Goldsboro DWI / DUI Defense Attorneys
Few things are more frightening than being pulled over and arrested for drunk driving. Suddenly, you may be facing several harsh, life-changing consequences: Jail, fines, loss of your license and confiscation of your vehicle among them. If have worries about a DUI in Goldsboro, contact our DUI lawyer in Goldsboro today.
The most important decision you make in the hours or days ahead will be to our experienced Goldsboro DWI / DUI attorney who will work quickly and aggressively to protect your rights and seek the best possible outcome for you.
Don’t wait to take action!
Call the Goldsboro DUI defense lawyer Strickland Agner Pittman or reach us through our online form. We can help if you have been arrested for drunk driving in Goldsboro or surrounding areas in Wayne County and North Carolina. We will get to work on your case right away and take immediate steps to protect you and your future.
What is a North Carolina DWI?
In North Carolina, you can be charged with “driving while impaired,” or DWI. However, some people refer to it as “driving under the influence,” or DUI, or simply as“drunk driving.”
To be convicted of this offense, the prosecutor must show that you drove a vehicle (including a car, truck, motorcycle or scooter) on a street, highway or public vehicular area (including a parking lot) while:
- Under the influence of an impairing substance (including alcohol, drugs or a combination of both); or
- After consuming enough alcohol to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher; or
- With any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance or metabolite in your blood or urine (including marijuana or cocaine).
If you are a commercial driver, you can be charged with DWI if your BAC is 0.04 or higher. Under our Zero Tolerance law, you can be charged with DWI if you are under age 21 and have any amount of alcohol in your system (0.01 or higher).
How Can Police Stop and Arrest You for a Suspected DUI?
The prosecution’s case against you can begin the moment that an officer sees you driving and decides to stop you for a traffic offense or suspected DWI.
In some cases, you may be pulled over based on “probable cause.” In other words, an officer may have seen you commit a speeding violation or other traffic offense such as running through a stop sign or red light. An officer can also pull you over based on “reasonable suspicion” that you were driving while impaired. In other words, the officer may have seen you:
- Drive well below the posted speed limit
- Weave or drift across lanes
- Drive over a curb or take other erratic actions.
Upon stopping you, the officer may observe other possible signs of impairment such as:
- Red, glassy eyes
- Slurred speech
- Smell of alcohol on your breath.
The officer may, in turn, ask you to take certain tests such as:
- A hand-held breathalyzer test
- Standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) such as walking a line, putting pencil-to-eye or hand-to-nose and reciting the alphabet.
How you perform on these tests may come in as evidence against you. However, these are all voluntary tests. You have the right to refuse to submit to them.
Ultimately, you may be brought to the Goldsboro Police Department, Wayne County Sheriff’s office or other law enforcement facility and asked to submit to a breath test on an Intox EC/IR II device. If you refuse to submit to this test, you could face the immediate loss of your driver’s license. (See below).
Additionally, a law enforcement officer may obtain a warrant to perform a blood test or, under certain “exigent circumstances,” the officer may be authorized to obtain a blood sample without a warrant.
All of this evidence – the officer’s observations, your refusal to take a test or your test results – can be used by the prosecution to prove you committed a DWI. You should take this into consideration as you move forward in your case.
What Are the Consequences of a DUI Conviction in North Carolina?
A DWI is a misdemeanor in North Carolina. So, your case would be heard in District Court before a trial judge. However, if you appeal the judge’s ruling, you would be entitled to a jury trial in Superior Court.
If convicted of a North Carolina DWI, your punishment would be classified as an Aggravated Level I offense, or it would fall within one of five lower levels. Level 5 is the least severe, while Level 1 is the most severe.
The level will depend on proof of aggravating factors (such as whether you caused an accident or had a BAC of .15 or higher) and mitigating factors (such as a BAC that did not exceed .09 or a previously clean driving record).
However, if you had a driver under age 18 in your car, drove with a revoked license or had a DWI conviction within the previous seven years, it would be a grossly aggravating factor and could heighten your punishment considerably.
Your punishment could include fines, active punishment (jail), probation, community service, mandatory drug and alcohol education classes, loss of your driver’s license and required installation of an ignition interlock device on your car (with installation and monitoring costs billed to you).
If you have been convicted of DWI three or more times within 10 years of the date of your latest DWI offense, then you could be convicted of the Class F felony of habitual impaired driving and face a minimum one-year prison sentence.
Additionally, you should expect your auto insurance rates to go up considerably if you are convicted of a DWI in North Carolina.
Implied Consent Offenses
Under North Carolina’s implied consent law, you are deemed to consent to the police giving you a breath or blood test upon your arrest for DWI.
If you refuse any test, or your test result shows you have a 0.08 BAC (0.04 if a commercial driver or 0.01 if under age 21), your driver’s license will be automatically revoked for at least 30 days.
Additionally, the law enforcement agency will forward information about your refusal / test results to the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which will send you a revocation order, informing you that your license has been revoked for 12 months, starting on the 10th day after the date the DMV mailed the order to you.
However, your license will not be revoked if you request an administrative hearing within that 10-day period. You can then go to a DMV hearing in your county and seek to hold on to your driving privileges.
Keep in mind: Even if your driver’s license is revoked, you can later apply for limited driving privileges within six months if you have no previous DWI or refusal conviction in the previous seven years, no other pending DWI charges or did not cause an accident, injury or death.
How Our Goldsboro DWI /DUI Defense Attorneys Can Help You
Even though you have been arrested for a DWI in Goldsboro, you have legal rights. The Goldsboro DWI defense attorneys of Strickland Agner Pittman can help you in many ways, including seeking a dismissal of the charge against you or a not guilty verdict in a trial before a District Court judge or Superior Court jury. In particular, we can challenge:
- The stop and investigation – Did the officer really have probable cause or a reasonable suspicion to pull you over? Did the officer read your rights to you, including your right to have an attorney present, before the officer began asking you questions?
- The evidence against you – Did the officer have training in administering field sobriety tests or breathalyzer tests? Did the police allow you to have a witness observe your Intox EC/IR II test? Was the machine properly maintained? Had you consumed something or suffered from a medical condition that would cause a false test reading?
- Expert testimony – Did the forensic scientists follow correct procedure and use proper equipment in transporting, tracking and ultimately testing your blood sample?
Even if you decide that it is in your best interest to plead guilty to the offense, or if a jury finds you guilty, we can work hard to seek minimum consequences for you. We can present evidence of mitigating factors, with the goal of avoiding jail time and fines. Additionally, our lawyers will work hard to protect your driver’s license.
Get Help Today from Our Goldsboro DWI / DUI Defense Attorneys
When you have been charged with a DUI in Goldsboro or elsewhere in North Carolina, your future is on the line. The DUI lawyers of Strickland Agner Pittman understand what is stake for you and your family. We will protect your rights at every stage of your case and work diligently to seek the best possible outcome for you.
Don’t wait: Contact us today to get started on your defense.
Sources / More Information