Why an Attorney Is Necessary in a Drunk Driving Case
DWI laws in North Carolina are complex, with aggravating and mitigating factors that can influence sentencing as well as the offender’s previous driving record. Drivers that are arrested for DWI in Greensboro or High Point as well as all parts of North Carolina face two problems:
- The actual criminal charge of DWI, which will be adjudicated in court.
- The pre-trial license revocation is a civil procedure. Often there are steps that can be taken to get a limited driving privilege following the license revocation and this is something that the attorney can handle. Proof of insurance, a letter from your employer with specific work hours, assessment from an approved alcohol and substance abuse treatment center and payment of a court fee of $100.00 are required in order to get a limited pre-trial driving privilege.
Help from an attorney who specializes in drunk driving offenses can minimize penalties
Penalties for drunk driving are stringent. Having an attorney who specializes in drunk driving on your side can increases the chance that charges may be dismissed or kept to a minimum. If you are convicted under North Carolina DWI laws, serious penalties are imposed. There are five sentencing levels, ranging from Level One — the most serious — to Level Five — the least serious. Jail time, fines, alcohol and drug education classes, drug or alcohol rehabilitation services, community service and court costs can be imposed upon the convicted drunken driver depending upon the sentencing level.
Jail time ranges from 24 hours to as long as two years, based upon factors such as the following:
- Previous DWI convictions
- High Breathalyzer reading at the time of arrest
- Revoked driver’s license for a previous DWI
- Underage passengers — 16 years of age or younger — in the car
- Driving record in general
In addition to jail time, the drunken driver may also be required to pay fines that range from $200 to $4,000. Again, the fines or costs depend on a number of factors in play at the time of arrest.
Also, drivers convicted of DWI in North Carolina can have their driver’s licenses revoked, but under certain circumstances, the drunken driver may be eligible for a limited driving privilege.
Get help from a lawyer serving Greensboro and Guilford County
DWI laws in North Carolina are complex and the penalties are severe. Because of the variables that are present under the law, it is vitally important that drivers arrested for DWI in Greensboro or High Point or other areas of Guilford County contact an experienced Greensboro drunk driving attorney. More importantly, drivers accused of drunk driving should contact their attorneys as soon as possible after arrest. While the driver may still be convicted of a DWI, it may be possible to minimize the sentence that is imposed. The attorneys at Clifford & Harris, PLLC are experienced in DWI representation as well as all other areas of criminal defense.