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Louisiana DWI Conviction: What Prosecutors Must Prove

Under the Louisiana DWI statute, to obtain a DWI conviction against you, the prosecutor must prove both:

  1. Operation – You were exercising influence, control, or manipulation on a motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, vessel, or other means of conveyance.
  2. Intoxication – You were under the influence of alcoholic beverages and/or other drugs; or your blood alcohol concentration was 0.08 percent or more.

I.) Operation

“Operating” under the DWI statute refers to exercising some “influence, control, or manipulation” over the motor vehicle, which includes: driving, steering, backing, or any physical handling of the controls to put the vehicle in motion. That doesn’t mean the vehicle’s engine had to be running or that the vehicle had to be moving. As long as it is proven that you had any “influence or control” over the vehicle (e.g. keys in the ignition), you were “operating” the vehicle for purposes of a DWI conviction.

The following are common questions considered by courts when determining if the “operation” element is met:

  • Whether the keys were in the ignition?
  • Whether any part of the vehicle was turned on (g. engine, headlights, heater/air conditioner, etc.)?
  • Whether the vehicle was moving or parked?
  • Whether the defendant was trying to move the vehicle?
  • Whether the defendant was alert or awake (conscious)?

II.) Intoxication

Many people use “drunk driving” to refer to DWI. However, being “drunk” is not necessary to be considered “intoxicated” under the law. If your blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) level is 0.08% or more, you are presumed intoxicated under the DWI statute. For some people, .08% BAC means only 3 beers, which might not equate to a person being “drunk,” but it does equate to being “intoxicated” for DWI conviction purposes.

Furthermore, intoxication is not limited to being under the influence of alcoholic beverages. It also includes drugs, such as illegal controlled substances (e.g. marijuana) and certain legally prescribed drugs and over-the-counter medications.

When it comes to proving intoxication for a DWI conviction, prosecutors usually present the following evidence:

  • Police officer statements.
  • Defendant statements and/or admissions of guilt.
  • Results from field sobriety tests, chemical breath test, blood test, and/or urine test.
  • Evidence seized from the defendant’s vehicle or person, such as drugs or alcohol.
  • Video footage depicting the defendant’s poor driving, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, confusion, imbalance, etc.

For information related to penalties associated with a DWI conviction, read our previous article, “Louisiana DUI Laws and Penalties.” DWIs can have other serious consequences, so if you’ve been arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, contact a skilled DWI/DUI defense attorney at the Russell Law Firm.

The DWI lawyers at the Russell Law Firm represents clients in DWI cases throughout the State of Louisiana, including the parishes of East Baton Rouge Parish, West Baton Rouge Parish, Plaquemines Parish, Livingston Parish, Ascension Parish, Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish, St. Charles Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Assumption Parish, Lafayette Parish, Lafourche Parish, Lafayette Parish, St. Landry Parish, Evangeline Parish; and the cities of Baton Rouge, Livingston, Denham Springs, Walker, Gonzales, Donaldsonville, Port Allen, Brusly, Addis, Lafayette, Napoleonville, Kenner, Harvey, Marrero, Estelle, Gretna, Metairie, New Orleans, Terrytown, Westwego, Ville Platte, Eunice, Opelousas, Thibodaux, Houma, Belle Chasse, and Hahnville.

Baton Rouge DWI lawyers at the Russell Law Firm, LLC are skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable about the Louisiana DWI laws, related non-DWI statutes, and how to evaluate evidence that law enforcement and prosecutors might try to use against you. If you or someone you know is facing a potential DWI conviction, contact a DWI lawyer at the Russell Law Firm at 225-307-0088. We offer free, no obligation initial consultations.

Information furnished herein is only general and not a substitute for personalized legal advice.

****The photograph above is not a depiction of any actual event or scene, but merely a dramatization.

By: Danny D. Russell, Esq.

Auto Accident & Wrongful Death Attorney – Russell Law Firm

Auto Accident & Wrongful Death Attorney

russell law firm baton rouge la

Danny Russell is a Baton Rouge car accident & wrongful death attorney, representing injured clients involved in car accidents throughout the State of Louisiana, including the parishes of East Baton Rouge Parish, West Baton Rouge Parish, Plaquemines Parish, Livingston Parish, Ascension Parish, Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish, St. Charles Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Assumption Parish, Lafayette Parish, Lafourche Parish, Lafayette Parish, St. Landry Parish, Evangeline Parish; and the cities of Baton Rouge, Livingston, Denham Springs, Walker, Gonzales, Donaldsonville, Port Allen, Brusly, Addis, Lafayette, Napoleonville,    Kenner, Harvey, Marrero, Estelle, Gretna, Metairie, New Orleans, Terrytown, Westwego, Ville Platte, Eunice, Opelousas, Thibodaux, Houma, Belle Chasse, and Hahnville.

