What Should I Do to Start Preparing for My DWI Case?
If you were accused of drinking and driving, and arrested for DWI, you are likely unsure of what to do next. You may be worried about going to jail, how much it will cost, and how it will impact your entire life. Your first step should be to contact a Charlotte DWI lawyer who can help you make a plan of what to do.
Call an Attorney
Your first step after being arrested in, or around, Charlotte, NC for a DWI should be to call an experienced DWI attorney. Don’t even talk to the police before you get legal advice. The police will try to get you to admit to drinking, or consuming another impairing substance, at a time relevant to driving. You don’t have to incriminate yourself like this.
Even if you were arrested and had a blood-alcohol concentration over the legal limit, which is .08, you still might be able to avoid a DWI conviction. When you call Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys, our DWI lawyers will scrutinize your traffic stop, DWI tests, search and seizure, and questioning by the police. If we find any faults in the way you were treated or the officer’s investigation, we may be able to have evidence excluded or get your case dismissed altogether.
Get Substance Abuse Treatment
If you have a problem with alcohol or drugs, seeking substance abuse treatment as soon as you can after an arrest may help in our efforts to resolve your case. In some cases, we have been able to receive credit at sentencing for the number of days our clients attended and completed inpatient treatment. While your health and getting help for any substance abuse issue is the top priority, taking this step before you go to court for your DWI can look like a positive step to the court as well.
Attend AA or NA Meetings
In some cases, if you can’t afford treatment ahead of time, or if you want to take extra initiative, it may be worthwhile to attend Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Like undergoing substance abuse treatment, this will let the court know that you are serious about the situation. If you attend AA or NA meetings, make sure you get a card or witness statement signed by the chairperson of the meeting so you have proof that you attended. Ultimately, you should speak with your lawyer about whether or not this would be worthwhile to attend for your case.
Address Your Administrative License Suspension
If you refuse to take a breathalyzer (an implied consent offense) or blow higher than the legal limit, your driver’s license will be automatically revoked. The North Carolina Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will enforce a civil revocation, which does not prevent the prosecution of your criminal DWI charge. In the event you refuse to submit to a breath test, your driving privileges in North Carolina will be revoked for twelve (12) months. If you submit to a breath test and your blood-alcohol concentration is .08, or higher, your driving privileges will be revoked for thirty (30) days. The 30-day civil revocation may be rescinded, but the grounds on which to challenge it, as well as the time limit for filing the challenge are very limited. In the event that you miss out on fighting the 30-day civil revocation, or lack the grounds to do so, you still may be eligible for a limited driving privilege after ten (10) days. Nonetheless, you should work with your DWI attorney to make sure you don’t lose your license for the maximum amount of time.
Again, the administrative license revocation is different than the criminal penalty that takes your license away after a conviction, so you will need to continue working with your attorney to reduce your criminal penalties as well.
Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Make Sure You Take the Right Steps
If you’re charged with a DWI in or around Charlotte, NC, we can help you mount the best defense possible, given the facts of your case. When you call us, we will immediately begin working to keep your record clean and make sure you get the lowest penalties possible. When you take proactive steps after an arrest, you give yourself the best chances possible in court.