20 Tips For Handling A DWI 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.
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.