Tag Archives: raleigh dwi lawyer

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.

Reinstating A Suspended North Carolina Driver’s License

It happened—you now have a suspended NC driver’s license. You can’t drive. How will you get to work or school? Are you stuck with public transportation and bumming rides from friends and relatives? Not necessarily.

In North Carolina, you can drive again after a suspended license, but not while the license is suspended. That, of course, is another charge, and you could see your suspension period increased face large fines and even the loss of your car.

Reasons You May Receive A Suspended NC Driver’s License

Gavel and scales of justice on an open legal book in a home library to show researching a suspended NC driver's license and what to do about it.One of the determining factors may be why your license was suspended. Those reasons dictate the time period for a suspension, including

A combination of more than one traffic offense can increase your suspension period.

License Restoration After Suspension

A license suspension is for a period of time, and your driving privileges are reinstated after that time period. You will not have to retake the driving test or apply for a new license, but you can request a hearing to appeal the suspension. An experienced attorney can help you with your hearing and appeal.

When your suspension period is over, you’ll get your license back by:

  • Paying a $65 restoration fee to the North Carolina DMV
  • Pay a $50 service fee to the DMV if you didn’t surrender your license to the DMV at the time of suspension
  • Pay an additional $130 fee if you’ve been convicted of DUI (driving under the influence) and it was the reason your license was suspended in the first place

Revocation, on the other hand, is a termination of your driving privileges, and requires a longer process to be reinstated, including re-taking the driving test and applying for a new license.

You can also request an administrative hearing by calling the DMV in Raleigh.

License Points

Anytime you commit a traffic violation, you’ll accumulate “points” on your driving record. When you reach 12 points in a three-year period, your license will be suspended for 60 days. Subsequent accumulations will yield longer suspensions.

If you have more than seven points on your record, you can drop three points off your record by taking a $50 Driver Improvement Clinic. You can attend one of these clinics every five years, and remove three points each time.

You Can Drive Again

Reinstating your suspended NC driver’s license after a suspension takes time and a little patience. Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley is your best chance in Raleigh for getting your license back and your driving privileges restored. He can work with you to navigate the appeals process, and defend you in any court hearing. Call today: 919-832-0307 (or contact him online) to schedule an appointment for your free initial consultation.


In Raleigh, NC Can Getting A Traffic Ticket Affect My Credit Score?

As if getting a traffic ticket isn’t bad enough, the idea that it might affect your credit score is even worse. You may have even been told that the traffic ticket goes on your credit report. But does it?

It doesn’t–but most bills that go unpaid for any length of time end up in a collection agency. Over time, if you still don’t pay the bill, the collection agency may be able to take you to court over the unpaid bill (depending on how much it is, along with attorney’s fees.) As a rule, the collection action and judgment is what ends up on your credit report—not the actual traffic ticket.

Two Separate Processes

man receiving a traffic ticket

The ticket is an action initiated by a police officer if you’re stopped for a violation, such as speeding. You can go to court to contest it (with or without an attorney), or you can just pay the fine and be done with it. Whichever you choose, there is likely a fine involved, which must be paid. If you don’t go to court, it’s an unresolved violation with additional fines and consequences, including a license suspension.

If you don’t pay the fine, it’s a delinquent charge after a certain number of days. The municipality that issued the fine may, at some point, send it to a collection agency for them to try and collect the money for it. Until recently, the collection agency’s action is what would and could affect your credit score.

The National Consumer Assistance Plan

This plan, developed by the big three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, removes certain types of collection actions from credit reports in two stages.

·         As of June 15, 2016, collection agencies cannot report debts that did not originate from a contract or agreement to pay. This means that unpaid parking and traffic tickets, library fines, and other charges from governmental agencies, domestic and foreign, won’t appear on your credit report.

·         As of July 1, 2017, civil judgments tax liens and civil judgments can’t be included in a consumer’s credit report without either their Social Security number or DOB, in addition to the individual’s full name and address.

Some of these types of charges have lowered credit scores as much as 100 points. If a traffic ticket in collections negatively impacted your credit report, the new rules may remove them. Your credit score may benefit as a result.

But You Still Need To Pay The Fine

This is not to say that you can ignore the ticket and get out of paying the traffic fine—far from it.

By simply paying the fine, you are admitting guilt. Working with a traffic ticket attorney to have your charges reduced or to fight the charges may keep points off your record, but you still need to pay any fines and court charges.

You can also be charged $200 for “failure to appear.” Your ticket indicates the fines involved with the charges, as well as any additional fees if you don’t show up, don’t take corrective action (such as hiring an attorney to represent you in court) or don’t pay it within 20 days of issuance. Fines can increase the longer you ignore them.

Eventually, the state of North Carolina will notify you that your license is being suspended, and you’ll still have to appear in court.

