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New year means new DWI penalties in Louisiana

As Louisiana residents have finished ringing out 2014 and ringing in 2015, it’s time to take a quick look at a new law that every motorist should be aware of. Those drivers who on occasion have a couple of drinks prior to getting behind the wheel need to take special note. The penalties for first time DWI offenses have gotten more severe.

As of the beginning of the new calendar year, an individual charged with their first DWI could have to serve a minimum 10 day jail sentence along with performing 32 community service hours. For those who are under 21 years of age and are charged with DWI, first time offenders could receive a 10 day jail sentence.

According to different reports, this new law is intended to provide clarification for defense attorneys, judges and prosecutors regarding the requirements of DWI convictions.

These penalties have the potential to make a person’s life more difficult. Time in jail could lead to a loss of a job. Therefore, if you are ever charged with a DWI, you need to understand your legal options as well as the consequences of any pleas you enter.

An investigation conducted by an attorney could highlight any questionable aspects of your arrest. For instance, did the police have probable cause to stop you? Was your breath test correctly administered? The answers to these questions could determine if the charges will lead to a conviction.

A Louisiana DWI attorney may be able to investigate your case and counsel you on which legal defense options are best given your particular circumstances. The attorney could also represent you in court as you seek to retain your driving privileges.

Source: The Daily News, “Tougher DWI regulations now in effect,” Randy Hammons, Jan. 4, 2015

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