Driving under the influence or DUI is a criminal offense and could lead to arrest that may have serious consequences. It is very important not to underestimate the seriousness of a DUI charge.
A DUI can be legally defined as being in control of a vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs that could affect or impair the driver’s ability to control the vehicle.
The moment you are arrested for a DUI, it is essential to call a New Orleans DUI lawyer who can provide legal advice and representation to form a defense against the charges. Click here to find out more about DWI New Orleans. A good DUI defense in the criminal justice system should provide:
– Means to get you out of jail on bail.
– Protection of your rights.
– A means of retaining your driving privileges.
– Minimum fines or financial obligations resulting from the charge.
– Minimize any other penalties such as community service.
– Prevent or minimize prison time related to the charge.
A comprehensive defense can only be achieved through a detailed knowledge of traffic, DUI and criminal law by a legal representative.
In the criminal justice system, the onus of proof lies with the prosecution. This means that they need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime that you are charged with, normally to a judge and/or jury.
However, laws regarding DUI’s differ from state to state and therefore need to be addressed in different ways. For example, in some states, including Louisiana, a driving license or permit can be revoked within a specified period of time after being arrested, and you could spend several months in jail.
The revocation of a license is totally separate to the criminal hearing but can only be invoked if no hearing is requested. If convicted in the criminal hearing, the driver’s license may only be revoked at that time. It can be difficult to have a driver’s license reinstated in cases where there was no hearing. Few people are aware of this and suffer this consequence due to a lack of adequate legal representation. For residents of South Louisiana, DWI New Orleans will keep its clients informed, as well as ensure their sentences are lightened.
If the DUI resulted in a traffic accident, the criminal consequences can be even more problematic and may also result in civil charges for compensation due to loss of property or for medical expenses.
A case where a DUI was the cause of loss of life is the most ominous. In these cases, additional charges of manslaughter or even second degree murder can be brought against the alleged offender. In this event, legal representation from a New Orleans DWI Attorney (https://twitter.com/DWIAttorneyNOLA) and a good defense strategy are even more important as the charges could result in an extended prison sentence.
Once convicted of a DUI offense, the offender will have a criminal record that will follow them for the rest of their lives no matter the seriousness of the offence or the penalties/sentence they received. However, for less serious offences, a DUI offence can be removed from a criminal record after a period of time has passed without the driver re-offending. It may be necessary to get assistance from an attorney to have a criminal record cleared.