All posts by Chris Moreno

Is There Such a Thing as “Attempted Drug Possession” in Raleigh, NC?

Drug possession as a charge can bring a number of outcomes depending on the type and quantity. North Carolina’s scheduling of drug severity spells out the penalties and specifics of the different charges, including possession.

But what if you attempted drug possession? Here we’ll discuss the types of possession and what that may mean to you if you’re arrested and charged.

NC’s Drug Possession Schedules

The state uses categories to distinguish Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) and rate their seriousness. Included in the schedule are the substances used to create the drugs.

Is There Such a Thing as "Attempted Drug Possession" in Raleigh, NC?

  • Schedule 1 – Includes but not limited to; Heroin, Peyote, and Ecstasy

 

  • Schedule 2 – Includes but not limited to; Cocaine, Morphine, and Methadone

 

  • Schedule 3 – Includes but not limited to; Anabolic Steroids, Ketamine, and some Barbiturates

 

  • Schedule 4 – Includes but not limited to; Valium, and Xanax

 

  • Schedule 5 – Includes but not limited to; OTC cough medicines that include codeine

 

  • Schedule 6 – Includes but not limited to; Marijuana, and Hashish

 

  • The entire schedule is available, including the penalties for possession. Trafficking is different than possession and therefore carries much higher penalties.

Types Of Possession

North Carolina has two types of possession:

·        Actual possession, in which the drug was on your person, you’re aware of it, the drug is readily available and you had the intent to use or dispose of it. For instance, you’re considered to be in actual possession if the drug is found in your pocket, in a wallet, bag, or another accessory.

·        Constructive possession, where you didn’t have actual possession, but you have intent and the capability to have control over the drug. This would include a drug in a car you were sitting and/or riding in, even if you were just a passenger and were not aware of the presence of the drugs.

Marijuana possession carries the least amount of penalties. The amount of sentencing you receive all depends on the amount you had in your possession:

  • For 0.5 oz or less—no jail time, but a fine of up to $200
  • For 0.5 – 1.5 oz—1 to 45 days jail time and a fine of up to $1,000
  • For 1.5 oz – 10 lbs—3 to 8 months of jail time and a fine of up to $1,000

Larger amounts of marijuana, or anything that looks like it’s packaged for sale or distribution, can upgrade your charges to a felony called Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver (PWISD). You could also be charged with drug trafficking.

North Carolina’s drug laws, including possession and trafficking, are available in their entirety online.

Fight Your Drug Possession Charge

As a former Wake County prosecutor, Dewey P. Brinkley is now an experienced criminal defense attorney who will aggressively defend you and work towards the most favorable outcome. He can defend you against drug charges, fight any wrongful charges and work for a more reasonable sentence if convicted. Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your case at (919) 832-0307 (or use our online contact form.)

In Raleigh, NC Does A Suspended License Show Up On A Background Check?

Job hunting is a lot more complex than it used to be. Credit and background checks are standard procedure for new hires, and in some cases, applicants. Many organizations feel that it’s better to do a background screen on an individual before they even interview them, especially since it’s now much less expensive.  In Raleigh, NC Does A Suspended License Show Up On A Background Check?

 

Background checks are part of the normal course of business for more than just jobs. If you’re trying to rent a new apartment, the new landlord or management company wants to make sure you’re someone they can reasonably trust to take care of their property and won’t be a “bad neighbor.

If you’re attempting to purchase a firearm, a criminal background check is standard procedure. Specific jobs, such as teachers and childcare workers, will undergo a more thorough background check to comply with the elevated standards that are part of the job.

What A Background Check Finds

When someone says they will be doing a “background check,” it means that they will be looking at your criminal history, particularly within the last 7 to 10 years. They will also be checking to see if your education and experience match what you’ve listed on your resume. Employment background checks can also include driving records, credit records, reference verifications, and drug screens, depending on the type of job you’re applying for. If you’re applying for a job that requires a valid driver’s license, a driving record check will likely be included.

If there is any adverse information in your report, particularly a criminal conviction, it will show up, and you’ll likely be questioned about it. If there is an entry that you know will appear, it’s best to mention it to the company before they run a check, and alert them that it will appear. A company considering you for a job where money is handled will want to know if you’ve previously been accused of or convicted of a money-related crime, such as embezzlement.

