Having your license revoked is probably the third most serious punishment the state can dish out, after the death penalty and sending you to jail. A license is often revoked after a serious of previous offenses or for a first offense so grave it merits severe punishment.
In the United States where public transport is limited, a revoked license can stop a person from being able to get to work and could lead to them losing their job. If the person losing their license is a parent, then it can also stop them from being able to see their child regularly.
This is why the State only revokes a person’s license as a last resort. It is also why there are numerous ways to retrieve a revoked license.
Suspended Vs Revoked License
The state can revoke or suspend a license. In circumstances where the offender commits a smaller offense, the State might choose to suspend a license.
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You can also have your license suspended Louisiana if you drive without insurance.
A driver can also have his or her license revoked for a more serious offense. Under these circumstances, the driver would have to reapply for their license if they wanted to earn it back and would have to satisfy law enforcement and the courts that they have changed their behavior.
DWI License Suspension – Penalties in Louisiana
The penalties for a DWI in Louisiana vary depending on the age of the driver, how much they have had to drink and whether it is a first, second or third offense.
Refusing to Submit to an Alcohol Blood Test
The penalty for refusing a drink driving test in Louisiana is severe to deter people from doing this: it has to be equal to the punishment for being over-the-limit.
For a first offense, the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles will suspend your license for 180 days (6 months) on top of the 1 year that the courts will impose. This means the total suspension could last for 18 months.
For a second offense, you will get 545 days and an added 2 years if your blood alcohol content is higher than 0.2% so around 3 years, 5 months in total.
Remember that there are even stricter rules for minors, under the age of 21, where the blood alcohol content is just 0.02%.
A third offense DWI is generally considered a felony, though there are exceptions to this if the judge decides to categorize it as a state prison offense. This is a very serious crime and you will generally serve a prison sentence for this.
Another consequence of a DUI or DWI that many people don’t often think about is that your insurance will increase.
Surrender Your License
If you have been found guilty of a DWI offense and a court has ruled that your license be suspended you must surrender your license, even if you later want to appeal.
Failure to do this can lead to you being arrested and sent to jail for driving without a license or your suspension being increased.
To surrender your license you can post it to the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles or you can attend in person.
Appealing Against a Revoked License
It is possible to appeal against a revoked license. You usually have 30 days to do so or 15 for a DWI. In the interim, you can be given a temporary license. The hearings usually take place relatively promptly.
If the appeal is not successful you can still apply to a driving correction program where it may be agreed that if you attend the course regularly after a certain period of time you can have your license reinstated.
Hardship License in Louisiana
If a drivers’ license suspension or revocation is affecting your ability to get a job and this, in turn, means you cannot work then it is possible to apply for a Louisiana hardship license.
To do this you may have to satisfy a number of requirements. The car could only be used for driving to and from work or other specific purposes such as taking your children to school or visiting your children during agreed visiting hours. The car you use must be a personal car and not a commercial vehicle such as a truck or lorry.
If the State suspends or revokes your license due to a DWI you may have to install an interlock device (breathalyzer) in your car to prove that you are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs before you begin your journey. Research has suggested it would be beneficial for this to be compulsory for all DUI offenses.
You might also have to apply for a court order, pay a fee and fill in an SR22 form.
To start the process visit the Louisiana Reinstatement Office.
Time to Hire A Good Attorney
If you are facing the prospect of losing your license it can be a stressful situation. Perhaps you rely on your car to get you to work or take your children to school every day.
Maybe, this is not your first offense and you are worried about further consequences, not just a revoked license.
The key thing is to make sure you have access to a good attorney as soon as possible.
But even if you have lost your case and have already lost your license, a Batton Rouge attorney can still instrumental in helping you to appeal your case or to get back your license in limited circumstances.
If you’re having issues with a DUI revoked license in Louisiana, be sure to contact experienced lawyer Carl Barkemeyer today.