North Carolina DWI Defense Attorneys
We know that this is one of the most stressful times of your life. You don’t know where to turn and you likely feel apprehensive about your legal options. Hatley Law Office will work to reduce or eliminate the damage a DWI can cause. Contact us today so that we can help take this weight off your shoulders. Together, we will walk through the next steps, develop a comprehensive strategy, and build the best defense available. We know North Carolina’s laws and fully understand what officers of the court must do throughout the DWI process. We can spot strengths and weaknesses in your case. Based on these details, we can take it to trial if necessary and fight to to have you found not guilty.
When you hire Hatley Law Office, you hire a team of attorneys ready to aggressively defend your rights.
Why Choose Hatley Law Office for your DWI?The Stakes Are High.
Important Issues You Should Be Prepared to Discuss with a DWI Attorney
Common Questions about North Carolina DWIs
What is the legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in NC?
In NC, a BAC of 0.08% is the legal limit. This is the legal limit throughout most of the country. While the words “legal limit” may give the impression that it is “legal” to drive with a BAC of 0.08%, this is not correct. Your BAC cannot exceed 0.07%, and in some instances a person may actually be impaired at a BAC of less than 0.08%.
What is the legal BAC in NC for a Commercial Drivers License (CDL)?
In NC, a BAC of 0.04% is the legal limit. This is the legal limit throughout most of the country. Given this limit, a CDL holder cannot drive with a BAC of more than 0.03%.
What is the legal BAC for someone under 21 in NC?
There is a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving in NC. Therefore, the legal BAC is 0.00% for anyone under the age of 21. In other words, a person under 21 cannot have ANY alcohol in their blood while operating a motor vehicle.
Am I automatically guilty if I am over the legal BAC limit?
No. To obtain a conviction for DWI, the State’s prosecutor must prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is done by proving each element of the charge. While it is easier with proof that your BAC was at or over the legal limit, this fact alone does not automatically mean that you are guilty. We recommend contacting an attorney to help explore possible defenses for your case.
Can I still be arrested if I blow below the legal limit?
Unfortunately, yes. As discussed above, a DWI conviction can sometimes result solely on the basis of the person being substantially impaired, even if their BAC is below 0.08%. In NC, if a law enforcement officer observes you driving in a manner that indicates that you are impaired, the officer can pull you over, conduct additional roadside field sobriety tests, and then arrest you if you are found to be impaired. Since this arrest is based upon the subjective opinion of the officer, you may have a better defense, and trial may be a viable option. We recommend contacting an attorney to help explore possible defenses for your case.
For a consult about your NC DWI contact iTicket.law™ today
Impact of a DWI Conviction in North Carolina
Frequent Minimum Consequences
- Conviction on Criminal Record
- License Points
- Insurance Points
- License Revocation
- Unsupervised Probation
- Substance Abuse Assessment and Treatment
- Community Service and Fees
- Court Costs, Fines, & DWI Fee
- Jail Time
- Supervised Probation
- Vehicle Seizure
- Ignition Interlock
- Continuous Alcohol Monitoring Ankle Bracelet
Pertinent factors in evaluating whether a person should be charged with a DWI
Poor Driving: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified several factors that officers should look for when identifying intoxicated drivers including: 1. Problems maintaining proper lane position (weaving, swerving, turning with a wide radius, drifting); 2. Speed and braking problems (varying speed, slow speed, accelerating or decelerating for no apparent reason); 3. Vigilance problems (driving in opposing lanes or the wrong way on a one-way, slow response to traffic signals, failure to use signals or headlights); and 4. Judgment problems (inappropriate or unusual behavior, improper turns or lane changes).
During a Traffic Stop: You can still be charged with a DWI even if you were stopped for an unrelated traffic infraction, such as expired registration, window tint violation, or driving withoutheadlights. As long as the officer had a legitimate reason for initially pulling you over, you can be charged with a DWI in conjunction with a traffic violation. According to the Courts, traffic stops unrelated to the offense provide a reasonable basis to investigate the driver further and conduct any tests necessary to determine impairment.
Found in a Parked Car: You can be charged with a DWI while sitting in the driver’s seat of a parked car if the car is running or if the keys to the vehicle are simply in the ignition In NC, a person can be charged with a DWI as long as the vehicle is under his or her control, regardless if it is moving or not.
While Riding a Bicycle: You can be charged with a DWI on a bike. In NC, a person can be charged with a DWI as long as that person is driving a vehicle. Under the NC statute, for DWI purposes, a bicycle is considered a vehicle. The same goes for a moped, a boat, or a golf cart, if driven on a public thoroughfare.
Sentencing Levels when convicted for a DWI in NC
Mitigating Factors vs. Aggravating Factors
Grossly Aggravating Factors:
- Prior DWI conviction within 7 years of the date of the current DWI offense
- An intervening DWI conviction
- Offense committed while defendant’s license was revoked for a prior DWI
- Offense resulted in serious injury to another
- A child under the age of 18 was in the vehicle
- A Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.15% or higher
- Especially reckless or dangerous driving
- Negligent driving that leads to a reportable accident
- Driving with a revoked license
- Poor driving history
- Two or more prior convictions of a motor vehicle offense (not involving impaired driving) of which 3 points were assigned
- Speeding at least 30 mph over the speed limit
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Any other aggravating factor that increases the seriousness of the crime
- Slight impairment – a Blood Alcohol Concentration at or less than 0.09%
- Driving that is considered safe (besides the impairment) at the time of impairment
- Safe driving record
- Impairment was due to a lawfully prescribed drug
- Voluntary submission to a mental health facility for an assessment
- Completion of a substance abuse assessment and 60 days of monitored abstinence from alcohol
Receiving a DWI can be one of the most stressful times of your life. However, our team of DWI attorneys will walk you through the next steps, develop a strategy, and build your defense. Our seasoned DWI attorneys know North Carolina’s laws and fully understand what officers of the court must do throughout the DWI process. The Hatley Law Office will work to reduce or eliminate the damage that a DWI conviction can cause. Give us a call today and let us help to take the weight off your shoulders