Tag Archives: DWI charges

Raleigh DUI/DWI Limited Driving Privileges

Legally speaking, driving is a privilege in North Carolina and not a right, and if you are convicted of a DWI or a DUI-related offense in Raleigh or Wake County, then there’s a good possibility that you may lose your driving privileges. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can receive limited driving privileges after a DWI or DUI-related offense.

For more information about limited driving privileges in North Carolina, or to speak with one of the leading DWI attorneys in Raleigh, call the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley today. Following your DWI arrest, call our criminal defense law firm at (919) 832-0307 for a free consultation. We will work with you, every step of the way, to fight for favorable results, including limited driving privileges.

Understanding Limited Driving Privileges in North Carolina

When found guilty of an impaired driving offense, DWI or DUI, in Wake County or anywhere else in North Carolina, then you may be eligible for limited driving privileges. The North Carolina law covering limited driving privileges is North Carolina General Statute §20-179.3, and this statute lays out the eligibility and other requirements so that you can continue driving.

Additionally, it’s essential to understand that you can have your driver’s license suspended or revoked both after a charge and after a conviction, and there are eligibility considerations for both situations.

Pre-Trial DWI Charge and Limited Driving Privileges

Raleigh DUI/DWI Limited Driving Privileges | Dewey Brinkley LawAccording to North Carolina General Statute § 20-16.5, you can lose your license due to the following three situations:

Following the revocation of your license, which is usually the arrest date, you have to wait 10 days before you can obtain your limited driving privileges. The eligibility for these privileges include:

  • You had a valid driver’s license at the time of the offense (or your driver’s license was expired for less than a year)
  • You do not have a pending DWI charge, or you receive another DWI conviction while your case is pending
  • You had your driver’s license revoked for 10 days of a 30-day revocation or at least 30 days for a 45-day revocation
  • You obtained a substance abuse assessment from a mental health facility. You must also register and participate in any recommended training or treatment.

By meeting these conditions, you and your DWI attorney can file a Petition for Limited Driving Privilege with the court. A hearing date is usually set, and you and your attorney will need to bring the necessary documentation to get your limited driving privileges. Generally, this documentation includes:

  • Proof of Insurance through Form DL-123
  • Proof of completion of a substance abuse assessment or proof that you enrolled in recommended treatment
  • Certified copy of your 7-year driving history from the DMV
  • Payment of $100 to the Clerk of Court

Eligibility for Limited Driving Privileges in North Carolina after a DWI Conviction

When found guilty of a DWI charge in North Carolina, you still may be able to receive limited driving privileges. The eligibility for a post-DWI conviction limited driving privilege is similar to the pre-trial DWI requirements mentioned above. However, this is only true if you are convicted of a Level 5, 4 or 3 impaired driving punishment. If you fall into this category and had an alcohol concentration of less than 0.15, then you can refer to above requirements for your driving privileges.

If you received a Level 1 or 2 punishment and/or had a BAC of 0.15 or over, then you may be considered a “High-Risk Driver.” This means that you’ll have to wait 45 days after the final conviction and you’ll have to comply with the ignition interlock requirements. After meeting these requirements, you may be eligible for interlock limited driving privileges.

What You Can Do With a Limited Driving Privilege

When you have limited driving privileges in North Carolina, you have a range of regulations that you must follow. Just some of the rules associated with these privileges include, but are not limited to:

  • You cannot drive with any alcohol in your system (BAC of 0.00)
  • You cannot drive with a controlled substance in your body, unless it’s a lawfully prescribed drug taken in recommend amounts
  • Limited driving privileges do not include commercial vehicles (refer to statute § 20-4.01)
  • You can drive for medical necessities at any time
  • You can drive for work-related purposes during standard working hours, 6 AM to 8 PM, Monday – Friday. During this time, you may also drive in relation to maintenance of the household, educational purposes, attending alcohol assessments or other court-ordered requirements, and other specified activities.
  • Driving during the non-standard hours may be allowed if the necessary documentation is provided to the court

Contact Raleigh’s Top DWI Attorney at Dewey Brinkley Law

If you have received limited driving privileges in North Carolina, then it’s essential to be fully aware of the law as well as your driving limitations. Failure to uphold these privileges may result in the loss of your license for the duration of the punishment.

