Category Archives: DWI

Don’t Plead Guilty to a DWI Without a DWI Defense Lawyer

If you have been arrested for DWI meaning Driving While Impaired, you may feel you need to plead guilty and accept the consequences. However, we recommend you should never plead guilty without consulting an experienced DWI defense attorney first. In North Carolina DWI or DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is a very serious crime and you should not willingly admit guilt.

It’s important to understand before you plead guilty to knowing what the consequences of pleading guilty could be such as fines, loss of driving privileges, imprisonment, and exclusion from society. These are serious penalties, life changing in some cases. There may be strong reasons that the charges are wrong or not supported by evidence.  Your DWI defense attorney can explain these defenses to you to challenge DWI allegations.

A DWI/DUI attorney like Raleigh North Carolina attorney Dewey Brinkley can mean the difference between going to jail or freedom. It can mean having a future where you can get a job or a loan, lease an apartment, or buy a house because you don’t have a criminal record that allows society to deny you access to these essential things. You have rights. Do not talk about the accusations without your lawyer. It will be difficult but you must try. As stated in the Miranda Warning “Anything you say can and will be used against you” and “You have the right to an attorney”

Effect of Pleading Guilty to a DWI Charge

arrested dwi person talking with dwi defense lawyer

If you are facing DWI charges, it is important to understand the effect of pleading guilty. Pleading guilty to a DWI charge can result in fines, license suspension, required community service, mandatory substance abuse evaluation and classes, and  jail time. Furthermore a criminal history has an effect on getting a job, a loan, an apartment/house, maybe even a passport. After all, you’re confessing your guilt without a trial or due process. You do so without knowing what evidence the prosecutors might have and if it would stand up to scrutiny.

Instead it is best to talk with an experienced DWI defense attorney before considering a guilty plea to DWI/DUI charges in North Carolina. Your lawyer can also help build a strong defense and negotiate with the prosecution.

Common Defenses Against DWI Charges

There are certain defenses that can be used to reduce or even dismiss the charges.  For example, one possible defense is arguing that the evidence collected was insufficient or unreliable. For example, if the breathalyzer device was not calibrated properly or the blood test was contaminated, the accuracy of the results can be called into question.

Another defense is challenging the officer’s probable cause for making the traffic stop. If the officer did not have a valid reason for pulling you over, any evidence gathered from that traffic stop may not be admissible in court.

Or it may be possible to argue that the signs of impairment were due to factors other than alcohol consumption, such as prescription medication or a medical condition.

There are any number of ways that DWI charges may be wrong and you should avail yourself of every possible chance to defend yourself.

When to Hire a DWI Defense Attorney After an Arrest

With a DWI arrest, it is important to hire a skilled DWI defense attorney as soon as possible to minimize the impact of a DWI arrest. As soon as you get a chance, call an attorney. Law enforcement will not make the wait pleasant so you have to be strong and patient. Do not submit to any additional testing if possible. And again, avoid talking or making excuses or trying to explain. Any statement may be misconstrued by prosecutors as admitting to being impaired or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Let your attorney do the talking. An attorney like Attorney Brinkley know the law and will advise you and defend you.

Often, people who have been arrested for DWI may not know the full extent of the charges they face or the evidence collected against them, so a lawyer can help to review the specifics of the case and give sound legal advice. Effective DWI lawyers are often successful in reducing charges, which can help lower fines, court costs, and other expenses that you may face if you are convicted of a DWI/DUI.

At the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley, we are here to help you have the strongest defense against DWI charges in North Carolina possible.

Contact Raleigh DWI Defense Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley

If you’ve been charged with a DWI, it’s vital to understand that pleading guilty without seeking the advice of a DWI defense attorney can have dire consequences. The penalties both in the courtroom and out in the world with a criminal record make a conviction very dangerous.  Do not take a chance. Obtain the best legal defense and fight that charge. Contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 

North Carolina DWI Laws

Driving while intoxicated, a DWI,  is a serious offense that can result in legal consequences that can have a long-lasting impact on your life. North Carolina’s DWI laws are, like other states, fairly unforgiving. A conviction of a DWI here can lead to jail time, large fines and even a loss of your license. That’s why if you’ve been charged with a DWI, you need a skilled DWI lawyer in Raleigh who will aggressively defend you.

