Categories
Bail

How to Bail Someone Out of Jail in Louisiana

Bail Bond Process

It can be very stressful when a friend or family member lands in prison. Many people don’t even know the first step to getting someone out. In truth, there are many factors to consider when getting someone out of jail and that’s what we’d like to discuss with you today.

How is bail determined?

Generally, before someone can be released, bail must be set to assure the court that the arrestee will appear for court. Usually, a judge or magistrate sets the bail. The judge may consider the type of charge, the facts, the residence, and even the criminal background of the arrestee before setting bail. The amount of bail set by a judge is based on different factors, including the seriousness of the charge, the weight of the evidence, a previous criminal record, the ability to pay bail, the danger the defendant presents to the community, and any other circumstances affecting the probability of the defendant’s appearance.

Types of Bail

There are various different types of bail, too. These include those with a commercial surety, a secured personal surety, a cash deposit, an unsecured personal surety, or those without surety.

Once bail is set, the defendant can be bonded out. If you can’t afford to post the entire bond, you can hire a bail bondsman. He may require a fee of 10-12% for putting up the entire amount of the bond. The bondsman’s fee will not be returned. That is his fee for putting up the entire bond and assuming the risk that the defendant will appear in court.

The surety can also post a property bond. In this case, the surety agrees to place a mortgage on a piece of property in Louisiana. The property must be unencumbered in the amount of the bail.

Another option is to post bail as an unsecured personal surety. This requires an affidavit that you have enough property in the state. Usually, it also requires you to describe your work history and you must have a clean criminal record.

In some situations, the judge may allow someone to bail out of jail on their own recognizance without posting a bond.

You may also post the entire cash bond yourself at the jail. After the case has concluded, you should be entitled to all the money you put up. However, it must be ensured that the defendant will appear in court.

Probation or parole?

If someone is on probation or parole, a hold may be placed, barring their release. You wouldn’t want to post bond on the new charge if there’s a probation or parole hold, since they won’t be released and that would cause them to serve “dead time” on the new charge.

If there’s an active warrant for a defendant’s arrest, a hold may be placed. The warrant would need to be cleared before the defendant can be released on the new charge. This may require the defendant to appear before the judge that issued the bench warrant. In the event of an arrest warrant, the defendant may need to be transported to the jurisdiction of the arresting agency.

Contact the Louisiana criminal lawyers at the Barkemeyer Law Firm if you have a friend or loved one in jail or recently released.

Categories
Drugs

Prescription Opioids, Heroin, Fentanyl in Louisiana

Fentanyl Lawyer Louisiana

There is an opioid epidemic in Louisiana and the rest of the country.  Prescription opioids, heroin, and fentanyl have created a lot of substance abuse addictions and deaths.  The Barkemeyer Law Firm focuses its practice on defending clients with drug charges, including possession of prescription pills, heroin, and fentanyl in Louisiana.  Contact us if you need a fentanyl possession lawyer for a drug charge in Louisiana.

Types of Painkillers

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) act on substances in the body that can cause inflammation, pain, and fever.
  • Corticosteroids are often administered as an injection at the site of musculoskeletal injuries. They exert powerful anti-inflammatory effects. They can also be taken orally to decrease inflammation and relieve pain.
  • Acetaminophen increases the body’s pain threshold, but it has little effect on inflammation.
  • Opioids, also known as narcotic analgesics, modify pain by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. Opioids decrease a patient’s perception of pain.
  • Muscle relaxants reduce pain from tense muscle groups, most likely through inhibitory actions in the central nervous system.
  • Benzodiazepines reduce pain through muscle relaxation properties. Benzodiazepines also reduce pain complaints through psychotropic effects (antianxiety).
  • Some antidepressants, particularly tricyclics and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI), may reduce pain transmission through inhibitory actions in the spinal cord.
  • Some anticonvulsant drugs also relieve pain by stabilizing effects on peripheral nerves and by central inhibitory actions.

Common Prescription Opioids

  • Codeine (only available in generic form)
  • Fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora, Abstral, Onsolis)
  • Hydrocodone (Hysingla, Zohydro ER)
  • Hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Vicodin)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Methadone (Dolophine, Methadose)
  •  Morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Morphabond)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Oxaydo)
  •  Oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet, Roxicet)
  • Oxycodone and naloxone
types of opioids

Opioid Epidemic

  • Every day, more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids.
  • In 2016, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and illegal opioids like heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl) was 5 times higher than in 1999.
  • The CDC estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the U.S. is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.
  • In 2016, there were 346 opioid-related overdose deaths­­­ in Louisiana—a rate of 7.7 deaths per 100,000 persons—compared to the national rate of 13.3 deaths per 100,000. The main driver of opioid-related overdose deaths through 2012 was prescription opioids. Since then, heroin and synthetic opioids have increased dramatically. From 2012 to 2016, heroin and synthetic opioid-related overdose deaths increased from 51 to 149 deaths and from 19 to 89 deaths, respectively.
opioid death chart

How did this happen?