By calling DWI attorney Dewey Brinkley in Raleigh NC, you can get one of the leading defense attorneys in the area to give your case the full representation it deserves.

Don’t hesitate, call Raleigh DWI attorney Dewey Brinkley at (919) 832-0307. Free consultations are available.

NC DWI Sentencing Guidelines – What You Should Know

Have you been arrested for a DWI in North Carolina? If so, the experience can be frightening and stressful, but while you are waiting for the next steps in the North Carolina criminal process, it can be helpful to look at the NC DWI sentencing guidelines.

NC DWI Sentencing Guidelines | Dewey Brinkley DWI Attorney in Raleigh

There is a wide range of potential punishments that you can face if you are convicted of a DWI. At the low end, you may be looking at fines and community service. At the other end, you could be looking at serious time in jail or prison. No matter the severity of your DWI offense, you absolutely need an experienced and skilled Raleigh DWI lawyer like Dewey Brinkley. We’ve helped many individuals just like yourself with their DWI charges, achieving not guilty results, dropped charges, and reduced or alternative charges.

For a free, no-obligation consultation with our Raleigh DWI law firm, call us today at (919) 832-0307.

DWI Sentencing Factors

The North Carolina General Statutes (N.C.G.S.) § 20-179 provide the basic outline for DWI penalties and sentencing. Following a conviction of a DWI, the judge will schedule a sentencing hearing to determine the appropriate sentencing level. Often, the judge will consider several mitigating or aggravating factors in his/her decision.

Grossly Aggravating Factors

Grossly aggravating factors are the most severe, and if you have grossly aggravating factors in your case, then you may be looking at the harshest penalties in North Carolina courts. The following factors are considered grossly aggravating:

  • Prior conviction of an impaired driving offense within 7 years of the current one
    • Each prior conviction can be considered an aggravating factor
  • The driver was driving on a license that was revoked for impaired driving
  • The driver caused serious bodily injury
  • The driver had a minor in the vehicle (under 18 years old) or a person with a mental or physical disability

Aggravating Factors

Aggravating factors are less serious than the “grossly aggravating” factors, but nonetheless, aggravating factors in your case can dramatically increase the severity of the penalties you may be facing. Some aggravating factors can include:

  • Gross impairment with a BAC of 0.15 of higher
  • Especially reckless or dangerous driving
  • Negligent driving that led to a reportable accident
  • Driving with a revoked license
  • Two or more convictions of non-DWI-related offenses within 5 years
  • A conviction for speeding while fleeing or eluding a police officer
  • A conviction for speeding at least 30 mph over the speed limit
  • Passing a stopped school bus
  • Any other factor that aggravates the seriousness of the offense

Mitigating Factors

Unlike aggravating factors, having mitigating factors in your case can, in the majority of cases, serve as a benefit that reduces the potential DWI sentence you may be facing. Some mitigating factors can include:

  • Slight impairment of the driver’s faculties and a BAC that didn’t exceed 0.09
  • The driver’s driving behavior was safe and lawful (except for the impairment of faculties)
  • The driver had a safe driving record
  • Impairment was caused by a legally prescribed drug for an existing medical condition, and the drug was taken within its prescribed dosage
  • After the conviction, the driver voluntarily submitted to a mental health facility and recommended treatments

Different Sentencing Levels for DWIs

Through these factors, as well as a consideration of the unique circumstances related to the DWI stop and arrest, the courts may assign a certain level signifying the severity of your punishment.

All of the DWI sentences, aside from a felonious Habitual DWI offense, fall within five sentencing levels. Level One and Two are generally imposed if you have prior convictions within seven years or other grossly aggravating factors; Level 5, on the other side of the spectrum, often involves a first offense and mitigating factors. The five levels and their punishments are listed below:

  • Level Five: This is the lightest sentencing level often imposed when the mitigating factors outweigh the aggravating factors.
    • Fine of up to $200; minimum of 24 hours and maximum of 120 days in jail
  • Level Four: Generally, no aggravating or mitigating factors were present or both were equally counterbalanced.
    • Fine of up to $200; minimum of 48 hours and maximum of 120 days in jail
  • Level Three: The aggravating factors outweighed the mitigating factors, but there were no grossly aggravating factors present.
    • Fine of up to $1,000; minimum of 72 hours and maximum of 6 months in jail
  • Level Two: There were no minors under 18 in the vehicle and only one grossly aggravating factor was present.
    • Fine of up to $2,000; minimum of 7 days and maximum of 12 months in jail
  • Level One: The driver was accompanied by a minor under 18 or there were two grossly aggravating factors involved.
    • Fine of up to $4,000; minimum of 30 days and maximum of 24 months in jail
  • Aggravated Level One: There were three or more grossly aggravating factors present.
    • Fine of up to $10,000; minimum of 12 months and maximum of 36 months in jail, with no possibility of parole

Arrested for a DWI? Call Dewey Brinkley in Raleigh NC Today!

