In the state of North Carolina, those who are caught drinking and driving or driving under the influence of drugs are charged with a DWI (Driving While Impaired). The term DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is sometimes used to describe this offense, although there is no formal DUI distinction in North Carolina. Regardless of how it is described, it remains a serious offense.
Burden of proof
Most people are under the assumption than when you are arrested for a DWI, you are automatically guilty. That is not the case. It is up to the state to prove that you were operating a vehicle or motorcycle while impaired. To do this, the state must provide evidence to show the following:
- You were the one driving a vehicle or motorcycle
- You were driving on a public roadway in North Carolina
- You were legally impaired because of consuming a substance
- You had a blood alcohol content level of .08 or higher
A DWI lawyer at the Law Office of William T. Corbett has numerous ways of challenging the burden of proof. Even if a case is not thrown out, there is still a very good chance of receiving a reduced sentence which could result in any of the following:
- Lower fine amounts
- Less time for a license suspension
- Limited driving privilege
- No jail time
There are mitigating factors that can work in your favor when it comes to a DWI charge. Sentences may sometimes be reduced if the person is cooperative and agrees to a field sobriety test. Sentences may also be decreased if the driver has a clean driving record. However, drivers should also know that they do not have to agree to take field sobriety tests or even blow into a breathalyzer. This could work against them when it comes to sentencing, but it also provides the prosecution with less evidence. This is why it is critical to have a DWI lawyer working with you through the legal process.
There are six levels of sentencing for DWI in the state of North Caroline. Level 5 is the least severe while aggravated level 1 is the most severe. Even if you have aggravated the situation by what you did after being pulled over for a DWI, an attorney can still be of assistance. Contact the Law Office of William T. Corbett if you find yourself arrested for a DWI in Mooresville, NC.