A skilled attorney can defend you, protect your rights, and mitigate the potential consequences of a conviction. With a little luck, charges will be dropped and no prosecution will even occur.

DWI Blood Alcohol Limits in North Carolina

north carolina dwi lawsThe North Carolina Department of Public Safety outlines what constitutes a DWI.

According to the statutes, it is illegal to drive while noticeably impaired or with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08. For commercial vehicles, this limit is 0.04. It is important to know that you do not have to have a BAC above a certain limit to be convicted of a DWI, as the law notes that anyone who is “noticeably impaired” can be convicted.

North Carolina DWI laws are strict regarding underage drivers as well. Individuals under the age of 21 with a blood alcohol concentration of .01% or more are subject to arrest and DWI charges. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol under the age of 21 can result in license revocation and mandatory substance abuse treatment.

Penalties for DWI Convictions in North Carolina

If convicted of DWI, drivers may face a range of penalties, including fines, license suspension or revocation, community service, and jail time. Even first-time DWI offenders in North Carolina face a range of potential penalties, including the suspension of their driver’s license, community service, probation, and even jail time. Penalties may increase for repeat offenders.

The severity of punishment varies based on factors such as the driver’s BAC level, whether the driver has prior DWI convictions, and whether any injuries or property damage occurred while driving under the influence.

Other Restrictions For DWI Offenders

In addition to fines, jail time, and license suspension, there are several other restrictions that DWI offenders can face. One of the most common restrictions is the installation of an ignition interlock device, which prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking.

Offenders may also be required to attend alcohol education or treatment programs. Habitual impaired driving can result in permanent license revocation.

Other restrictions that may be imposed on DWI offenders include community service, probation, and vehicle forfeiture.

Implied Consent Laws

North Carolina does have an “implied consent” law, which states that if you’re lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe that you have been drinking, then you consent to taking a chemical test of your blood or breath to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). Refusing to consent can mean an immediate loss of licensure and penalties similar to that of a DWI.

How Long Does a DWI Stay on Your Criminal Record?

A DWI conviction will remain on your record permanently. This means that any future employers, landlords, or other interested parties will be able to see your prior DWI conviction, even if it was many years ago. It may also affect your ability to obtain employment, housing, and other opportunities that involve a background check.

So you can see how important it is to do everything you can to avoid a conviction. Get a good lawyer! 

Top Raleigh DWI Lawyer

It is essential to protect your rights and understand the legal consequences of a DWI in North Carolina. Dewey Brinkley is a top DWI Lawyer in Raleigh, with over 115 4.9 Google Reviews. He will leave no stone unturned to defend you. He and his team will comb through every aspect of your case and build it around three crucial elements: what is the evidence of “bad driving,” are the field sobriety tests questionable in any way, and were the breath or blood testing procedure legally conducted.

If you are facing charges of driving while intoxicated, it is critical to have the best DWI lawyer and do everything you can to avoid conviction.  Contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or by using the online form.

What are Field Sobriety Tests in North Carolina?

Police officers and state troopers utilize field sobriety tests to assess the sobriety of drivers that they suspect to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you fail the test, the results can be used against you in a court of law.

lady taking  field sobriety test

While you have the right to refuse a field sobriety test in the state of North Carolina, refusing a field sobriety test can lead the court to conclude that you were intoxicated. In this article, we’ll discuss field sobriety tests used in North Carolina and what you should do if you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk or impaired driving.

What is a Field Sobriety Test?

A field sobriety test is a series of tests used to determine if an individual is driving under the influence. These tests are commonly administered during traffic stops when an officer has probable cause to believe that a driver may be inebriated. Field sobriety tests are used across North Carolina, and the results can be used as evidence in court cases. The tests involve physical and mental tasks such as reciting the alphabet, standing on one foot, following a finger with your eyes, or walking in a straight line.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, standardized field sobriety testing, also known as SFST, basic tests include the one-leg stand and the walk and turn. However, police officers with advanced training can use the finger-to-nose test, modified Romberg balance test, and a lack of convergence test.

Can the Results of Field Sobriety Tests Be Used in Court?

