Pulled over for a DUI in New Orleans?

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If you have been pulled over for a DUI in New Orleans or anywhere in Louisiana, there is a lot that’s going to happen and it will be happening relatively quickly. 

The criminal justice system in Louisiana doesn’t take drunk or drugged driving lightly, and if you aren’t diligent in protecting your rights, you might find that you pay a heavy penalty or even potentially lose your freedom. 

Here’s what you need to know about protecting your rights during a DUI case, from our New Orleans DUI attorney George Vourvoulias.

What Happens After I Get Pulled Over for a New Orleans DUI?

Here’s what happens after a drunk driving arrest in Louisiana:

  1. License Suspension: Your license will be seized and you will be issued a temporary permit for 30 days.
  2. Administrative Hearing: You have 15 days to request an administrative hearing.
  3. Arraignment: Arraignment is the first time you appear in court. The court will inform you of the formal charges against you. It is vital to work with an experienced New Orleans DUI attorney before your arraignment. 
  4. Pre-trial: Your attorney will help you with gathering evidence, building your case, and attending motion hearings. 
  5. Trial: If you do not plead guilty and the charges are not dropped, your case will move to trial. 
  6. Sentencing: If you are found guilty, the judge will determine your penalties. 

This is why it’s crucial to work with an experienced DUI defense attorney to protect your rights and freedom.

Potential Penalties For DUI In New Orleans, Louisiana

While you will always be innocent until proven guilty, if the state succeeds in its efforts, your DUI conviction could lead to significant penalties and punishments. 

Louisiana law sets the maximum allowable penalties for DUI convictions, which means your local New Orleans judge will have a limit as to how severely they can administer consequences, but those limits are still quite significant.

First-time DUI in Louisiana

Your first conviction can bring stiff penalties such as:

  • Minimum fine of $300 and a maximum of $1,000
  • Minimum jail time of 10 days and maximum of 6 months
  • Up to two years’ probation
  • Community service of at least 32 hours

Second DUI in Louisiana

If you already have a prior conviction, a second can bring:

  • Minimum fine of $750 and a maximum of $1,000 + court costs
  • Minimum jail time of 30 days and maximum of 6 months (48 hours in jail must be served)
  • 15 days in jail unless the judge orders probation for up to 2 years
  • Community Service of at least 240 hours
  • Substance Abuse Evaluation/Treatment
  • Participation in a court-approved driver improvement program

Additionally, the DMV could suspend a Louisiana driver’s license for second offense DWI conviction for two years.

Third DUI in Louisiana

With two prior DUI convictions, a third can result in:

  • Fine of $2,000 + court costs
  • Minimum of one year in prison and a maximum of 5 years (45 days in jail must be served)
  • Car may be confiscated and sold at an auction
  • Community service
  • Substance Abuse Evaluation/Treatment
  • Participation in a court-approved driver improvement program

An ignition interlock device – a breathalyzer that requires the driver to blow into a mouthpiece on the device before starting or continuing to operate the vehicle – is required on all vehicles driven by the offender. 

Fourth DUI in Louisiana

After three DUIs in Louisiana, a fourth can result in:

  • Fine of $5,000 + court costs
  • Maximum of 30 years in prison (30 days in jail must be served)
  • Driver’s license suspension of up to four years
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device into your vehicle
  • 6 weeks in an inpatient substance abuse program
  • 12 months in an outpatient substance abuse program

If convicted of a fourth DUI conviction, you will have a felony criminal record.

Let George Vourvoulias Be Your Advocate

If you or someone close to you has recently been arrested for DUI in New Orleans, getting legal help is vital to the strength of your defense. Contact George Vourvoulias to discuss the details of your case in a confidential environment.

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Categorized as DUI, DWI

By George Vourvoulias

George is a founding member and managing member of Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias L.L.C., a New Orleans law firm. George concentrates his practice in maritime personal injury, construction litigation, personal injury, workers' compensation, medical malpractice, and DUI defense. George Vourvoulias's Google+ Profile