DWI/DUI in North Carolina
Common Sense DWI Tips from Attorney Bill Powers
Be NicePolice officers have a job to do and in many instances can do their job without making things personal. Well trained law enforcement personnel avoid rude behavior and snide comments, which necessarily requires a level of courtesy and professionalism. Sometimes the circumstances on the scene are hectic, confusing and downright scary. . .for the police officer too. Situational awareness and scene or positional control are important for safety. An officer may have acted what seemed odd to you; but, that may have been because s/he wanted to make sure you did not present a danger. It is also true that they're human. Officer credibility in court is in part influenced on how they acted on scene. Video of the stop and arrest can be helpful tools in Court.
Be AwareAlthough it's "nice to be nice" you should be aware the police officer may be on the lookout for evidence to use against you. That's what they are trained to do: Enforce the laws of the state, watching for violations of the law. Often that is an active, not passive process. Be aware, if a police officer or State Trooper stopped you, they may suspect something illegal is or could be happening. It is their job to gather evidence. You are not required to provide evidence against yourself, which can be a sticky situation when trying to "Be Polite." You have the right to refuse Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and Field Screening Tests.
Be CarefulOne would be wise to acknowledge there are certain hours, days and locations where DWI / DUI seem to happen. After midnight hours, in close proximity to bars & restaurants tend to be the "bewitching hours." People are regularly stopped or pulled over very close to home. At the same time, that doesn't mean police officers are allowed to stop vehicles simply because it has been in the area of a bar, late at night or on another random, unparticularized basis. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures of their person.
Be ProactiveIf you or a loved one have been charged with DWI / DUI, seek out the advice of an experienced legal professional. What may be (or have been true) in another state, city or year may not be true today. North Carolina has complicated impaired driving laws. One may always choose to represent themselves in court; but, you should understand the State of North Carolina is represented by experienced legal professionals called prosecutors / assistant district attorneys. Your friends and family may mean well, yet the advice they give may also not be correct, accurate or applicable in your circumstances.
Be InformedNorth Carolina does not have a "lesser included offense" for Driving While Impaired. DWI / DUI are serious cases and unlike some jurisdictions, the practice of paying penalties for a plea to "reckless driving" has been specifically excluded. North Carolina has a special form for prosecutors to fill out, explaining why an DWI case is being dismissed. The reason must be specific, discernable and cannot be "in the interests of justice." North Carolina similarly does not have a "wet reckless" like some states.
Additional resources provided by the author
- Bill Powers - CHARLOTTE DWI LAWYER -Bio
- Criminal Defense Lawyers in North Carolina
- Bill Powers – Best Lawyers in America – Membership Info & Criterion for Inclusion
- DWI DUI Impaired Driving in North Carolina – LEGAL ISSUES – Probable Cause
- How to handle Domestic Violence Charges - Assault and Assault & Battery in NC
- Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer Charlotte NC
- Listen to Law Talk with Bill Powers - Do You Know the Difference Between Assault and Battery in North Carolina?
- Bill Powers - Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyers in NC - National Trial Lawyers - Criterion for Inclusion