The National Driver Register

This division of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a nationwide database of individuals who have lost their driving privileges. The NDR is a repository of driving infractions from DMV offices around the US. Anyone running a background check with the NDR will find a suspended license, as well as a revoked or denied for cause, such as a DUI conviction.

Although all 50 states participate, it is not without error, and some records may not have been updated as they should have been. However, the driving records are not kept with the NDR, they are handled and updated at the state level. Record updates are done according to the individual state’s recordkeeping requirements.

Get Help With A Suspended License

If your license has been suspended, you may need help getting it reinstated. Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley is your best chance in Raleigh for reversing your suspended license and your driving privileges restored. Don’t let a suspension cost you your job, housing or other things. He can help you through the appeals process and defend you in court. Call today: 919-832-0307 (or contact him online) to schedule an appointment for your free initial consultation.

Should You Submit To A Field Sobriety Test When Pulled Over In Raleigh, NC?

Whether at a checkpoint stop or just being pulled over, you may be asked to take a field sobriety test to determine if you are driving under inebriation. However, you do have the right to refuse to take these “roadside tests” even if you have consumed alcohol.

But if you’re sober, why not take them and prove that you are? Because like a breath alcohol device, field sobriety tests are not always accurate, and may not be properly administered. You could end up being arrested for “driving under the influence” when you’re anything but.

Field Sobriety Testing (FST)

North Carolina officers administer a series of three roadside tests to determine if a driver is impaired:

Should you submit to a Field Sobriety Test when pulled over in Raleigh, NC?

·         The “Walk-And-Turn” Test—the officer will ask you to walk in a straight line, one foot in front of the other so that the officer can observe your sense of balance. He or she may also ask you to take a specific number of steps, and observe if you can remember the number. Unfortunately, a number of variables can affect your balance, from foot pain to uncomfortable shoes to other physical impairments.

·         The “One Leg Stand” Test—the officer will ask you to stand on one leg for 30 seconds and count to 30. The officer will observe both balance and your ability to count. The officer is looking for four things:

  • Swaying while balancing
  • Balancing with arms
  • Hopping
  • Putting down the raised foot

Like the previous test, a number of variables can affect the outcome, including your age, weight, street or weather conditions or your current physical condition, such as an injury like a pulled muscle. Officers who incorrectly administer the test may interpret the results incorrectly, declaring you “impaired.”

·         The “Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test” (HGN)—this is the test where an officer asks you to stand still, hands at your sides, and follow his finger, a light, or some other object put in front of you. If your eyes don’t move smoothly side to side, but in a jerking fashion, you’ll be determined to be “impaired.”

Additionally, breath alcohol testing mechanisms may not be used or calibrated properly, leading to even more inaccurate evidence.

These tests are, by some accounts, designed to make you fail them. The passing and failing of these tests is a personal decision made by the officer.

Obviously, a number of factors can affect the outcome. Fatigue, allergies, injuries and other ailments can lead to a “failed attempt.” An elderly driver not in peak physical condition may not be able to hold his or her leg up for 30 seconds or do a walk-and-turn to the officer’s satisfaction.

No matter how well you perform these tests, if the police officer renders an opinion in court that you didn’t perform them adequately, this would indicate to him or her that you were indeed “impaired,” even if you weren’t. A jury may well side with the officer based on his or her opinion.

Additionally, breath alcohol testing mechanisms may not be used or calibrated properly, leading to even more false evidence.

Refusing The FST

So what happens if you refuse to take these tests?

You are within your rights to refuse to take the FSTs, as well as inform the officer that you have a medical condition that can affect the outcome (such as recent knee surgery.) You will not lose your license. But because of the high incidence of incorrect results, it’s better to decline the FST rather than explain to a court why you failed them. This way, you’ll be arguing that the testing is unreliable and wasn’t suitable instead of defending yourself against a “failed” FST.

CAVEAT: refusing the EC/IR-II Breathalyzer test is another matter and can lead to a year-long suspension of your license. This is not the same as refusing the FST. But like the FST, these devices are also subject to incorrect results, especially if the officer is not properly trained in their use, or it has not been properly calibrated or maintained.

Miranda warnings are also not required before a Breathalyzer is administered.

Have You Failed An FST? Call An Experienced DUI Attorney

If you’ve been subjected to a suspected DUI traffic stop, Dewey P. Brinkley is a Raleigh attorney who can aggressively defend you and protect your rights in court. He will review all the evidence in your case and ensure that you have a fair trial.

