Protect your rights, your future and your family’s future.
As an attorney I am frequently asked by prospective clients, “What should I do if I am stopped?”
The first thing I recommend is don’t volunteer information.
- Why would you wish to tell the officer that you had 4-5 beers?
- Why would you take standardized field sobriety tests?
- Why would you voluntarily submit to chemical testing of your breath, blood or urine?
All of the above “evidence” is not designed to help you. Once you are stopped, you have very little control of the situation except to “minimize” the officer’s case against you.
HERE ARE FEW THINGS I RECOMMEND:
1.) Be polite, but firm in your refusal to answer questions about your consumption of alcohol or prescribed drugs.
2.) Politely refuse to submit to field sobriety tests.
3.) Politely refuse to voluntarily submit to chemical testing.
4.) Ask to have your lawyer Carson Marcantel present.
Remember, as a First Offender, you will bond out whether you submitted to the above questions or tests. You will still be entitled to ask for a hearing about your driving privileges at a later date. Just because the arresting officer takes your D.L. away from you does not mean that you are automatically under suspension.
So, keep it simple, be polite, and remain consistent.
Being convicted of a DWI in Louisiana may carry some serious consequences. There is too much at stake to simply accept the charges against you and plead guilty. There may be serious holes in the prosecution’s case that you don’t know about. Only an experienced criminal defense attorney like Carson Marcantel may be able to dig through the case and find a way to get the charges reduced or even dismissed.
What is the difference between a DUI and a DWI?
Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Intoxicated are two ways of describing a charge against someone operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol. While these charges vary state to state, in Louisiana they are used interchangeably as legally there is no real difference.
What should I do if I am asked to take a field sobriety test after being pulled over?
Being pulled over can be a very intimidating experience. Try to stay focused and remain calm. Make sure you don’t say anything you may regret if you have to go to a court of law. If the officer asks you to do perform a field sobriety test, politely refuse. Don’t forget that it is your RIGHT to refuse a field sobriety test. Make sure to always speak to the officer in a respectful manner and do not say or do anything the officer may interpret as a threat. Field sobriety tests are not required in Louisiana. Results may just provide additional evidence for the prosecution. Field sobriety tests are designed for you to fail so don’t take them.
What should I do if the officer wants me to take a blood test?
Louisiana has an “implied consent” law. This says that if you are lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause that you are under the influence of alcohol, then you consent to take a chemical test. This chemical test can be a test of your blood, breath or urine. These tests are given to determine your blood alcohol content, commonly referred to as your BAC. If you submit to a breath test, demand a blood or urine test as well. A breath sample cannot be saved for future retesting, which may be critical evidence if the case goes to trial. If you take a blood test, you will be able to call upon those records if necessary.
What would happen if I refuse to take a test the officer has requested?
You have the choice to refuse to take tests. The refusal to take a test can be used by the prosecution against you, however, the test results can also be used against you if you submit. Because of Louisiana’s implied consent law, a refusal will result in suspension of your driver’s license. How long the suspension lasts depends on the number of your prior DWI arrests and/or prior refusals to take chemical tests in the past.
Jail time will not be given unless you refused the test more than twice in the past five years.
Do I have a choice in which chemical test I can take? If so, which one should I choose?
Unfortunately when you are pulled over and asked to do a chemical test, you typically cannot choose which method of the test you would like to take. If there is a medical issue impairing your ability to take a breathalyzer test, make sure to tell the officer. When possible, request a blood or urine test.
At what point to I have the right to contact an attorney?
At the point of arrest, you have the right to an attorney. If you have not been placed under arrest and have refused all field sobriety tests, politely ask the officer if you can go. If the answer is no, ask to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Call me at (225) 810-3600 and I will be able to help you with your case.
If I fail a breath test, what happens to my license?
In Louisiana, if your breathalyzer results are above the legal limit, .08 for drivers 21 and older, your driver’s license can be suspended. This can also happen if you refuse to take the chemical test and then do not request an administrative hearing to contest the suspension within 30 days from the date of your arrest. If you request the hearing, for your license to be suspended, the state must prove that the suspension is lawful. Have an experienced DWI attorney by your side helping guide you through this difficult and complicated process. I will make sure you don’t miss any of the important deadlines and help fight to try to keep your license.
Why am I showing two DWI charges against me?
The two charges against you are civil and criminal charges. The DUI or DWI criminal charge is a misdemeanor in most cases. It can be a felony depending on the circumstances. The civil charge involves your ability to keep your driver’s license. Having an attorney by your side to help defend your rights is crucial. A conviction of DWI can result in not only heavy fines and the revocation of your license, but may even involve jail time. Let me help fight your case.