Don’t go it alone, go with someone who can help you.
Facing a Driving While Impaired (DWI) conviction can mean losing your driving privileges, fines, jail time, affect your job, and impact how others view you. DWI defense depends on the circumstances on which you charged; no two cases are exactly alike. Finding an attorney who can help you fight the charges, or even take a plea, is important because of the complexity of DWI sentencing in North Carolina.
Depending on numerous facts, DWI’s can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. You can be charged with a DWI if you are impaired from drugs or alcohol while in control of a motor vehicle. By law, if you are “appreciably impaired” from drugs or alcohol or have a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, you can be charged with a DWI. Police frequently use standard field sobriety tests, intoxilyzers, and blood tests to prove impairment. You can be charged with a DWI for any of the following:
- You are an adult operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 percent.
- You are an adult with an impairing substance in your body.
- You are a commercial driver operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.04 percent.
- You are under the age of 21 and operating a vehicle with any alcohol in your system.
Even if your BAC is under a .08, the state can still find you guilty for being “appreciably impaired”. The court uses facts such as speech, sobriety test, how you were driving, and more to identify if you were appreciably impaired even when under a .08 BAC. Being in a car, while it is running, can also result in being charged if you are in control of the vehicle.
Determining DWI penalties in North Carolina is a complex and case-specific process. Penalties for DWI convictions include the following:
- In North Carolina, immediately after being charged with DWI, the DMV will administratively suspend your license for 30 days.
- License suspensions: If found guilty of DWI, your license will be suspended for a time between one and four years depending on prior convictions and aggravating factors. We can help you get limited driving privileges so that you can continue to work and take care of your children.
- Jail — The maximum amount of time you can face depends on factors that surround your case. As a firm, we will help you establish as many mitigating factors as possible to reduce the maximum time you can face.
- Fines —Fines range from $200 to $4,000 based on factors in your case. It is possible to keep the fines on the lower end of the range by identifying mitigating factors.
- Aggravating Factors: Some of the factors that can make your case more serious include: having a minor in the car, being involved in an accident, someone other than yourself was injured, excessive speeding, prior DWI, and if your license was revoked at the time of the incident.
Getting your conditional driving privilege requires completing requirements, which includes an installation of an interlock ignition device (IID) on your vehicle. Whether you decide to fight the charges or seek leniency based on a plea, it is always important to consult first with an experienced DWI attorney who can represent you in negotiations with authorities and before the court.
Reasonable Suspicion and Probable Cause!
When an officer pulls you over, the officer must have “reasonable articulable suspicion” (RAS). It is important that during the process your attorney ensures the officer can prove that he had RAS for the encounter. If the officer lacked RAS, it is possible the case could be dismissed. Even if the officer has RAS, the officer must also show proof of probable cause to arrest you. Probable cause means that it is more likely than not (51%) you were under the influence. If the officer is unable to prove they had probable cause before arresting you, it is possible to get the case dismissed, as well. It is important that your attorney requires the officer to testify and prove they had probable cause prior to the arrest.
PBT and Intoxilyzer
North Carolina law provides that any licensed driver has given implied consent to submit to a blood-alcohol test when it is demanded by police. While refusing a PBT or Intoxilyzer is not a crime, the fact you refused can be used by the prosecutor as an indicator of guilt. It may also lead to an automatic suspension of your license.
Find A Good Defense Attorney
When charged with a DWI, the first step is to hire an attorney you can trust to represent your best interests. If you’ve been charged with a DWI, who better to defend you than someone who had tried DWI’s from the other side of the courtroom. Contact us now to schedule your free consultation at 919-591-2240 or send us an email by clicking on the button below.