Traffic tickets can be time-consuming, and, if not handled properly, can result in costly fines, a blemished driving record, and cancellation of or increased premiums for your insurance coverage.
It is advisable that, if you have received a traffic ticket in the New Orleans area, you have an experienced attorney to fight the ticket for you. Most traffic offenses can be resolved by your attorney without the necessity of you personally appearing in court. If you are working or live outside the New Orleans area, you will not have to take off time from your employment or return to the jurisdiction.
Our firm handles all types of traffic offenses, including:
Failure to maintain reasonable vigilance
Failure to yield
Careless operation of a motor vehicle
Reckless operation of a motor vehicle
Hit and run
Expired/No brake tag (inspection sticker)
Expired/No/Suspended driver’s license
We handle traffic offenses in:
New Orleans Traffic Court
First Parish Court of Jefferson (Metairie)
Second Parish Court of Jefferson (Gretna)
Kenner Mayor’s Court
Harahan Municipal Court
St. Charles Parish (Hahnville)
St. John the Baptist Parish (LaPlace)
Please be aware that traffic cameras are present throughout the city. These are non-moving violations that do not hurt your driving record or cause your insurance to increase. However, they do attach to your license plate and the City can and will boot your vehicle for unpaid tickets. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to beat such a ticket in Court and accordingly, our office does not handle these types of citations.
Here is a recent map of Orleans Parish traffic camera locations.
This map may not be current; please refer to the official city map for the most up-to-date information.
Click on image to enlarge.
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges can seriously jeopardize your insurance coverage, increase your premiums, and affect your driving record, to say nothing of possibly costing you your freedom.
To avoid these complications in your life, it is most important that you secure skilled and experienced legal representation as soon as possible after your arrest. Often, a knowledgeable and diligent legal defense can result in a dismissal or reduction of DWI charges, as well as a removal of such a blight upon your criminal or driving record.
DWI IN NEW ORLEANS / LOUISIANA
Louisiana law prohibits driving, flying, or operating a motorboat or other vehicles while impaired by alcohol, over-the-counter medication, prescription mediation, or illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, amphetamines, barbiturates, or tranquilizers.
It is important to note that you may be assumed to be operating a motor vehicle, even if it is parked, if you are behind the wheel and especially if the key is in the ignition. If you are impaired, you should never get in a motor vehicle to charge your cell phone, listen to the radio, or use your heater or air conditioning if you are cold or hot.
IF YOU ARE ARRESTED FOR A DWI
The most important advice is: Don’t get another one! DWI is an enhanceable crime, meaning that subsequent offenses carry progressively harsher penalties, including mandatory jail sentences and suspensions of driving privileges. Under Louisiana law, while second-offense DWI is a misdemeanor with substantially stiffer penalties than the first offense, third-offense DWI is a felony with a mandatory-minimum one year sentence in the custody of the Department of Corrections (the state penitentiary)!
HELPFUL TIPS IF STOPPED FOR A DWI
First of all, do not even consider fleeing from the police! You will only make the situation worse, and if you have an accident, hurt someone, or kill someone while driving under the influence, your problem will escalate into felony charges of frightening proportions.
You should immediately pull over and proceed to cooperate fully with the police officers, and treat them with nothing but politeness and courtesy. Invoke your right to remain silent, you can only make your situation worse by “trying to explain” your situation. You must answer basic questions such as your name and address, and provide the documents requested, which ordinarily include your driver’s license, auto registration, and proof of liability insurance. Beyond this, say nothing and do not answer any other questions. Do not speak to anyone else at the scene or during subsequent proceedings
You should note if there are any witnesses around during your initial stop or subsequent proceedings who could be favorable to your case. If possible, try to get their names and phone numbers.
SOBRIETY TESTS AND BREATH TESTS
As far as the standard field sobriety tests, although the police officer(s) will seldom, if ever, inform you of your right to refuse, you do have the right to refuse to perform such tests, and generally you should do so. The breath test is a more difficult consideration. If you have been drinking a lot, a high blood alcohol content (BAC) may create a presumption of intoxication as well as cause a longer driver’s license suspension or the necessity of wearing a SCRAM anklet (which measures the consumption of any alcohol). As a general rule, you should refuse to submit to a breath test unless you have had nothing, or only a very small amount of alcohol, to drink. Traditionally, people have been advised to not take the breath test because the older machines were manipulatable by the operator. That is no longer the case; so if you have consumed no alcohol, or only a tiny amount, the test may set you free.
Note that, in Jefferson Parish, you may not refuse the breath test. If you attempt to do so, the police will hold you, procure a warrant from a judge, and take you to a medical facility where your blood will be drawn. The problem with a blood test is that, besides showing your blood alcohol content, it will also show any other impairing substances in your system, even if those may not have been ingested recently enough to actually impair your driving. Marijuana, for example, may remain in your system for up to thirty days.