Test results can be used in court when determining probable cause for a DWI arrest. Field sobriety tests are often used to measure the impairment of a driver suspected of driving while under the influence. If the test results show that the driver’s blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit, then this provides law enforcement with probable cause to make an arrest for driving while intoxicated.

Other evidence such as eyewitness accounts, video or audio recordings, or even chemical testing can be used in court to prove that a driver was impaired and should have been arrested for DWI. However, failing a field sobriety test doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be convicted. A skilled DWI lawyer can try to get these test results dismissed.

Potential Inaccuracies of Field Sobriety Tests

Despite their widespread use, field sobriety tests may not be as accurate as originally thought. The conditions of the test can make it difficult to accurately gauge impairment levels, and the administration of the tests may be subject to interpretation and bias. As a result, there can be potential inaccuracies associated with field sobriety tests when determining whether or not someone is under the influence or impaired.

Should You Refuse a Field Sobriety Test?

Refusing a field sobriety test is a personal decision that should be carefully considered. Throughout North Carolina, law enforcement officers may ask you to take a field sobriety test if they suspect you of being impaired by alcohol or drugs. However, it is your right to refuse the field sobriety test, and doing so will not automatically result in a criminal conviction.

If you refuse, your license may be suspended for one year due to implied consent laws. Furthermore, if an officer has probable cause to believe that you are impaired, they can still arrest and charge you without the results of a field sobriety test. Ultimately, refusing a field sobriety test is an individual decision and should be based on your assessment of the facts and circumstances at hand.

Contact a North Carolina DWI Lawyer

In North Carolina, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law. Failing a field sobriety test can be used as evidence in court against you. If you are suspected of driving under the influence and are required to take a field sobriety test, it is important to consult with an experienced DWI defense attorney. Contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or by using the online form.

Are You Over the Alcohol Legal Limit in NC?

If you plan on drinking, it is important to know the laws in your state and the legal limit. In North Carolina, the legal limit for alcohol is 0.08%. This means that if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher, you are considered to be over the legal limit and can be charged with Driving While Impaired (DWI ) – also commonly known as Driving Under the Influence or a DUI.

In North Carolina, Driving While Impaired is a serious offense.  Knowing and abiding by the legal limit is important to ensure that you stay safe and avoid legal trouble. In this article, we will discuss North Carolina’s alcohol laws, including the legal limit and the consequences of driving while over the limit.

When is a Driver Legally Drunk in North Carolina?

drunk drivingIn North Carolina, the legal limit for a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08%. This means that any driver with a BAC of 0.08% or higher is considered legally drunk and can be charged with a DUI or DWI. The legal limit is even lower for commercial drivers in North Carolina, who are not allowed to have an alcohol concentration of greater than 0.04%.

Drivers who are under 21 years old are not allowed to have any measurable amount of alcohol in their system. It is important to remember that the legal limits may vary depending on the situation, so it is best to consult with an attorney if you have any questions about when a driver is considered legally drunk in North Carolina.

Sentencing Procedures for DWI in North Carolina

Sentencing procedures for DWI offenders differ depending on the nature of the offense. The offender’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level is usually taken into consideration when determining a sentence, as well as any aggravating or mitigating factors. Aggravating factors can include a prior DWI conviction, driving with an underage passenger, or impairment due to drugs in addition to alcohol, while mitigating factors can include having a relatively low BAC reading and no prior offenses.

Depending on the number of aggravating factors present – either one or two grossly aggravating factors – the offender may be sentenced to Level Five punishment, which is the most severe type of punishment available under North Carolina’s DWI laws. This could involve prison time and/or community service, followed by revocation of the offender’s license and/or suspension of their commercial driver’s license. An ignition interlock device may also be installed in some cases.

Penalties for underage offenders are more severe and may result in a longer period of revocation. Sentences will vary according to individual circumstances but are generally intended to keep drivers safe and deter future DWI offenses.

Long-term Consequences of a DWI Conviction

A DWI conviction can have long-term consequences that extend far beyond the fines and jail time associated with a conviction. For example, a DWI conviction can stay on your criminal record for years, making it difficult to find employment or housing opportunities.

