Once you are charged with a DWI the state will normally suspend and take your driver's license in NC for 30 days. The first 10 days of the 30 day suspension are irrevocable and you simply cannot drive. However, during the last 20 days of the 30 day suspension an attorney can get you a Pre-Trial Limited Driving Privilege under certain conditions. After the 30 days is up you can pay $100.00 to the Clerk of Court and get your license back until your final court date. In addition, if you are ultimately convicted of DWI, then an attorney can still get you a Post Trial Limited Driving Privilege which will be good for an entire year. In order to get this privilege your ultimate conviction must be a Level 3, 4 or 5 DWI, and you must obtain a Substance Abuse Assessment and provide proof of insurance on a DL-123 Form. A local attorney will have these forms and can make the entire process much more palatable than trying to do it yourself.
What If I Blew Really High on the Intoxilyzer?!
If you blew or had blood test results of at least .15 BAC (blood alcohol content) or higher, then there are specific ramifications in North Carolina. You are still eligible for a Post Trial Limited Driving Privilege, but it is a special one which requires you to first obtain an Ignition Interlock System for your vehicle. The Ignition Interlock will make you blow into it before starting your vehicle. There is an installation charge and monthly fee for the Interlock System. We suggest you not schedule installation of such a system any earlier than 2 weeks before your DWI plea or trial. In fact, this particular Driving Privilege is not even valid until 45 days AFTER a DWI plea or conviction, so many people do not bother to do the installation until after a conviction.
They Seized My Car, What Can I Do?!
If this is a second or more DWI offense within 7 years, and your license was revoked due to a prior DWI at the time you were stopped, then the state can seize the vehicle you were driving, impound it and sell it. If you plan to challenge the seizure you need to do so immediately, and absolutely within 10 days of the seizure. There is special paperwork which can be filed to seek return of the vehicle. The recovery process is beyond the scope of this brief article. An attorney is probably necessary if you are serious about seeking return of a vehicle.
Can I Fight This DWI Charge?!
Each DWI case turns on its own special fact situation. In order to make a proper determination we, or any criminal lawyer, would need to speak with you personally and review all pertinent documentation. Our attorneys have successfully litigated many DWI's over the past 48 years. Normally, the more unusual the circumstances of the stop, the better the potential for challenging the DWI. Anytime the BAC (blood alcohol content) reading is less than .08 it is worth fighting. Also, if the only charge on your ticket is "DWI," and there was no real basis for the traffic stop, then the entire charge may be challenged. Likewise, if an "unknown informant" was the basis for stopping you then there is a good chance the charge can be dismissed. There are many rationales for fighting a DWI, these being just a few. I strongly suggest you speak with an attorney if you are serious about contesting a DWI offense.
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