5 Things To Do After Getting A DWI In Louisiana
After you have been charged with a DWI in Louisiana, you are probably wondering what your next steps should be. It can be stressful, and you may have no idea what to do regarding DWIs, especially if it is your first time. If you are ready to learn how to prepare for your DWI, here are 5 things to do after getting a DWI in Louisiana.
5 Crucial Things You Need To Do Immediately Following A DWI
Realize Drunk Driving is a Criminal Offense
The first thing you should do after you have been charged with a DWI is realize it is a criminal offense and you will need a criminal attorney. Some people may not realize this, but it is. This means you will end up with a criminal record, not just a citation. Your license will be suspended, you will be fined, and there is a strong probability of you receiving jail time.
Any DWI you receive will remain on your driving record for at least a decade, leading to problems further down the road, especially when you try to get insurance, as DWIs show you are not a safe driver and will cause your insurance premiums to go up.
Use Your Rights
If you have been pulled over by a police officer who suspects you have been drinking, it is important to remember that you have rights. These rights include the right to remain silent, and this is the one that should be at the forefront of your mind. When asked if you have been drinking, you should remain silent for several reasons.
If you state you have been drinking that can be probable cause for arrest sometimes, though it depends on how much alcohol you admit to drinking. In some jurisdictions, you can be arrested even if your blood alcohol level is below the legal limit. So always remember, remain silent, and do not permit the police to search your vehicle, even if you have nothing illegal.
Consult an Attorney
After getting a DWI in Louisiana, the most important thing you can do is consult an attorney. It can be extremely difficult to navigate the legalities and your rights when it comes to a DWI, which is why a DWI attorney can help you. They know how to challenge any evidence against you, such as breath analyzers, and how to protect your license best.
While it is not necessarily required if you are a first-time offender, you should still get a DWI attorney. You will need an attorney if you are a second-time offender. Louisiana goes much harder on repeat offenders, and without an attorney, you will face severe consequences that could have been prevented.
Make Plans for Getting Around
After you have been charged with a DWI, you should plan how you will get around if needed. Since your license will be suspended, you can not drive for six months to a year. While you can apply for a hardship license, it is not always guaranteed you can get one after being charged with a DWI.
You may have to get a friend, partner, or family member to drive you to work if you can not get a hardship license. If you can get a hardship license, you can only use it to go to work and other specified places.
Prepare for Two Cases
Another important thing to keep in mind is that you will be facing two cases when you have been charged with a DWI, not just one. The first one is an Administrative Hearing, and the second one is the actual Criminal Court case for your DWI. Not many people realize that this can lead to negative consequences if you are unprepared for both of them.
The Administrative Hearing is where the DMV will be suggesting that your license be suspended, and if you do not fight it, then it will go through. For the Administrative Hearing, you must request it within 30 days of your violation in writing. If you do not do this, you pass up the right to have it, resulting in your license suspension.
When the court case comes around, you will want a DWI attorney to help get you through it. You want to be proactive throughout the entire process, as procrastinating and waiting for your court date can leave you woefully underprepared. Take control of your trial, and do everything you can in your power to reduce the negative outcomes. Otherwise, the court will take control, and you will deal with the consequences.
Conclusion: 5 Things To Do After Getting A DWI In Louisiana
No one wants to get a DWI, and while it is a stressful scenario to go through, if you stay calm, and follow these 5 things to do after getting a DWI in Louisiana, then you should hopefully come out the other side fairly easily.