If you have been charged with a DWI/DUI offense, it is imperative that you understand the legal meaning behind each of the elements of the crime. A DWI/DUI conviction can result in many negative consequences such as a possibility of jail time, a criminal record, higher insurance premiums, community service, alcohol education, substance-abuse treatment, and court/administrative fees. Specifically, defendants who are charged with driving while impaired face an automatic revocation of their license for at least 30 days, even before they have had a trial. However, in many cases, a competent and knowledgeable attorney can help you obtain a limited driving privilege after the first 10 days of this suspension.
If convicted of a DWI, you could face court fines of up to $2000, imprisonment for up to 5 years, and insurance increases of up to 400%. Many DWI convictions result in mandatory jail sentences, and you could be sentenced to jail even if you are a first time DWI offender.
A DWI conviction carries serious consequences and can affect you in more ways than one. You can lose your driver’s license, your job, your hard earned savings, and, most importantly, your freedom. North Carolina takes DWI charges very seriously and because of federal funding and public interest groups such as MADD, it is often easier to negotiate a reduction or a voluntary dismissal for a serious felony than it is a DWI charge. Therefore, it is imperative that you hire an experienced DWI attorney to make sure no stone is left unturned, to gather and review all available evidence, to find the holes, mistakes and issues in all stages of your case, and to fight to obtain a dismissal or a not guilty verdict.
While it is important to have a knowledgeable and experienced DWI attorney in your corner when facing a DWI charge, it is almost equally important to know and understand your rights and know what the officers are looking for before ever being charged with DWI. Obviously, the easiest way to avoid a DWI charge is to not drive after you have been drinking. However, if you have been drinking and will be driving there are steps you can take to avoid ever being charged with DWI or, if you are charged, then to avoid being convicted of DWI.