Baton Rouge DWI/DUI Defense Lawyers
Representing Clients in Gonzales & throughout Southern Louisiana
If you have been arrested for DUI/DWI in Southern Louisiana, it is extremely important that you speak with a knowledgeable Baton Rouge DWI defense lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest. It is a criminal offense under Louisiana State law to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or another controlled substance. DUI/DWI charges entail serious negative consequences and may be punishable by imprisonment, driver’s license suspensions, probation, and many days of community service, amongst other penalties.
Can You Refuse a Breath Test in Louisiana?
DWI, or driving while intoxicated, is a serious crime in Louisiana. DWI and DUI (driving under the influence) are similar—while DWI usually refers to alcohol, DUI can include other substances.
If you have been stopped for DWI in Louisiana, there are some important things to know. As part of obtaining your driver’s license, you agree to submit to blood, breath, or urine testing if requested by a police officer. If you refuse to take the test, it becomes admissible in court as consciousness of guilt and carries an additional punishment. Refusal to submit to a chemical test will result in an automatic driver’s license suspension for six months (or longer if you have previously refused to submit to a test).
If you have been charged with DWI, it is important to hire an attorney as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence because, in Louisiana, you have only 15 days to request a hearing from the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Failure to request a hearing will result in suspension of your driver’s license. The hearing is separate from criminal charges, which will be handled in a court of law. Your attorney can request a hearing and can represent you to try to keep your license from being suspended.
In Louisiana there are two separate procedures that result from an arrest for DWI:
- The administrative procedure of the Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicles, where the State will attempt to take away your driver’s license for a minimum of one year on your first offense; and
- The criminal proceeding brought by the District Attorney whereby the State will attempt to put you in jail for up to six months on your first offense.
Each of these proceedings results from a refusal to blow or a BAC above .08 percent.
Louisiana laws offer a safe harbor for people who have certain blood alcohol levels. If your blood alcohol level is below .05, you will be presumed to NOT be driving under the influence of alcohol. When the blood alcohol level is between .05 and .08, there is no presumption about impairment. If the blood alcohol level is .08 or above, it is presumed that the person is impaired.
These laws apply to drivers over the age of 21. The blood alcohol limit for those under the age of 21 is .02 percent.
Defending DWI/DUI in Baton Rouge & the Surrounding Areas
If you have been charged with DWI, the first and most important step is to seek the help of an experienced DWI attorney. A lawyer will represent you in the first hearing and throughout your case, including trial. Hiring a DWI attorney can help you keep your license, reduce your charges, lower your bail, and reduce the penalties if you are found guilty.
The outcome of your DWI case hinges critically on who you choose to defend your legal rights. The United States Constitution guarantees you the right to select the legal counsel of your choice to defend your rights in criminal proceedings brought against you by the government. It is extremely important that you find an attorney who suits your needs and understands how to communicate with you. In selecting a DWI defense attorney in Baton Rouge to represent you, you should evaluate several candidate attorneys and request information about each individual attorney’s qualifications and experience in handling matters of this nature.
Call The Ambeau Law Firm at (225) 230-1181 or contact us online today to learn more about how our firm can assist you with your DWI/DUI charges. We represent clients in Baton Rouge, Gonzales, Prairieville, Livingston Parish, Ascension Parish, and West Baton Rouge Parish.
Straightforward, Honest Communication
Over a Decade Volunteered Services as a Public Defender
Over 40 Jury Trials Handled to Verdict
Qualified Expert in Forensic DNA Interpretation