Facing a DWI charge is frightening for drivers in North Carolina. With a conviction, there are financial penalties, potential jail time, license suspension and possible vehicle seizure. A conviction may also affect one’s career and family life, so having a strong defense is important.

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety outlines the consequences for those who face a DWI, and it may fall under a misdemeanor or felony charge. For misdemeanors, there are five levels. For the least serious level, a driver faces jail time of at least 24 hours as well as a fine up to $200. At the highest level, penalties include a minimum of 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 and a substance abuse assessment.

For a felony DWI, the driver must serve a minimum jail time of one year and complete a substance abuse program. The state also imposes harsher penalties for drivers who refuse to take the breathalyzer test.

According to FindLaw, there are certain arguments that attorneys typically use to fight DWI charges. These include:

  • Inaccurate field tests or breathalyzer test
  • Lack of proper cause for the traffic stop
  • Mishandling of blood test
  • Change in BAC between driving and breath test administration

In rare cases, the defense team may use affirmative defenses to argue the charge. Examples of these are if someone did not know they were ingesting alcohol, driving due to necessity or out of duress and an honest belief of not driving under the influence.

Defending a DWI charge will vary based on each individual case. Please contact our law firm for more information