New Louisiana Laws Stiffen Penalties
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 22:44

Starting August 15, 2009. three new laws will make the penalties tougher on Louisiana residents. One is designed to toughen the laws on refusing to provide a breath sample, another will mandate jail time for driving with a suspended license and the third will limit the ability of defense counsel to obtain sworn testimony during a pre-hearing deposition. Up to this point, the state has been the only one in the nation to allow such a defense strategy.

Under the new refusal law, the state will double the penalty for a  first offense from 180 days to a year and for a second offense from 18 months to two years. The new driving while suspended law creates two categories of offense. The first of these is for DWIs and requires a minimum 15 day jail sentence with a maximum of six months. The second class is for anyone suspended for any accidents resulting in death. These will require a 60 day jail sentence with a maximum of six months.

The third law just limits how much discovery a defense attorney can demand prior to a hearing. It is designed to make the process quicker for the legal system. This is the change that I think is most heinous. It is just another way of taking away your right to an adequate defense and a move to convict people without proper constitutional protection.

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