Our firm is experienced and highly skilled in handling car accident & wrongful death claims. If you or someone you know has a car accident & wrongful death claim in Baton Rouge or anywhere else in Louisiana, make the RIGHT CALL, RIGHT NOW and contact Louisiana car accident & wrongful death attorneys at the Russell Law Firm today at 225-307-0088. We will take a hands-on, aggressive approach towards getting you compensated for your losses.

**Information furnished herein is only general and not a substitute for personalized legal advice.

By:      Danny Russell, Baton Rouge area personal injury attorney, licensed in Louisiana.

****THE VIDEO ABOVE IS NOT A DEPICTION OF ANY ACTUAL EVENT OR SCENE, BUT MERELY A DRAMATIZATION. 

Car Wreck Claims – Danny Russell

Car Wreck Claims

russell law firm baton rouge la

Danny Russell is a Baton Rouge car accident lawyer, representing injured clients involved in car accidents throughout the State of Louisiana, including the parishes of East Baton Rouge Parish, West Baton Rouge Parish, Plaquemines Parish, Livingston Parish, Ascension Parish, Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish, St. Charles Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Assumption Parish, Lafayette Parish, Lafourche Parish, Lafayette Parish, St. Landry Parish, Evangeline Parish; and the cities of Baton Rouge, Livingston, Denham Springs, Walker, Gonzales, Donaldsonville, Port Allen, Brusly, Addis, Lafayette, Napoleonville,    Kenner, Harvey, Marrero, Estelle, Gretna, Metairie, New Orleans, Terrytown, Westwego, Ville Platte, Eunice, Opelousas, Thibodaux, Houma, Belle Chasse, and Hahnville.

Our firm is experienced and highly skilled in handling car accident claims. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident in Baton Rouge or anywhere else in Louisiana, make the RIGHT CALL, RIGHT NOW and contact Louisiana car accident attorneys at the Russell Law Firm today at 225-307-0088. We will take a hands-on, aggressive approach towards getting you compensated for your losses.

**Information furnished herein is only general and not a substitute for personalized legal advice.

By:      Danny Russell, Baton Rouge area personal injury attorney, licensed in Louisiana.

****THE PHOTOGRAPH ABOVE IS NOT A DEPICTION OF ANY ACTUAL EVENT OR SCENE, BUT MERELY A DRAMATIZATION. 

 

18-Wheeler Accident: Lawsuit Deadline

Someone who sustains bodily injuries and/or property damages (“damages”) resulting from an 18-wheeler accident in Louisiana, has one (1) year from the date the “injury or damage was sustained,” to file a lawsuit against the the driver of the 18-wheeler, the owner of the 18-wheeler, the insurance company insuring the 18-wheeler, and any other parties responsible for compensating you for the damages you’ve sustained. The date the “injuries or damages were sustained,” is usually the date that the accident occurred.

Given that you have only one (1) year, it is important to make early contact with a personal injury law firm experienced in handling 18-wheeler accidents in Louisiana if you’ve suffered damages from an 18-wheeler accident. Before filing a lawsuit, it is crucial to collect all necessary evidence from the scene of the accident, the 18-wheeler, and others, which can take months. If some of that evidence is lost or destroyed, it could severely impact the outcome of your case.

The Russell Law Firm represents clients injured in 18-wheeler accidents throughout the State of Louisiana, including the parishes of East Baton Rouge Parish, West Baton Rouge Parish, Plaquemines Parish, Livingston Parish, Ascension Parish, Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish, St. Charles Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Assumption Parish, Lafayette Parish, Lafourche Parish, Lafayette Parish, St. Landry Parish, Evangeline Parish; and the cities of Baton Rouge, Livingston, Denham Springs, Walker, Gonzales, Donaldsonville, Port Allen, Brusly, Addis, Lafayette, Napoleonville, Kenner, Harvey, Marrero, Estelle, Gretna, Metairie, New Orleans, Terrytown, Westwego, Ville Platte, Eunice, Opelousas, Thibodaux, Houma, Belle Chasse, and Hahnville.

Our firm is experienced and highly skilled in 18-wheeler accident cases. If you have sustained damages from an 18-wheeler accident, contact the Russell Law Firm  today at 225-307-0088. We will take a hands on and aggressive approach towards getting you compensated for your losses.

