How To Improve Your Situation Before DWI Court

7 Ways To Improve Your Situation Before DWI Court

Getting arrested and charged with a DWI in Louisiana can have a life-changing impact. States and communities take driving while intoxicated seriously and have punishments to deter its drivers of motorized vehicles from committing the offense. Many people have spent over ten thousand dollars in fines and court fees upon conviction. Serving jail time is also a common occurrence after your case is deliberated. 

Anything you can do to improve your situation before DWI court is essential. Inaction on your part before your court date will be detrimental to your case and life.  Below are 7 ways to improve your situation before DWI court!

Our firm has the best DWI lawyers in New Orleans and other cities too!

Steps to Take Before Your Court Date

1. Hire a Lawyer

Showing up to court without an attorney and making a plea on your own is one of the most dangerous decisions you can make in your life. You are putting your future on the line with a judge’s final decision when he or she may be having a bad day. In short, never do it!

A criminal defense lawyer is there to protect your rights throughout the criminal proceedings and work to get you the best deal they possibly can. There are many DWI lawyers to choose from. If you’re located in Shreveport or New Orleans, there are tons of law firms near you that you ought to consider.

If you find yourself charged with a DWI, make your first call to a lawyer to defend your case. We know you’ll be glad you did!

We are a DWI lawyer in New Orleans that can help with your case!

PRO TIP: Read this great blog post on determining whether or not you need a lawyer. We are pretty sure you’ll find the answer to this question!

2. Attend a DWI Class

DWI classes are generally mandatory for anyone convicted of driving while intoxicated. These classes are to educate you and others on the dangers of driving while intoxicated. A court usually assigns DWI classes for you to attend as part of your pre-trial or conviction. 

Take this opportunity to show the court you are serious about your charge. Even if you are planning to plead not guilty and fight the DWI charge, attending these classes will improve your situation before the DWI court. 

3. Complete a Drug/Alcohol Assessment

As with the DWI class, signing up for a drug or alcohol assessment will help your case. By doing so you are showing the court that you are taking responsibility for your life and the choices. 

If the assessment shows that you need counseling, sign up. If you go into court and demonstrate to the judge that you are getting the help you need, most courts will work with you. If you are forced to have an assessment by the court or choose not to accept counseling, you will find your case treated more severely. 

A gavel and a name plate with the engraving DUI Law

4. Ask Your Employer for Help

One of the worst things that can happen is if you lose your employment while fighting your DWI charge. Most court cases are not as simple as seen on TV. There a person is charged with a crime, and two days later, there is a trial. This is not the way court systems work. After receiving a date and time to show, you will probably find the date reset more than once. This reset usually occurs after you have shown for your court date. 

With postponed court dates, you will find more days off from work than you want. Let your employer know what is going and ask for their patience. Coordinating vacation days with them as soon as you get your next court date will help keep your job. 

5. Save Money

Outside of your lawyer’s fees, DWI convictions can be costly. Don’t be surprised by the high court fees, probation fees, and any fines imposed when your case is settled. Cases can take several months to finalize. Use this time to save as much money as possible. Getting behind on fees and fines is one of the most noted reasons for probation violations. You could find yourself back in jail if you do not have the money to take care of these required payments. 

6. Volunteer for Community Service

Part of any agreement for a DWI case will be to serve a set number of community service hours. To improve your chances in court, find somewhere to perform community service before you go to court. Not only will a judge look positively at this decision, but there is also a chance the hours you serve can be used after your agreement with the court. Getting as much of the required community service hours out of the way before it is mandated can help you in the end. 

7. Stay Out of Trouble

Besides hiring an attorney, this is the most essential aspect of improving your situation before DWI court. Even if you take all of the other steps listed here, getting another DWI or arrested for any crime will affect your current case in front of a court. You are showing the judge that you are not trustworthy and do not deserve any compassion by being arrested again. Until the settlement of your case, make it a habit to skip nights out with your friends and alcohol and drug consumption in general. 

PRO TIP: Read this article on when you can post bail. We know it will be super informative!


We hope these actionable things make the difference in your DWI case. In addition, we hope you reach out to a DWI attorney such as Barkemeyer Law Firm to help with your case.

We truly hope you have learned 7 effective ways to improve your situation before DWI court and wish you luck with your case.

DWI Public Intoxication

Public Drinking During Mardi Gras

Public Drinking During Mardi Gras: Laws You Need To Know

Are you wondering about public drinking during Mardi Gras? Great! This post will explain everything you need to know.

Mardis Gras is a unique event not quite like any other. Mardi Gras in New Orleans is even more special. Each year thousands of people from all over the world come to the city on the great Mississippi River to enjoy all that the holiday has to offer. 

