Have you been charged with a DWI

Scott Reilly has defended thousands of DWI cases in his career. A DWI charge is serious, but it doesn't mean you are going to jail. We know you will be concerned about the serious penalties such as potential loss of license, jail time, alcohol classes and the effect this may have on your insurance premiums or employment. We can address these issues and all questions you have, and we can discuss the possible consequences of a conviction. 

Your case may involve serious violations of your constitutional rights. As soon as we have taken on your case we will sit down with you and get a thorough review of what you are being charged with. When going over your case Scott Reilly may notice things that were not conducted properly upon your arrest, these details can help to have your case dismissed. 

An officer must have probable cause to pull you over and arrest you. If they cannot present a reasonable reason to suspect you of driving under the influence, your case can be argued for a dismissal.

If you have been arrested and have taken a breathalyzer test, your sample must be taken by a chemical analyst. Once we start looking into your case it may be found that the anaylst did not obtain the proper license to conduct the test. If so, this can be argued in court and your test may be excluded as a reason to charge you. 

Do I Have to Take a Sobriety Test

No, you do not have to take a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer test. You have the right to refuse.

It would be wise of you to not do the sobriety test. If you make any mistakes this will be held against you and will be viewed as a probably cause for arrest. 

You have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test, but many consequences can arise from this. You will be taken to the police department where the officer will put in for a blood test to check your alcohol level. However, if you do take a breathalyzer this can help your defense attorney in court knowing what your levels were. 

If you refuse to take the breathalyzer for a second time the DMB will suspend your license for one year. Even if you know you are sober you can still be penalized with a suspension of your license for refusal to take the breathalyzer. 

Steps to Take if you Have Been Arrested

Thanks to the Miranda Rights any person who has been arrested has the right to remain silent. You have the right to call your attorney. You do not have to answer any questions being asked by the officers until your attorney is present. 

If the officers did not read your rights upon your arrest, your case can immediately be thrown out with the assistance of your defense attorney. 

Upon being arrested for a DWI your first step should be to call your defense attorney to meet you at the station. Having your attorney with you is not seen as admitting to guilt, but solely as a safe move on your end. While being interrogated your nerves may "trip you up" and you may say/do things that will make your case much worse. Having your defense attorney with you, is a smart way to keep you from making any mistakes.

Your second step should be to call someone who was with you before your arrest, or to have someone meet you at the station that can testify that you are of a sound state of mind.  Having someone there as a personal witness to testify for your sobriety can greatly add to have your charge dismissed. 


Cost of a North Carolina DWI

  • $100 processing fee for pre-trial limited driving privilege (G.S. 20-20.2).  
  • $100 for return of revoked license (G.S. 20-16.5(j)).  
  • $1,500 - $5,000 in attorney fees.
  • $100 fine (assuming the lowest punishment for a Level 5 DWI)
  • $290 court costs
  • $480 probation fees (G.S. 15A-1343(c1)
  • 24 hours of community service.  
  • $250 community service fee (G.S. 143B-708(c)). 
  • $100 for a substance abuse assesment.  Here's a link to one provider.
  • $160 for alcohol treatment as a result of the assesment.  
  • $100 for a post conviction limited driving privilege.  (G.S. 20-20.2)
  • $100 license restoration fee (G.S. 20-7(i1)).
  • $2,000 to $4,000 in increased insurance premiums over the next three years.

Most people who have been charged with a DWI are subject to spending a minimum of $5,000 to $10,000. These numbers are based on the previous bulleted list above. These are also based on assuming that a client gets charged with a lower end DWI. If you have been charged with a higher DWI those numbers will increase dramatically. 

These cost can be minimized if you have a strong defense attorney representing you. 

Helpful Links

How much does my rate increase?

Traffic and Insurance Points

DWI: The Basics – Findlaw

NC DMV Driving Record Request Page
Use this link to order a copy of your North Carolina driving record

NC Court Date Confirmation
NC Administrative Office of the Court resource for confirming district and superior court dates

DWI Alcohol Drug Education Training School (ADETS)