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DWI and DUI

When Scott Reilly represents you, he will apply experience, knowledge and skill to DWI/DUI defense. As members of the community, we are familiar with the courts, and we understand the guidelines the state legislature has passed for law enforcement to follow. He can answer all your questions concerning license revocations, temporary driving privileges, trial, defenses you may have and the process of entering a NOT-GUILTY plea and going forward to trial. In the event you plead guilty or are found guilty, then we can also go over the possible penalties you may face.

Over the years, our firm has handled thousands of DUI cases for clients in southeastern North Carolina. A DWI charge is serious, but it doesn't mean you are going to jail. Let us use our experience to help get results.

If you have been arrested and charged with drunk driving, choose the law firm that can make a difference in your case. Choose Scott Reilly.

Contact our office today.

SCOTT REILLY LOOKS AT PROCEDURAL MISSTEPS

Your case may involve serious violations of your constitutional rights. Every case we accept begins with a comprehensive and thorough review of your facts and circumstances. In some cases, law enforcement officers may have failed to comply with your statutory and/or constitutional rights. Why were you stopped by the police? What investigation did the officer do? Was it thorough, or did the officer simply rush through and assume you were guilty? We can answer all these questions, or any others, that you may have.

Each DWI/DUI case begins with the application of the rights all Americans enjoy under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In North Carolina, this means that the police officer must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over, and then he/she must properly form probable cause in order to place you under arrest.

Once you have been transported to the law enforcement center for a collection of your breath sample, the chemical analyst must possess proper licenses to operate the Intoxilyzer or Electro Chemical Infrared R2 device that is used to determine the level of alcohol in your system. These are just a few of the issues that are involved in virtually every DWI/DUI case and that require the knowledge and experience of a professional criminal defense attorney.

EXPERIENCED AND AVAILABLE: WE ARE HERE FOR YOU

If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated, you are probably concerned about 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.

While we can never promise a specific outcome, we can answer ALL of your questions and be with you every step of the way. We can also advise you on whether you need an alcohol assessment or substance abuse program that may alter the final disposition of your case.

No matter what the issue related to DUI/DWI defense, you can rest assured that we will conduct a comprehensive review of the facts of your case to determine all possible defenses and to ensure that the authorities respected your rights when you were arrested for driving under the influence.

We provide knowledgeable and experienced representation to people charged with a first offense DWI all the way to felony DWI.

What should I do when I’m pulled over for a DWI/DUI North Carolina?

  1. You have a constitutional right to remain silent. You don’t have to answer any questions that the officer asks you about drinking or any of your other activities that evening.  Any statements you make to the police will be used against you in court.
  2. Be very polite.  Emotional behavior is a sign of Impairment that can be used against you in court.  Additionally the police officer you are speaking with is shutterstock_Booze Keys and Gavel.jpga hard-working professional who deserves your respect.  He/She has a ton of discretion and can make your life much more difficult if you are rude or belligerent.
  3. Have all of your paperwork ready as soon as the police officer arrives.  Fumbling for your paperwork is seen by the police as a sign of intoxication.
  4. The legal drinking age is 21 and having a BAC of .08 % or less (.04 % for commercial) is ideal in order to avoid a DWI. If you have a prior DWI its a .04 % limit for 5 years after conviction.

Do I need to perform the field sobriety tests when I’m pulled over for Drinking and Driving in North Carolina?

You do not have to perform field sobriety tests.  I advise against it as you can still be arrested no matter how well you perform.  Any mistakes you make on the tests (called Standardized Field Sobriety Tests) will be used against you in court. These tests can also be used to establish “Probable Cause” to arrest you.  Frankly these tests are difficult to perform when relaxed and sober in ideal conditions.  You would be performing them under a great deal of stress in less than ideal conditions by the side of the road.

Can I refuse to "blow" for the first roadside alcohol test when I’m stopped for a Driving While Impaired (DWI/DUI) in North Carolina?

You are under no obligation to perform the first roadside test for alcohol. You are free to refuse it just as you are free to refuse the standard field sobriety tests by the side of the road. The result of that roadside alcohol test can and will be used against you to establish Probable Cause for your arrest and to show that you had been drinking.  The specific reading for that device is not admissible just whether you had alcohol in your system.

Can I refuse to “blow” at the police station when I’m arrested for a North Carolina DWI/DUI?

You can refuse the breath test in North Carolina DWI arrests. However, there are some serious consequences for that decision.

  1.  Even if you refuse to blow the second time the officer can still demand a blood test.  The police will often do that if you've been in an accident or someone has been hurt.
  2. Without an alcohol reading it is harder for the District Attorney to prove the case against you.  However, the court can consider your refusal as an adverse factor in deciding your guilt.
  3. If you refuse to blow at the station (2nd time) the DMV will suspend your driver’s license for one full year for refusing the breath test. You will not be eligible for a “limited driving privilege” to drive to and from work for the first six months of that suspension.  So even if you are completely innocent and receive a not guilty verdict your license will still be suspended for a year.  If you're guilty of DWI that will be an additional year suspension.
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When should I call a friend after I'm arrested?

You should call a friend or family member as soon as possible. It is in your best interest to have your own witnesses who can see you at the station and be able to testify about your visible level of sobriety.  You generally only have half an hour to get them to the station so it's important that they arrive quickly to observe your condition.

Can the police charge me with a DWI when they found me very far away from my vehicle?

The police can charge anyone with DWI even if they were not around a parked vehicle. They MUST prove that person was driving to convict them of that offense. They would need witnesses or some sort of evidence to prove that person was driving. Usually they would have a statement by the defendant admitting to the driving.  These cases are generally difficult for the state to prove and having a good attorney is very important in cases where the police did not observe anyone driving the vehicle.

When is my Court Date?

Link to find your court date in North Carolina

What are the Costs for a Basic North Carolina DWI?

  1. $100 processing fee for pre-trial limited driving privilege (G.S. 20-20.2).  This lets you drive from day 11 to day 30 after you are charged with a DWI.
  2. $100 for return of license civilly revoked (G.S. 20-16.5(j)).  This is the fee to get your license back after day 30.  Your license is returned and you have full driving privileges until your case is finished.
  3. $1,500 - $5,000 in attorney fees.
  4. $100 Fine (assuming the lowest punishment for a Level 5 DWI)
  5. $290 Court Costs
  6. $480 in probation fees (G.S. 15A-1343(c1)
  7. 24 hours of community service.  Just insert your own value on what 24 hours of your time is worth.  Assuming the lowest punishment for a Level 5 offender.
  8. $250 Community Service Fee (G.S. 143B-708(c)).  This fee can sometimes be waived if you do your community service before sentencing.
  9. $100 for a substance abuse assesment.  Here's a link to one provider.
  10. $160 for alcohol treatment as a result of the assesment.  Assuming 16 hours as the lowest.  Again insert your own value for 16 hours of your time.
  11. $100 for a post conviction limited driving privilege.  (G.S. 20-20.2)
  12. $100 license restoration fee (G.S. 20-7(i1)).
  13. $2,000 to $4,000 in increased insurance premiums over the next three years.

For most people you're easily looking at $5,000 to $10,000 as a result of a DWI conviction.  These costs are also on the low end and highlight why you want to hire an aggressive DWI attorney who will fight to have your case dismissed and help you avoid many of these costs.