Call the Law Offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your DUI case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us at dewey@deweypbrinkleylaw.com, or use our online contact form.

 

Why is Resisting Arrest a Serious Crime in Raleigh, NC?

You’re being arrested, and you’re not sure why. Maybe you’re innocent and happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Whatever it’s for, you may be tempted to flee the scene or otherwise put up a fight, especially if you believe it’s a wrongful arrest. But should you?

Why Resisting Arrest Is A Crime

Why is Resisting Arrest a serious crime in Raleigh, NC?North Carolina General Statutes Section 14-223 states that “If any person shall willfully and unlawfully resist, delay or obstruct a public officer in discharging or attempting to discharge a duty of his office, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.”  Additional information is available here.

Resisting arrest is doing something that interferes with a police officer doing his or her job. You can go to jail for as long as three months, even if you are innocent of the original charge. For instance, if you’re wrongly arrested for shoplifting and fight or resist the police officer, you can also be charged with resisting arrest. You may be acquitted of shoplifting, but can still be convicted of resisting arrest, and make a bad situation worse. In other words, until you resisted, you were innocent.

You may also be charged if you refuse to cooperate with an officer, give false information or refuse to accept a traffic ticket. Anytime you obstruct, resist or delay an officer or prevent him from doing his or her job, you can be arrested. While these are not the same as physical resistance, they carry the same weight.

Conviction of resisting arrest is a Class 2 Misdemeanor. This can mean:

  • Fines up of up to $1,000
  • Jail time of up to 60 days in county jail
  • Probation that can include required “counseling” and other regular meetings
  •  A requirement for community service

Defense

“Resisting arrest” can be interpreted a number of ways, but there are defenses that can be raised.

  • Self-defense against excessive force—the police are allowed to use necessary force in the course of an arrest. However, they are not allowed to be violent or use excessive force during arrests. If you were the victim of excessive force, you can argue that you were in the act of defending yourself.
  • Unlawful arrest—if a police officer arrests you without a warrant, do not have probable cause or otherwise exceeds authority, you have been “unlawfully” arrested.
  • False accusations—in court, you and your attorney must prove that the accusations are actually false.

Consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney before going to prepare your best defense.

Avoid Being Charged With Resisting Arrest

The first thing to remember is to be polite and cooperate with the police officer. No swearing, fighting or otherwise interfering with the officer, including resisting, delaying, or obstructing him or her.

You are required to give your name to the officer as well as your state identification. (If you’re involved in a car accident, you’ll also be asked for insurance and registration, which is also required.) Beyond that, you do not have to answer any questions, no matter how forcefully they are asked. Decline to answer, in the most civilized and polite fashion, and request to speak to a criminal defense attorney. (You may be given a public defender first.) Avoid answering any more questions or providing any information that, as they say on TV, can, and will, be used against you in court. You could unwittingly give a prosecutor enough information to convict.

Fight Charges of Resisting Arrest

Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh. Before defending those accused of crimes, he was a Wake County Assistant District Attorney. He understands the criminal justice system and can defend you against even the most serious felony charges. If you’re charged with resisting arrest, you must take it seriously.

Call the Law Offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us at dewey@deweypbrinkleylaw.com, or use our online contact form.

Can a Traffic Ticket Affect the Renewal of My Green Card in Raleigh, NC?

When it comes time to renew your green card, one of the questions you’ll be asked is if you were arrested, or committed any violations. If you’ve received a traffic ticket, even for something minor, you must answer “yes,” no matter how minor. Because if you answer “no,” they’ll find out anyway. Not telling the truth can definitely have an effect on your green card renewal. But a ticket, especially for something minor, doesn’t necessarily mean your green card won’t be approved.

Getting A Ticket

Can a Traffic Ticket Affect the Renewal of My Green Card in Raleigh, NC?Since becoming a US citizen takes a long time, a “green card” can give you the time you need to stay in the US while your citizenship is being processed. If you acquire a driver’s license in the US, you’ll also have to follow the laws for driving a car in the state where you live.

You may find yourself with a ticket one day. Don’t ignore it, take care of it. An attorney who understands how traffic court operates can help you so that it doesn’t become a bigger problem.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will ask you about any arrests, tickets or other infractions. As embarrassing as it can be to admit, you should always say “yes.”

