Randall & Stump, PLLC

Drunk driving accidents can lead to increased penalties

The impacts of drunk driving charges can't be denied. You face considerable penalties that range from administrative and criminal to collateral. Each of these can make your life very difficult. They can change how you are able to live and can even affect your job possibilities.

Not all charges related to drunk driving are equal. First time offenses are usually handled in a less severe manner than subsequent offenses. Other charges can stem from the circumstances of the incident. One thing that can have a big impact on the charges and penalties you face is whether there was an accident.

Increased problems

An accident that occurs because of drunk driving leads to a host of issues. Not only will you face basic drunk driving charges, you can also face other criminal charges. These are usually levied if there is an injury to a person, a fatality or property damage because of the crash.

When an accident occurs and drunk driving is suspected, the officers who respond to the scene will likely demand a test to determine the driver's blood alcohol concentration. This is an important component in the case against the driver.

Implied consent

The North Carolina implied consent law comes into the picture when an officer requests a test to determine BAC. You have the right to decline the request for a sample. However, this isn't without consequence. You face a driver's license suspension if you refuse to take the test.

You might not have realized that this law impacts you when you drive here. You agreed to this when you got your driver's license and opted to drive on the public roads. The penalties for refusing a BAC test increase in severity with each offense.

Another facet of trouble

An accident that causes injury or death could also mean that you have more to deal with than just the criminal penalties. You may also have to answer to a civil lawsuit from the victim or victim's family. This is a serious matter that can impact your finances.

Civil cases for compensation don't have anything to do with the criminal charges that are filed against you. Even if the criminal charges against you are dismissed, the civil case can proceed.

As you can see, you need a comprehensive defense strategy when you are facing legal action after an accident in which you are accused of driving drunk. Get moving on this quickly because you have a lot of points to think about in these cases.

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