FYI, A DWI Isn't a DIY Deal: You Need a DUI Attorney

Getting a DWI/DUI in North Carolina has some serious legal consequences that are best handled by a criminal defense attorney. From losing your license and paying hefty fines to possible jail time, going to court for this charge is definitely not a do-it-yourself proposition. There are too many factors for determining your outcome, and the risks are far too high. That's why you need a criminal defense attorney who knows your rights.   What Constitutes a DWI? So what, exactly, constitutes a DWI in North Carolina? Whether you live in Charlotte or Shallotte, the rules are always the same. You can be charged with DWI under the North Carolina criminal statute if you drive a vehicle on a highway, street or other public byway and any of the following is true:

  • While under the influence of an impairing substance
  • With a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more
  • With any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance or its metabolites in your  blood or urine

For drivers under age 21, North Carolina has a zero-tolerance policy that states that it is illegal for them to operate a vehicle with any amount of alcohol or drugs in their system. Schedule I controlled substances include a range of drugs from marijuana to depressants and can result in some serious legal trouble on their own. Even if the driver has a legal prescription for one of these controlled substances, having the prescription is not a defense to the charge. So, if you're under 21 and you're smoking pot and drinking, you're looking at a charge for underage alcohol possession on top of all those other charges. You're going to need a really good DUI lawyer to sort out a mess like that.   DWI/DUI: A Serious Charge with Serious Penalties Punishment for DWI depends on several factors such as:

  • Whether the charge is a first offense or not
  • Presence of aggravating and mitigating factors
  • Whether anyone was injured or killed or were likely to be injured or killed

Aggravating and mitigating factors include things like having a child under 18 in the car when charged, a previous DWI conviction within the last seven years, excess speed, reckless driving and many more. North Carolina courts rely on the assessment of mitigation and aggravating factors for determining the level of your sentence, and this is just one of many reasons DWIs can be hard to defend. That's also why you need a DWI attorney who's been down this road many times before. There are so many factors in addition to the ones above that determine what will happen with your DWI charge. Best case scenario? You hire the best criminal lawyer and have your charges reduced or even dismissed. Worst-case scenario? You handle your case on your own and end up looking at a maximum fine of $10,000 and a prison sentence of up to 36 months. (This is on top of those other nasty consequences like losing your license — maybe forever.) Don't let yourself end up in a worst-case scenario. Call The Law Offices of Jason H. Reece in Charlotte at 704-714-8888 or fill out this contact form for a free consultation.