Driving While Impaired (also known as DWI in North Carolina) is a very serious and potentially life altering accusation against a person. The potential consequences are numerous- jail or prison time, suspension of one’s license, court costs & fines, probation, community service requirements, drug or alcohol treatment court assignment, installation of an ignition interlock on a person’s car and more. Any or all of these consequences becomes dependent on a variety of factors. Some of these include, but are certainly not limited to, a person’s prior history for alcohol related offenses including DWI, whether the person was driving on a suspended license at the time, whether there was an accident involved, whether anyone got hurt as a result of the driving, whether there was a person under 18 years of age in the car at the time, what the person’s blood alcohol concentration was at the time and others.
The defenses available to these case are numerous but must also be assessed in regards to their proper application to a given case. Some include attacking the sufficiency of the reason for the vehicle to have been stopped, questioning the adequate nature of the cause to arrest someone, determining if all requirements for the proper administration of a breath test have occurred, evaluating if the person’s pretrial bond or bail requirements were legally imposed and any number of other potential defenses that might be explored in a given case. Meeting with the client and hearing the client tell about what happened, a review of the court file materials, acquiring any other materials that might be relevant to a defense and making an effort to review the officer’s own file materials are just some of the important things to do in preparing to address a DWI case.
Our offices stay current on case law that develops in this area and keep up with changes in the law that are enacted each year by our legislature. Each of these has the possibility to impact a client’s case. We can help you with either a trial or plea of the matter, help you prepare for court in advance of the court date, assess your case based upon the areas set forth above, help you with preparing yourself for acquiring a privilege to drive in the event of a conviction if you are qualified to obtain one and give you advice about the possible outcomes of your case. We will consult about these issues in person and we will do our best to make sure that you are making decisions that are informed and in your best interests based upon the available facts and information.
Please do not go to court by yourself on a DWI case. You might very well end up in jail and have no idea why that occurred. Taking the time to employ a competent practitioner in the area of DWI defense is a no brainer. Remember, the decision of what choice is made in your case is yours. Use your attorney’s advice (that’s what you pay them for) to make an understanding and knowledgeable decision about how to proceed on your case. However, the ultimate decision is, and should be, yours to make.