Every year, millions of people choose to drive drunk. According to the CDC, 2.5% of adults surveyed in Louisiana reported that they drove after drinking too much. This is higher than the national average of 1.9%.
NYC has an unemployment problem, San Francisco has a violent homeless people epidemic, Chicago has a gang violence epidemic, LA and Seattle have too many regulations forcing businesses to not hire people, Oakland has a violence and a job scarcity problem, and so on, Louisiana (yes, I know this is a state) has a drinking problem. Too many people in Louisiana think drinking and driving is not a big deal. This relates to this state being called The Big Easy.
Some people have called New Orleans the big lazy but that is another topic. Overall Louisiana is a fantastic state with a wonderful governor in Bobby Jindal and New Orleans has some of the best food in the world but again, this is another topic.
If you or someone you know happens to be the victim of a drunk driver then you must know or be familiar with the process of suing the drunk driver or his or her auto insurer. This is to ensure that you receive compensatory awards for the damages inflicted upon you as a result of the accident.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a crime in all fifty states and is therefore punishable by law. Drunk drivers will be accordingly charged with a DUI which is a criminal charge that will be pursued by the prosecution.
For the most part, drunk driving accident lawyers in New Orleans, LA which can be pinpointed and discovered on the user friendly USAttorneys.com website that helps thousands of people every week point out that the criminal lawsuit will serve to punish or penalize the drunk driver in case he or she is convicted of the crimes he or she is charged with. However, what the criminal lawsuit fails to do is better the plight of the victims of the drunk driver in any manner or form.
Criminal lawsuit vs. civil lawsuit
This is where a civil lawsuit comes in. The civil drunk driving accident lawsuit can be filed by the victim or victims of a drunk driver and can hold him or her or his or her auto insurer liable for the accident and its consequent damages.
The civil lawsuit is a separate legal process and is distinct from the criminal lawsuit. The two must, as far as possible remain disassociated, and the only evidence which may be used from the criminal lawsuit in the civil lawsuit is the outcome of the criminal lawsuit itself.
This is why many lawyers representing suspected drunk drivers advise their clients to plead with no contest in the criminal lawsuit instead of pleading guilty. By pleading with no contest, the defendant accepts the punishments and legal repercussions insinuated by the lawsuit, but does not confess to the crime itself and so this cannot be used against him or her in any civil lawsuits that may also arise from the same drunk driving incident.
Felony or misdemeanor
In Louisiana, the 1st and 2nd drunk driving offense is not classified. The 3rd offense can be either a misdemeanor or felony while the 4th offense is a felony. Many people believe the 2nd offense should be a felony.
When it comes to the different types of charges in a criminal lawsuit against the drunk driver, depending on factors such as the suspect’s blood alcohol content, prior drunk driving convictions, and whether the accident resulted from the drunk driving.
In addition factors such as whether someone was seriously injured in the accident or whether death was caused as a result of the accident, there are several charges which may be filed against the suspect, but primarily these will fall into either a misdemeanor charge or a felony charge.
Obviously, felony charges are more serious and can result in longer prison sentences, heftier fines, and so forth.
If you are involved in a drunk driving accident, make sure to reach out to an experienced Louisiana drunk driving accident lawyer today and get started working on your lawsuit.