The Best Defenses Against DWI Charges in North Carolina

Prosecutors take DWI charges seriously in North Carolina. Even if you face a first-time DWI charge, the penalties could negatively impact your life if you are convicted. You may face suspension or revocation of your driver's license, fines, probation, and even jail time. As the defendant, you have important legal rights and will be able to defend yourself against DWI charges. The best way to defend yourself is to work with an experienced attorney who can review the unique facts in your case and begin developing a legal strategy.

How to Beat a North Carolina DWI Charge

Prosecutors must prove every element of a DWI beyond a reasonable doubt to convict a defendant. as a result. The prosecutor must prove that you were driving on a public street or highway and that you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs when you were arrested. A successful defense will involve bringing evidence that disproves one or more of these elements.

Proving You Were Not Driving the Vehicle

Under North Carolina law, the prosecutor must prove that she was driving a vehicle when you were arrested. If you were parked and sleeping behind the wheel or intoxicated, but the car was not turned on, and the key was in the ignition, your attorney may be able to use this evidence to challenge the prosecution successfully.

Proving You Were Not on a Public Street or Highway

Prosecutors can only convict a defendant of a DWI if the defendant was driving on a public Street Highway when arrested. You cannot be convicted of a DWI if you were on your own or another person's private property.

Proving You Were Not Under the Influence at the Time of the Arrest

In North Carolina, when a driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or higher, they can be charged with a DWI. Most of the time, police officers rely on blood, urine, and breathalyzer tests to prove that a driver was under the influence when they were arrested. However, the defendant can still be convicted of a DWI even if they do not exceed the legal limit. For example, suppose a law enforcement officer sees a driver swerving in and out of the lane, pulls the driver over, and discovers alcohol on the driver's breath. In that case, a prosecutor may decide to bring BAC charges.

Challenging the Results of Your Blood, Breath, or Urine Tests

In most cases, prosecutors rely on chemical testing results to convict a defendant of a DWI. If your test indicates that you were above the legal limit, you may still be able to defend yourself successfully. If there was a problem with how the urine, breath, or blood test was administered, your defense attorney can challenge the results. Additionally, if there is a problem with the chain of custody, your attorney can petition the court to exclude evidence from the testing. Breathalyzer tests are difficult to administer, and the machines must work perfectly and well maintained to give accurate results. Your attorney can investigate the test used in your case and look for flaws in the testing process.

Proving Your Constitutional Rights Were Violated

Law enforcement officers and prosecutors cannot violate a defendant's constitutional rights. a law enforcement officer must have probable cause to believe that a driver has committed a crime to pull the driver over. If the law enforcement officer did not have probable cause, the entire basis for your DWI arrest could be invalidated due to constitutional violations. Any evidence obtained from the arrest can be thrown out. If the officer failed to read you your Miranda rights after arresting you, any statements you made that incriminate you may be able to be thrown out as well.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With a Charlotte DWI Attorney

As you can see, many potential legal defenses to DWI charges in North Carolina exist. The best way to learn which strategy will be the most effective in your case is to talk to an attorney. An experienced criminal defense attorney can review your case's facts and develop an effective strategy. The skilled litigators at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, have a proven track record of successfully fighting for the best outcome possible in DWI cases in North Carolina. If you have been charged with a DWI in North Carolina, contact the Charlotte DWI defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to learn more about your rights.