Additionally, you’ll receive additional points on your driver’s license, and your insurance rates will likely increase.

Ticketed In Raleigh? Call Today

A traffic ticket isn’t usually a big problem. But don’t ignore it, or it can get worse. Don’t let a traffic ticket raise your insurance rates or get your license suspended.

If you received a traffic ticket in Raleigh, contact Dewey P. Brinkley in Raleigh, NC. You can use our online contact form or call our offices any time at 919-832-0307. We look forward to helping you.


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.

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.

Basics About DWI Chemical Tests

When arrested for a DWI offense in North Carolina, one of the most important pieces of evidence is the results of the chemical tests. According to North Carolina law § 20-139.1, chemical tests are admissible as evidence and also deemed as sufficient evidence to prove a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The chemical tests are usually given after a field sobriety test during a traffic stop, and they are generally considered reliable.


However, as DWI defense attorneys in Raleigh, NC, we at the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley know that DWI chemical tests aren’t always perfect. If you need one of the leading defense attorneys with years of experience representing people just like you, call criminal defense attorney Brinkley today at (919) 832-0307.

North Carolina Implied Consent Laws

Under North Carolina law § 20-16.2, the “implied consent” law, if a police officer has probable cause to believe that you’ve been drinking, then you already consent to a blood or breath test to determine your BAC. You can be asked to comply with a chemical test before arrest as well, such as at a DWI checkpoint, if you were in an accident, or if you were caught breaking a traffic law, and the officer believes you were drinking.

The actual text of the law reads: “Any person who drives a vehicle on a highway or public vehicular area thereby gives consent to a chemical analysis if charged with an implied-consent offense. Any law enforcement officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that the person charged has committed the implied-consent offense may obtain a chemical analysis of the person.”

Refusing to Take a Blood, Breath, or Urine Test in North Carolina

After the arrest, the police officer should inform you, in writing, that refusing a chemical test can result in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license for a year. If it’s your first chemical test refusal, you could get limited driving privileges after serving 6 months of the suspension.

It’s important to keep in mind that refusing a chemical test isn’t a “get out of jail free” card. Refusing the test won’t keep you from getting convicted for DWI. On the contrary, the prosecution may argue that you refused the chemical test because you knew you were legally intoxicated.

Chemical Test Process in North Carolina

Usually, the chemical test will come after the field sobriety test, or if the police officer has strong reason to believe that you’re intoxicated. The three types of chemical tests  include:

  • Breath tests – Breath tests are most commonly measured with the portable breathalyzer. This indirectly measures BAC by testing for alcohol on the subject’s breath, and then a formula is used to determine the amount of alcohol concentration in the subject’s blood.
  • Blood tests – A sample of blood is analyzed to determine BAC. Alcohol is quickly absorbed into the blood, and so a blood test is a quick and easy way to determine BAC.
  • Urine tests – Urine tests are also another method for determining BAC or drugs in the system. This test is also indirect, as it uses the amount of alcohol in the urine to determine overall blood alcohol concentration.

Field Sobriety Test and Symptoms of Being Drunk

Before getting a chemical test, police officers may ask you to take a field sobriety test or they will, at the least, look for signs of drunkenness, such as slurred speech, red watery eyes, and the odor of alcohol.

Generally, the field sobriety test occurs at the scene of the traffic stop. The field sobriety test will often include the following physical and mental tests:

  • Nystagmus Test – Checking the eyes for lateral or horizontal jerking
  • Reciting the alphabet forwards and backwards
  • Standing and listening to directions, walking in a straight line, turning around, and walking back to the officer
  • Standing with feet together, head back, and touching your nose with the tip of your finger, as directed by the police officer

Call Raleigh DWI Attorney Dewey Brinkley to Fight Your Charges

If you’ve been arrested for a DWI, you may be asked to take a field sobriety test or a chemical test. The results of these tests are heavily considered in courts, but these tests aren’t perfect. To get one of the leading criminal defense attorneys in the Raleigh NC area, call the Law Office of Dewey Brinkley today. Free consultations are available, so don’t hesitate and call today 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.

New Felony Goes Into Effect Dec 1 – Boating While Impaired

Beginning on December 1st, there’s a new felony in North Carolina that you should be aware of: boating while impaired. This law, and the increased penalties associated with it, are due to a crackdown on drunk boating. As such, starting on December 1st, you can be convicted of a felony if you were impaired, driving a boat, and you caused serious injury or death.

Boating While Impaired Defense Attorney | Dewey P. Brinkley Law

At the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley, we have defended many individuals charged with DUI and other alcohol-related offenses. We understand the difficulty and anxiety associated with these charges. As one of the leading criminal defense attorneys in Raleigh, we will give your case a comprehensive, strong defense. To speak with attorney Brinkley regarding your case, call our Raleigh office today at (919) 832-0307.