At the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley in Raleigh, NC, we’ve helped hundreds of individuals caught in a similar situation as yourself or your loved one. As such, with years of devotion to criminal defense and DWI defense law and legal representation, we will give you comprehensive and compassionate representation with the goal of achieving a not-guilty result, dropped charges, or alternative/reduced sentencing.

To speak with Raleigh NC DWI attorney Dewey Brinkley, call our downtown Raleigh criminal defense law firm today at (919) 832-0307.

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.

Don’t Spend The New Years In Jail – How To Avoid Getting A DWI

Raleigh DWI Attorney Dewey Brinkley

Don’t Spend the New Years in Jail – How to Avoid Getting a DWI

New Years is one of the biggest party nights of the year, packed full of good cheer, friends and family, good food, and, of course, alcohol. While New Years is a night for memories, the risks for a DWI are also highly escalated. Drunk-driving fatalities often occur around the holidays, including New Years, and every year, Raleigh and Wake County law enforcement are intensely trying to reduce alcohol-related road fatalities by being extra diligent towards suspected drunk drivers.

Instead of spending your New Years in jail, you need to take the extra steps to avoid getting a DWI on New Year’s Eve. The most important (and the easiest) way is to not drive after you’ve drunk alcohol. However, if you were arrested for DWI on New Year’s Eve, make sure to call Raleigh DWI attorney Dewey P. Brinkley as soon as possible. We offer free consultations, and we’ll get started on your case as soon as we hear from you.

Call Dewey P. Brinkley for your Raleigh DWI attorney at (919) 832-0307.

Penalties for DWI in North Carolina

There are no happy holiday endings for drunk drivers, and North Carolina law enforcement, courts, and prosecutors will heavily prosecute individuals charged with drunk driving.

If you’re under 21 years old, the penalties for underage drunk driving (if your BAC is under 0.08) may include court fees, fines, jail time, and license suspensions. If your BAC is above 0.08, you may be looking at any of the following penalties:

Level 5 DWI:

  • Immediate license suspension for 30 days
  • Up to a $200 fine
  • Between 24 hours and 60 days in jail
  • Substance abuse assessments

Level 4 DWI:

  • Immediate license suspension for 30 days
  • Up to a $500 fine
  • Between 48 hours and 120 days in jail
  • Substance abuse assessments

Level 3 DWI:

  • Immediate license suspension for 30 days
  • Up to a $1,000 fine
  • Between 72 hours and 6 months in jail
  • Substance abuse assessments

Level 2 DWI:

  • Immediate license suspension for 30 days
  • Up to a $2,000 fine
  • Between 7 days and 12 months in jail
  • Substance abuse assessments

Level 1 DWI:

  • Immediate license suspension for 30 days
  • Up to a $4,000 fine
  • Between 30 days and 24 months in jail
  • Substance abuse assessments

Aggravated Level 1 DWI:

  • Immediate license suspension for 30 days
  • Up to $10,000 fine
  • Between 12 months and 36 months in jail
  • Continued alcohol monitoring
  • Substance abuse assessments

Prior convictions or aggravating factors can dramatically increase the penalties for a DWI. Some aggravating factors may include:

  • Being grossly impaired or having a BAC of 0.15 or more
  • Reckless or dangerous driving
  • Negligent driving that led to an accident
  • Driving with a revoked license

Plan a Sober Ride Home

The penalties for drunk driving on New Year’s Eve are certainly harsh, and due to the increased dangers this night, police and prosecutors might not hesitate to deliver the most severe penalties possible. As such, with the prospect of jail and substantial penalties, and the possibility of gravely injuring other people, the best way to avoid a DWI on New Years is to not drive drunk. Plan a sober ride home instead. Contact a taxi, rideshare, or try to organize with a sober driver.

