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What Are the Penalties for a DWI Conviction in Louisiana?

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DWI Conviciton Penalties | New Orleans, LA Attorney | Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias, LLCAs a DWI attorney in New Orleans, I meet with clients each day that, if convicted, face severe penalties.

Often, I find that drivers are unaware of the possible penalties of a DWI conviction, initially believing such a charge doesn’t carry heavy consequences. It is actually the contrary. I try to quickly educate drivers on the possible penalties of a DWI conviction in Louisiana.

To clear up any confusion on DWI penalties, here is a simple outline of each DWI conviction and its maximum penalty:

First Offense

  • Driving privileges suspended for up to 90 days
  • Up to six months in jail
  • Up to a $1,000 fine, in addition to court costs

Second Offense 

  • Driving privileges suspended for up to one year
  • Mandatory 48 hours in jail
  • Up to six months of additional jail time
  • Up to a $1,000 fine, in addition to court costs

Third Offense

  • Driving privileges suspended for up to two years
  • Mandatory 30 days in jail
  • Up to five years in prison
  • Possible home confinement
  • Up to a $2,000 fine, in addition to court costs
  • Possible loss of vehicle
  • Six weeks in an inpatient substance abuse program, plus 12 months in an outpatient substance abuse program

Fourth Offense

  • Driving privileges suspended for up to two years
  • Mandatory 30 days in jail
  • Possible home confinement for five years
  • Up to a $5,000 fine, in addition to court costs
  • Possible loss of vehicle
  • Six weeks in an inpatient substance abuse program, plus 12 months in an outpatient substance abuse program

Please be aware that first and second DWI convictions earn you a criminal record, while third and fourth DWI convictions will give you a felony criminal record.

In addition to these penalties, the judge may require you to enroll in a driver improvement program or work on community service projects, possibly paying for all this from your own pocket.

If there was a fatality as a result of your accident, remember that any drunk driver in Louisiana who causes an accident that kills another person will face up to 20 years in prison.

As you can see, the penalties for a DWI conviction in Louisiana are not to be taken lightly. If you have been charged with a DWI in or near New Orleans, you need an experienced DWI attorney to defend your rights and fight to secure the best possible outcome.

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About Jim Harmon

Jim Harmon is a founding member of Harmon, Smith and Vourvoulias L.L.C. Jim practices primarily in the areas of personal injury litigation, workers' compensation, and DUI defense.Jim Harmon's Google+ Profile

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