A DWI can also result in the suspension of your license, leading to difficulties when commuting to work or school.

In addition, insurance companies may increase premiums for those convicted of a DWI, increasing the financial burden of such convictions. A DWI conviction may make it difficult to obtain certain professional licenses or permits that are necessary for certain careers. As such, potential employers may decide not to hire you if they discover a past DWI conviction. For all these reasons, it is important to take steps to avoid getting convicted of a DWI in the first place.

Reasons to Hire a DWI Lawyer

Hiring a DWI lawyer can be a wise decision if you have been charged with driving while intoxicated. A DWI lawyer is an experienced attorney who understands the intricacies of drunk driving laws and can help you protect your rights during the process. They will know how to challenge any evidence presented against you, negotiate reduced charges or sentences, and may even be able to get your case dismissed.

Having a DWI lawyer on your side can provide you with peace of mind that your case is being handled correctly, as they are trained in dealing with all aspects of this type of charge. They are familiar with court proceedings, so they can assist in making sure that you are rigorously defended.

Contact a North Carolina DWI Lawyer

If you have been charged with a DWI, it is important to hire a knowledgeable DWI lawyer right away to help you navigate the complex legal system and avoid these harsh sentences and penalties. Contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or by using the online form.

What are the Penalties for DWI?

Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs can cause accidents, injuries, and even death. In North Carolina, driving while impaired (DWI) is a serious offense. If you are caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or above or while under the influence of drugs, you could face penalties including fines, jail time, license suspension, and more. Learn more about the penalties for DWI in North Carolina and how you can fight these charges if they have been unfairly applied to you.

What is Considered a DWI in North Carolina?

female driver arrested with dui charges

DWI stands for “driving while impaired.” In North Carolina, DWI is a criminal offense that occurs when a person operates a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. If a person is charged with DWI, they may face consequences such as jail time, fines, and the loss of their driver’s license.

What’s the Difference Between DWI and DUI in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the difference between the two is that DWI is a crime that requires proof of impairment, while DUI is a crime that requires proof of intoxication. The penalties for both crimes are similar, but DWI carries a higher maximum jail sentence.

If you have been accused of a DWI, contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 to talk with North Carolina Attorney Brinkley about your legal problem.

What are the Penalties for a DWI Conviction in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the penalties for a DWI conviction can be quite severe. If there is an aggravating factor present, such as impaired driving, the sentence can be increased. For a first offense, the penalty can range from a revocation of your license to a level 5 DWI, which carries a sentence of up to 120 days in jail. If you are convicted of a DWI, the state may also revoke your license and impose a fine.

Jail Time and Fines

The North Carolina DWI law has five levels of DWI, each with its own set of aggravating factors that can increase the jail time and fines for a DWI conviction. The minimum jail time for a Level V DWI is 24 hours, while the maximum jail time for a Level I DWI is 2 years. The penalty for a Level V DWI is $200, while the penalty for a Level I DWI is $4,000.

License Suspensions

A North Carolina DWI can lead to a license suspension. The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles can revoke or suspend your license if you’re convicted of a DWI. For a first-time DWI offense, your driver’s license will be suspended or revoked for a year. For a second-time DWI conviction, your license will be suspended or revoked for 4 years. For your third DWI, you’ll permanently lose your license.

North Carolina’s Underage DWI Laws

In North Carolina, it is against the law to drive while impaired (DWI). If you are convicted of a DWI, your driver’s license will be automatically revoked for at least one year. If you are under 21 years old and charged with a DWI, your driver’s license will be automatically revoked for at least 30 days pre-trial.

Possible Defenses Against DWI Charges

There are, however, a few possible defenses against DWI charges in North Carolina. One is that the arresting officer did not have probable cause to stop your vehicle in the first place. If the officer did not have a valid reason for stopping you, any evidence of intoxication that was discovered as a result of the stop may be considered invalid and unable to be used against you in court.

Another possible defense is that the results of your breath or blood test were inaccurate. This can happen if the test was not administered correctly or if the machine itself was not calibrated properly. If there is reason to believe that your test results were inaccurate, your attorney may be able to get them thrown out as evidence.

