Arrested for DWI? Know What's Ahead
Raleigh, North Carolina, DWI Defense Lawyer
If you have been arrested for drunk driving in North Carolina, you are facing serious criminal penalties. In these difficult times, you more than likely have many questions about the law and how your case will proceed. At Roberts Law Group, PLLC, in Raleigh, North Carolina, we can answer your questions, defend your rights and prepare your defense strategy.
Contact us for a free initial consultation about your DWI case.
Understanding North Carolina DWI Laws
Under the North Carolina drunk driving statutes, you can be charged with DWI (driving while intoxicated) for operating any vehicle (car, truck, bicycle, moped, etc.) on any highway, street or public vehicular area when your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above the .08 legal limit or while you are under the influence of an impairing substance such as alcohol or drugs (meaning you can be arrested for drunk driving even if you were not over the legal limit).
The statutory definition of DWI is much broader than many people realize. As a result, countless people face harsh DWI penalties because they did not fully understand the law. Others face these harsh DWI penalties because their attorney was unable to effectively challenge field sobriety tests or blood alcohol concentration results.
Understanding How DWI Sentences are Determined
North Carolina imposes five levels of DWI sentences or "punishments." The level of punishment handed down by the judge depends upon the presence of any aggravating or mitigating factors in your case.
- Aggravating factors: The following are examples of factors that will cause you to face a more severe penalty in your DWI case — BAC of .16 or higher (high BAC), reckless driving, prior DWI convictions, DWI accident, conviction for speeding 30 mph over the posted limit, driving with a revoked license and other factors
- Mitigating factors: The following are examples of mitigating factors that may reduce the level of punishment in your DWI case — BAC that does not exceed .09 (low BAC), safe driving record, voluntary alcohol treatment and other factors.
Attorney Patrick Roberts formerly served as an Assistant District Attorney in three North Carolina counties. Armed with this former prosecutorial experience, you can trust that our law firm will do everything possible to present any factors that would result in a reduced sentence.
North Carolina DWI Penalties
If convicted for drunk driving in North Carolina, you could face the following DWI penalties (depending upon the presence of certain aggravating and/or mitigating factors):
- Level one: Fine — up to $4,000; Jail time — 30 days up to 24 months; License suspension; Substance abuse assessment or treatment required to restore driver's license
- Level two: Fine — up to $2,000; Jail time — 7 days up to 12 months; License suspension; Substance abuse assessment or treatment required to restore driver's license
- Level three: Fine — up to $1,000; Jail time — 72 hours up to 6 months; License suspension; A judge can suspend the minimum sentence only after the defendant serves at least 72 hours in jail or completes 72 community service hours
- Level four: Fine — up to $500; Jail time — 48 hours up to 120 days; License suspension; A judge can suspend the minimum sentence only after the defendant serves at least 48 hours in jail or completes 48 community service hours;
- Level five: Fine — up to $200; Jail time — 24 hours up to 60 days; License suspension; A judge can suspend the minimum sentence only after the defendant serves at least 24 hours in jail or completes 24 community service hours
Drivers sentenced under level three, four or five may receive limited driving privileges; however, it is essential to have an experienced lawyer by your side when these driving privileges are considered by the court.
Don't Take Chances
DWI penalties can be extremely harsh. Don't take chances with your future. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Roberts Law Group, PLLC to start preparing your DWI defense.
North Carolina v. J.O.
Facing: 1 year in jail
Result: Case Dismissed
Our client lost her trial in District Court and received a 45 day jail sentence. She hired Roberts Law Group to help her with her Superior Court efforts. We argued a motion to dismiss based on an unconstitutional driver's license checkpoint and prevailed. Any evidence that flowed from the stop of her vehicle was ordered suppressed by the Judge. Case dismissed. Our client blew .13 on the EC-IR II breath device.
North Carolina v. D.B.
Facing: 6 months in jail
Result: Not Guilty
Our client pulled up to a Driver's License Checkpoint after leaving a local bar. He was initially very nervous and couldn't get through the alphabet despite being given four opportunities. He did not perform satisfactorily on further field sobriety testing according to the officer and was arrested. Despite blowing .08 on the EC-IR II, we successfully argued that there was reasonable doubt as to our client's appreciable impairment and we asked the judge to render a not guilty verdict. The judge agreed.
North Carolina v. J.L.
Facing: 6 months in jail
Our client was stopped by officers after police officers allegedly saw her driving in a suspicious manner on a dead end road. After pulling our client over, officers detected a strong odor of alcohol. The State alleged that our client blew a .12 on the breath device. After a pre-trial hearing, the judge granted our motion to dismiss for lack of reasonable suspicion to stop her vehicle.
North Carolina v. J.Y.
Charge: DWI, Reckless Driving
Facing: 6 months in jail
Our client was arrested after he allegedly caused a motor vehicle accident while under the influence of alcohol. The State alleged that he made incriminating statements to the investigating officers and that his breath alcohol concentration (BAC) was .17. We filed motions to suppress his statements to the officers and to dismiss the case for lack of probable cause to arrest. At a pre-trial hearing, the judge dismissed both charges.