Can you get out of a 1st time DWI in N Carolina ? Blew a . 09

My daughter had a few drinks and wrecked her car . No one else was involved . She was driving on a unfamiliar road and went around a corner to fast and rolled her car . They didn't do a roadside sobriety test nor take her to the hospital . She had a Pa drivers license but the fined her for not having a NC license . She's called several lawyers and they all say she can't get out of a DWI in NC . Even though she has a clean record . They want to charge her 3000 which don't make since if she's still gonna be charged

Whittier, NC -

Attorney Answers (3)

Fred B. Amos II

Fred B. Amos II

DUI / DWI Attorney - Raleigh, NC
Answered

That's really a loaded question. Whether or not you can "get out" of a DWI depends on the facts and particular circumstances resulting in the DWI charge. No ethical attorney is going to tell you that they can get your daughter off the hook. The only way for your daughter to get out of the DWI charge is to take the case to trial and win. The reality of the situation is that your daughter blew a .09. As I am sure you know, the legal limit is .08. Assuming the results of the breathalyzer are not suppressed for some reason, the State need prove nothing more in order to convict your daughter. Your daughter needs a good DWI defense attorney. Shop around and hopefully you can find an attorney to represent your daughter at a fee you feel more comfortable with. Also, most defense attorneys will offer some sort of payment plan, so be sure to ask about that. Good luck to you.

Fred Amos provides legal representation in Wake County, North Carolina.... more
William W. Phipps

William W. Phipps

Lawyer - Tabor City, NC
Answered

First there is no guarantee that you can or can't get out of a DWI in NC with a .09. First issue here is who saw her drive and how much did she tell the investigating officer. If she kept her mouth shut they have no case absent witnesses. Second did she have anything in the vehicle that she could have drank after the accident and did she do so. The State has to prove she had a .08 at the time of driving or some relevant time thereafter and if she introduced alcohol into her system after the accident there is no possibility of doing so. Under the old law the physical and mental impairment of the driver were issues so the sobriety tests were very revealing and helpful. Now with the new statute they still have some value but not near as much. This is really an issue as to where she got the DWI. Some counties are harder and some DAs are just plain dumb as to believe they can win every case. The clean record has nothing to do with it except as to her credibility as it is difficult to believe someone who has had prior DWIs. Fees vary with experience and areas of the state. Generally they range in SE NC around $1500 to $2000 for a trial in district court. If you go to a jury in superior court $5,000.00. Lots of motions and strategies in trying a DWI as well. Never rush one as time is always on the side of the Defendant. Officers leave, witnesses die and are unavailable and evidence gets lost. I recently had a policeman whose car burned with all of his records in it and therefore the case was dismissed. As to the NC vs PA license it is dependent on how long she has been living in the State and if she is permanent or temporary. A student is not required just because he is out of state to have a NC license as he does not intend to live here, just attend school. Lawyers charge for their work and in criminal cases are not permitted to guarantee results so it is expected for the lawyer to be paid for his services and if he unfortunately loses then the client has to pay the court costs and fines and do the time if appropriate. I always tell my clients my representation stops at the jailhouse door and I do not do the time with you. Hope this helps. Looking at the Intoxilizer and the timing and maintenance and other matters are just a few of the motion type issues that can be covered by an experienced attorney.

Jasen Bodie Nielsen

Jasen Bodie Nielsen

DUI / DWI Attorney - Santa Barbara, CA
Answered

While a single car accident is among a prosecutor's favorite DUI driving patterns, there is much more to a DUI case than just that. Assuming that she is over 21, the legal limit for her is .08, but at the time of driving. A competent attorney would have a number of questions about when she drank, what she drank, how much she weighs, how much time passed between her last drink and the accident, how much time passed from the accident to the breath test, etc. Additionally, with a result as low as .09, I'd also want to see documentation regarding the accuracy of the breath machine and the qualifications and training of the officer. Whether or not her record is clear doesn't have much bearing on the merits of the current case, for whatever that is worth. I highly suggest hiring a local DUI attorney - I am sure there are many on avvo. Try to meet with them in person before hiring them, and go from there. Good luck.

Jasen Nielsen

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