After you fill out Form I-90 with USCIS, you’ll also be required to submit fingerprints, which are forwarded to the FBI. After the FBI receives your fingerprints, they’re checked against multiple law enforcement database. If you’ve received a citation of any kind (or have an arrest), the FBI will know immediately.

The Misdemeanor

Obviously, serious felonies crimes will most certainly affect your green card, and possibly derail your citizenship. But a misdemeanor is a different story.

Under US Immigration Law, a misdemeanor is one that:

  • Is punishable by one year or less of imprisonment
  • Is punishable by more than one year’s imprisonment, but is a misdemeanor by state law, as long as the sentence the individual actually received was one year or less.

Most minor traffic tickets are misdemeanors, and won’t cause a problem for your green card renewal, as long as you don’t lie about it.

However, federal immigration laws are different than most state laws regarding misdemeanors. This means that some things considered misdemeanors at the state level may actually be a felony under federal immigration laws.

What Is A Crime For Immigration

Crimes that will affect your immigration are any misdemeanors involving:

  • Drug/controlled substance violations
  • Any crime involving violence
  • Any crime involving moral turpitude

Conviction of a crime that involves violence is a felony under immigration law, even if it’s considered a misdemeanor at the state level, and is grounds for immediate removal from the US. (If you’re accused of a crime involving violence, contact an immigration attorney immediately.)

Conviction of two crimes involving moral turpitude that were not from a single act is grounds for removal by DHS. This is true of crimes that the state considers a misdemeanor. However, a single act of moral turpitude would not be enough for DHS to initiate removal if the maximum sentence at the state level is less than one year.

Conviction of a controlled substance violation, which includes paraphernalia, is also grounds for denial of your green card and removal, even if the state considers it a misdemeanor. The exception is for less than 30 grams of marijuana.

Particularly difficult is the possession of marijuana, which is actually legal in a number of states (but not in North Carolina.) While less than 30 grams is not grounds for denial of your green card and removal, it is grounds for inadmissibility. This means if you leave the US, you can be denied re-entry. You’ll have to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility to be allowed back into the US.

Ticketed In Raleigh? Call Today

A traffic ticket probably isn’t the end of the world, but it can cause problems, especially if you ignore it. Don’t let a traffic ticket raise your insurance rates or cause problems getting or renewing your green card.

If you have received a traffic ticket and would like to learn more about your options, contact Dewey P. Brinkley in Raleigh, NC. You can use our online contact form or call our offices any time or call 919-832-0307. We look forward to hearing from you.

Are Juvenile Court Hearings Open To The Public In Raleigh?

Are Juvenile Court Hearings Open To The Public In Raleigh?

Going to juvenile court with your son or daughter can be a daunting experience by itself. But how many other people will know or find out about it?

Are These Hearings Open To The Public?

Are Juvenile Court Hearings Open To The Public In Raleigh?

The short answer: in most cases, yes, they are.

  • If the case has extenuating circumstances, a judge may decide to close the courtroom to protect the juvenile. For instance, if there case contains sensitive information about the accused, the family, or any victims from disclosure of the information, the judge can keep the information from becoming public by closing it off.
  • Excluding public attendance still allows victims, their family members, law enforcement, witnesses and anyone else directly involved in the case to remain in court.
  • Records from juvenile court proceedings, however, are not available for public disclosure without a court order. This is to protect the privacy of the children involved in the proceedings. Only involved individuals can access these records, including:
    • The juvenile
    • The juvenile’s parent and/or guardian
    • The juvenile’s attorney
    • Prosecutors
    • Probation officers
    • Juvenile court counselors

Attending Juvenile Court

For anyone under the age of 18 who is accused of certain types of offenses, there are two court systems available.

The first is the criminal court system for adults, which, for juveniles, is when they commit felonies including (but not limited to) drug charges, weapons possession, assault or other form of bodily harm. This system will involve going to criminal court, standing trial, and if convicted, potential jail time or other sanctions.

Juvenile court is a slightly different approach for wrongdoers under the age of 18. While the point of criminal court is justice and incarceration, juvenile court is more focused on rehabilitation, and giving the child a chance to become an adult without a criminal record.

