Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias L.L.C

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To Get an Attorney, or Not to Get an Attorney: That Is the Question

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DUI arrestLast month, a 23-year-old woman was arrested in Baton Rouge for attempting to destroy her DWI charge.

According to an article in The Times-Picayune, Jana Pourciau crashed her car into an elementary school fence off of LA Hwy 977 late at night on April 12. Pourciau was arrested on a DWI charge and taken to the Baton Rouge General Medical Center Mid-City for her injuries, where doctors collected a toxicology report.

Ten days later, Pourciau emailed and called the State Police Crime Lab, pretending to be a court official. She told them to destroy her blood sample from the wreck “because the case had been dismissed and was not going to be prosecuted.” She was arrested for false impersonation and forgery at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

This case brings up several important points for those seeking help with a DWI charge. It can be difficult to know when and when not to seek the services of an attorney. Pourciau decided, for whatever reason, against utilizing a lawyer to represent her in court. She was a prime candidate, however, for a DWI attorney. According to Nolo.com, when it comes to criminal charges, defendants should almost always obtain a lawyer. The American Bar Association says that if you have been arrested for a crime and/or for a serious accident that caused personal injury or property damage, you should almost always seek a lawyer.

In a Fox Business article about lawyers beating traffic tickets, Robert Eutsler, a traffic ticket defense lawyer in Houston, pointed out that prosecutors are more likely to take advantage of those who are not represented by a traffic lawyer. These defendants, he says, are likely to get higher fines and more convictions. Although DWI charges are slightly different from traffic violations, the same principle can often apply.

As an experienced DWI attorney in New Orleans, Louisiana, I see situations like Pourciau’s more often than you might think. Unfortunately, clients often worsen their penalties by attempting to fight their charges themselves. Remember that being charged with a DWI is a criminal offense. If you find yourself in a similar position to Pourciau, contact an experienced DWI attorney today. Do not take matters into your own hands, and do not risk being taken advantage of in court. DWI attorneys are here to serve you.

Photo Credit: stevendamron via Compfight cc

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About George Vourvoulias

George is a founding member and managing member of Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias L.L.C., a New Orleans law firm. George concentrates his practice in maritime personal injury, construction litigation, personal injury, workers' compensation, medical malpractice, and DUI defense. George Vourvoulias's Google+ Profile

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