceration time for a second offense.
- What charges have been filed against you?
If you have legal documents showing what you have been formally charged with, you should bring copies to your first meeting with your attorney. Your lawyer can provide information on the potential penalties for conviction of a particular criminal charge. A New Orleans criminal defense lawyer also knows the elements of each crime and what the prosecutor has to prove to convict you of a particular offense.
- What were the events leading up to your arrest?
You must provide information to your New Orleans criminal defense lawyer about the circumstances leading to your arrest. Were you under the influence of alcohol? Why did the officer pull you over? You should be honest because accurate information allows your lawyer to better prepare.
After your first meeting everyone should have a clear picture of what the charges are and you should understand your options for defending yourself. You should also provide other information to your lawyer like your residency status and whether you are interested in a plea bargain or doing everything possible to avoid conviction.
Bloom Legal provides personalized one-on-one representation to clients accused of crimes throughout New Orleans and surrounding areas. Our goal is to make handling your criminal charges as simple and stress-free as possible while getting the very best possible outcome for you. We will ask you for necessary details to provide you with the very best in legal representation. Call today to schedule your consultation and learn more.
Court Locations for Louisiana DWI Court
In Orleans Parish:
- Most DWI and DUI cases are handled at New Orleans Traffic Court. Traffic Court is located at 727 South Broad St., New Orleans, 70119. Their website is: http://www.nola.gov/traffic-court/.
- There are four judges at New Orleans Traffic Court:
- A (9am Morning Court): The Hon. Judge Dennis J. Dannel
- B (9am Morning Court): The Hon. Judge Robert E. Jones, III
- C (2pm Afternoon Court): The Hon. Judge Mark Shea
- D (2pm Afternoon Court): The Hon. Judge Ronald J. Sholes.
- Felony DWI and DUI cases are tried at Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, colloquially referred to as Tulane and Broad. At Tulane and Broad, courts hear all Orleans Parish criminal cases, including DWI and DUI charges. The address is 2700 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, 70119. Their website is http://www.criminalcourt.org.
- The various sections of court are as follows:
- Section A – Honorable Laurie A. White
- Section B – Honorable Lynda Van Davis
- Section C – Honorable Benedict Willard
- Section D – Honorable Frank A. Marullo, Jr.
- Section E – Honorable Keva Landrum-Johnson
- Section F – Honorable Robin D. Pittman
- Section G – Honorable Julian Parker
- Section H – Honorable Camille Buras
- Section I – Honorable Karen K. Herman
- Section J – Honorable Darryl Derbigny
- Section K – Honorable Arthur Hunter, Chief Judge
- Section L – Honorable Terry Q. Alarcon
- Magistrate – Honorable Gerard Hansen
- 1st Parish Court handles all incidents that occur on the East Bank of Jefferson Parish, including 1st and 2nd DWI and DUI offenses. The court is located at 924 David Drive in Metairie, Louisiana. Their website ishttp://www.jpclerkofcourt.us/courts/1st-parish/.
In Jefferson Parish:
- The judges at 1st Parish Court are:
- The Hon. Rebecca M. Olivier, Division “A”
- The Hon. George W. Giacobbe, Division “B”
- 2nd Parish Court handles all incidents that occur on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish, including 1st and 2nd DWI and DUI offenses. The court is located at 100 Huey P. Long Ave. in Gretna, Louisiana. Their website ishttp://www.jpclerkofcourt.us/courts/2nd-parish/.
- The judges at 2nd Parish Court are:
- The Hon. Roy M. Cascio, Division “A”
- The Hon. Stephen C. “Steve” Grefer, Division “B”
- The 24th Judicial District Court is located at 200 Derbigny Street in Gretna Louisiana. Their website is http://www.24jdc.us/.
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