The next steps will depend on a few things:

  • Whether the child is considered “delinquent” or “undisciplined”
  • Whether the child is in secure or non-secure custody
  • Whether the child is charged with a misdemeanor or a felony

The next step is an adjudicatory hearing, the equivalent of a jury trial for adults. The State holds the burden of proof to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the delinquent juvenile has committed the offense he or she is accused of. For an undisciplined juvenile, clear and convincing evidence must be presented to prove the case.

A disposition hearing follows, similar to a sentencing hearing for an adult. However, because this is a juvenile court, a disposition isn’t a “sentencing,” but an individual court-ordered plan for rehabilitation. It is also designed to hold the juvenile accountable for his or her actions, and not to just dismiss them because of their age.

A judge has a range of choices when it comes to administering punishment and rehabilitation. These can include:

  • Restitution to victims
  • Community Service
  • Supervised Probation
  • Evaluation and Treatment
  • Incarceration (confinement in either a youth development center or detention center)

More information on disposition is available here and here.

Your Child’s Best Defense In Court

As a former Wake County prosecutor, Dewey P. Brinkley is now an experienced criminal defense attorney who can guide you and your child through the court process. He can defend your child against charges, fight wrongful charges and work for a more reasonable sentence if convicted. Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today (or use the online contact form) to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your child’s case at (919) 832-0307.

 

What Is Adjudication And How Is It Different Than A Conviction In Raleigh?

When a juvenile breaks the law, there are two possibilities after the arrest, depending on the type of charges involved. Underage offenders who commit minor offenses are brought into the juvenile court system. Juveniles who commit more serious crimes—drug and/or weapons possessions, assault and other felonies—are generally tried as an adult in the criminal justice system. The focus of the juvenile court system is rehabilitation and intervention, rather than punishment, the focus of the adult criminal justice system.

Definition

This term has a number of meanings in different places. Black’s Law Dictionary defines adjudication as “the giving or pronouncing a judgment or decree in a cause; also the judgment given.”

In Raleigh, North Carolina, “adjudication” in juvenile court is the equivalent of the term “conviction” for an adult in criminal court. Court proceedings are handled in state court.

What Is Adjudication?

Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney In Raleigh

Juvenile cases are similar to adult court proceedings. The trial is called an “adjudicatory hearing,” where a judge (and in some jurisdictions, a jury) reviews the evidence and determines the facts prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. If he or she has been found “guilty” in juvenile court, the verdict is called “adjudication.”

An adjudication does not always mean incarceration (also called “commitment”) as it might in an adult criminal court. Since the focus is on rehabilitation before the age of 18 (and sometimes, 21), there are a number of alternatives to jail time that a juvenile can receive.

Deferred adjudication (also called Diversion) is an alternative to incarceration that may involve probation or other conditions that the juvenile will have to meet to resolve, and possibly dismiss the charge or charges. Deferred adjudication is frequently used in cases where the circumstances of the case warrant giving the juvenile a second chance.

The Disposition is the equivalent of a sentence and is the final decision on how the juvenile’s case will be handled after adjudication. Again, rehabilitation is the goal, so the disposition can include:

  • Fines and restitution
  • Community service
  • In-home placement under supervision or probation
  • Out of home placement in commitment facilities

Disposition can also involve a specific treatment plan to address conditions in the child’s current behavior and living environment.

Adjudication is also not a matter of public record as standard criminal convictions are.

Conviction

As an adult, a conviction in criminal court is a different matter, proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual did commit the crime in question.  Depending on the severity of the charges and the outcome, fines, loss of a driver’s license, and jail time are possibilities.

While juvenile charges may, eventually, be reduced or dismissed, adult criminal convictions aren’t as easy to lose. A conviction, even if no jail time is involved, can bring difficult restrictions that may be lifelong obstacles, such as:

  • Losing the right to vote
  • Barred from holding a public office
  • Barred from serving as a juror
  • Restrictions from many types of employment that require licensure (health care workers, attorneys, barbers and cosmetologists, and others), depending on the charges

Employment restrictions may depend on the type of charges one is convicted of; but discharge from employment is also possible in occupations where “moral turpitude” is a factor. Once discharged after a criminal conviction, unemployment can also be denied.

Convictions can be expunged under certain circumstances. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you remove a conviction from your record, or appeal if necessary.

Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney In Raleigh

Children in trouble can be a parent’s worst nightmare, but help is available. Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County prosecutor who understands the court system and can help defend your child in juvenile or adult court. Call today: 919-832-0307 (or contact him online) to schedule an appointment for your free initial consultation.

Effective Defenses Against a Raleigh Drug Charge

Drug charges—of any type—are always a serious matter. Since most drug charges can end in a conviction, you’ll need an attorney who knows what the state will go through to get it.

How can you defend yourself against a drug charge in Raleigh? Here are some ways an attorney can offer a defense:

Effective Defenses Against a Raleigh Drug Charge

·         Illegal search and seizure—the Fourth Amendment guards all citizens from being searched for no reason, and requiring probable cause. Generally, authorities need a search warrant to search your home, but in a car, drugs in plain view of the officer are an exception. But if your car was searched without a warrant or without your consent, your Fourth Amendment rights may have been violated. The drugs would then be inadmissible in court, and the charges will likely be dropped.

·         Proving possession—the state must prove that any illegal substances found actually belonged to you. For instance, if you were riding in a car with a number of people, proving possession will be more difficult. Being near the drugs may not be enough to convict, and a defense attorney can cast doubt on you being in possession.

·         Proving that it was drugs—a “mysterious white powder” must be analyzed by a crime lab to determine whether it’s baking soda, over-the-counter medication or an illegal controlled substance. If it isn’t, your attorney can argue that there’s no way to prove that the “powder” was a controlled substance or not.

·         Where are the drugs?—a defense attorney can require the prosecution produce the substances in question that are being used to bring you to trial. If the prosecution doesn’t keep track of what the police recovered, and can’t produce the evidence at trial, your attorney will have a strong case to have the charges dropped.

·         Planted drugs (aka “entrapment”)—it’s not unheard of for an individual to “plant” drugs on an innocent individual, including the occasional law enforcement officer. While this scenario is rare, your attorney can raise this defense if there is evidence that points to the possibility that someone had the motive. The prosecution is then required to prove that the substances were not planted and belonged to the defendant.

An attorney who understands drug charges, the court process and how to create a strong defense is your best chance of success in the courtroom.

Your Drug Charge Defense Attorney

Offenses involving any form of drugs—from a small amount of marijuana to a saleable quantity of anything else—can land you in jail. Drug charges can ruin your life forever, even if you’re innocent. Don’t plead “guilty” just because you think you should. Find a drug charge attorney who will fight for your rights.

Whether you’re charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, your defense is critical to the outcome.  A criminal defense attorney experienced in drug cases can defend you in court and make sure your rights are protected. Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County prosecutor who will prepare a strong defense and make sure you receive a fair trial under the law.

Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 for a free consultation.

Appealing a Suspended License in Raleigh, NC

If your driver’s license has been suspended, it’s inconvenient, but may not be permanent. North Carolina has an appeals process for a license suspension so that you can, eventually, get it back.

Why Was Your License Suspended?

There are a number of reasons why your license can be suspended. The ease or difficulty of appealing depends on why your license was suspended, and for how long. The state will notify you in writing of the suspension, and list the reason.

If your suspension is for an insurance lapse, failing to pay a ticket or appear in court, excess points on your driving record, or other administrative reason, you simply need to comply with the requirements and your license will be reinstated.

However, if you’ve lost your license for things like speeding or failing to stop and render aid in an accident, the suspensions are longer. Charges such as DWI, death by vehicle (misdemeanor) participation in illegal street racing and refusing a blood test can lead to suspensions of 1 to 4 years.

Appealing a Suspended License in Raleigh, NC

Additionally, your license can be suspended for:

  • Two speeding convictions over 55 mph in a 12-month period
  • One conviction of speeding (over 55) with one conviction of reckless driving in a year
  • As part of a sentence or suspended sentence that revokes your driving privileges
  • A conviction for speeding in excess of 75 mph

Subsequent DWIs or felony death by vehicle incurs a permanent license suspension.

A suspension can also be part of a separate action, such as a criminal conviction or failure to pay child support. In cases like these, you’ll need to comply with the requirements (such as pay back child support or serve a jail term) before you can go through the process of getting your license back.

A suspension becomes part of your permanent driving record.

Administrative Hearings

Once you’re notified that your license has been suspended, you may be able to request an administrative hearing to appeal. This will depend on the reason your license was suspended, and you’ll retain your driving privileges (and your license) until the hearing. The hearings are not guaranteed and will be granted based on the reason for the suspension.

