Gastonia DWI Attorney
Gastonia DWI Attorney. DWI – Driving While Impaired (also known as DUI – Driving Under the Influence) cases are complicated and the fact patterns are intricate. DWI penalties in NC can be harsh. Substantial punishment exists for those convicted as well as a level of public disdain exists for those arrested, charged and/or convicted of the offense of Driving While Impaired.
The possibility of Jail time rapidly increases with the number of prior D.W.I. convictions and leads to more severe mandatory sentencing. The existence of any “grossly aggravating factor” is a big deal. North Carolina criminal laws call for even a first offense DWI to receive active jail time if a Grossly Aggravating Factor is proven Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. Each case is different so obtaining an experienced lawyer to discuss your case and any/all legal options available to you is important if you are arrested for DWI.
Being “impaired” is not being “drunk” or the same as “drunk driving” and it may include being under the influence of drugs as well as alcohol. One may be impaired a long time before reaching the point of being drunk. This could include being impaired by legal and illegal drugs.
Driving While Impaired, under North Carolina law means, driving any vehicle upon any highway, any street, or any public vehicular area within this state while: (1) under the influence of an impairing substance; or (2) after consuming sufficient alcohol so that at any relevant time after driving you have an alcohol concentration of 0.08 in your body usually proven by a chemical analysis by a breath test or blood test; or (3) while having any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance or its metabolites in your blood or urine. For a DWI while driving a commercial motor vehicle the limit is only .04 alcohol concentration.
McSpadden Law, P.C., Gastonia DWI attorney, will investigate the circumstances behind your traffic stop to determine if it met the legal requirements under the law. Why were you stopped and arrested by the police? Law enforcement agents are expected to be able to state what the reason or reasons for the traffic stop and/or arrest were. Were you weaving unsafely between lanes? Did you roll through a stop sign? Or did you simply have a “look” about you that made a police officer suspect you as a possible impaired driver? Was there a reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop? These and other issues need to be carefully investigated by an experienced attorney.
Any conviction of driving impaired in NC will be followed by sentencing by your trial judge. At the sentencing hearing the district attorney and the defendant’s legal counsel are permitted to introduce evidence of aggravation (the DA argues these factors) or mitigation (the criminal defense attorney argues these beneficial points). Based on receiving evidence of the “good and the bad” factors, the judge will sentence the DWI offender under one of six (6) levels of severity. As part of the DWI sentencing hearing, a judge will assign the jail term, if any, the monetary fines to be paid, and other DWI penalties, based upon each level’s requirements under the law.
“Aggravating” factors may include things like: gross impairment, engaging in reckless driving, negligent driving causing a motor vehicle wreck, driving while license revoked, certain prior traffic violations, trying to evade arrest or elude police, driving at a high speed over the posted limit, and passing a stopped school bus that is discharging or picking up students
“Grossly aggravating” factors may include prior convictions of DWI within 7 years, driving while license revoked at the time of offense for a previous DWI, an accident causing serious injury to others, and driving with a minor passenger during the commission of the DWI.
“Mitigating Factors” may include a slight impairment and/or a relatively low blood alcohol level (0.09% or lower), safe driving at the time, a safe driving record, and proof that the impairing drug found in blood testing was lawfully prescribed.
Limited driving privileges are available to those convicted of DWI in certain circumstances such as a first offense DWI.
McSpadden Law, P.C. can help you navigate the complexities of the DWI laws to attempt to obtain the best result possible under the circumstances of your case.