PLEASE NOTE: Mardi Gras parades are experiencing major changes due to COVID-19. Parade dates are being moved and virtual parades will be available. Read more on this page here!

One thing that most have in common during Mardi Gras is the consumption of alcohol. While alcohol is part of the fun of Mardi Gras, everyone who attends needs to be aware of the local laws regarding imbibing alcoholic drinks during their visit. In this article, we will take a look at laws surrounding public drinking in New Orleans and what you need to know. 

drinking during Mardi Gras

Everyone is Subject to Local Public Drinking Laws

Most people understand this, but it is still important to point out. Some tourists tend to think that local laws do not apply to them. It does. Just because you are visiting and spending your hard-earned money in New Orleans doesn’t mean you do not have to follow the local public drinking laws. 

Law enforcement in New Orleans are experts at keeping civility and drunken party-goers under control, They also show a great deal of tolerance for the things that come with large crowds of drinkers. There will be lines you cannot cross, however. This is also true during special times such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Just because the scenarios of life may change, the laws remain the same. 

Drunkenness is A Crime

Public intoxication is a crime in New Orleans as it is in most places in the U.S. As mentioned the police in New Orleans will show patience with most people, knowing they are having a good time. If someone becomes a danger to themselves or others, however, they will find themselves arrested and charged with public intoxication. In these such events, hiring a reputable New Orleans criminal attorney is really your best bet.

Plastic Containers Must Be Used

Drinking alcohol while walking along the streets of the French Quarter area is legal in New Orleans. Those who are partaking must have alcohol in plastic containers. Drinking alcohol from containers such as glass is illegal. When purchasing a drink at a bar make sure your drink is in a plastic container before moving into the street. 

The Drinking Age Is 21 Years Old

Another way to find yourself in trouble during Mardi Gras is to drink while underage. The only exception is if you are 18 years old and in the presence of a guardian or spouse who is over the age limit themselves. If you are under the age of 21 and expect to drink publicly in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, you will need to reconsider as you may likely find yourself ticketed or jailed. 

Open Container Are Not Allowed in Cars

Planning on jumping in your car with an open container? Don’t. Even if you are not driving, no one in a car may have an open container of alcohol inside of a car in New Orleans. If you find yourself back at your vehicle after a night of partying make sure any passengers drink up or throw away any remaining beverages before getting into the car. You don’t want to be hit with a DWI in New Orleans or find yourself arrested for such reckless behavior.

24/7 Bars

While some bars have a closing time in New Orleans, many are open 24 hours. While legal, this can lead to excessive drinking for a lot of people since they simply don’t know when to go home. Be aware of this during Mardi Gras as time has a way of slipping by for you and your friends. Someone in our group may overdo it. 

Only Use Restrooms

We all know that a night of drinking can lead to having to relieve yourself many times during the night. Although this is not a law about drinking in public, it is connected to it just the same. If you find yourself needing to go to the restroom during Mardi Gras find a restroom. Public urination is a good way to find yourself in jail

What to Do if Arrested During Mardi Gras

Those who travel to New Orleans to partake in the Mardi Gras celebrations usually are only looking to have a good time. Some find themselves in trouble for violating public drinking and other laws during their visit. If this happens, you may find yourself charged. This charge could result in a ticket or taking a ride to jail. 

PRO TIP: Read these tips to handle a DWI in New Orleans. They’ll give you some great info that will really help!

Either way, it is a good idea to contact a local lawyer if you have been charged with an alcohol-related crime during your time in New Orleans. Local attorneys are experienced with defending persons arrested during Mardi Gras and best know how to help clients who have been charged.

A great firm that deals with many such cases is Barkemeyer Law Firm. They have several locations, however their New Orleans location is at 422 S Broad Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119. Barkemeyer Law Firm handles many cases of public drinking and intoxication during Mardi Gras and can help you out if you need representation.

If you find yourself or a friend in legal trouble while attending Mardi Gras contact an attorney for advice on how to handle the charge. We hope you better understand public drinking during Mardi Gras and wish you the best.


What To Expect From Court-Mandated Treatment for DUI

Driving under the influence is considered a crime in all 50 states. Unfortunately, driving under the influence (DUI) is a crime frequently committed in the United States. DUI arrests make up at least a third of substance-related arrests.

Court-mandated treatment is considered the main path of entry into alcoholism treatment for most individuals with a drinking problem. Several issues are considered relevant to the mandated DUI treatment, including:

  • Assessment
  • Screening
  • Effectiveness
  • Referral
  • DUI events as opportunities for intervention
  • Short interventions for offenders outside of the treatment that is mandated
  • Cost-effectiveness of the treatment that is mandated

The treatment’s effectiveness will depend to some extent on the offender’s motivation to participate, as some offenders may resist treatment when they feel like their participation is coerced.

