Defense Options for NC DWI Cases

The best way to fight against a DWI charge in North Carolina is to speak with an experienced, knowledgeable Raleigh NC DWI attorney. With legal expertise at your side, you can take your case to the courts and vigorously defend your case, show violations in police conduct, and present evidence countering the prosecution’s narrative. Remember, even though you’ve been arrested for a DWI, you have valuable rights that could help you win your case.

At the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley, we are NC DWI attorneys with years of experience helping individuals just like you. We present a comprehensive, vigorous litigation strategy, as well as a close, one-on-one relationship with our clients. In short, we’ll fight your charges together. To speak with DWI attorney Brinkley, call our Raleigh law firm today at (919) 832-0307.

What the Prosecution Must Prove

In any DWI case in North Carolina, there are several elements that the prosecution must prove in order to successfully win a case. Although courts can be pretty strict towards the defendants, the rule of law states that the prosecution needs to, at least, show that the 1.) you were driving and 2.) while driving, you were “under the influence” of drugs or alcohol.

Therefore, for DWI cases in North Carolina, the defense can try to disprove either of these 2 items, effectively preventing the prosecution from proving its case. Keep in mind that there are many defense strategies in DWI cases, but, ultimately, your attorney should attempt to achieve a:

  • Dropped or dismissed case
  • A not-guilty ruling
  • If the evidence is truly stacked against you, your attorney should seek reduced or alternative sentencing

Driving-Related DWI Defenses

To be arrested for a DWI charge in the Raleigh area, you actually need to be driving a vehicle. In other words, if you weren’t driving, you can’t be convicted of DWI. Often, most DWI cases begin with the defendant getting pulled over, so there isn’t much contention in this area. Nonetheless, if the arresting police officer didn’t actually observe you driving, the issue may be debatable depending on the evidence.

Arrest-Related DWI Defenses

Driving-related DWI defenses can be rare and quite difficult unless there were exceptional circumstances. Arrest-related DWI defenses can be more common, as these defense strategies focus on the police officer’s legal justification for the stop as well as the officer’s legal procedures during the arrest. If the defense can find faults with the legal justification and the legal procedures, this could lead to dropped or dismissed charges in courts.

Some specific defenses include:

  • No probable cause  – If the arresting officer didn’t have probable cause to stop your vehicle or arrest you for drunk driving, then you may argue to dismiss the associated evidence from trial.
  • No Miranda Rights – If you’re being arrested, the police officer must read you your Miranda Rights. If the officer doesn’t, you may be able to exclude certain pieces of evidence from trial.
  • Challenging the officer’s professional observations of your behavior – In many DWI stops, the officer has authority to look at your behavior to determine if you’ve been drinking or using drugs. The prosecution will use the police officer’s observations as evidence in the trial, and this could include your driving, how you looked and acted once stopped, and how you performed during the field sobriety tests. Your defense attorney should challenge some of these assertions.
  • Introducing witnesses who can counter the prosecution’s statements – When other individuals saw something differently than the police, then you and your DWI attorney can call them in as witnesses.
  • Provide other explanations regarding your behavior and appearance – You and your attorney can counter the claim that you were drunk by litigating that physical impairments affected your field sobriety test; you eyes were bloodshot due to lack of sleep; your speech was blurred due to medications you have to take, and so forth.

Breath and Chemical Test DWI Defenses

In addition to arrest-related DWI defenses, there are also many effective defenses regarding breath, blood, urine, and saliva tests. In North Carolina, you can be convicted of DWI with a BAC of 0.08% or higher; juveniles under 21 can be convicted of a DWI if they have a BAC of 0.01% or higher. In general, these tests receive a lot of legal weight in the courtroom, and you and your attorney may find it valuable to challenge the accuracy of the officer’s tests.

Other defenses can include:

  • Showing that the officer didn’t provide necessary warnings or information.
  • North Carolina states the specific process regarding how a police officer can administer a chemical test. If the officer didn’t follow these regulations, especially in terms of how the chemical test device was maintained or calibrated, you may be able to get the test results thrown out.
  • Challenging the accuracy of the chemical test results.

Call the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley Today

There are many different defenses to pursue in any DWI case; nevertheless, the specific defenses that you and your attorney employ should coincide with the unique circumstances surrounding your DWI arrest. With years of experience successfully helping individuals just like you, Raleigh DWI attorney Dewey Brinkley knows how the circumstances of your arrest will influence effective defense strategies.

To learn more about how we can defend your case, call our Raleigh-based DWI defense law firm at (919) 832-0307.

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