To request a hearing, you can contact the central DMV office in Raleigh at 919-715-7500, or by writing to:

North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles

Driver License Hearings
3118 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27697

The DMV will notify you in writing of the day and time of your hearing. If you lose this hearing, you can appeal the decision to the North Carolina Superior Court in your resident county. But you must file your appeal to NC Superior Court within 30 days.

Getting Your Driver’s License Back

If you’re not able to win on appeal, you’ll need to go to your local DMV office after your suspension is over and pay a $50 fee ($100 if you were suspended for DUI) and re-apply for your license. You may be required to re-take any testing involved.

Get Back Behind The Wheel

Having your driver’s license suspended or revoked doesn’t mean you’ll never legally drive again. But license restoration is a process and can take some time. Need help? Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley is your best chance in Raleigh for getting your license back and your driving privileges restored. He can help you through the appeals process and defend you in court. Call today: 919-832-0307 to schedule an appointment for your free initial consultation.

 

How Can I Get My Raleigh DWI Dismissed?

North Carolina takes drunk driving very seriously. With some of the strictest laws in the US, a DWI is a difficult charge to defend, and even more difficult to dismiss. But with the right legal representation, good fact investigation and a strong defense, a DWI can, in some circumstances, be dismissed. Here’s what you need to know.

Was The Arrest Conducted Correctly?

How Can I Get My Raleigh DWI Dismissed?A police officer must follow specific, proper procedures for a drunk driving (or any) arrest. He or she must have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to pull a vehicle over, and be able to prove that you were, indeed driving while intoxicated or otherwise impaired.

There are some occasions where an officer made multiple mistakes in the arrest and the DA dismisses the case, but those are very rare. If you’re not lucky enough to have the charge dismissed by the DA before trial, you’ll have to fight in court.

If the arresting officer mishandled the arrest or made other mistakes that are crucial to the arrest and criminal case, a judge may decide to dismiss the case completely. But you must have all the facts of your case documented, along with any evidence. Mistakes like:

  • Failing to read your Miranda rights (right to remain silent, to have an attorney, etc.)
  • Acting in a disrespectful and/or intimidating manner
  • Displaying any improper conduct toward you during your arrest
  • Improperly administering a breathalyzer or field sobriety test

Evidence That Disproves The Officer’s Claim And Creates Doubt

Again, the police officer must have probable cause to pull you over and begin an arrest. His or her testimony carries a lot of weight in court. However, details are important here. For instance, if the officer did not actually witness you driving the car while inebriated, there may be some doubt involved, and the case could be dismissed.

Witnesses who can corroborate your story can also be helpful. If bloodshot eyes are the only evidence of your “intoxication,” they could indicate another condition such as allergies or fatigue (or crying.) Without additional evidence, such as an odor of alcohol, a field sobriety test, or a blood alcohol level test, the prosecution can’t positively prove that you were driving and intoxicated.

One medical condition that can actually raise BAC is Candida albicans. That’s a scientific name for yeast overgrowth in the gut. In advanced cases, yeast overgrowth can actually cause detectable levels of alcohol in the blood without a drop of alcohol consumed. Candida can be diagnosed by a simple blood test and is easily treated and eradicated with antifungals and diet. But left untreated, candida can cause symptoms that could lead an officer to believe you’re actually driving drunk.

This is where you’ll need a good criminal defense attorney at your side, both before and during the trial. Your attorney can request evidence from the police department from the arresting officer’s records, including any video. He or she can also investigate other evidence before the trial that can prove your innocence.

You Can’t “Plead Down”

In some states, a DWI can be reduced to a lesser charge, like reckless driving. However, North Carolina doesn’t allow reductions of DWI. In fact, under N.C.G.S. 20-179.4, DWI charges are actually more difficult. Unless the state can’t produce a witness, such as a police officer or other witness that can prove that you’re guilty, your case will go to trial.

Get Help From Raleigh’s DWI Attorney

An experienced DWI attorney can review your case, examine details, investigate and find out the exact circumstances of your case before you go to court. That’s why it’s important to have someone who knows how to defend someone in a DWI case and bring a successful outcome.

Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County prosecutor who will prepare a strong defense and make sure you receive a fair trial under the law. Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307  for a free consultation. You can also email us at dewey@deweybrinkleylaw.com.