Metairie DUI Lawyer

It is possible to find yourself accused of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated charge (DWI), whether that be mistakenly, wrongly, or overly charged. A conviction of a DUI offense can negatively alter a person’s career, reputation, family relationships, education, and overall quality of life.

Due to the life-changing ramifications of a DUI conviction, having the proper legal counsel in your defense could make a huge difference. If you or a loved one are facing a DUI charge, a Metairie DUI lawyer could present compelling evidence and a strategic defense, resulting in a criminal dismissal or reduction. Do not try to face these charges alone; let our dedicated criminal defense attorneys help protect your rights.

Driving While Under the Influence

The criminal charge of driving under the influence is legally referred to as operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Louisiana Revised Statutes § 98.1 defines intoxication as being under the influence of alcohol, having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit, or being under the influence of any illegal, dangerous substances categorized under schedules 1 through V.

It is important to note that not all prior conditions need to be met for a person to receive a DUI charge. For example, an officer can arrest a person for DUI if they reasonably believe the individual to be intoxicated after the administration of field sobriety tests (FSTs). FSTs aim to assess a person’s intoxication level based on their balance status, comprehension, and coordination and generally consist of the walk-and-turn test, the one-leg stand test, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test.

The legal BAC limit for a DUI varies based on factors such as age and the type of vehicle a person is driving. For individuals 21 years and older who are driving standard vehicles, the BAC limit is 0.08; for those under 21, the BAC limit is 0.02; and for commercial drivers, the BAC limit is 0.04. A knowledgeable Metairie DUI attorney could answer specific questions regarding a pending case a person is facing.

Conviction and Penalties

A DUI conviction can come with harsh penalties, which increase in severity after each sentence. However, a conviction is never certain in a criminal case. Proper legal counsel can make a huge difference in avoiding a conviction or receiving a manageable and fair penalty.

First Offense

For a first-offense DUI arrest, a person is likely to face up to 48 hours in jail. A first-offense misdemeanor conviction can come with fines ranging from $300 to $1000, multiple months in prison, and potentially roughly two years of supervised probation—along with hours of driving courses and substance abuse classes. Also, a person could face a driver’s license suspension for up to 90 days.

Second Offense

After being arrested, a person must spend 48 hours in jail, and a guilty verdict could result in thirty days to six months in prison. Sentencing for a second DUI offense could also come with fines of up to $1000, years of probation, up to 240 hours of community service, driving courses, and mandatory substance abuse screening—with the possibility of placement in a treatment facility.

Third Offense

A third DUI conviction constitutes a felony, carrying the most severe penalties. Punishments include one to five years of hard labor in prison, $2000 or more in fines, a three-year driver’s license suspension, a 12-month substance abuse treatment program, and up to 240 hours of community service.

Penalties for a DUI conviction could be adjusted based on the severity of a person’s BAC level and whether children were in the car. A resourceful Metairie attorney could negotiate a plea deal—such as probation and community service instead of years behind bars—on behalf of an individual facing a DUI accusation.

Legal Defenses to a DUI Charge

In many cases, prosecutors heavily rely on evidence from traffic stops, police reports, and potentially inaccurate breathalyzer or blood tests to convict a person of a DUI. A skilled legal professional could find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case to cause reasonable doubt, reducing the likelihood of a conviction or a lengthy sentence.

Additionally, law enforcement traffic stops are often prone to officer misconduct, resulting in violations of a person’s constitutional rights—mainly the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures. A diligent DUI lawyer in Metairie could analyze the traffic stop’s circumstances to make sharp constitutional arguments to keep the legal process fair.

A Metairie DUI Attorney Could Fight for You

DUI convictions can come with strict penalties. Individuals facing allegations of operating a vehicle while intoxicated deserve exceptional and dedicated legal representation. We encourage you to speak with an experienced Metairie DUI lawyer at our firm about the circumstances of your case. Give us a call today.


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