Contact a North Carolina DWI Lawyer

A DWI charge is a serious offense with potentially severe consequences. If you have been charged with DWI in North Carolina, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who has experience defending people against DWI charges.

If you have been charged with a DWI, it is important to contact an lawyer who can defend you against those DWI charges as soon as possible. As you see, a DWI conviction can have serious consequences, and an experienced lawyer like Dewey P. Brinkley can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights. He can also help you understand the charges against you and develop a defense strategy. Contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or by using the online form.

Will I Go to Jail for a DWI?

The potential consequences of a DWI  (driving while intoxicated) conviction can be frightening. Depending on your circumstances, you could face time in jail, hefty fines, a probation sentence, or even have your driver’s license revoked for a period of time.

dui arrest in north carolina

In some states, like North Carolina, there is also the risk of being labeled a convicted felon—something that can have implications for future employment and housing opportunities.

To understand what might happen if you’re arrested for a DWI in North Carolina, it helps to know more about the specific laws and penalties as they pertain to this offense. However, most people convicted of a DWI typically face fines, probation, and potential mandatory alcohol education programs.

In some cases, you may also serve time in jail as part of probation or another alternative sentencing program. Read on to learn more about what will happen if you’re arrested for a DUI.

Will I Go to Jail for a DWI Conviction?

If you are convicted of DWI, you may face jail time. However, jail time is not mandatory for a first offense. The judge will consider the severity of your offense and may sentence you to jail time, a fine, or both. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) was very high, or if you were involved in an accident, you are more likely to be sentenced to jail time.

In most cases, a DWI conviction will result in a driver’s license suspension. The length of the suspension will depend on the facts of your case. However, if this is your first DWI conviction, you may be eligible for a restricted license after a certain amount of time. A restricted license allows you to drive to and from work, school, medical appointments, and other essential activities.

Factors That Affect DWI Sentences

There are many different factors that can affect the sentence given to someone convicted of DWI. Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense and can result in jail time, fines, and a revoked license. The sentence is often harsher for subsequent offenses.

However, there are some aggravating factors that can increase the severity of the sentence, even for a first offense. These include having a high BAC (blood alcohol content), causing an accident while driving under the influence, or having a prior DWI conviction on your record. A clean driving record may result in a lighter sentence, while a history of convictions can lead to harsher punishment. The judge will also consider the circumstances of the offense and the impact it had on others when determining the sentence.

DWI Defense Possibilities

If you have been charged with a DWI, there are a few defenses that may be available to you. If the arresting officer did not have probable cause to stop your vehicle, or if the field sobriety tests were not properly administered, these could be grounds for dismissal of the charges. Additionally, if the breathalyzer test was not conducted correctly or if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was below the legal limit, this could also lead to the dismissal of the charges. However, it is important to note that even if one of these defenses is successful, you may still be convicted of DUI if the prosecutor can prove that you were impaired by alcohol at the time of driving.

Do I Need a DWI Lawyer or Can I Represent Myself?

If you are facing DWI charges, you may be wondering if you need a DWI lawyer or if you can represent yourself. While it is possible to represent yourself in court, it is generally not advisable to do so if you are facing serious charges. An experienced DWI attorney will be familiar with the law and will be able to provide you with the best possible defense. If you are facing serious charges, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side.

Contact a North Carolina DWI Lawyer

If you are facing a DWI charge, in North Carolina, getting an experienced North Carolina DWI lawyer is strongly recommended. They can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive the best possible outcome in your case. In addition, a DWI lawyer can help you understand the potential consequences of a DWI conviction, including jail time, fines, and community service. Dewey P. Brinkley is a top DWI lawyer out of Raleigh.

The sooner that you speak with a DWI attorney, the sooner they can start building your legal defense. If you or a loved one have been charged with a DWI, contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or by using the online form.

Do I Have To Consent to a Field Sobriety Test In North Carolina?

dwi cases in north carolina

Being asked to consent to a field sobriety test in North Carolina can be very stressful. You may not know what to do or what your rights are. Field sobriety tests are often conducted at traffic stops, where police officers suspect drivers of being intoxicated. These tests include things such as walking heel to toe, counting backward from 100 by 7s, reciting the alphabet, and answering questions correctly. The officer administering the test has discretion over whether or not he or she wants to administer these tests. If you refuse to take one of these field sobriety tests, it can be used against you in court.

