The experienced and dedicated criminal justice attorneys at Rawls, Scheer, Clary, and Mingo have years of trial experience and representing those charged with a DUI or DWI. Call (704) 376-3200 to speak with someone now.
The consequences of a DWI conviction are truly severe – suspension of your driver’s license, dramatic increases in your auto insurance, lengthy community service and, in some cases – jail time. While drunk driving is a serious offense, many people are wrongly accused or are charged in violation of their rights. With the right criminal defense lawyer handling the case, many people are acquitted. Even for those who do not win their case outright, getting a reasonable sentence requires a lot of experience and creativity by the lawyer.
The DWI laws in North Carolina are lengthy and complex. It is a crime which requires extensive experience and training to defend properly. The DWI defense lawyers in Charlotte, NC at Rawls, Scheer, Clary & Mingo have defended thousands of people accused of driving while impaired. They win cases virtually every week. Beginning with a careful analysis of the facts of the arrest, examination of the paperwork supporting the charges, gathering videotape, interviewing the officer and applying the law to those facts, the lawyer exploits every possible defense.
The United States Constitution establishes limited circumstances under which a police officer can pull over a motorist. They must be able to explain what specific observations led them to believe the driver had broken the law. Special operations like DWI checkpoints have very particular requirements which if not followed, will result in the case being thrown out. Ultimately, if the Court decides that a driver was stopped illegally the case will be dismissed.
Even when a motorist has been legally stopped, the police may not arrest that person for DWI unless they gather enough evidence to establish “probable cause” that the person was driving while intoxicated. If they suspect drunk driving, police officers will ask the suspect to perform one or more sobriety tests. There are physical tests like walking heel-to-toe on an imaginary line or touching the tip of the nose with the fingertips with eyes closed. There are mental sharpness tests like reciting the alphabet or simply judging the drivers’ ability to follow directions. Many police officers also have a portable breath testing device that they ask the suspect to blow into before deciding to arrest. Under North Carolina law, the driver does not have to perform any of these tests if he or she does not want to. Based on an up-to-date knowledge of these police procedures, experienced DWI lawyers can sometimes get the case dismissed based on invalid tests, a defendant’s satisfactory performance on the tests, or that the police have administered the tests improperly.
After being arrested for DWI, the driver is given a formal breath test for alcohol concentration. Sometimes the police get court orders for a blood test. The legal limit for most people in North Carolina is 0.08 (the “BAC reading” ). There are very specific procedures which the analyst and arresting officer are required to follow in order for the blood test results to be admissible in court. Through careful review of the procedure and paperwork used in each case, the BAC reading can sometimes be suppressed. Without any evidence of blood alcohol, the result is often a “not guilty” verdict.