For the vast majority of criminal offenses, there is a compounding degree of severity when it comes to consequences. This means that consequences of being convicted of a particular offense, such as drunk driving, three times will be much more severe than the consequences of being convicted of that same offense for the first time. It is important to enlist the aid of an attorney even on your first offense, because even if the consequences do not seem that severe, such consequences may be much more serious if you are ever accused of the crime again.
In addition to the compounding severity of consequences when it comes to repeat offenses, there is also a sense of compounding assumption of guilt. The legal system tries to be neutral and unbiased, but jury members, judges and society itself cannot avoid a human element of prejudice. As such, if you have been convicted of a crime three times, it can be even more difficult to prove that you were innocent the fourth time.
A Louisiana man was recently arrested on many different suspicions, including DWI. This occurred after a deputy reportedly spotted the man swerving in his lane, unable to stay in it. The man then failed a field sobriety test, increasing officers’ suspicions that something was not right. After investigating the man further, police discovered that he was on probation from a previous DWI offense and that his current charges would be the fifth DWI offense for the man if convicted.
For someone who has been convicted of four previous DWI offenses, it is going to be difficult for this man to prove that he was not intoxicated when he was arrested, especially with all of the evidence against him. Difficult, but not impossible. Louisiana residents who find themselves in such a position are highly encouraged to speak with an attorney in order to mount the best legal defense possible for their cases.
Source: WDSU, “Man arrested on fifth DWI in Plaquemines Parish, officials say,” Clint Durrett, Oct. 30, 2015