The DWI Lawyer in the New Orleans Metro Area
For people who have recently been charged with a DWI, it can feel like the world is caving in around them. The prospect of court dates, fines, possibly even jail time, is a lot to process. What began as a single decision to get behind the wheel can sprawl into years of consequences. However, it doesn't have to be that way. A good DWI lawyer can shoulder a lot of the burden, and help reduce both the severity and scope of consequences. Although there are feelings of desperation, the right legal representation can make a world of difference.
New Orleans DWI Laws
While New Orleans is infamous for its relaxed attitude towards alcohol, that leniency disappears as soon as a car is involved. Like the rest of the United States, the legal limit is 0.08% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). For those under 21, the limit is 0.02% while commercial drivers are subject to a 0.04% limit. The penalties can vary widely. First-time offenders can be subject to a $1,000 fine and up to 6 months jail time. The penalties get much steeper for multiple offenses within 10 years. A third offense can mean up to 5 years in prison and a $2,000 fine.
In What Situations Do You Need a DWI Lawyer?
Essentially, hiring a DUI lawyer is an important step in the process. If you think the state has a solid case and plan to plead guilty, you should still consult with a lawyer in case there was something that was overlooked in the case. If there were any discrepancies or mistakes made in the arrest and prosecution, they'll be difficult to find without an attorney on your side. Even if you don't think you can get the case thrown out, it's still worth betting on a better outcome than a guilty plea. An experienced criminal attorney can negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution to get reduced charges. A "wet reckless,” for example, is a charge of reckless driving while under the influence. It's still a severe offense, but the consequences are far below a DWI. Negotiating a lesser charge on your own would be incredibly challenging, if not impossible.
When Should You Contact a DWI Lawyer?
The sooner the better. Getting an attorney involved in your case earlier will go a long way towards improving your odds of a successful outcome. Planning a defense and/or negotiating with the prosecution can take months. Beyond the time needed, an attorney can save you a tremendous amount of stress by handling all the paperwork, keeping track of hearing dates, and other details.