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DWI / DUI Charges

Out of all of the criminal offenses in Louisiana, drunk driving is undoubtedly one of the most meticulous and scientific charges to sift through. Whether you are a first-time offender who might have had one drink too many at dinner or a party, or someone who is familiar with surpassing the 0.08% blood alcohol level (or BAC), it is important to have an attorney who can analyze the specific facts involved in your case and walk you through the DWI process.

Like all criminal offenses, the outcome of your current charge will rely heavily on your criminal background and history; therefore, every client’s case is unique. Many factors can play large roles in the prosecution of your case. For example, when determining how to charge a DWI/DUI offender, prosecutors must weigh the evidence presented to them, such as:

  • Was there an accident caused by the alleged offender?
    • If so, were there any innocent victims involved? What damages did they incur?
    • If there were victims involved, to what extent were they injured?
  • Has the alleged driver ever been charged with and convicted of DWI/DUI before?
    • If so, how many times?
    • If there is a history of DWI/DUI, when was the last time the alleged offender was convicted?
  • Is the alleged offender under the legal drinking age of 21?

PENALTIES:

  • DWI First Offense Penalties
    • Fines between $300-$1,000
    • Jail time between 10 days-6 months
      • Jail time may be suspended if the driver:
        • is placed on probation;
        • has served 48 hours in jail or has agreed to complete 32 hours of community service;
        • agrees to complete a driver improvement program;
        • agrees to complete a court-approved substance abuse program;
    • Suspended license for one (1) year
    • Ignition interlock device may be required

 

[NOTE: if your blood alcohol level is double the legal limit of 0.08%, or more, you could be subjected to harsher penalties for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.]

NOTE: Like many charges in Louisiana, if you are a habitual offender of the same charge, such as operating a vehicle while intoxicated, the penalties become increasingly severe.

  • DWI Second Offense Penalties
    • Fines between $750-$1,000
    • Jail time between 30 days-6 months
      • 48 hours of which cannot be suspended and must be served); however, the remainder can be suspended if the driver:
        • spends 15 days in jail;
        • agrees to complete 240 hours of community service, in addition to a court-approved substance abuse program;
        • completes a driver improvement program;
        • is placed on probation with the required installment of an ignition interlock system in their vehicle
    • Suspended license for two (2) years 

[NOTE: if your blood alcohol level is double the legal limit of 0.08%, or more, you could be subjected to harsher penalties for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.]

  • DWI Third Offense Penalties
    • Fine of $2,000
    • Jail time between 1-5 years (with or without hard labor)
    • Suspended license for three (3) years
    • Ignition interlock system required in vehicle
    • Confiscation of vehicle (at the discretion of the District Attorney)
    • Probation for remainder of sentence, in addition to:
      • 240 hours of community service;
      • court-approved substance abuse program or an evaluation and inpatient/outpatient substance abuse treatment;
      • a minimum of six (6) months of home incarceration;
      • a requirement to obtain employment;
      • a driver improvement program;
  • DWI Fourth Offense Penalties
    • Fine of $5,000
    • Jail time between 10-30 years (with or without hard labor)
    • Suspended license for three (3) years
    • Ignition interlock system required in vehicle
    • Confiscation of vehicle (at the discretion of the District Attorney)
    • Probation not to exceed five (5) years, in addition to:
      • 320 hours of community service;
      • court-approved substance abuse program (i.e. DWI or Drug Court) or an evaluation and inpatient/outpatient substance abuse treatment
      • home incarceration that parallels the amount of time in probation
      • a requirement to obtain employment;
      • a driver improvement program;
  • DWI Child Endangerment Law
    • Additionally, if you have been charged with a DWI and had a child 12 years of age or younger in your car, the minimum mandatory sentence for each offense cannot be suspended.
  • Underage DWI First Offense Penalties
    • Fines between $100-250
    • Jail time between 10 days-3 months
      • Jail time may be suspended if the driver:
        • is placed on probation;
        • agrees to complete 32 hours of community service
        • agrees to complete a driver improvement program;
        • agrees to complete a court-approved substance abuse program;
        • has their driver’s license suspended for the length of one (1) year;
        • Ignition interlock device may be required;
  • Underage DWI Second Offense Penalties
    • Fines between $250-$500
    • Jail time between 30 days-6 months
      • Jail time may be suspended if driver is placed on probation, in addition to:
        • serving 48 hours in jail;
        • completion of a driver improvement program;
        • completion of a court-approved substance abuse program;

or

  • completion of 80 hours of community service work;
  • completion of a driver improvement program;
  • completion of a court-approved substance abuse program;

The above penalties discuss the minimum and maximums, while we never guarantee outcomes, because each case is so different and unique, we have seen much success over time in aggressively defending our clients. Those results include lesser jail sentences, probation in lieu of jail time, reduced conditions and time on probation, deferred adjudication and diversion of charges, and even outright dismissal of charges. Outcomes cannot be guaranteed by anyone, but at Sudduth and Associates, we pride ourselves on guaranteeing to our clients our heart, our passion, and our every effort.

Having the experienced team of paralegals, investigators, and attorneys at Sudduth & Associates, LLC on your side is invaluable to you receiving the best possible outcome. Call us today to see how we can help you level the playing field to get the best possible outcome in your case!

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