  • In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates.
  • This subsequently led to widespread diversion and misuse of these medications before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive. Opioid overdose rates began to increase.
  • In 2015, more than 33,000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose, including prescription opioids, heroin, and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid.
  • That same year, an estimated 2 million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers, and 591,000 suffered from a heroin use disorder (not mutually exclusive).
  • In 2017, 72,000 Americans died from overdose

New Problem: Fentanyl

  • Schedule II prescription opioid.
  • It is a synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin
  • When it’s introduced into an unregulated, illicit drug supply, where more and more of the country has become opioid dependent, it wreaks havoc.
  • Fentanyl is engineered to be potent and ridiculously fast acting. People are dying with needles in their arms.
  • Fentanyl is much cheaper than heroin.
  • Fentanyl is added to heroin.
  • Users have no idea how much fentanyl is in their heroin.
  • Mexican cartels are cutting fentanyl into their dope before sending it along to the United States.
  • Can purchase fentanyl online.
  • Experts and the DEA all seem to agree that Fentanyl and its constituent parts, or precursors, are coming from China. It’s probable that it’s being diverted from the labs that make fentanyl for legitimate, medical use.
  • Fentanyl testing strips are being passed out.
  • Naloxone (brand name Narcan) is used for heroin overdose.
  • Synthetic opioids could displace heroin markets around the world.
  • Poppy farmers in Mexico are forced to sell their product 40 to 80 percent below what they’re used to.

What is LA Legislature doing about it?

  • New Laws in 2017-2018
  • 7-day supply
  • Expands the Prescription Monitoring Program
  • Requires continuing education for prescribers

7 Day Supply

New Laws:

Prohibit a medical practitioner from prescribing more than a seven-day supply when issuing a first-time opioid prescription for outpatient use to an adult patient with an acute condition.

Prohibit a medical practitioner from issuing a prescription for more than a seven-day supply of an opioid to a minor at any time and requires the practitioner to discuss with a parent, tutor, or guardian of the minor the risks associated with opioid use and the reasons why the prescription is necessary.

Exempt prescriptions for more than a seven-day supply which, in the professional medical judgment of the medical practitioner, are necessary to treat the adult or minor patient’s acute medical condition or are necessary for the treatment of chronic pain management, pain associated with a cancer diagnosis, or for palliative care.

La R.S. 40:978

Prescription Monitoring Program

New law expands the mandate to access the PMP program prior to initially prescribing any opioid and if the patient’s course of treatment continues for more than 90 days. It further provides for exceptions when a prescriber is not required to check the program.

La R.S. 40:973, 40:978, 40:1001

Continuing Education for Physicians

New law requires all prescribers of controlled dangerous substances (CDS) in Louisiana to obtain three continuing education credit hours as a prerequisite of license renewal in the first annual renewal cycle after Jan. 1, 2018. CME course completion is a one-time requirement for all CDS permit holders in the state. The course content shall encompass drug diversion training, best practices for the prescribing of controlled substances, and appropriate treatment for addiction.

New law requires the health profession licensing boards that regulate prescribing practitioners to promulgate rules and regulations to implement the continuing education requirements established by new law, requires the boards to collect and maintain data on compliance and submit aggregate compliance data to the Senate and House committees on health and welfare, and clarifies that these continuing education hours shall be considered among those already required on the effective date of new law and not be in addition to what is already required.

La R.S. 40:978.3 now requires 3 hours continuing education.

More Information on Drug Charges in Louisiana:

Cocaine
Creation of Meth Lab
Distribution
Felony Drug Charges
Fentanyl
Heroin
Legend Drug
Marijuana
Misdemeanor Drug Charges
Methamphetamine
Obtaining Pills by Fraud
Opioids
Possession
Possession with Intent
Synthetic Cannabinoids
Categories
DWI

Hardship License for DWI in Louisiana

One of the most unfortunate inconveniences associated with a DWI arrest in Louisiana is the suspension of one’s driver’s license. The possession of a driver’s license is a privilege, not a right. Therefore, the license can be suspended by the Department of Public Safety for many reasons. However, if the offender follows proper procedure, he may become eligible for a hardship license. 

Refusal of Breathalyzer

The arrestee’s driver’s license may be suspended as a result of refusing to take the breathalyzer.  In Louisiana, everyone with a driver’s license gives informed consent to take this test upon request. Therefore, when a person refuses, the State can suspend his/her driver’s license for one year on the first refusal. The penalties increase with the number of refusals. 

