If you’ve ever been arrested for driving under the influence, you know it’s no picnic. In all 50 states, the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent. If you are found to be driving and at or above the legal limit, you can and most likely will be charged with a DUI. If you are under the age of 21 and found to be driving with any amount of alcohol in your system, no matter how small, you can be charged with a DWI. If you are charged with a DWI and your case makes it to trial or you decide to plead guilty, you could be facing a DWI conviction. So, what happens after you are convicted of a DWI? A judge will decide your punishment.
How does a judge determine your sentence?
There are several factors at play when it comes time for a judge to hand down your sentence for a DWI. These factors include:
- Previous arrests and/or convictions for DWI or DUI
- How long ago the previous arrests and/or DWI/DUI convictions happened
- Did your DWI cause injury to another person?
- Did your DWI cause damage to someone’s personal property?
- How high was your BAC when you were arrested? Was it higher than .15?
- Was your license suspended at the time of your arrest?
What are some possible punishments for DWI conviction?
A judge could impose a wide variety of punishment, including fines and possible jail time. Here are some of the possible outcomes of a DWI conviction:
- You could be required to install an ignition interlock device that makes you blow into a Breathalyzer every time you start your car.
- You might be forced to attend drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs or attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
- You might have your driver’s license revoked.
- Your car might be impounded or taken away from you.
- You might have hefty court fees and fines to pay.
- Depending on the severity of the DWI, you might serve some jail time.
In Louisiana, the punishments are outlined based on the severity of your DWI. They are typically broken down by how much alcohol was in your system at the time of your arrest and whether the DWI was a first-offense, second-offense, third-offense, fourth-offense, or subsequent fourth-offense. In any DWI case, the most important step you can take to protecting your money and your freedom is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. This is where Russell Law comes in. Russell Law Firm specializes in DWI charges and record expungements after DWI convictions. If you or someone you love is facing DUI charges, contact Russell Law today. ****The photograph above is not a depiction of any actual event or scene, but merely a dramatization.