DUI & DWI
Louisiana has some tough laws when it comes to DWI and DUI charges. Being arrested on suspicion of a DUI or DWI can be a difficult situation, especially when you don’t know the consequences or possible legal strategies.
Whether you, a loved one, or friend, have been arrested for drunk driving, you need to know that contacting a Lake Charles criminal defense attorney is your best option for a favorable outcome. Each case is unique but Shane Hinch’s years of experience can help you defend your rights.
Whether you have questions about getting out of jail, what the next steps are after an arrest, or how to best combat charges, Shane Hinch can help. Our firm has helped folks out of tough situations and we’ve successfully defended clients against the worst accusations. If you want to improve your chances at avoiding the worst outcome, contact us today.
Louisiana Drunk Driving Laws Explained
Drunk driving, or impaired driving (due to drugs), can lead to a DUI charge and possible conviction. It’s important to note that a ‘per se’ DUI is also possible. What is a ‘per se’ DUI? A per se DUI is what happens when an individual is technically breaking the law by having a specific blood alcohol content (BAC) that is above the legal limit. This also applies to drugged driving. In other words, if an individual is not exhibiting signs of impairment but a BAC shows illegal levels of an intoxicant in their system then they can be charged and possibly convicted.
1st DUI Offense
In Louisiana, a first-time DUI offense comes with serious consequences. Jail time is possible. A judge can sentence you to anywhere between 10 days and 6 months. Fines and a license suspension are also potential consequences. Anywhere from $300 to $1,000 fines could be levied against a first-time offender. A first-time DUI comes with a 90-day license suspension either because of a BAC test failure or refusal.
2nd DUI Offense within 5 years
If a person is convicted of a DUI within 5 years of the first conviction then they face fines ranging from $750 and $1,000. A person’s license could be suspended for up to 4 years. Those convicted will also have to undergo probation, 30-days of community service, and alcohol management programs
3rd DUI Offense
A 1st and 2nd DUI are both misdemeanors in Louisiana. But, a 3rd offense is a felony. This charge comes with the possibility of a $2,000 fine, up to 5 years in prison, a minimum of one year must be served without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. This year must be served unless the person who has pleaded guilty participates in a court-approved drug diversion program, probation, and other court-ordered programs. Additional penalties could be added based on the court’s discretion.
Is probation possible for a DUI in Louisiana?
Probation is possible for the first DUI offense. Depending on certain factors and the specific components of your case it could be made mandatory. After a conviction for a first-time DUI, an offender could face probation as a way to suspend their prison service. This could also come with community service and a substance abuse program. For a second offense, probation is also possible. One of the differences between 2nd and 1st offense DUIs is that a 30-day jail sentence is mandatory for 2nd offenses. However, this can be suspended with probation, 240 hours of community service, and out-of-court programs.
Shane Hinch - Lake Charles DUI Lawyer
Being accused of a crime is simply that, an accusation. Your rights guarantee you a fair trial and an expectation of innocence until proven guilty. Your rights, freedom, and future are at stake during a criminal case, especially if you don’t retain the help of legal counsel.
If you’re facing DUI or DWI charges in Lake Charles, or anywhere in Louisiana, contact us today.