If you are traveling in North Carolina  and have been pulled over by a police officer or highway patrol, you may be suspected of DWI- Driving While Intoxicated. If you are being asked to take a field sobriety test in North Carolina, here are some things to know about field sobriety tests and your rights in North Carolina.

How Field Sobriety Tests Work in the State of North Carolina

The field sobriety tests in North Carolina are used to determine whether someone has been drinking alcohol. They are administered by police officers during traffic stops and other situations where there is suspicion about driving under the influence of alcohol or maybe other substances.

In North Carolina, standard field sobriety tests include the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn test, and the one-leg stand test. These tests help police officers identify signs of intoxication such as bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, unsteadiness while walking, swaying or staggering, and inability to follow instructions.

North Carolina’s Implied Consent Law

The law says that anyone operating a motor vehicle in NC must submit to a chemical analysis if they are arrested for driving while impaired (DWI), according to NCGS §20-4(1). However, there are exceptions to the mandatory testing requirement:

● If the person is unconscious, incapacitated, dead, or otherwise incapable of consenting to a chemical test

● If the officer did not observe signs of impairment

● If you have not yet been arrested

When the Implied Consent Law is in Effect

The implied consent law is now in effect in North Carolina. This means that drivers are legally obligated to submit to a chemical sobriety test after being arrested for driving while impaired. A driver cannot refuse to submit to a test.

The state does allow officers to administer field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests prior to an arrest. However, drivers can decline to take these tests. This does not mean that the officer won’t arrest you for DWI.

Penalties for Refusing a Sobriety Test

If you refuse to take a sobriety test, it could mean losing your driving privileges. This is because if you refuse to submit to a chemical test, officers can obtain a warrant and draw a blood sample from you. In North Carolina, if you refuse to take a blood test, you lose your license for at least 30 days. The state’s implied consent law requires drivers to submit to chemical tests upon request from police.

Never Waive your Rights

The law requires police officers to inform motorists of their legal rights upon being stopped for traffic violations. This includes informing drivers that they have the right to refuse certain tests and that refusing such tests could result in revocation of their driver’s licenses.
You should never waive your rights when asked to do so by a police officer. It is important to know what your rights are before speaking with the officer. You have the right to remain silent. Do not answer questions without first consulting an attorney.

Defending a DWI refusal in North Carolina

If you are convicted of a DWI, you could face both civil and criminal consequences. In addition to losing your driver’s license, you could receive fines, jail time, or probation.
If you refuse the test, you may still have grounds to challenge the validity of the arrest. Your attorney can help you prepare for an administrative hearing, where you can argue that the police did not have adequate evidence to stop you. At the hearing, your attorney can present evidence that proves that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to make the traffic stop.

Consult a DWI Attorney in North Carolina

If you have a good DWI attorney like Dewey Brinkley, your attorney can defend against the charges and help you avoid a conviction. An experienced DWI lawyer should work hard to prove that the officer did not have enough evidence to stop you or challenge the prosecutor’s evidence presented against you.

If you have been arrested for a DWI and decided not to consent  to a field sobriety test in North Carolina, contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or  use the online form. As a Raleigh based North Carolina DWI defense attorney, Mr. Brinkley works zealously to defend the rights of those accused of criminal acts.  It’s important to have the best legal representation possible when facing possible DWI charges.

Are DWI Records Public in North Carolina?

If you’ve ever been arrested for anything, it’s very possible that anyone can find it with some online or offline searching. This includes being arrested for a Driving While Impaired(DWI). Therefore DWI records are public in North Carolina.

In  general, criminal records are considered public information throughout the United States. For example in Florida,  every arrest, including court dates, is a public record and easily accessible. Criminal records are available through courthouses as well as “people finder” websites. Using these third-party websites is frequently easier because the information is not limited to availability by locale. Employers may do a search on you if you are applying for a job.

The information from third-party websites can serve as a starting point for anyone looking for a specific record or several records on an individual. However online search sites are not government-sponsored. Availability may vary by the provider and some of the information may not be entirely correct.

