Yes, It Is Worth Fighting Your DUI Charge
Law enforcement has cracked down on DUI charges. Low legal blood alcohol limits have led to convictions for many people who never thought they would have a criminal record.
Just because DUI charges are common doesn’t mean they aren’t worth fighting, even if you believe you were over the limit when you were stopped. Minimizing the impact of a DUI is the best strategy if you’re facing charges in Greenville or anywhere throughout eastern North Carolina, including the Outer Banks, Wilmington, Hyde County, and Washington County.
At Cannon Law Offices, PLLC, we help clients like you fight DUI charges. Our DUI attorney has the experience and comprehensive skills to help you look toward a brighter future. We believe a DUI charge in North Carolina is worth fighting for, and you are worth fighting for.
What Penalties Do I Face for DUI in North Carolina?
There are five levels of criminal penalties for DUI convictions in North Carolina. The severity of penalties depends on three levels of aggravating and mitigating factors. If that sounds complex, it is. At the same time, it provides your defense attorney with some latitude for developing strategies that could reduce the penalties for conviction.
Punishment for a DUI conviction ranges from fines of up to $200 for a Level 5 conviction to up to $10,000 for a Level 1 conviction. Community service or monitored sobriety periods may replace minimum jail sentences for some convictions, but you could spend up to 24 months in jail for a Level 1 conviction or be placed on probation.
There is a substance abuse treatment requirement for every conviction, including inpatient options that could be completed in lieu of jail for more serious convictions. A first DUI conviction will result in a license revocation and an ignition interlock device (IID) requirement of one year. A third conviction could result in the permanent revocation of your driver’s license and an IID requirement for up to seven years.
What Other Consequences Might I Suffer for a DUI Conviction?
You will pay a high price for a DUI conviction in ways other than the court’s sentencing penalties. You may lose your job and have difficulty finding employment. If you have a professional license or certification, you may have it suspended or revoked. You may also be barred from applying for jobs in certain fields.
Your auto insurance rates will rise significantly because the DUI is an indicator of greater risk for the insurer. In some cases, you may be unable to find a company willing to insure you at any price.
A DUI conviction might also affect child custody and visitation rights due to a presumption that your children may not be safe with you.
All these consequences and sentencing penalties can take a heavy toll on your personal relationships.
What Defenses Might I Have Against a DUI Charge?
Of course, the strategy your DUI defense attorney uses will depend on the unique circumstances of your arrest. An experienced attorney will know about potential defenses and use those that apply to your situation. Following are a few examples:
Your attorney may be able to prove the law enforcement officer lacked the probable cause necessary to pull you over in the first place.
In addition to an unlawful stop, the officer might have failed to follow procedures. These could include violations of your civil rights, for example, by not advising you of your Miranda rights or conducting an illegal search. The officer might have not conducted the required 15-minute observation period. Or the officer might have told you that you are required to take a field sobriety test when you have the right to refuse it.
You might not have been intoxicated or under the influence at the time of the stop. Or your blood alcohol content might have been falsely high. Cold medications, mouthwash, and sprays, breath mints, and even acid reflux can raise alcohol readings.
There is the possibility that the tests were administered improperly, or the testing equipment was not calibrated properly. There are stringent maintenance and calibration requirements for testing equipment, including strict requirements for record-keeping.
To win a DUI conviction, the prosecution must bear the burden of proof. Your attorney will take steps to at least throw the evidence against you into question, if not to disprove the evidence entirely.
It’s Worth it to Fight a DUI Charge
Now that you have read about the potential costs of a DUI conviction and the possible defenses, “Should I fight my DUI?” should no longer be a question. Remember that even if you are convicted, the fight isn’t over. Your DUI defense attorney will work tirelessly to mitigate the sentencing penalties.
Don’t Face These Challenges Alone
Your future is worth fighting a DUI. The only question now is whom you will take into battle with you. At Cannon Law Offices, PLLC, we have helped many clients in Greenville, Outer Banks, Wilmington, Hyde County, and Washington County, North Carolina, after they had been charged with a DUI. We are always prepared to represent more people like you who are facing life-changing circumstances. Call our office now to schedule a time to discuss a strategy to fight your DUI.