For involuntary participants, treatment like motivational enhancement therapy has proven to be cost-effective. However, more research is required to look into impaired driving and multi-drug use and recent technologies that can help effectively monitor DUI offenders.

Different Forms of Mandated Treatment

Court-mandated interventions for DUI offenses can vary in frequency, duration, and intensity. It can range from one or two sessions, or it can be multi-component programs that are implemented over several weeks or even months.

DUI offenders who are mandated to treatment by the courts are often required to participate in various alcoholism treatment programs. Some of the mandated interventions for DUI include:

  • Generic alcoholism treatment programs (typically offered in local communities)
  • Referral to groups such as Alcoholic Anonymous (AA)
  • Education programs
  • Presentations by families of victims killed or by injured survivors of DUI-related crashes
  • Supervised probation

Assessment, Screening, and Referral

DUI offenders that are mandated to get treatment and intervention are often evaluated for personal problems and circumstances that have to be addressed during the intervention and treatment process.

Screening refers to the less extensive evaluation done to determine the offender’s risk level for impaired driving and the extent of their alcohol problems. Typically, the assessment results will be used to determine the kind of intervention needed and the length and intensity of the chosen treatment.

The primary goal of extensive assessment is to ensure that the most appropriate treatment, and intervention is provided based on the offender’s specific circumstances. The assessment is also included in the intervention process to ensure the offender’s problems are also addressed properly.

In some cases, individuals’ characteristics (i.e., tendency to take risks while driving) and comorbid conditions (i.e., depression) that can result in harmful consequences need to be considered for the treatment to be successful.

Proper screening, assessment, and referral are also needed to ensure the treatment’s best possible outcome.

Effectiveness of Court-Mandated DUI Treatments

An examination of DUI events and crashes over the years indicated that alcohol-specific interventions were way better at minimizing alcohol-related driving and crashes than interventions that are not alcohol specific.

However, some non-specific interventions (i.e., revoking the driver’s license) have also helped reduce all types of crashes because they helped minimize the overall driving exposure.

That said, many believe the best strategy is to combine treatment with licensing action. The stated strategy has been known to help dramatically reduce crashes and impaired driving in general, among offenders that are considered high-risk drivers (even when they are not impaired).


When it comes to DUI treatment, the most effective strategy combines education and treatment. The treatment aspect includes psychotherapy or counseling. Combining said techniques is also considered more effective since offenders have complex and diverse problems. Offering various approaches can help warrant different issues are addressed accordingly.


Tips To Handle A DWI In New Orleans

20 Tips For Handling A DWI in New Orleans

20 tips on what to do after a DWI arrest in New Orleans.

Receiving a driving while intoxicated charge (DWI) in New Orleans, Louisiana, can have serious repercussions. Knowing how to handle a DWI charge can be the difference between having the court’s full weight come down on you or help your case substantially. We put together 20 tips for handling a DWI in New Orleans to ensure you are prepared if you are ever charged with driving while intoxicated

Read this post for tips on what to do when getting pulled over.

1. Know That a DWI is A Crime

This sounds self-explanatory, but cultural norms dictate that we mention this here. Years ago, it was socially acceptable to have a few drinks and drive home; those days are long passed. The amount of alcohol it takes to be over the legal limit may not be as much as you think. Keep this in mind before getting behind the wheel after a few drinks. 

2. You Have a Right to Remain Silent

Remember that in the U.S., you have the right to remain silent. When pulled over under suspicion of DWI, you may be asked questions like if you have been drinking or how much you have had to drink. Any answer you give can be held against you. Don’t lie; just remember you are not required to answer questions that would incriminate you. Just say you want your attorney present before answering any questions. This will not keep you out of jail, but it makes it easier for your attorney to argue your case when charged. 

3. Don’t Argue During Arrest

If stopped for DWI, do not argue or resist arrest. This will only cause you to be charged with more crimes. If you had nothing to drink, say so, but resisting an arrest will not solve your problem. 

4. Don’t Panic

Everyone makes mistakes in their lives. If you are charged with a DWI in New Orleans, realize it is not the end of your life. Unless you are a repeat offender there is only so much punishment you will receive especially for a first offense. 

DUI New Orleans
DUI New Orleans

5. Hire an Attorney Who Specializes in DWI Cases

If you do not already have an attorney on speed dial, hire one as fast as possible after you are charged. Many people cannot afford an attorney right away and will be appointed one. Either way, try and have an attorney as soon as possible to advise you through your court case. 