Freedom Of Information

Are DUI Records Public in North Carolina?No matter what you’ve been arrested for, including DWI, anyone can learn about your arrest through a public record search unless it’s been expuncted from your record, meaning removed, also called “expunged” in some states.

North Carolina’s Freedom of Information Law allows the public to inspect and examine government-created records. State public criminal records are available in several databases in North Carolina. They are maintained by the courts and law enforcement agencies. These records are also accessible online and allow citizens to request copies for reasonable fees.

North Carolina’s court system also maintains a complete database of charges (arrests) and convictions made in conjunction with law enforcement agencies throughout the state. You can obtain certified copies by mail or in person, or by visiting a local police station.

Wake County utilizes the North Carolina Public Records Law, found at N.C.G.S. Chapter 132, further explains public records. North Carolina requires that public records are to be made available to the public for a nominal cost or for free, as well as via Internet accessibility. Online access to these public records makes things easier for the public and saves Wake County time, money, and resources.

Effects of DWI Arrest

If you’ve been arrested, you will be required to disclose it when asked on employment applications, as well as applications for credit, college, and housing. The exception is if the arrest was expuncted from your record. In the case of DWI, expunction is only possible if the case was dismissed.  Please note, North Carolina does not allow for expunction of DWI convictions.  Be forewarned that if you don’t tell the truth on your application, a background check will certainly reveal the truth for you.

Another direct impact of a DWI arrest is the marked increase in your insurance rates. As a newly branded “high-risk driver,” your rates will increase almost instantly after your arrest. Many companies will refuse to insure drivers who have been arrested for DWI and drop you entirely. However, there are companies that will insure someone who has been arrested, albeit expensively.


Depending on the type of job you have, it is possible you could be terminated after an arrest for DWI. This is particularly true if driving is a vital part of your job. Bus drivers, truck drivers, delivery drivers, taxi drivers, and other driving-centric jobs may, at the least, suspend you after a DWI arrest.

If you are terminated and need to seek new employment, it is possible to find additional employment. However, you will be ineligible for several different types of jobs, including:

• Jobs in which you’re required to drive
• Military enlistment and other government jobs
• Jobs that require the handling of very confidential information
• Jobs that require working with children, such as daycare and teaching

During an interview, it’s best to wait until asked about any arrests or convictions, but of course, don’t lie. Give a brief description of the circumstances that led to the DWI, what you’ve done since then to correct things, including rehab, and what you learned.
Your DWI defense attorney can advise you on your case and how to proceed with the employment.

Fight The DWI

Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County prosecutor who works to defend DWI cases. He 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 (or use our online contact form) for a free consultation. You can also email him at

Can My DWI Record Be Expunged In North Carolina?

Whenever someone says, “background check,” you may be nervous about what they might find especially a DWI.  Whether it’s for a job, an apartment, or some other important event, you probably won’t want them to find it, but they likely will. If one of those discoveries is a DWI, the process might unfortunately end there. So sometimes getting a DWI record expunged is worth looking into.

So the questions remains “Is it possible to have a DWI expunged here in North Carolina?” Yes, but it depends on the circumstances. 

What Is An Expungement/Expunction?

This is when a judge orders a criminal record sealed so that it is not publicly available. This means that a criminal record would not show up in any type of background check or other publicly available checks.  However, prosecutors would still be able to access these records. For someone with a previous misdemeanor record, an expungement -also called expunction – means that they can answer the question, “do you have a previous criminal record?” with “No.”

Getting Rid Of A Record

Can my DWI Record be Expunged in North Carolina

Due to changes in the law, there is no limit on the number of expunctions you can request for both misdemeanors and felonies. However, there is a waiting period of five years for misdemeanors and ten years for felonies before requesting any expunction.

Under NCGS 15A-146, it is possible to have a felony conviction expuncted if:

• You don’t have another current felony conviction on your record
• The court and/or DA dismissed your case
• You were acquitted at trial by a jury

Misdemeanors are also eligible for expunction if the case was dismissed, or you were acquitted at trial by a jury. There is no fee to file this petition. Other cases involving a conviction will require a $175 filing fee for the petition. Expunctions take between nine and twelve months to complete.

