Does Your DUI Lawyer Offer Know About Affirmative Defense?

The consequences of drinking and driving in North Carolina can have a big impact on your life now and for years to come. Lawyers in Charlotte, NC are all too familiar with the long list of consequences for a DWI conviction, from hefty fines to revoked licenses and even jail time. Just as there are plenty of consequences for a DUI, there are plenty of ways to defend drinking and driving charges. A criminal defense attorney who is experienced with defending drinking and driving charges has a variety of defenses to increase the chances of being found "not guilty." One of the less common defenses for DUI is called "affirmative defense" and not all criminal lawyers understand how to use the defense successfully. Here's a summary of what this type of defense entails What is Affirmative Defense for DWI? An affirmative defense for DWI involves the defendant agreeing that he or she was intoxicated while driving, but had a good reason for their behavior. It's kind of like pleading guilty, but with conditions that may get you out of a big mess with the right DWI attorney.   There are five primary types of affirmative defense:  

  1. Necessity - When a person must drive to prevent a greater evil. The driver must prove that he or she had no other options and that the "greater evil" they wished to avoid was more serious than the potential harm caused by a DUI. The best criminal lawyers can get a lot of mileage out of that "potential" clause for mounting a successful defense.


  1. Duress - When the defendant drives in order to avoid serious injury or death, he or she is doing so under what is known as duress. For example, someone forces an intoxicated person to drive by threatening them. Duress is hard to prove, but an experienced DWI lawyer can make the most of this affirmative defense.


  1. Entrapment - When an officer encourages a motorist to become intoxicated or drive while under the influence, it is referred to as entrapment. The defendant must also be able to prove that he or she would not have been predisposed to drive drunk if not for the alleged entrapment.


  1. Mistake of Fact - When a person has an honest belief that he or she is not intoxicated. For example, having a valid reason to believe that the impairing effect of one's prescription medication has worn off. If this one surprises you, then you should know that you can get a DWI in North Carolina without having consumed alcohol!


  1. Involuntary Intoxication - When a person has consumed alcohol without his or her knowledge. For example, if the punchbowl at a party was "spiked" with alcohol and the defendant was unaware.

  While these and other affirmative defenses may not get you completely off the hook, they could very well minimize the damage, such as being able to plead to a lesser charge, paying lower fines, or helping you keep your license.   For a more comprehensive view of the affirmative defense, check out this detailed article from Legal Dictionary. For a DWI attorney who understands how to use affirmative defense effectively in your DUI case, contact the Law Offices of Jason H. Reece. From traffic violations to underage alcohol possession, we've got the defense to give you the best outcome in court.