Thousands of people across North Carolina each week brave the mighty highways to return home after an evening of drinking. In 2016 alone, 35,967 inebriated persons found their way into a police cruiser for driving while impaired, making the Tar Heel State the 15th worst in America for DUI charges. Not all arrests were at police checkpoints, either.
Maybe you or someone you know has recently been charged with driving while intoxicated in Charlotte. Perhaps you have pondered acquiescing to this charge simply because you are too tired to fight. Indeed, North Carolina is an implied consent state, but before surrendering to the punishments this charge brings, here is why fighting it could be worth your time.
Procedural Defects Happen Often
Law enforcement must follow procedures before, during, and after an arrest. Thanks to the landmark Miranda vs Arizona case, being ‘read your rights’ is mandatory if the police or prosecutors want to use what you say in court. Also known as Miranda warning or being Mirandized, suspects must understand what legal recourse they have, their rights if found indigent, and their right to silence.
In a theoretically flawless arrest, every procedure would be followed impeccably. Reality has proven time and time again that missteps like failing to read the Miranda warning will get cases dismissed due to procedural defect. It does not stop there.
Other issues that get DWI and DUI cases dropped or reduced to almost nothing include:
- Being coerced to take voluntary field sobriety tests under the threat of arrest;
- Taking any oral breath test by a portable machine by force or coercion;
- Talking to police by force, including making self-incriminating statements;
- Submitting to an illegal search and seizure of a vehicle without reasonable suspicion;
Choosing to submit to breathalyzer testing is optional, although doing so once detained means you get 30 minutes to summon a witness to view this testing. The Intoxilyzer 5000, the device used to test breath alcohol in Charlotte, can also be brought under scrutiny if your witness believes the machine was improperly calibrated or not working properly when testing was conducted.
All told, thousands of defendants in DWI and DUI cases have come to expect nothing less than perfunctorily performed field sobriety tests, regardless if North Carolina law enforcement judiciously followed protocol during the administration of these tests. Countless cases of police malfeasance exist in public records to back this claim.
In some cases, defendants get charges dropped because their car was not running when the arresting officer approached the vehicle. Anything is possible, folks.
Presumption of Innocence in Criminal Cases
Remember, you are presumed innocent until a preponderance of evidence is presented to the contrary. All the BAC testing in the world cannot prove guilt – it can only prove the presence of some substance at some point that exceeds the legal limit. How you act, what you say, and what officers fail to disclose could ultimately decide the fate of your DWI or DUI charge.
Always comply with law enforcement, regardless of how wrong or right their actions may be. Resisting arrest never ends well.
Suspected of DWI and DUI in Charlotte? Contact us today
If you or someone you love has been arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence in Charlotte, setting the record straight while preserving driving and criminal histories is our only goal. We will mount the vigorous defense you and your case deserve.
DWI and DUI charges in North Carolina are serious. Severe charges merit the strongest defense possible, which is the reason trial-tested attorneys at Rawls, Scheer, Clary & Mingo often get the call. Contact us to find out why we are the preferred criminal law firm of many in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties.
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