DWI Defense, Keeping, First, DWI Charges, Car, Truck, Cycle, Comm, Drug

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First-Time DWI/DUI Offense

Facing DWI or DUI charges for the first time?

Facing DWI/DUI charges is a stressful, overwhelming, and frightening experience–especially when it is your first time dealing with such charges. In Louisiana, a DWI or DUI arrest can result in threats to your freedom, finances, driving privileges, and hard-earned reputation, and it is important that you talk with a qualified attorney immediately after your arrest to defend you and protect your rights throughout the complicated process.

Conviction of a DWI or DUI brings serious, lasting consequences. You can be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced to up to six months in prison, giving you a permanent criminal record that will follow you for life. In addition, your license can be suspended for 90 days (increased to 180 days if you are under the age of 21) if you voluntarily submitted to the breathalyzer test. If you refused the breathalyzer test, your license will be suspended for a year. You may also be ordered to do community service or attend substance abuse treatment. Few people wish to experience the financial burden of DUI fines, the embarrassment from the loss of driving privileges, or the devastation of a prison sentence.

In Louisiana, you face two separate legal proceedings after a DWI/DUI arrest. The city, parish, or district court will prosecute you for the offense in criminal proceedings, and the state DMV will issue an administrative hearing to revoke your driving privileges. It’s important to remember that you have only 15 days after you are arrested to ask for an administrative hearing to appeal your license suspension. If you delay, it could cost you your license!

If you are facing your first charges for DWI or DUI, call the qualified and experienced New Orleans DUI attorneys at Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias. Our firm vigorously defends your rights and fights your charges in both the criminal court and in administrative hearings. We work to preserve your freedom, your driving privileges, and your financial security. We thoroughly examine your case and look for all possible defenses, including lack of probable cause for the traffic stop, the admissibility of your field sobriety and breathalyzer test results, and others. We work to reduce or dismiss your charges and avoid or delay the suspension of your license. If necessary, we can help you obtain a hardship license. Our goal in your case is always to obtain the best possible outcome.

Even in first-time offender cases where a conviction cannot be avoided, Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias may be able to obtain a positive legal result for you. Our attorneys can negotiate with the prosecutor of your case to attain a diversion outcome. A diversion outcome places you on probation. If you comply with the program, your charge is dismissed. After your charge is dismissed, we can seek an expungement, which will keep your criminal record clean and erase the damaging effects of the charges.