DWI defense in Louisiana has always been complicated, requiring an intricate understanding of the scientific as well as the legal issues involved, but these new laws are raising the stakes to an entirely new level.
New Orleans, LA (PRWEB) August 14, 2012
Criminal defense attorney Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq. announced this week the expansion of her New Orleans DWI services, citing new laws slotted to go into effect on August 1st as prompting a need for more extensive, informed representation for DWI / DUI offenders.
“Louisiana just passed a good five or six laws regarding DWIs and license suspensions, and they’re going to make it harder for attorneys to defend DWIs,” Carpenter said. “This will make it even more important to hire a highly trained and qualified DWI attorney, since only an attorney who knows all of the regulations that law enforcement is required to follow will be equipped to handle these kinds of cases.”
One of the new laws that will soon take effect states that police officers will no longer be required to appear and give testimony in administrative hearings for driver’s license suspension after they make a DWI arrest. Before, if an officer didn’t attend the hearing, the driver’s license could not be suspended; now, Carpenter says, it will be far more difficult to prevent license suspension: “Without an officer present, it’s impossible to perform a cross-examination; without a cross-examination, you can’t argue the case effectively,” she explained. “It’s going to make it extraordinarily difficult to save DWI clients from having their licenses suspended.”
A second new law states that even if a person submits to a breathalyzer test and doesn’t test over the limit, their license can be suspended if law enforcement suspects they are under the influence of marijuana or other drugs and they refuse to submit to urinalysis. Until now, urinalysis refusal was not automatic grounds for license suspension. Furthermore, penalties for a second offense DWI have also been enhanced; if a second DWI arrest occurs within one year of the first arrest, the offender will automatically be sentenced to a mandatory 30-day jail sentence.
Carpenter has completed courses on NHTSA DWI Detection and Field Sobriety Testing and the breath-testing machine known as the Intoxilyzer 5000—the same courses that police officers take during their own training. Her education in this field allows her to challenge the common errors that police officers make during a DWI arrest; sometimes these errors form enough evidence to have the entire case dismissed.
“DWI defense in Louisiana has always been complicated, requiring an intricate understanding of the scientific as well as the legal issues involved, but these new laws are raising the stakes to an entirely new level,” Carpenter said. “It’s my goal to protect my clients from these harsher penalties. Drinking and driving is not a crime, drinking while legally intoxicated is—and it’s important to make that distinction. With a knowledgeable DWI lawyer, New Orleans DWI offenders will have a much better chance at protecting themselves from license suspension, and even jail time.”
ABOUT ELIZABETH B. CARPENTER, ESQ.
Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq. is an experienced New Orleans criminal defense attorney. She received her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University Law School, and is a member and supporter of the Louisiana State Bar Association, Louisiana Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers, and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Her law offices have successfully represented clients in Orleans, Jefferson, Lafayette, Plaquemines, St. John, St. Tammany and St. Charles Parishes. Carpenter’s mission is to provide clients with exceptional, personalized, and professional service.