Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “How can an attorney help me with my DWI?”
Given the negative consequences and social stigma associated with a driving while impaired charge in North Carolina, many people who have been arrested for DWI wonder, “How can I get my DWI charges dismissed?”
It is essential to contact a North Carolina criminal defense lawyer as soon as you are arrested for DWI to prepare a solid defense strategy and help you get the charges dismissed or reduced.
Is it Possible to Get DWI Charges Dismissed?
Yes, but not all DWI charges can be dismissed. A skilled attorney will consider a variety of factors and the circumstances of your arrest to determine the best defense strategy.
It is always best to avoid a conviction for DWI on your criminal record by getting the charge dismissed. In North Carolina, penalties for driving while impaired may include:
- Up to 60 days or six months of jail time, depending on the punishment level
- A maximum fine of $1,000
- A driver’s license revocation for a year (first offense), four years (second offense), or permanently (a third and subsequent convictions)
- Insurance points
- Ignition Interlock Device
- A mandatory treatment or rehabilitative course
Can I Get My DWI Charges Dismissed if My Criminal Record is Clean?
While it is certainly admirable that your criminal record is clean, it may not help you get your DWI charges dismissed. However, the number of previous DWI convictions on your record will affect the severity of punishment.
If you were charged with DWI, you need an experienced lawyer to consider the following factors to choose the best defense strategy:
- Why your motor vehicle was stopped in the first place;
- Whether the police had reasonable suspicion to stop you;
- Whether the police had probable cause to arrest you; and
- Whether your constitutional rights were violated during the DWI stop or arrest.
Your defense lawyer will prepare documentation and evidence to fight for the dismissal of your DWI charges.
Did the Police Have Reasonable Suspicion to Stop Your Vehicle?
One of the most common grounds for dismissal of DWI charges is the lack of reasonable suspicion to stop a motor vehicle. Your DWI defense attorney will review the following materials to determine if the law enforcement officer had reasonable suspicion and probable cause to stop your vehicle and arrest you:
- The officer’s notes;
- The DWI report (DWIR);
- The officer’s signed Affidavit charging you with DWI;
- Witness testimonies; and
- Body-cam and dash-cam footage.
Your lawyer will analyze the circumstances of your DWI arrest to prove that the police had no reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop your vehicle.
If the stop was not valid or your constitutional rights were violated by the law enforcement officer, your attorney will help you get the DWI charges dismissed.
If your lawyer finds grounds to dismiss the charges, he may file a Motion to Suppress to exclude related evidence before the trial begins. If the court agrees to suppress the evidence, there will be grounds to file a Motion to Dismiss the DWI charges.
Speak with our North Carolina DWI defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to discuss the best strategy to dismiss the charges in your case. Get a phone or video consultation by calling at (704) 370-2828 to speak with our detail-oriented and well-versed lawyers with offices in Charlotte, Lake Norman, and Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today or find additional resources here.
The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.
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