It is important to request an administrative hearing within thirty (30) days of arrest. If you do not request the hearing during that time, you waive it. You should have an attorney experienced at handling these types of hearings to attend and argue on your behalf.

Submit to Breathalyzer

If you submit to the breathalyzer and blow over the limit of .08 BAC, the State may suspend your license for ninety (90) days. If the offender is underage, the penalty is a suspension on six (6) months. 

You have a right to a hearing to contest the suspension on a submittal. There may exist some technical defenses that your experienced lawyer can argue at the hearing.  Once again, you or your attorney must request the hearing within thirty (30) days of the date of arrest or else you waive the right to it.

DWI Conviction

The State of Louisiana may suspend a person’s driver’s license if he/she was convicted of a DWI in criminal court. Typically, the period of suspension on a first offense DWI is one year. Depending on the number of prior DWI convictions, the period of suspension may vary. However, an experienced DWI attorney may be able to get you sentenced in a way to avoid the suspension. 

In all the scenarios above, the State provides that the offender may apply for a restricted hardship license. An ignition interlock device will be required.

Hardship License Lawyer in Louisiana

Louisiana would also be known for its finer things. As such, it is a great place to live. One of the reasons why people decide to settle down there is because of their strict adherence to the laws of the state. One of those laws is the law which governs intoxication while driving which is usually known as the DWI or DUI. In most states, this offense is usually divided between misdemeanor and felony. Depending on which the person is convicted of, the punishments attached can be little to very strict.

For most people, they find it easy to cope with this offense when they have a lawyer by their side. If you live in St. Tammany, Jefferson, or Orleans parish, then you would likely have a chance to get a criminal defense lawyer in Louisiana. Barkemeyer law firm would be a brilliant place to start. Barkemeyer Law Firm are DWI lawyers who are fully immersed in helping persons who are facing criminal charges in Louisiana. From DWI charges to other more serious charges, our DWI lawyers at the Barkemeyer Law Firm are properly grounded in criminal defense. With him by your side, your chances would immediately be boosted.

Getting convicted for DWI charge would come with certain challenges even in the situation that you do not get jail time. One of them would be the suspension of your license. When your license is taken away, the only step which can offer some form of relief would be the hardship license. There are many reasons why your license could get suspended for a year or more. One of them would be the refusal to take the breath analyzer

In St. Tammany Parish, refusal to take the step would be against the law and it can have some serious repercussions. If you refuse to take the step for the first time, you would most likely have your license suspended for a year. If you refuse on another occasion, it would even be worse. So the best course of action would be to take the breath analyzer test if you are asked to take it. This comes with its benefits.

If you take the test and you have your license suspended, you would have the right to contest the suspension of your license. Usually, this is called the administrative hearing. You would usually have about 15 days to request for such a hearing. If this is not done, then it would be suspended. The law still gives you 15 days to argue this decision if you feel you have a right to. If you do not request for a hearing, then the law will deem that you have waived your right to the hearing.

The important thing to do if you want to have the processes all dealt with professionally would be to get yourself a criminal defense attorney in Covington, Louisiana. This would ensure that you have a well-trained attorney who would be able to get all the processes which you would need to be done. That is the key to success when it comes to handling a DWI matter in Louisiana.

Suspension due to conviction

Another time in which your license would be suspended is when you are convicted by a court. When you are convicted, you would have the chance to apply for a hardship license after 30 days of the conviction. It is important to note that the hardship license usually available to persons that have committed the offense of DWI just once.

The requirement for the hardship license is fairly straightforward one. The only requirement which is normally given is that you must prove to the judge that the use of a car is important if you are to perform your daily activities in your life. Some of the things which would fall into this category could be the need for medical care, or to go to school regularly and early.

How to request for a hardship license

If you live in St. Tammany parish and you wish to get a hardship license, the first thing which you would do is to write a petition to the district court in the parish. If granted, you would have to write a petition to the court again if, during the hardship license period, you have had a change of circumstances. Some of the requirements which would come from being granted a hardship license would be that you would have to have an interlock device installed in your car. The judge might also require to breathe or blow gently into a machine which would analyze how much alcohol is your body then.

Once you have gotten your hardship license during the period which you are suspended and you have not landed yourself into more trouble through a violation of any other rules, you would get a notice stating that you are done with your time of suspension and you can now apply for your license to be given back to you.

Having a criminal defense lawyer in St. Tammany parish taking care of all the petitions and things you would have to do with the court can prove to be quite useful at this point. It would allow you to get yourself back together while giving you the chance to drive a car once more.

