It happens to the most disciplined and restrained of people…a moment of indiscretion that turns their life upside down. There have been countless instances where a person has had one drink too many without realizing it and then tries to drive home.
In many such instances, nothing happens, and the driver reaches his destination without causing a scene or getting the attention of the authorities. In other instances, they are spotted driving erratically, or an accident occurs, and a DWI charge is slapped on them. There are other times when a law is misinterpreted, or a police officer is biased or has some quota to fulfill. In those cases, drivers with blood-alcohol content levels within acceptable limits sometimes get DWI charges imposed on them.
The Consequences of a DWI Conviction in Louisiana
The punishment for a DWI conviction in Louisiana is strict, and the laws have changed. Apart from the fines and the suspension of your driving license (the probation period)…if you are convicted of a DWI crime, you have to remain under court supervision. These probationary and supervision periods are lengthy in Louisiana—an average of two years.
The consequences, however, continue.
A first DWI stays on your records for 10 years. Those years are counted from the day the probationary and/or the court supervision periods are over. You may have to appeal to the court to have your records erased, but the trial process can take up to a year, and the District Attorney has up to two years to officially file charge. This means you have your life on hold for 12-13 years after committing the offense.
Matters become complicated for repeat offenses. The countdown period stops immediately if you get arrested for a second DWI offense. The record of the first DWI offense lingers in case of a third repeat offense. Put another way–after about the second DWI, it becomes almost impossible to ever clear your record again. The way the years are counted now, DWI charges up to 20 years ago have been revived for use again.
Why Should You Fight Your DWI Charge?
Now more than ever, if you want control of your life, you must fight your DWI charge. You don’t want your license suspended for up to two years. You’ll be taking the bus, asking your spouse or friend to give you a lift, or you’ll be waling a lot. Having your DWI offense linger on your record for more than 10 years spells catastrophe.
Your chances of securing your dream job plummet. Landlords may not take you in as a tenant. Your auto insurance premium might just shoot up, or you might face immense difficulty in securing a new automobile insurance policy. In fact, having a DWI crime on your record might also spoil your chances of buying a home insurance policy at a lucrative rate. Home insurance companies are known to charge very high premium rates or deny coverage from DWI-convicted applicants who they believe to be careless.
These recent rule changes mean you need to hire an experienced and qualified DWI lawyer to fight the DWI charges imposed on you. An experienced attorney can ensure you have a fighting chance to defend yourself, and that the trial processes do not linger and extend. Proper representation will work to help you regain control of your life and reputation.
By: Benjamin Roussey
By: Benjamin Roussey