The Boating While Impaired Law in North Carolina

Boating while impaired is not a new law in North Carolina. In the past, boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and with a BAC of 0.08 and above, could result in a misdemeanor. According to G.S. 75A-10(b1), “No person shall operate any vessel while underway on the waters of this State:

  1. While under the influence of an impairing substance, or
  2. After having consumed sufficient alcohol that the person has, at any relevant time after the boating, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.”

Additionally, the law bans any individual from “manipulat[ing] any water skis, surfboard, nonmotorized vessel, or similar device on the waters of this State while under the influence of an impairing substance.”

Violating either of these laws can result in a class 2 misdemeanor. The new law, however, expands on the punishments of boating while impaired. Called Sheyenne’s Law, the law is named after 17-year-old Sheyenne Marshall, who was killed on Lake Norman in 2015 by a drunken boater. In addition to Sheyenne, there were also 25 other boating deaths in North Carolina in 2015, and nearly half of them involved alcohol.

Penalties for Boating Under the Influence

If you’re caught driving a boat or using water skis (or other non-motorized vessels) while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be facing a class 2 misdemeanor. In North Carolina, this may involve 1 to 60 days of active, intermediate, or community punishment. An active punishment signifies jail time, and intermediate and community punishments mean that the judge can impose alternate penalties.

The new boating while impaired law, which takes effect on December 1st, alters this penalty structure. Sheyenne’s Law makes it a felony if an impaired boater causes serious injury or death. The specific penalties are as follows:

  1. If an incident causes great bodily injury, then it may be punishable by a fine of $5,000 to $10,000 and up to 15 years in prison.
  2. If an incident results in death, then it may be punishable by $10,000 to $25,000 fine and up to 25 years in prison.

Operating a sailboat or a powerboat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, without property damage or serious injury, is still a misdemeanor. For a first offense, the alleged offender could be looking at $200 fine or up to 30 days in jail. For a second offense, the penalties may include $2,000 to $5,000 in fines and up to one year in jail. For a third offense, the penalties may include $3,500 to $6,000 in fines and up to three years in jail.

No matter the charge, even if it was just your first offense, you may also lose your boating privileges. A first offense may restrict your boating privileges by around six months, while a third offense could keep you from driving a boat for up to three years.

Call the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley

Boating while impaired is certainly dangerous, and Sheyenne’s Law is North Carolina’s attempt at making the state’s lakes and rivers increasingly safe. Nonetheless, the law can be complicated, and if you were arrested for boating while impaired, you need to call the most experienced criminal defense lawyer in the Raleigh area. At the Law office of Dewey P. Brinkley, we’ve successful defended many individuals charged with DWIs as well as boating while impaired charges.

For a free, no-obligation consultation with defense attorney Dewey Brinkley, call our Raleigh law firm today at 919-832-0307.

DWI Traffic Stops Part Three: To Blow or Not to Blow, that is the Question

In Parts one and two, we discussed how you can always help yourself in a driving while impaired investigation by not answering questions and not agreeing to perform field sobriety tests, which generally are used to assist the officer in forming probable cause to support your arrest. While not answering questions and not doing the tests won’t prevent your arrest, it will make your case much harder to prove when it goes to court.

In Part 3, I want to discuss the decision of whether to blow at the station or jail, which is a much more difficult question that will have immediate ramifications on your driver license. It is unfortunately a damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario.

When you are taken into the intoximeter room, the Officer is required to advise you of certain rights you have with regard to the taking of the chemical test. By all means you should exercise your right to call a witness to come and view the testing procedure, and/or an attorney for advice. By picking up the phone in the breath testing room and making these calls, you are at the very least buying more time (at least an extra 15 minutes) to consider the more important question of whether you are going to blow. If a witness is able to arrive at the breath testing room within the 30 minute time limit, then you can utilize that witness at trial as to what they observed regarding your level of sobriety. You are also giving your body more time to process any alcohol that is in your system.

Continue reading DWI Traffic Stops Part Three: To Blow or Not to Blow, that is the Question

DWI Traffic Stops Part Two: Don’t Do the Tests

In part one we discussed how you shouldn’t answer those little innocuous questions the Officer asks you that often come across as just small talk during DWI traffic stops. In part two, I want to talk about why it is vitally important that you not attempt to perform any physical field sobriety tests, no matter your level of sobriety.

Field sobriety tests are set up to make you fail. They are hard to do. Many officers describe and demonstrate what they want you to do so quickly that it is hard to follow. Usually they don’t demonstrate the whole test they want you to perform. Unless you can do them with exacting perfection, a 100% right, they are going to be used against you in a court of law. And you can bet that if you do 98 things out of a 100 right, the prosecutor is not going to stop hammering home in their argument the two things you did wrong.
Continue reading DWI Traffic Stops Part Two: Don’t Do the Tests