One of the Louisiana DWI law firms which you should consider when trying to choose a fitting lawyer should be Barkemeyer law firm. We here at the firm are made up of very good lawyers who know just the right angle to attack any case relating to DWI. This means that no matter what is thrown at us, we have the necessary experience to deal with it competently.

We also understand the mental trauma you might be going through at this point and we would love to help you get over it by representing a good defense to you. While DWI is serious and could cost you a lot, you can avoid further damage by acting on time.

Categories
DWI

Underage DWI Lawyer in Louisiana

When the operator of a motor vehicle is believed to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs and he is under the age of twenty-one (21), he may be arrested and charged with Underage DWI.  Underage DWI is a separate statute that regular DWI. 

Underage DWI or DUI

A person under that age of 21 is presumed to be under the influence of alcohol if his/her blood alcohol content is .02 or greater. The charge of Underage DWI is a misdemeanor offense. If the driver blows .08 or above, he.she can be charged with the adult-version of DWI, which has stiffer penalties.  Keep in mind that the operator, regardless of age, has fifteen (15) days from the date of arrest to request an administrative hearing. He can usually do this through his/her attorney. This is important because the laws regarding suspension of license for refusal and submittal of the breathalyzer or more stringent for underage offenders.

Underage DWI Lawyer in Louisiana

When it comes to younger ones coming of age, there are a lot of privileges that come with it. When a young child reaches the age of 16, they would be able to use a vehicle for their daily activities. What most youngsters do not understand is that the privileges which are given would also call for a measure of responsibility. While this privilege is given to them at the age of 16, the right to consume alcohol is still withheld until the age of 21.

This rule most times is bent and youngsters get involved with alcohol earlier than they are meant to. While that is against the law on its own, it gets even worse when it is linked to DWI which stands for driving while intoxicated.

In Louisiana, DWI is a serious offense and could land you in serious trouble. Anyone which is caught driving while intoxicated would normally have to face penalties. However, things would get interesting if the person caught driving under the influence of alcohol or intoxication is someone which is below the ages of 21 years. So, what happens if a person who is below the age of 21 years is caught driving while intoxicated?

When someone below the age of 21 is caught driving while intoxicated, then the person would be arrested and charged for that offense. However, the charge would for the offense of underage DWI not the normal offense of DWI.

Understanding Underage DWI

When a person who is not up to 21 years is charged with DWI, it is usually called underage DWI. This is usually proved when it is shown that the alcohol content in his blood is more than .02. The truth is that when someone is charged with a misdemeanor. This case can be quite tricky as a blood sample when it is asked for by a police officer cannot be denied. One reason why it is especially important not to get this offense on your books is because of the age precisely. As a young person, you have your whole life ahead of you. You have school, probably sports and even future jobs on your mind. This one offense can put all of that into doubt.

If you live in New Orleans, Jefferson, or St. Tammany and you have been charged with an underage DWI, it is quite easy to panic and feels like it is the end of the world. However, it is not the time to feel that way. If you get this on your cards, then you would most likely have a lot of issues going to the University of your choice or having to get good employment that you would have wanted.

There are several differences between the underage DWI and the normal DWI charge. However, the main issue with underage DWI is that it could be called up if you later get convicted or charged with DWI when you are now an adult.

Penalties

Unlike the normal DWI charge, the underage is usually only considered to be a misdemeanor. The penalties for violating the underage DWI rules are different. Most times, if you are convicted for the offense of underage DWI charges, you would most likely get a jail term plus fines. However, this can be taken away if you offer to do some sort of community service. You would have to fulfill the hour requirement for the community service which should be about 32 hours.

The judge may decide to include 16 hours of this community service a litter pick up which would be on the roadside. You might also have to take part in programs which would be focused on the abuse of drugs or alcohol. The judge might also see to it that you attend an institution which deals with improving your driving skills. However, if you are a first offender, you would probably not get any jail time which is a plus.

If you wish to avoid the penalties which come from with the underage DWI charge, then you would need to defend yourself in court. To get the most out of the case which is before you, you would need to get yourself a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can. If you live in St. Tammany Parish, then you would find good law offices in the area. One of them would be the Barkemeyer Law Firm. This law firm is full of excellent lawyers who have great records when it comes to dealing with these problems.

They also understand that your future might be at stake. Hence, they make it their goal to ensure that you have a great chance should the issue should go to litigation. You can be assured with the Barkemeyer law firm by your side, you would have a great chance of getting a favorable result.

Fine or punishment when found in possession of alcohol

If you are less than 21 and you are found in possession of alcohol in Louisiana while driving, it is usually considered to be a serious offense. You would be facing at least 10 days of jail time which can be upwards to about 6 months. You might also be fined up to $125 which can also climb up to $500. This is to the discretion of the judge.