WHAT TO DO IF ARRESTED FOR DWI
You should contact an experienced DWI defense attorney IMMEDIATELY and arrange an appointment. Write down a narrative of all pertinent facts. Preserve all paperwork you have been provided. Write down the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses for any potential witnesses. If possible, photograph the scene of the stop before it may be changed.
Resist whatever urge you may have to represent yourself for a DWI. This is a very complicated area of the law, and you will need an experienced and diligent DWI defense lawyer to properly represent your interests, both in the criminal charge(s) against you and in the issue of your proposed driver’s license suspension.
Read the papers you have been given. Note the court date you have been given on the bottom of your yellow DWI citation and do not miss it. Note also, if you have either refused the breath test, or taken and failed it (by blowing over .02 if you are under 21 or over .08 if you are 21 or older), you must request a hearing on the proposed suspension within 30 days, or the driving suspension will automatically go into effect 30 days after your arrest. Although you can request this hearing yourself by mailing the request for hearing document you should have been provided, your DWI attorney will do this for you. However, do not delay. Make an appointment with an experienced DWI lawyer as soon as you can.
HOW TO GET SOMEONE OUT OF JAIL
It is a terrible, helpless feeling to realize you are being arrested and charged with a criminal offense. It is little different for the loved ones of the arrested subject such as their family or friends, who often don’t know what to do to secure the release of their family member or friend. If the arrested person lives outside the state or country, the problem is even more worrisome, since commercial bail bondsmen may either not help unless the arrested subject has strong ties to the local community or else they may take advantage of the same by charging more than the law allows or requiring additional monetary “deposits.” This is often the case with tourists, students, conventioneers, or visiting business persons.
If you or your loved one have been arrested, CALL FRED KING IMMEDIATELY on his cell phone at (504) 913-1666 or CAROLYN COOPER on her cell phone at (206) 484-5406. You will hear back from us IMMEDIATELY, particularly if you indicate you are calling about someone who is being or has been arrested. You might also send a text including the name, race, gender and date of birth of the arrested subject, as well as the Parish of their arrest, the charges, if known, and a contact phone number where you can be reached.
It is most important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after an arrest to both help protect the rights of the arrestee and to help his/her family and friends to post bail, as well as engage in any post-arrest court proceedings such as bond reductions, preliminary hearings, and motions to leave jurisdiction.
WAYS OF POSTING BOND
RELEASE ON RECOGNIZANCE: Lawyers may request a PERSONAL RECOGNIZANCE, or ROR, release from judges for non-violent crimes, which does not require posting money with the court or paying a bail bondsman. Once the judge authorizes the release of the arrestee, he/she merely signs a promise to return to court when notified to do so. Should the arrestee fail to appear in court when notified, he/she may have to pay the face amount of the bond to the court. This will not happen if the accused and/or his lawyer appears in court when ordered to do so.
CASH BOND: If a bond has been set, the arrestee or his friends or family may post the face amount of the bond with the court. This money secures the appearance of the accused in court, and will be refundable when the case is concluded, or when the judge authorizes the return of the cash bond. In the case of an arrest for Municipal Court or Traffic Court charges in New Orleans, the courts will usually accept a cash bond which is substantially less than the face amount of the bond.
COMMERICAL SURETY BOND: If you cannot post the whole face amount of a cash bond, you can pursue a commercial surety bond. This type of bond involves dealing with a bail bondsman, which is essentially an agent for an insurance company. To secure this type of bond, one must pay the bail bondsman up to 13% of the face amount of the bond, and he will cover the rest. This fee is non-refundable. Bail bondsmen ordinarily also require a person of substance to sign, as well as the arrested subject, as surety on such a bond, agreeing to reimburse the bail bondsman the face amount of the bond if the arrestee fails to appear in court when ordered and the forfeited bond has been paid by the bail bondsman.
PERSONAL SURETY BOND UNDERTAKING: Sometimes referred to as a PSBU, this type of bond device is similar to an ROR bond, except it is a signature bond by a person (or persons) other than the accused who agree(s) to pay (if the accused fails to appear in court) but does not post the face amount of the bond. The fee in Orleans Parish for posting such a bond is $200, which is non-refundable. To procure such a bond, the court will ordinarily have a hearing where the person(s) signing the bond must satisfy the court that they have sufficient funds, assets, or income adequate to pay the bond should the accused fail to appear in court.
PROPERTY BOND: This is a somewhat complex and time-consuming way to post a bond and involves a property owner pledging real property located in the Parish of the arrest to to cover the face amount of the bond. This type of bond requires that the equity in such real property exceed the face amount of the bond. Such equity is proven by presenting an assessment of the property, proof of title, and mortgage and conveyance certificate showing any encumbrances on the property.
As experienced criminal defense attorneys, we can make sure a bond is set in a reasonable amount and in a timely manner, move the court to reduce the bond if it has been set in an unreasonably-high amount, have a judge order an ROR or PSBU bond, or recommend a reputable bail bondsman to post a commercial surety bond.