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Sentence Enhancements for DUI in Louisiana

Sentence enhancements are facts or circumstances, which, if present in any individual case, will lead to an increased punishment that a person would not normally get, if those facts were not present. For example, a possible sentence enhancement would be increased jail time and/or increased fines. Typical facts that would increase a DUI sentence would be prior refusal to submit to a chemical test, speeding/reckless driving, endangering a child, causing injury or death, driving with a suspended license, and driving with an open container.

While it is not labeled as such, repeat offenders are punished more severely for subsequent offenses in Louisiana. For each subsequent offense, the fines imposed and the time imprisoned is increased. Also the time where the offender is not allowed parole or probation is increased in the higher offenses. These are mandatory sentence enhancements, which must occur no matter what other circumstances may exist. Other facts, such as the ones listed above, are discretionary, meaning the presiding judge decides whether to enhance the sentence. In this case, the prosecution must prove the facts.


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