This offense would be the same irrespective of the fact that no one in the car was drinking. As far there is a container of alcohol in the car that is driven by a person driving who is less than 21 years, then you would most likely be charged for the offense. Getting a criminal defense lawyer in Covington would be the best step which you can take.

We understand that being charged with an offense when you are so young can be an extra burden to carry on your shoulders. We here at Barkemeyer Law Firm would be ready to assist you in whatever way we can. You would find our services quite reassuring.

Contact a Louisiana Underage DWI Attorney

Barkemeyer Law Firm has defended numerous clients arrested and charged with Underage DWI in Louisiana. We take an aggressive approach to handling these types of cases to get the best result possible.

Categories
DWI

DWI Third & Fourth Offense in Louisiana

Lawyer for Felony DWI in Louisiana

Felony offense DWI in Louisiana is a very serious matter that requires that assistance of counsel that practices in this area regularly and is experienced in how to defend felony DWI cases in Louisiana. Our Louisiana DWI lawyers at he Barkemeyer Law Firm have handled these types of cases for many years. 

Misdemeanor DWI is a DWI First Offense or DWI Second Offense. A DWI is a felony charge when the State can prove the defendant has been convicted at least two previous times. 

3rd – Third Offense DWI

The felony charge of DWI Third Offense is a very serious charge. The law has changed recently, allowing for stiffer penalties. The sentencing range is now one to five years in prison. That means that if the defendant is convicted, he/she must do at least one year in jail. Many times, judges will then place the defendant on probation after release for five years. The judge may then proscribe various conditions of probation which are expensive and time-consuming. 

4th – Fourth (and Subsequent) Offense DWI

The charge of DWI Fourth Offense is even more strict. The sentencing range is ten to thirty years in prison, and two years of that sentence are without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. 

Louisiana Felony DWI Defense Attorney

Our Louisiana DWI attorneys at the Barkemeyer Law Firm have had many clients who have faced lengthy sentences for DWI Third Offense and DWI Fourth Offense. He has used his skills and experience to get the best possible result for his clients. He understands the laws and defenses surrounding felony DWI and how to successfully defend these charges. 

In Louisiana, being convicted of a crime can be quite devastating. The consequences are quite painful though. You could be jailed or made to pay a harsh fine. The social consequences would also sting too. You could lose the chance of going to a great academic institution, lose your job or lose the respect of people in your community.

One of the crimes or offenses which is likely to lead to this would be the offense of DWI. DWI which means driving while intoxication is the act of being driving while influenced by substances that are generally illegal or by alcohol that is past the mark. When this happens, you are usually required to do a blood test which would determine if you have gone beyond the mark.

In most cases when this offense is committed, it is serious enough to need a lawyer in St. Tammany to handle the issues for you. Getting a criminal defense lawyer would do well to lessen the burden which a charge for the offense would most likely bring to you. So make sure the first thing that you do in this situation is to get a lawyer.

Most times, you might be required to take a blood test by a police officer to show the exact level of alcohol which would be present in your blood flow. If the amount is higher than .08, then, you would most likely have to face extra charges. It is important to note that refusal to take the test could even lead to grave consequences such as the suspension of your license for at least 12 months.

Barkemeyer law firm which is located in Covington would be one of those firms who can help you with this issue. With broad practice and a group of great lawyers, our Covington felony DWI lawyers can pull the strings needed and get you the presentation which you would need during litigation.

Classification of DWI

DWI is classified under misdemeanor and felony. The first two offenses which are committed would surely fall under the misdemeanor category rather than felony. What this means is that the penalties that would be received would not exceed 6 months. Also, any fines which they are asked to pay would not exceed the $1000 mark. However, things get more complex when the crime is committed the third time. This time, it would be considered to be a felony.

In other words, there are certain implications which would come with this offense. First of all, the minimum time which you would spend in jail would be a year. However, the punishments attached can even go up to five years. Certain things would influence the number of years which are handed down to the violator. This would include the amount of alcohol which was found in the blood. Once you are done with the jail time, then you would probably have to go through probation all over again to satisfy the judge that the crime would not be committed again. Most of the conditions which would have to be met during this period can be frustrating and cost a lot of money. However, if the offense is committed again for the 4th time, then the actions taken would largely be different.

When you commit a DWI offense the fourth time and above, then you could be in very serious trouble. The punishments for this could be extremely strict for several reasons. One of them is that you are seen as a serial offender who is reckless and a danger on the road. You are surely going to get jail time and it would not be five years. The penalty for being convicted for a DWI charge for the 4th time would be 10 to 30 years in jail. If sentenced, the violator cannot approach the court for probation nor can he be released on parole. You can also not appeal for your suspension to be lifted. In other words, you must serve two years of jail time.

