1st dui go for arraignment in about 3months.what will happen at the hearing i cant affoed a lawyer..thankyou

Asked on June 16, 2009 under Criminal Law, Louisiana


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In Lousinana a first DUI is a misdemeanor and is punishable as follows: 

  • Fine: $300-$1,000 (plus court costs and other fees)
  • Jail: 10 days to 6 months (all can be suspended except as set forth below)
  • Community Service: 32 hours
  • Substance Abuse Evaluation and Driver Improvement School Required.
  • If BAC over .15: Minimum mandatory 48 hours jail.
  • License Suspension: 90 days
  • Also you didn't state whether or not a child was in the car or whether or not underage drinking was involved. 

    Louisiana has a Child Endangerment Law which provides that if a child 12 years of age or younger was a passenger in the vehicle when the defendant was arrested, the minimum mandatory sentence provided for each offense cannot be suspended. This means that if the Child Endangerment Law applies, the minimum mandatory sentences would be 10 days in jail for a first offense.

    In Louisiana, it is a crime (LA. R. S. 14:98.1)for a person under the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .02 per cent or more.  This punishable by a fine of between $100-$250, substance abuse evaluation, and attendance at driver improvement school.

    As was stated by my colleague, if there is any way to hire an attorney you should do it.  DUI is a criminal charge and will leave you with a record.  This is a highly technical area of the law and an attorney who specializes in this area might be able to get the charge thrown out on a technicality or at least have the charged reduced and the penalties minimized.

    M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

    Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

    An arraignment is generally a criminal defendant's first court appearance on criminal charges.  At the outset, three months after your arrest is an unusually long time for your arraignment to occur.  However, that being said, three months gives you a significant amount of time to save up money for an attorney.  Moreover, at an arraignment, defendants are generally given a continuance (more time) to hire an attorney if necessary.  Therefore, given the fact that you may have 3-5 months to save your money to hire an attorney, I highly recommend that you do so if possible.  Nevertheless, generally at arraignments the judge will set bond (if it is not already set) and any appropriate conditions of bond.  Then, the judge will generally allow the defendant more time to hire an attorney, or otherwise grant a continuance with an indication of how the case is to proceed (i.e. whether the defendant will be applying for a first-offender program, entering a plea, etc.).

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