I know I probably had too much to drink. Why should I spend money on a DWI attorney?

The consequences of a DWI can be devastating. The court-imposed penalties for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in North Carolina can be serious and affect your freedom, finances, and reputation. A DWI attorney could help you avoid some of the harsher punishments that come with pleading guilty to a DWI.

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The Consequences

To understand why you should have an attorney handle your case, you must first understand the consequences of a conviction. At minimum, a DWI conviction will generally result in a sentence of 24 hours of community service, a fine up to $200 (plus court costs, and likely a period of probation, which includes a requirement that the convicted individual undergo a substance abuse assessment and corresponding education treatment prior to the restoration of the individual’s license).

The convicted individual’s driver’s license will be suspended for a year. However, there is the possibility of obtaining limited driving privileges for work and school during this period, although such privileges are difficult to obtain.

There can also be serious professional consequences for a DWI conviction. Any job that requires driving may easily be jeopardized by a DWI.

DWI convictions often mean that you lose your driver’s license for a period of time. Even if you are allowed to hold a restricted license for school and work, you may be required to have an ignition interlock device on any vehicle you drive. If this is not possible on a work vehicle, you will not be allowed to lawfully drive that vehicle.

Even after you receive your unrestricted driving privileges back, some jobs may require you to have a clean driving record. Thus, a DWI conviction on your record will disqualify you for such positions.

In addition to the loss of your driver’s license, a DWI may affect certain professional licenses as well. Certain professionals who may temporarily or permanently lose their licenses due to criminal charges such as DWI include:

● Doctors
● Nurses
● Dentists
● Attorneys
● Accountants
● Investment brokers

It is imperative that you take these charges seriously in order to avoid or reduce any negative consequences to your professional career. If you have been arrested for DWI, your professional reputation and future job prospects may be on the line.

The last thing you want is for your ability to earn a living be jeopardized, so you should always seek representation from a highly experienced DWI defense attorney in order to minimize any adverse consequences as much as possible.

How can a DWI attorney help if I drank too much?

There are several procedural processes that the state is required to follow according to the United States Constitution and the laws of North Carolina. In order to prove a DWI case, the police must have stopped you with reasonable suspicion that you were violating the law. If they stopped you with anything less than that or cannot prove that they stopped you with reasonable suspicion, they cannot convict of a DWI.

Additionally, the police must have had probable cause that you committed a crime in order to arrest you and charge you with a crime. Again, if the state cannot prove that the arresting officer had probable cause in arresting you, they cannot convict you of a DWI.

The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed every element of the crime of a DWI. That is, the state must prove that 1) you were intoxicated; 2) you were driving; 3) you were driving a “vehicle;” and 4) you were driving on the roads of North Carolina.

If the state cannot prove any one of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, then they cannot convict you of a DWI. The best chance you have of avoiding a DWI conviction is to retain the services of an experienced DWI attorney.

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