Hence, the need to avoid being convicted so many times for that offense. Even if it is the first time you face such charges, the need to quickly act is imperative. It is surely not good to leave the charge hanging over your head without having anyone advise you on how to proceed.

If you live in St. Tammany, then you would surely have a lot of success if you try to look around your area. Barkemeyer law firm is one of the great options which you have. Try as much as you can to make contact with us as soon as possible. This would ensure that we have the full facts of the case right from the beginning.

Contact Our Felony DWI Lawyers in Louisiana

When the 4th charge of DWI comes in, you might probably feel a lot of things at that moment. Despair, breakdown and a whole lot of frustration. You might also feel that your fate is sealed. We here at Barkemeyer law firm understand how this might feel to you. Our Louisiana felony DWI lawyers also understand all that is at stake with a charge of DWI. We understand that with a conviction of this offense, you could have your world thrown into despair.

Due to all this, we make it our aim to always give it our best when it comes to defending you. We also have a vast knowledge of resources at our expense. Therefore, we make sure we get all the details right before heading into litigation. We understand the importance this might have on you and we treat it as important too. We make sure that we treat every case the same way-diligent and free from any negligence.

With this, we are quite sure that you would enjoy the way we handle the matter and would view us as competent. We are always here to relate with you and answer questions if you have any. Giving you the best of our services is always our biggest priority.

Categories
DWI

What’s the Difference Between DWI and DUI in Louisiana?

DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) and DUI (Driving Under the Influence) are the identical charge in Louisiana. Depending on the state, some refer to the charge as DWI and some refer to it as DUI or even OUI or OWI. The technical language used in Louisiana is found in La. R.S. 14:98 which is titled Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated. 

Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated in Louisiana is basically the operating of a vehicle when the operator is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. The drugs could even be prescription drugs for which the operator had a valid prescription. 

The offender is presumed to be under the influence of alcohol if he/she blows the same or over the legal limit of .08 BAC. If the operator is under the age of twenty-one, the legal limit is .02.  Blood alcohol content resulting from a breathalyzer test or blood test is not the only conclusive evidence used to convict someone of a DWI. Other facts concerning the operator’s impairment may be admissible.

Regardless of how Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated is described, a DWI is a DUI in Louisiana. 

The Difference Between DWI and DUI

For many people, DWI and DUI could look very similar yet very confusing indeed. This is the same in Louisiana. However, these are the same at least in the state of Louisiana. DWI is known as driving while intoxicated while DUI refers to driving under the influence. In some areas in the country, they are even referred to as OUI which would mean operating under the influence or OWI which would mean operating with intoxication. But what is the implication of causing such an offense?

Understanding DWI/DUI

When the law speaks about these terms in Louisiana, it would typically refer to the act of operating or driving any vehicle while you are under the influence of alcohol or any substance as provided by law. This would include prescription drugs and would also cover watercraft and aircraft. This means that you would likely be charged for this offense if you are over the limit for alcohol content in your blood. The limit is currently .08

According to the provisions in La. R.S 14:98, driving under the influence would mean the crime of operating a vehicle as stated earlier while you are intoxicated. Before you can convict anyone for the crime of DWI, you must have been under the influence of alcoholic beverages or your blood level of alcohol must have been over.08. Substances which are also included in the schedule I-IV would also fall into this category.

If you are being charged with the offense of DWI or DUI, then it is possibly time to take decisive actions. There are many things which you probably have no idea of. Having a criminal defense lawyer with you would be the best thing you would do at this point. If you live in St. Tammany parish, then one of the law firms which would fit your needs would be the Barkemeyer law firm. Our DWI lawyers make sure that we use our vast knowledge of the crime to give our very best to our clients. Thus, we make sure that you have a good defense for anything that is thrown at you.

Penalties for DUI

In Covington and indeed entire Louisiana, persons who are deemed to have committed this offense are not left off the hook easily. There are several penalties which have been put in place to act as a deterrent to the commission of the crime.

The amount of punishment which you are going to get from it would depend on if you are a first offender or not. Normally, the first two offenses would be deemed to be a misdemeanor. After that, the offenses would then be considered a felony. The penalties which would be inflicted would increase with the number of offenses which is committed.

If you are a first time offender, you would probably get a fine which is less than $1000. The jail time would be between 6 days to 3 months. However, if you are a second time offender, the fine would still be less than $1000 but not less than $750. The jail time would also not exceed 6 months. After the second offense, you would have to pay a fine of not less than $2000. The jail time would also significantly increase with an offender now having to stay for about a year upwards to five years in prison for committing a felony.