If you were charged with DWI but not tried, the charges were dropped, your case was dismissed, or you were acquitted (found not guilty) at a jury trial, a DWI can be expuncted as any other type of charge meaning that in these circumstances, a DWI record be expunged.

When A DWI Cannot Be Expunged

A conviction for DWI is not eligible for expunction in North Carolina. The North Carolina legislature changed the laws surrounding expunction in 2015 so that a DWI conviction cannot be expunged or expuncted from anyone’s record. That’s why it’s important to have a strong defense when facing DWI charges heading into court, so you’ll have a better chance of a “not guilty” verdict or having your case dismissed.

For a single incidence of DWI in North Carolina, there is a seven-year “lookback period” for both in-state and out-of-state convictions. Felony habitual DWI carries a 10-year “lookback period.” This means that for the person arrested today for DWI, a judge could look up their record for ten years and include those previous charges to increase the penalties, such as jail time and fines.

However, if more than seven years have passed since the previous DWI, the current DWI is treated as a “first” offense.

Seeking Expungement?

Even if your case was dropped, dismissed, or you were acquitted, the process of eliminating it from your record is not automatic. You must file a petition to request expungement. Because it’s complex, an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh can help you clear your record.

As a former Wake County prosecutor, Dewey P. Brinkley has helped thousands of clients and successfully defended many in DWI cases. Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 (or use our online contact form) for a free consultation.

The Penalties For Arrest For Underage Drinking In North Carolina

North Carolina has some of the strictest laws for underage drinking, with zero tolerance. Carrying alcohol, even an unopened container, is also an offense for which a minor can be ticketed. The exception is for those employed by someone with a valid liquor license, such as a driver for a company that makes and delivers alcoholic beverages.

The legal age for the purchase and consumption of alcohol is 21, without exception. This includes minors at home with their parents, or at a private party with their parent’s permission.

Although the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% for adults, any amount of alcohol for anyone under the age of 21 is grounds for a ticket and a possible conviction.


The Penalties For Arrest For Underage Drinking In North CarolinaNorth Carolina has strict penalties for those arrested for underage drinking, including:

  • Jail time, up to 120 days
  • Loss of driver’s license
  • Fines and monetary penalties, from $200 to $500, as well as court costs
  • Requirement for community service from one to thirty days
  • Requirement of alcohol and/or substance abuse courses
  • If the drinking occurred on campus, the university or other academic institution may impose additional penalties

If an individual has a prior criminal record of any kind, the penalties can be even more stringent. The overall costs for such an arrest and conviction can be substantial.

Most underage drinking tickets are considered misdemeanors. If the individual were driving under the influence, the charge would escalate to DWI, with substantially higher consequences.

Aiding & Abetting

While someone under 21 may not be able to purchase alcohol, sometimes friends old enough may purchase it on their behalf. This, too, is a Class 1 misdemeanor, with penalties of:

  • Revocation of a driver’s license for one year
  • Fines of $500
  • 25 hours of community service
  • Possible jail sentence

A second conviction of Aiding and Abetting within four years of the first conviction can lead to fines of $1,000 and 150 hours of community service.

Consequences Of Conviction

Even though the ticket is a misdemeanor, a conviction has serious, long-term consequences that can last for many years, including:

  • A criminal conviction that appears on every background check for employment
  • Limits on types of employment, since most employers perform criminal background checks
  • Loss of employment, in some cases
  • Limits on student financial aid and less available education
  • Loss of public housing and public assistance benefits
  • Denial of professional occupational licenses if the crime is directly related to the occupation, such as nurses or pilots
  • Limitations on housing, both rental and for purchase
  • Possible loss of the right to own a firearm
  • Inability to get security clearances for employment

These are in addition to the sanctions imposed by the court.

The UNC School of Government offers this free tool that explains collateral consequences under North Carolina’s law. While it does not offer legal advice, it can give an idea of the type of consequences you could face with a conviction.

Defense For Underage Drinking Charges

A charge of underage drinking is not a minor offense and can bring serious consequences. If you or your child have been charged with underage drinking, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Without legal help, you could be facing serious, long-term consequences.

Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh, NC with a proven track record of defending clients against criminal charges. If you’ve been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, contact him immediately to begin building your defense.

Call Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us by using our online contact form.