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Louisiana Criminal Defense Blog

What do police look for in field sobriety tests?

Flashing lights and sirens may have made you second-guess having that last drink with dinner. Once pulled over, the Louisiana officer approached your window and began asking you questions. At some point, the officer may have asked you to exit your vehicle.

Once out of the vehicle, the officer requested that you participate in field sobriety tests. Now, you have a decision to make -- should you participate or not? You do have the legal right to refuse, but you need to know that doing so may not prevent an arrest or possible ramifications. Knowing more about what police are looking for in the three most often used field sobriety tests, called the Standardized Field Sobriety Test, could help you make that decision.

A DWI can sidetrack a promising college career

When you send your children off to college, you can only hope you have prepared them well for what lies ahead. This means providing them with the tools they need to make wise choices and to know when they are in risky situations. However, when a child is suddenly independent, your words of warning may quickly fade from his or her head.

This may be especially true when it comes to consuming alcohol. You may expect your child to party with friends from time to time, but it is difficult to avoid the frightening statistics that place drunk driving as the number one cause of death among college students. For this reason, college towns and campus administrators take it seriously when a student is arrested for DWI.

What are valid grounds for a DWI traffic stop?

Are you facing drunk driving charges? Louisiana law does not look kindly on DWI offenders, and whether it's your first offense or you have a criminal record, you would be wise to start working on your defense strategy as soon as possible. One of the first steps of this process is to examine the grounds of the original DWI traffic stop.

Police can make traffic stops for suspected drunk driving only in certain circumstances. There must be a valid reason to pull over a driver, called reasonable suspicion. Without it, a traffic stop may be invalid, and it can compromise the entire case against the accused. It is in your interests to carefully review the circumstances of your arrest as part of your defense strategy.

A DWI in college can change the course of your life

At this point in your college career, you have likely learned many things, and some of those lessons did not occur in the lecture hall or lab. Perhaps the most surprising thing college has taught you is that it is important to set priorities to meet your goals. Whatever your course of study, the more credits you have under your belt, the more excited you may be feeling about your future.

However, all work and no play is a recipe for burnout. This is another lesson you learned pretty quickly. It may be part of your routine to spend time with friends on the weekend, seek out off-campus parties and let off some steam. However, one lesson you may not be ready to learn is how a DWI can affect the rest of your life.

DUI checkpoints can dampen the holiday spirit

Chances are you already have a full schedule of events for the upcoming holidays. In addition to school pageants and concerts, you may have office parties, family events and gatherings at friends' homes. It really is a wonderful time of year to be around the special people in your life and share the holiday spirit.

You probably do not include the Louisiana State Police in that list of special people with whom you want to spend time this holiday. Nevertheless, law enforcement will be plentiful on the roads and highways to ensure everyone gets home safely. This may include additional officers on patrol and the use of sobriety checkpoints.

DWI cases have criminal and administrative consequences

Individuals facing driving while intoxicated charges in Louisiana may have to deal with more penalties than they realize. DWI cases are, in fact, two-fold in that they have both criminal and administrative consequences attached to them. You need to make sure you deal with both simultaneously. Many people only focus on the criminal side of the matter which only comes back to hurt them in the end.

Alcohol may be readily available in various establishments all over the state, but that does not mean that any level of driving under the influence of alcohol is tolerated. Yes, the state has set blood-alcohol limits, just like everywhere else, but police can arrest you simply for showing signs of impairment, even if your BAC is still below the legal limit.

The Breathalyzer test: take it or refuse it?

If you ever find yourself pulled over by a police officer in Louisiana for suspected impairment, you may feel that doing everything the officer asks you to will serve your best interests. Complying with police demands usually is a good way to go, but sometimes it is okay to say no. This is particularly true if asked to take a Breathalyzer test.

To take it or not to take it? That is the question. You could make a valid argument to do either. There may be consequences either way. You just have to do what you feel will better serve you in the long run.

How does your DUI affect your job?

Whether it was your birthday, you just broke up with your long-time companion or you were simply blowing off steam with some friends, the night out took a bad turn. What may have started off well ended with you being accused of and arrested for DUI.

Your recent DUI arrest has likely left you with many questions. In addition to legal matters, such as what happens from this point forward and what penalties you might face, you may be concerned about how a DUI on your record will affect your life, particularly your job.

White collar crime charges are a serious threat to your future

If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, you would be wise to take your situation seriously. There is much at stake, but it is possible to build and present a strong defense, even when facing serious charges. This includes all types of white collar crime charges.

Many Louisiana residents may make the mistake of underestimating the serious nature of a white collar crime charge. Despite the lack of a violent element to these cases, they can still result in serious, even life-altering penalties if you are convicted. You would be wise to start building your defense strategy as early as possible, even if you have only learned about a pending investigation.


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