When facing driving while intoxicated charges, people may have concerns about what a conviction or guilty plea might mean. Even for a first-time offense, the court may impose a range of penalties, some of which may have lasting implications.
Understanding the potential consequences that people may face if they plead guilty or the court convicts them of DWI may help them prepare for the future.
According to state law, the sentence for a DWI conviction may include a fine. For a first-time offense, the court may fine drivers a minimum of $300 and a maximum of $1,000.
A DWI sentence may also include mandatory jail time. The court may order drivers to imprisonment for between 10 days and six months. Depending on the circumstances, the court may order people to serve 48-hours in jail and perform 32-hours or more of community service.
Substance abuse program
If placed on probation for DWI, the court may include mandatory participation in an approved substance abuse program as a condition. Such programs may include a substance abuse assessment by a licensed clinician. Additionally, the court may require people to participate in driver improvement programs.
According to the Louisiana Department of Public Safety, the potential penalties of a DWI conviction may also include a driver’s license suspension. For a first-time offense, people may lose their driving privileges for one year. If they have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.20 or higher, drivers face a 2-year license suspension period.
The court may adjust people’s DWI sentences based on the available options and the circumstances of their cases. Understanding their rights and the options available may help drivers mitigate the potential fallout of their arrests on their personal and professional lives.