Information furnished herein is only general and not a substitute for personalized legal advice
****The photograph above is not a depiction of any actual event or scene, but merely a dramatization. 
By:       Danny Russell, Baton Rouge area personal injury attorney, licensed in Louisiana.

Rear-End Accidents: Know the Law

Under Louisiana law, if your vehicle is involved in a rear-end collision with another vehicle, the driver of the vehicle that rear-ended you, is presumed to be at fault for causing the rear-end collision. That is because Louisiana Revised Statute 32:81 imposes a duty upon the driver of a following motor vehicle to maintain a “reasonable and prudent” distance from the preceding vehicle, “having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”

In other words, a driver must be observant of the vehicle in front of him (or her), leaving enough distance between his vehicle and the leading vehicle so that he can stop safely and avoid a collision, should something happen with the leading vehicle.  

However, the driver who caused the rear-end collision, may free himself of fault by proving:  

  1. He had his vehicle under control;
  2. He closely observed the vehicle in front of him; and
  3. He followed at a safe distance under the circumstances.

Louisiana courts have recognized several situations where the rear-ending driver may not be presumed to be at fault for causing the collision. An example is when a driver rear-ends another vehicle after that vehicle veered into his lane, leaving him with no opportunity to avoid the collision. Additionally, if a driver unsafely enters a highway from a private driveway or from the shoulder, then gets rear-ended, the rear-ending driver may be free of fault for causing the accident.

The Russell Law Firm represents clients in rear-end collision throughout the State of Louisiana, including the parishes of East Baton Rouge Parish, West Baton Rouge Parish, Plaquemines Parish, Livingston Parish, Ascension Parish, Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish, St. Charles Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Assumption Parish, Lafayette Parish, Lafourche Parish, Lafayette Parish, St. Landry Parish, Evangeline Parish; and the cities of Baton Rouge, Livingston, Denham Springs, Walker, Gonzales, Donaldsonville, Port Allen, Brusly, Addis, Lafayette, Napoleonville, Kenner, Harvey, Marrero, Estelle, Gretna, Metairie, New Orleans, Terrytown, Westwego, Ville Platte, Eunice, Opelousas, Thibodaux, Houma, Belle Chasse, and Hahnville. Mr. Russell is an experienced and skilled attorney in rear end collision cases, who has aggressively represented

If you have suffered a personal injury from a rear-end accident, call the Russell Law Firm at 225-307-0088. We are experienced in handling the complex legal issues, losses, and medical needs of rear end collision cases. Mr. Russell will take a hands on and aggressive approach at getting you the medical treatment and compensation you deserve.

Information furnished herein is only general and not a substitute for personalized legal advice.
****The photograph above is not a depiction of any actual event or scene, but merely a dramatization. 

 

LEGAL ALERT – Louisiana House Bill Seeks to Cut Divorce Wait in Half.

  1. House Bill 136

On Tuesday (4/18/17), a Louisiana House committee advanced House Bill 136 to shorten the wait time to get a divorce from one year to six months, in no-fault divorces of couples with children.

In 2006, Gov. Kathleen Blanco signed a measure extending the waiting period to one year. The purpose of the legislation was to slow down the divorce process, giving spouses an opportunity to “cool off” and seek reconciliation.

The House Civil Law and Procedure committee first tried to kill House Bill 136 but that failed on a 3 to 5 vote. The committee then voted without objection to advance the bill to the full House for consideration.

  1. Votes

Voting to involuntarily defer HB136 (3): Chairman Ray Garofalo, R-Chalmette; Reps. Greg Cromer, R-Slidell; and Julie Emerson, R-Carencro.

Voting for HB136 (5): Reps. Robby Carter, D-Amite; Randal Gaines, D-LaPlace; Sam Jenkins, D-Shreveport; Tanner Magee, R-Houma; and Gregory Miller, R-Norco.

House Bill 136 will be sent to the House floor for a vote in the House of Representatives. Should it pass out of the House floor, it will then be sent to a Senate committee. The Russell Law firm will be providing updates on this bill as developments occur.

In Need of a Baton Rouge Family Law Attorney? 

Danny Russell is a divorce and family law attorney in the Baton Rouge area who has experience in dealing with a wide range of family law matters, such as divorce, child custody, child support, visitation, spousal support, and community property partitions. He knows divorce and family law in Louisiana and how courts usually side on family law matters. He will carefully assess those things most important to you, explain how the law applies to your circumstances, and help you make decisions that affect your relationships and financial stability.

If you are in need of a Baton Rouge family law attorney, give the Russell Law Firm a call.

****Information furnished herein is only general and not a substitute for personalized legal advice.

By:      Danny D. Russell, Attorney at Law, Louisiana Licensed.