Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) March 16, 2013
The Matheson Law Firm has served Wake County long enough to notice a pattern when holidays and breaks occur around schools. With the beginning of area Colleges' and Universities' Spring Break, Raleigh DUI Law Firm Matheson Law Office wants to remind everyone of the consequences that can come from a North Carolina DWI Conviction.
To begin with, everyone knows of the potential risks to the drivers and the public in general with Driving While Intoxicated North Carolina. It can be dangerous and downright deadly to those who do not act responsibly and make sure they do not drive while intoxicated on North Carolina roads or highways. This release is not meant to trivialize the risks, but rather to identify with the known consequences of a DWI arrest and conviction as oppose to the hypothetical risks that can occur to the driver and the public in general. That being said, most people are unaware of how easily it is to be charged with a DWI in North Carolina and what consequences the driver will face if convicted; to that extent, we wish to issue a reminder of these facts.
First, in order to be convicted of a DWI in North Carolina, the State only need prove that the Defendant was Driving, on a Street, Highway or Public Vehicular Area, and that the Driver either 1. had a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .08 or more or 2. that the Driver was 'Appreciably Impaired.' What this means is, if you are caught behind the wheel of a running vehicle on a street, highway or any public vehicular area (think parking lot) and you end up having a BAC of .08 or more, or the police feel they have enough evidence to prove 'appreciable impairment' you can be charged and ultimately convicted.
Many people do not realize how easily a person can reach a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .08. The reality is, everyone's body is different, and what a 'few drinks' can do to one driver can have a different affect on another driver. It is never a good idea to drive after having a 'few drinks' even if you feel fine as the test is not whether you feel you can drive, but whether your BAC is .08 or above.
In addition to the BAC part of the North Carolina DWI Law, the 'appreciable impairment' part is even trickier. Did you know that people have been convicted of a DWI in Wake County with a BAC of .07 and .06? The reason is they were convicted under the 'appreciable impairment' portion of the NC DWI law. While it can be technical and scientific, the best way to describe 'appreciable impairment' is it is the Police Officer's opinion that you were too drunk to drive. Now, the Police will use Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and their training to make this assessment, but the reality is, even if you are below a .08 BAC, or you refuse to give them a breath sample, you can still be convicted.
"I have had several clients who were charged with a DWI with a BAC below a .08 or with no BAC at all. I have had to fight for each of these clients to demonstrate that the State cannot prove this subjective concept of 'appreciable impairment.'" Raleigh DWI Attorney M. Moseley Matheson stated. "With most of my first-time DWI offenders, they simply did not realize how little it takes to catch one of these charges. Once charged, the consequences come fast and hard. Even with an acquittal, the costs and frustration is great without getting into potential NC DWI Sentences."
So, beyond how easily it can be to be charged with a North Carolina DWI, the reality of the potential consequences is an eye-opener. From the start, most driver's will have their license taken for 30 days. While they may be eligible for a Limited Driving Privilege, it isn't available for the first 10 days of that 30 day suspension and costs $100. To get your license back, another $100. Then there is the cost of hiring one of the Raleigh DUI Lawyers to represent your interests and protect your rights. You will most certainly have to come to court at least several times, which is time out of your day. If convicted, at a minimum a driver can expect hundreds if not thousands of dollars in court costs, fines, and penalties that the court assesses. In most instances, there are things an attorney can do to help minimize or reduce these costs. Beyond the costs, the Driver will lose their license for a year and may or may not be eligible for a Limited Driving Privilege. They will also be ordered to complete community service and/or jail time, complete a Substance Abuse Assessment and comply with the recommended treatment and could be ordered to refrain from consuming alcohol and have that verified by a Continuous Alcohol Monitoring device (the ankle bracket). Finally, the Driver can expect an increase to their insurance premium by as much as 400% for the following three years.
"One of the things I hear a lot from my DWI clients is they had no idea how expensive a DWI charge can be. Even if the Defendant receives the lowest possible sentence available for a NC DWI Conviction, they are still out several thousand dollars between attorney's fees, court costs, fines, costs, fees and insurance premium increases." Holly Springs DUI Attorney M. Moseley Matheson stated. "In all honesty, I truly believe if more people realize a. how easy it is to get a DWI Charge and b. how expensive they are, that most people would rethink the risk of getting behind the wheel."
If you have received a DWI charge in Wake County, contact the Matheson Law Office for a free consultation at 919-335-5291. Our attorney will review your case with you and give you an idea of what you can expect with regards to potential defenses and possible outcomes.