In some situations, the judge might suspend the conviction against the violator and place them on probation. This means that they would be supervised to check the quality of their driving.

The charges which would be placed for this DWI could be painful especially when it comes to felony matters. Most times, you would surely have to pay hefty fines and would probably do jail time. This is all the more reason why you would need to get yourself a lawyer as soon as you can.

Our Covington DUI attorneys have focused in various criminal cases along the road and can boost of having an incredible experience in DUI cases. Having our DWI lawyers handle your cases would surely give your chances a boost and ensure that you get great representation. With a team of lawyers digging around to find the best way out of the situation, you should have a good chance at the end of the day.

Higher Blood Alcohol Content

If you have a much higher blood alcohol content, then the result could be stiffer punishments. Generally, if you have a blood alcohol content which is above the .15 mark, then you must serve jail time for at least two days no matter whether you are just a first offender or not. If you have .20, then the fine of $750 upwards to $1000. If repeated, the fine payable would be $1000. This would be accompanied by a suspension of your driver’s license for the next four years.

You could also get much stiffer punishments should you refuse to take a test that has been requested by a police officer. You would be looking at about a year suspension of your driver’s license for any refusal.

Get a DUI defense lawyer in Louisiana

Getting a DUI defense lawyer in Louisiana is crucial. First, the chances of being converted without a lawyer would be very high. The repercussions that could come if convicted are also not favorable. You could lose your jobs and many opportunities that could have been open. You could also lose the trust of the people who are closest to you and even your community at large.

When you get a defense lawyer in Louisiana to help you out with your DUI charge, you would be giving yourself the best chance for success. You would also be able to have less stress planning for other things such as trial and other activities related to the offense.

Our DUI defense lawyers at the Barkemeyer law firm would be ready to assist you through this difficult period. We make it our goal to aggressively defend you to give you the best shot possible.

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DWI

DWI in Louisiana: 10 Things You Must Know

Barkemeyer Law Firm defends clients in all parishes and cities in Louisiana who have been arrested for misdemeanor DWI and felony-grade DUI. The firm includes experienced and skilled Louisiana DWI lawyers who keep up with the ever-changing laws regarding Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated in Louisiana. See the list below for some of the key issues surrounding an arrest for DWI in Louisiana. 

Important Issues Regarding a DWI Arrest in Louisiana

1. The arrestee essentially has 2 cases: criminal court and Administrative Hearing for driver’s license.

2.  The charge of DWI in Louisiana is basically the operation of a motor vehicle, boat, or plane when the operator is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both. It doesn’t matter if the offender had a valid prescription for the medication.

3. Underage Driving While Intoxicated blood alcohol content is .02; but, if a minor registers over .08 BAC, the minor may be prosecuted for an adult DUI, which has stiffer sentences.

4. The charges of DWI first offense and DWI second offense are misdemeanors. The judge may order the defendant to incarceration, supervised or unsupervised probation, public service, completion of a defensive driving class, MADD impact panel, and substance abuse program(s), if recommended.

5. DWI 3rd offense and subsequent is a felony charge. The charge of Third Offense DWI carries a sentencing range of 1 to 5 years in prison. Fourth offense DWI carries a sentencing range of 10-30 years in prison.

6. The arrestee’s driver’s license may be suspended if convicted of DWI.  Nevertheless, the arrestee may obtain a restricted license if eligible and complete necessary conditions.

7. Upon refusal of the Intoxilyzer (breathalyzer), your driver’s license may be suspended for 1 year. If you blow over the legal limit, your license may be suspended for 90 days.  Minors who submit and blow over the limit may lose their license for 6 months. A conviction for DWI may lead to a license suspension for up to a year. 

8. The law allows for only 30 days from the date of arrest to ask for an administrative hearing to fight for your driver’s license. If you don’t request it within this time frame, you lose the right. An attorney should be hired to perform the hearing.

9. An arrest and/or conviction for  DUI may negatively impact your car insurance premiums, job, education, and reputation.

10. You should have an experienced and informed Louisiana DWI attorney.
 

Contact our Louisiana DUI lawyer at the Barkemeyer Law Firm for help.

Categories
DWI

DWI Court Process After an Arrest in Louisiana

Louisiana is often described by many as a wonderful place to live. Regardless of the parish which you find yourself in, you would still surely have a good reason to love the city. However, if there is one thing that they are strict about and rightly so has to be about keeping the laws in place. Therefore, any offense which is committed in the state is usually frowned at and published accordingly. This is no difference when it comes to the offense of DWI.

