What do I do if I’m arrested for driving while intoxicated?
If you are arrested for driving while intoxicated, it is important that you call an attorney who understands your rights and your legal options and has the experience needed to navigate the court system. A DWI is a serious offense and even a first offense conviction for DWI can result in jail time, large fines, and loss of your driver’s license for years in some cases. Having a DWI on your record can lead to unwanted consequences in your professional and personal life as well.
At Cueria Law Firm, L.L.C., our experienced New Orleans DWI attorney will provide you with the zealous advocacy needed to ensure the best outcome of your case. We will work with you to determine the best way to handle your case from arrest through initial hearings in the courts and to resolution.
Is DWI the same as DUI?
In Louisiana, DWI or driving while intoxicated is the same offense as DUI or driving under the influence in other states. Often people who are from out of state are arrested for DWI in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is important that you have the local representation of a New Orleans DWI attorney to help you navigate the court system here in Louisiana.
Will I likely be convicted of Driving While Intoxicated and what are the consequences if I am convicted?
There are many important steps to take to make sure you are not convicted of DWI in New Orleans. Filing proper paperwork with the Court and navigating hearings before the Judge assigned to your case will be handled by your New Orleans DWI attorney. A defense plan will be devised based on the evidence in your case.
The ramifications for being arrested for DWI depend on a number of factors. One factor is any prior arrests or convictions for alcohol-related offenses. First and second offense DWIs are misdemeanor charges. However, a third DWI offense is a felony charge that has severe consequences including jail time of up to 5 years and license revocation for up to 2 years.
How will my New Orleans DWI attorney defend my case?
It is important that you contact a New Orleans DWI attorney immediately after your arrest for DWI. If you have been put in jail after your arrest, the first step is to ensure you are released. The next step is to file for an Administrative hearing to protect your driving privileges and avoid driver’s license suspension. This filing must be made within 15 days of your arrest. Our attorney can file the necessary paperwork and navigate this initial hearing and attempt to prevent your license from being suspended.
It is also important for your New Orleans DWI attorney to gather evidence about your DWI arrest. Police sometimes make mistakes when pulling people over for DWI. Some common mistakes are: no probable cause to stop the vehicle, improperly administered field sobriety tests, improperly administered Breathalyzer, and improper/incorrect Breathalyzer results. There could be a legal technicality or issue that will prevent you from being convicted of DWI in court. An experienced New Orleans DWI attorney is able to look at the facts surrounding your arrest and determine if anything was improperly handled by the police officers involved. These determinations could be the difference between you being convicted of DWI and DWI charges being commuted or even dismissed.
What to do if you are pulled over after you have been drinking?
If you are pulled over in New Orleans and you have been drinking it is important that you remember to take the following steps:
- Cooperate with the police and try to stay calm. It is important that you calmly cooperate with the officers who pull you over and avoid any altercation with officers at the scene. If you remain calm you will be able to focus and remember everything that takes place at the scene. Remembering these details can help aid your defense later on.
- Avoid submitting to any field sobriety test if you are able to do so. You are not required to submit to a field sobriety test if you are pulled over. The tests are subjective and therefore can produce inaccurate results. If you are able to politely tell the officer that you decline to participate in a field sobriety test.
- Decline to submit to a Breathalyzer test at the scene if you are able to do so. A preliminary alcohol screening commonly referred to as a Breathalyzer test is often performed at the scene of a DWI, and involves the alleged intoxicated driver blowing into a device. The device determines the blood alcohol level of the alleged intoxicated driver, however, these devices often produce inaccurate results. You have the right to ask that the preliminary alcohol screening take place at the police station and not at the scene of the accident.
- Call a lawyer. It is imperative that you contact a New Orleans DWI attorney as soon as possible if you are pulled over and/or arrested for DWI. You need to know your rights and the next steps to take.
If you have been arrested for DWI please call our New Orleans DWI attorney immediately. Our attorney and staff are determined to ensure the best possible outcome of your case. We will work with you to make sure that you are able to navigate the Court system and know your legal rights.