Contact Raleigh DWI Attorney Dewey Brinkley

If you are arrested for a DWI on New Years, don’t panic and call the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley in Raleigh NC as soon as possible. With decades of experience representing and defending individuals charged with drunk driving related offenses, DWI attorney Brinkley will thoroughly guide you through the legal process while aggressively defending your case at every stage. For a free, no-obligation consultation with our Raleigh DWI defense law firm, call us today at (919) 832-0307.

What is the Difference Between a DWI and a Wet Reckless Charge?

Being arrested for a DWI can present some serious consequences in North Carolina. Although a DWI is not a felony, it is still a serious criminal offense, especially when various aggravating factors are involved. However, with the help of an experienced and diligent Raleigh DWI defense attorney, you may be able to receive a reduced sentence or plea bargain in North Carolina courts.

Wet Reckless Charges in NC | Raleigh DWI Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley

When reducing an offender’s sentence to a less serious crime, the courts may offer a “wet reckless” charge. A wet reckless charge is, essentially, a reduced plea arrangement where the driver pleads to reckless driving with alcohol involved (hence, the “wet reckless” term). If you’ve been charged with a DWI in the Raleigh and Wake County areas, we at the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley will fight for your innocence, but if the evidence is truly stacked against you, we will do everything under North Carolina law for a mitigated sentence.

What is a “Wet Reckless” Charge?

When drinking and driving, the driver is being reckless in his/her actions. A dry reckless charge generally involves excessive speeding or other actions that put other drivers (or the public) at risk. A wet reckless charge, on the other hand, is reckless driving involving alcohol; this charge is more serious than reckless driving but less serious than a DWI charge.

Due to public pressure and strict punishments for driving while intoxicated, prosecutors can be hesitant to offer a plea bargain and a wet reckless charge. In North Carolina courts, however, a wet reckless charge may be an option for first offenders who’s arrest involved several mitigating circumstances, such as:

  • The defendant’s first DWI in North Carolina or any other state
  • The defendant was impaired by alcohol, and not any other substance
  • The defendant’s BAC was 1.0 or under
  • The defendant has a safe driving record
  • The defendant was polite and cooperative with officers

Second Arrest for a DWI in North Carolina

Because a wet reckless charge offers several benefits over a DWI charge, North Carolina courts often include several conditions with the reduced charge. Of course, one condition is to not drink and drive again. If the defendant is arrested again for DWI, then the previous wet reckless charge will count as a prior DWI for sentencing purposes.

Penalties for DWI vs. Penalties for Wet Reckless

DWIs in North Carolina carry fairly severe penalties, even for a first offense. Even a first DWI can carry six months of jail time as well as hefty fines. Furthermore, a DWI stays on the defendant’s criminal record, which could affect current or future job prospects and professional licensing.

As a reduced offense, a wet reckless charge carries several advantages. A wet reckless charge calls for much lighter penalties, and having this charge on your record is certainly less serious. In general, the fines are lower, there is less of a possibility for jail time, and license suspension or revocation is less likely.

Specifically, a DWI is presumptively a Class 1 misdemeanors in North Carolina, while a reckless charge is a Class 2 misdemeanor. Moreover, a DWI puts 12 points on the defendant’s insurance, suspending his/her license for at least a year. A wet reckless is 4 points on the defendant’s insurance and 4 points on his/her license.

Contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley Today

The chance of achieving a wet reckless charge may be slim, but it’s nonetheless a possibility. If there is overwhelming evidence proving your guilt in a DWI stop, then you and your attorney should consider a wet reckless charge as a possibile option. To speak with the leading Raleigh NC criminal defense and DWI attorney, call our Raleigh law firm today at (919) 832-0307.

Raleigh DWI Lawyer Offers Guidance on Blood Tests

If you have been charged with a driving while impaired (DWI) offense and the charging officer requested a blood sample from you, chances are your case falls into one of three categories:

  1. you were involved in an accident involving personal injury to yourself where you were transported to a hospital and breath testing equipment was not readily available, or you were unconscious and could not perform a breath test;
  2. the officer suspects that you were impaired by drugs rather than alcohol, or drugs in addition to alcohol; or
  3. you refused to submit to a chemical analysis of your breath and the officer obtained a search warrant from a magistrate for a blood sample.

Continue reading Raleigh DWI Lawyer Offers Guidance on Blood Tests