A person charged with drunk driving could lose their license, pay heavy fines and – in some cases – go to jail. Even a minor speeding ticket can lead to your insurance premiums going way up.
Smithfield, N.C. (PRWEB) September 23, 2011
According to a recent WRAL TV report, North Carolina law enforcement officers charged nearly 1,000 drivers with drunk driving and more than 9,000 with speeding over a three-week “crackdown” period surrounding Labor Day.
Those who were arrested or cited for driving offenses during the “Operation Booze It and Lose It” campaign need to take the consequences of their charges seriously, and they need to learn about their legal options, says Johnston County criminal defense attorney Michael J. Reece.
“A person charged with drunk driving could lose their license, pay heavy fines and – in some cases – go to jail,” says Reece, a partner in the North Carolina criminal defense law firm of Reece & Reece, Attorneys at Law, which represents both in-state and out-of-state drivers charged with traffic offenses throughout Johnston County, including many who have been charged while driving along the busy interstate routes of I-95 and I-40.
“Even a minor speeding ticket can lead to your insurance premiums going way up,” the Smithfield lawyer says. “That’s why our law firm recognizes that every case, big or small, is important to our clients. We know that a traffic offense can have a major impact on their lives.
“We also know that our clients carry well-established rights, and that each case presents a variety of legal options that need to be explored.”
According to WRA L, the “Booze It and Lose It” campaign involved both increased patrols and DUI / sobriety checkpoints. As an example of the crackdown, the news station reported on 15 troopers patrolling one two-mile stretch of I-40 near Raleigh’s Aviation Parkway and charging 70 motorists with going more than 80 mph during a three-hour period.
“Most speeding tickets are infractions, but if you’re charged with driving more than 80 mph or 15 mph above the speed limit, then it’s a Class 2 misdemeanor,” Reece says. “That means you could face up to a $1,000 fine, 60 days in jail, three driving record points and four insurance points under our state’s Safe Driver Insurance Plan, or SDIP.
“What’s a bigger concern is if it’s a repeat speeding offense. If you accumulate 12 points on your record within a three-year period, you could have your license suspended or revoked,” the Johnston County speeding attorney adds. “You could also end up paying up to a 400 percent surcharge on your insurance premiums.”
A North Carolina speeding ticket attorney, however, can challenge the merits of the ticket, such as whether the radar gun was properly calibrated, and can help drivers to secure lesser charges, such as a reduction to a non-moving offense or prayer for judgment continued, Reece says.
Driving under the influence – also commonly called DUI, driving while intoxicated (DWI) or drunk driving – carries more significant consequences.
According to Reece, a North Carolina DUI charge is a misdemeanor that, depending on the presence of aggravating and mitigating factors, can range from Level Five (60 days maximum in jail, $200 maximum fine) to Level One (two years maximum in jail, $4,000 maximum fine). Other consequences including license revocation, vehicle forfeiture and mandatory use of an ignition interlock device.
“Remember: Just because a driver is charged with DUI doesn’t mean they’re guilty,” Reece says. “They need to explore whether there were mistakes made in breathalyzer tests, field sobriety tests or blood tests, and whether their rights were respected by law enforcement officers.
“In some instances, these mistakes may be serious enough to merit dismissal of the charge. In other cases, the option may be to accept a plea that, under the circumstances, represents the best possible outcome,” the Smithfield DUI defense attorney adds.
“What’s important is that you need to work with an attorney who will help you to determine your rights and evaluation your options. The stakes are too high. You should never go it alone.”
About Reece & Reece, Attorneys at Law
Reece & Reece, Attorneys at Law, is a Johnston County criminal defense law firm that represents in-state and out-of-state clients throughout the areas surrounding Smithfield, Benson, Clayton, Archer Lodge, Four Oaks, Kenly, Micro, Pine Level, Princeton, Selma and Wilson's Mill. The firm’s practice areas include speeding, DWI / DUI, reckless driving, suspended license, minor traffic infractions, felony defense, misdemeanor defense, drug possession and probation violations. Reece & Reece has experience representing criminal defendants at both the trial and appellate court levels. To learn more, call (919) 300-1249 or use the firm’s online form.