6. Get Help

If you have an issue with alcohol or drugs, find a way to receive counseling right away. If the courts realize you are on a path to help yourself before the required mandatory counseling, it will look much better in your favor. 

7. Know That Any Type of Punishment is Not Easy

Getting no time served and probation instead of receiving jail time is always a good thing. Just remember that probation will take a lot of responsibility on your part. There will be many conditions placed on you, such as paying fines, showing up for classes, imposed counseling, drug and alcohol test, and other requirements that may go on for months and years. 

8. Hire a Local Attorney

Not only should your attorney be experienced in handling DWI cases, but they should also know the local system. Good local attorneys in Louisiana or a reputable criminal defense attorney in New Orleans have been in front of the same judges who may oversee your DWI case. This experience lets them understand the nuances of each local court. 

You can do a search or ask around to find the best New Orleans DWI attorney to help you with your offense. Hiring a professional is one of the best things you can do to get the most positive outcome from any criminal offense.

9. Stay Out of Trouble

The best-case scenario is you are never charged with a crime ever again in your life. What you certainly cannot do is get into trouble again while you are awaiting trial. If so, you can place everything your attorney has worked towards in jeopardy,

10. You Will Have the Opportunity to Make Bail

After being charged with a DWI, you will have the opportunity to make bail. You will have the opportunity to make bail if you are charged with drug charges in New Orleans, cocaine in New Orleans, or shoplifting in New Orleans, you will eventually have the opportunity to make bail. Your first appearance in front of a judge will be at your arraignment when you are formally charged and offered a bail amount.

11. Getting Out On Bail Can Take Some Time

New Orleans is a large city. If charged with DWI in the city limits, it could take longer than in smaller areas to receive bail. This is due to the overwhelming number of cases that come before the arraignment system.  Even after given a bail amount and making an agreement with a bondsman, it may take several hours for the administration to discharge you. 

12. You Could Remain in Jail Until Your Court date

When given a bail amount, it is up to you to post bail with the full amount of the bail money or hire a bondsman to make bail for you for a fee. If you cannot afford bail, the only choice you may have is to stay in jail until your court date arrives. 

13. Be Prepared for Court Resets

There is a good chance that your first court date will be reset to a later date. This can have your case drag on for a time. These postponements are not necessarily a bad thing. First, they give you more time to earn money for any fines and fees if convicted, and it also puts the pressure on the prosecution as more and more cases build for them to take on, hopefully making them want to offer you a better deal to get the case off of their books.

14. Dress Appropriately for Court 

You can express yourself with whatever you want to wear outside of court. When your court date arrives, show up dressed as if you were on your way to church or better.

15. Have Others Show Support For You

It always looks better on someone facing a DWI or any conviction when others stand up for them. If there are responsible people in your life, call on them to write letters for you showing the positives in your life. Preachers, family, coaches, and counselors are always a good choice. 

16. Begin Community Service 

While waiting for your day in court ahead, find somewhere to volunteer your time. Just as with going to counseling, showing the court you are doing the right thing will only help your case. 

17. Start Saving Money

DWI convictions can have fines that be around $10,000 when it is said and done. If you can make extra money during the process, this can only help you if a plea agreement is reached. 

18. You Could Lose or Have Restrictions On Your Driver’s License

When you are charged with DWI in New Orleans, you will have to appear for a suspension hearing. Be prepared to have your license suspended or at least restricted during this hearing, which is separate from your court case. 

19. You Can Refuse an Intoxilyzer and Blood Test

When under suspicion of a DWI, you will be asked to take a breath or blood test. Any failing results will be used against you in court. You do have the right to refuse. A search warrant may be issued in which you will have to comply, but until then, it is your body and your decision. 

20. Know That It Will Be Over

All things come to an end. Being charged with a DWI and going through the process can be overwhelming. Do what you need to do, listen to your attorney, and know that you will get through it.

Hiring the right attorney is the first step to dealing appropriately with a DWI offense in New Orleans. Barkemeyer Law Firm is a New Orleans criminal defense attorney who can help you with your DUI. Call us today or visit us at our location at 422 S Broad Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119.

We hope you learned tips to handle a DWI in New Orleans and wish you the best.


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.


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.


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.


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. Such a charge would require the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney.

A gavel and a name plate with the engraving DUI Law

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.  If you’re wondering at this point, “do I need a lawyer?“, the answer is yes.

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 and also has locations in New Orleans and Shreveport. Barkemeyer Law Firm 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.

drinking during Mardi Gras

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.


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. 

DWI v. DUI in Louisiana is explained in detail.

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.


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.

Criminal Court Process 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.