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What steps should I be taking outside legal guidance to help my DWI case?


Winner of The Charlotte Observer’s 2013 Best Charlotte Lawyer Award and DWI Attorney Brad Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question: What steps should I be taking outside legal guidance to help my DWI case?

Question: "What steps should I be taking outside legal guidance to help my DWI case?"

Brad Smith:

When a person is convicted of an impaired driving offense, a judge is going to use aggravating factors and mitigating factors when sentencing somebody.

Now aggravating factors are things that a judge would use to increase somebody’s sentence above what’s called a presumptive range sentence.

Mitigating factors are factors that a judge could use to reduce some ones potential sentence below that presumptive or that middle range.

So, mitigating factors are often something that a person has like a safe driving record or wither or not there was safe driving when the person was pulled over for the impaired driving.

But the one thing a person can do to add another mitigating factor to their sentence is that they can go out and obtain a substance abuse assessment from a licensed substance abuse counselor. And if that substance abuse counselor recommends a level of treatment that person can then begin or complete that treatment before their actual sentencing date. If they do this, if they begin the treatment then the judge has to apply that as a mitigating factor to a person’s sentence.