DWI Lawyers in Calcasieu Parish

Facing DUI Charges in Lake Charles, Sulphur, DeQuincy, or Westlake?

Police officers have been zealously cracking down on DUI in Louisiana, but sometimes this leads to the arrest of responsible social drinkers simply for the presence of any alcohol. The punishment for a DUI conviction in Louisiana can haunt a good, responsible person for years – and can even result in jail time.

If you were arrested for DWI in Calcasieu Parish, you need a criminal defense attorney fighting for you who specializes in DWI. Not all attorneys have experience with criminal law, and some criminal attorneys have very little knowledge of DUI/DWI defense.

Louisiana DUI attorney James Bates has more than 45 years of legal experience, as well as extensive training in DWI defense. He knows how to build a successful defense strategy and make the Louisiana DWI laws work in your favor. James Bates will provide honest legal guidance and an aggressive defense throughout the disposition of your case.

Just because you were arrested for DWI doesn’t mean you are guilty. It also doesn’t mean that you deserve the harsh punishments the state of Louisiana has established for those convicted of DWI in Calcasieu Parish.

Your future and your freedom are at stake, so you need the best legal representation available. Hire an experienced attorney who is willing and able to fight your DWI in court in Calcasieu Parish and the Lake Charles area. Otherwise, you may end up with a lawyer who will do nothing more than hold your hand while encouraging you to plead guilty to your DWI charges.

James Bates: DWI attorney serving the Lake Charles area

James Bates, Calcasieu Parish DWI Lawyer

With decades of criminal defense experience, advanced DWI training, and a history of winning, James L. Bates, Jr. is an aggressive defender of your rights. His credentials, training, and passion for justice combine for a powerful defense that gets results.

Even in a worst-case scenario when there is lots of evidence against you, James Bates knows the ins and outs of both the justice system as well as the drug and alcohol testing methods. This expertise has enabled him to successfully find erroneous or questionable test results for many clients.

And he is an aggressive negotiator for reduced sentencing. His skill and experience has enabled him to build the most powerful, largest DUI defense practice in Louisiana. They serve clients facing either drug or alcohol charges in any Louisiana parish.

Louisiana DWI laws spell out tough consequences

If you’re convicted of DWI in or around Calcasieu Parish, the punishments are serious. If this is your second, third or even fourth offense, the consequences get even more severe.

  • License reinstatement fee: $210
  • Hefty fines: ranging from $300 to $5,000
  • Increased insurance rates for years to come
  • Jail time: from 2 days to 30 years
  • Suspension of your driver’s license: for up to 4 years
  • Mandatory community service: 32 to 320 hours

Plus, with every additional DUI arrest, the penalties only get worse:

  • Ignition Interlock device on your car
  • Paying for the device yourself
  • Attending a substance abuse program
  • Permanent loss of your driver’s license
  • Criminal record in state and Federal databases
  • Wear an ankle monitoring device
  • Join a substance abuse program
  • Serve jail time

Protect yourself, your family and your job with the best help you can get in Louisiana – an aggressive criminal defense attorney with decades of experience defending people just like you who have been arrested for DWI. And don’t worry if you aren’t in the city. Attorney fees are the same for every parish, and there is no cost to you for travel expenses. The only expenses that we add to our flat fee, which includes trial and/or expungement, are actual case costs, such as court costs, costs for police videos, and expert witness fees (expert witness fees are only incurred with the client’s advance consent).

DUI Breath Tests: What They Don’t Want You to Know

The breath test analyses performed by the crime lab, while theoretically very accurate tests, are likely to be questionable or unreliable because of four potential problems:

  • Human errors in blood sample collection, and transport to the crime lab
  • Human errors in the preparation of the blood sample for analysis
  • Human errors in operation or analysis of the sample by the Gas Chromatograph
  • Poor quality control in analysis of samples

Sadly, many DWI attorneys are completely unaware that such an analysis can frequently be questioned, and their clients suffer.

But an attorney like James Bates, who has been highly trained in field sobriety testing and scientific blood analyses, knows that these so-called “indisputable” findings can be invalidated. If resources are available to contest and reexamine the crime lab report, and if the criminal defense attorney has the expertise to handle such a case, you can walk out of the court free that same day.

Talk with a qualified DUI attorney privately and confidentially. Over the phone, he will review your arrest and legal prospects – at no cost to you: 504-259-7461. He can help you figure out your best options for protecting your rights, finances and freedom.

DWI With a CDL in Louisiana

The consequences of a DWI can be harsher for drivers of commercial vehicles because their livelihood depends on driving. Showing a blood-alcohol concentration of at least .04% or refusing to take the test while driving a commercial vehicle can result in the revocation of a driver’s Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) for 1 year. To reclaim the CDL after this time period has passed, you must meet the requirements and pay the fines issued by the court, submit your compliance documents, and provide form SR22 from the insurance company. For a second offense, the revocation period is lifetime.

For a driver of hazardous materials, the period of revocation will be three years. If a second DWI offense is committed by a commercial vehicle driver, the CDL will be revoked permanently.

Commercial vehicle drivers are required to notify their employers of any traffic violations within 30 days of the conviction. A DWI conviction will remain on your record for ten years.

If your CDL license and your job are in jeopardy because of a possible DWI conviction in Calcasieu Parish and the Lake Charles area, call our office at 504-259-7461 for a consultation about your case. 

College Students & DWI

One reckless mistake in college can cause irreparable damage to your education and your career for years to come. For a college student, DWI charges or a conviction on your record can result in penalties beyond what you might expect. You will face consequences issued not only from the court, but also from the college you attend, graduate schools, and the workplaces that might have otherwise hired you.

For a first offense DWI, the best-case scenario is that your college will issue a warning on your transcript and give you one more chance. On the other hand, many colleges will go further than this for first-time DWI offenders. Your scholarships or grants, dorm room, and even your enrollment at the university are at risk. You will likely be required to disclose any felonies or misdemeanors on your college applications and job applications, and a felony on your application can often mean you are quickly eliminated from consideration.

The military and the police force may be the first to reject your job application on the grounds of your DWI. Someone pursuing a career as a pilot or nurse may struggle to earn a professional license. Your one mistake can define you in the eyes of college admissions and employers as an irresponsible and dangerous person.

If you are a student at McNeese State University or any other college and you’ve been arrested for DWI in the Lake Charles (Calcasieu Parish) area, contact our office at 504-259-7461 for a free consultation about your case. 

DWI Resources for Calcasieu Parish

I-10 over the Calcasieu River in Lake Charles, LA

Judicial District: 14

Parish: Calcasieu

Parish Seat: Lake Charles

14th Judicial District Court

Calcasieu Parish Judicial Center
1001 Lakeshore Drive
Lake Charles, LA 70601

Lake Charles City Court
118 West Mill Street
Lake Charles, LA 70602

Sulphur City Court
802 S. Huntington Street
Sulphur, LA 70663

Call for a FREE case consultation now

Reach out today for a complimentary, confidential consultation regarding your case. We’re waiting to hear your side of the story and discuss how we can help you fight for your rights.

Don’t hesitate.  Bates and McMillin today!

Image credit: CC Image courtesy of Patrick Feller on Flickr