A Driving While Impaired (DWI) charge is controlled under N.C.G.S.§ 20-138.1 and essentially has two prongs. The State can proceed under either of them.
- While under the influence of an impairing substance; or
- After having consumed sufficient alcohol that he/she has, at any relevant time after the driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
Prong One: While under the influence of an impairing substance
Law enforcement can testify to your appearance, demeanor, smell of alcohol, problems standing or walking, orderliness of your appearance, the results of any field sobriety tests, and/or any statements made. They can obtain a conviction if they successfully prove you are appreciably impaired on this evidence alone. If you are looking for representation from a Raleigh DWI attorney because of incidents reflected under prong one please contact us.
Prong Two: After having consumed significant alcohol
The charge of DWI is an offense that has many legal, as well as social, ramifications. It is unlike any other charge in that the District Attorney’s Office does not negotiate pleas to a lesser offense. One reason for this may be the legal and social implications of such a charge. Finding the correct Raleigh DWI attorney is crucial in situations with DWI charges.
Contrary to what most people believe, it is not against the law to drink and drive in North Carolina; it is only against the law when you are driving appreciably impaired. In North Carolina, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle after having consumed enough alcohol that you have an alcohol concentration of .08 or higher or while you are under the influence of an impairing substance (i.e. drugs – whether legal or illegal). This alcohol concentration can be determined by a breathalyzer test or blood test, depending on the circumstances. Like all criminal charges, the State has the high burden of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Without an effective Raleigh DWI attorney it is a challenge to defend against the State.
Most arrests for Driving While Impaired result in a conviction. A conviction for a DWI is a misdemeanor and will result in a criminal record as well as an increase in automobile insurance.
Over the last several years, laws regarding Driving While Impaired have become increasingly severe. If convicted, sentencing can range from unsupervised probation to two years in prison, depending on sentencing factors, and the loss of one’s drivers license. Many employers have a zero tolerance policy for any DWI conviction. It is imperative to obtain a lawyer who is experienced at attacking and trying DWI cases at all levels in court in order to get the best result possible, including an acquittal.
The State of North Carolina has the high burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual is guilty of a DWI. An experienced lawyer knows precisely how to attack a DWI case from a multitude of areas. They include but are not limited to:
The Stop: Law enforcement must have a “reasonable, articulable suspicion that a criminal offense is taking place” in order to effectuate a legal stop.
Probably Cause for Arrest: Even after you have been stopped by law enforcement, they must have a higher degree of certainty for an arrest or probable cause to effectuate a legal arrest. These factors must be examined to determine if law enforcement did indeed have probable cause to place you under arrest.
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC): Law enforcement must go through many procedural requirements in order to get a .08 or greater reading admitted into evidence at a trial. Some of those requirements would be sequential breath test, observation period, care and maintenance of the machine and a number of other important rights that the defendant has. If the State fails to comply with any of these, even a high BAC result can be suppressed from consideration at a trial.
Miranda Rights: It is important that defendants realize that they do not have to answer any questions or submit to any field sobriety tests at the scene simply because they are asked to by law enforcement. Any and all statements made and tests attempted by the defendant are admissible in trial. Individuals do not normally complete such tasks in their daily lives as are included in the field sobriety tests. Therefore, it is unusual for an individual to perform well on these tests.
Attorney Nick Saparilas is a Raleigh DWI lawyer and aggressive trial attorney who will investigate every possible avenue for a successful outcome in your case. As an experienced litigator, Nick has a reputation for standing his ground in negotiations with prosecutors and taking cases to trial when negotiations break down. He will stand up for your rights.
Determining whether or not an attorney is a good fit for you and your case is imperative before you progress with these most important matters in your life. Saparilas Law invites you to call 919-832-2280 today, or contact us, to set up a consultation. During your consultation, the multi-step process of handling DWI charges will be explained to you in depth. You will have opportunity to review the elements of your unique case with Attorney Nick Saparilas and will have chance to ask any and all questions that you may have.