DWI simply refers to someone who is believed to be driving under the influence. It is often advised that you get a lawyer as soon as it happens and rightly so. There are so many processes which would be better handled by a criminal lawyer. If you are in Covington city in St. Tammany Parish, then you would do well to look at the DWI lawyers at the Barkemeyer law firm. They have experienced DWI lawyers who would be able to take care of your case competently. However, let us discuss the various DWI court processes which take place from arrest up to trial when you are believed to have committed the offense of driving under the influence or driving with intoxication.

Arrest

Every DWI case begins with an arrest. The law requires that the arresting officer has reasonable cause to believe a traffic violation has occurred prior to a stop. An exception to this is checkpoint cases. The law requires that an officer must have probable cause to arrest someone. This means that the officer must have an articulable factual basis to believe that the arrestee was operating a vehicle while under the influence.

The point of call when it comes to both DWI offenses usually starts on the road and reasonably so. A police officer could stop you if he feels that you have committed the offense. An arrest may subsequently be followed if he believes that you are guilty of the offense. The first step which would follow this would be the suspension of your license. You would need to act swiftly with your criminal defense lawyer in Covington. So, the work to free you of this offense starts from just after the arrest.

It is important to note that one of the criteria which would be used in checking if you are guilty of this crime would be your blood level. The limit which you are to keep if you have to hit the road is .08. Anything higher than that would be deemed to be an offense. Another punishment which you could receive apart from the suspension of your license would be incarceration.

Administrative Hearing

If you have been arrest and your license is about to be revoked, you would have to act swiftly to avoid that from happening. One of the ways to do this is to request an administrative hearing to be heard. When your license is seized, you would have about 30 days to request for such hearing. During this period, you would be issued with a temporary license.

Arraignment

An arraignment is the first court date. The arraignment date may be the date on your ticket or it will be served on you at a later time. The purpose of the arraignment is so the court can inform you of the formal charges filed against you. The defendant then must enter a plea of not guilty, guilty, nolo contendere, or not guilty by reason of insanity.

After the request for the administrative hearing has been done, the next step would be the arraignment. Simply put, this would be the first appearance in court for you. The day of arraignment would usually vary. Sometimes, you might have to go to court the very day the alleged offense took place. Regardless of the day, you would have three options in court when you arrive. You could either plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. The implications in your plea are large. For this reason, having a lawyer go through the details with you would be quite significant. He would thus know how to approach the matter effectively based on the circumstances. Going for a criminal defense lawyer in St. Tammany would be a great choice as they would be able to get to you faster if the incident took place in that parish. Barkemeyer law firm is always interested in helping clients get a good representation in court when accused of such offense. There is simply so much at stake and it is important to act quickly to avoid being caught in the mess.

Pre-Trial

Some of the matters which would be attended to here would be motion hearing and getting what you need to make your case stronger. A good criminal defense lawyer would go out ways in which motions can be raised to support his client’s case. Once the pre-trial stage is done, the hearing would take place.

It is important to remember that when it comes to proving evidence, it is the job of the prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, all you have to do is to raise some doubts as to the claim of the prosecution. Doing it well could swing the case in your favor.

Once the main hearing is over, the judge would decide if you are guilty or not guilty. If found guilty, you would most likely face sentencing. Most sentencing would usually be harsher if you are not a first time offender. It could also be harsh if your alcohol levels were high. The general principle here is that the higher the alcohol level in your blood, the more likely that your sentence would be more extreme.

Motion Hearings

Depending on the charge and court, the process may include motion hearings in which the court hears motions by the attorneys. The facts of the case will determine the types of motions hearings that are necessary.  Our experienced Louisiana DWI lawyers know what important motions to file in your case.

Trial

In misdemeanor DWI cases, the defendant has a right to a trial by judge. In felony DWI cases, the defendant has a right to a jury trial or judge trial. The defendant decides if he will waive his right to a jury trial.

Sentencing

If the defendant pleads guilty or is otherwise found guilty at trial, the judge will determine the sentence based on statutory law, the defendant’s criminal record, and the facts of the case.

Depending on the court and judge, a presentence investigation may be ordered. This investigation will reveal to the judge the defendant’s background, facts of the case, and other important information that can help guide the judge in determining an appropriate sentence. 

Getting a DWI Lawyer in Louisiana

If you find yourself in this situation and you have a DWI in Louisiana, you must get yourself a lawyer as fast as you can. The Louisiana DWI lawyers at the Barkemeyer law firm would be a good option for you. You would have experienced lawyers who have good track records of representing their clients well. Getting convicted of such offense can be devastating. Getting our help could help you save yourself and possibly your career. Get a lawyer as soon as you can.

Contact the Louisiana DWI lawyers at Barkemeyer Law Firm.