DWI Defense

You’re entitled to an aggressive defense.

Many of our clients come to us feeling defeated, depressed, anxiety-ridden, and embarrassed. After being arrested, handcuffed, and thrown in jail, who could blame them? They feel hopeless. If you or a loved one have been charged with a DWI, call us. The Speight Law Firm, P.C. has the experience and knowledge to help you in your time of need. We offer free consultations and payment plans.

How can a DWI lawyer help me?

Experienced DWI defense lawyers, such as Jonathon Speight, know about the staggering number of legal issues that can become  important when evaluating DWI cases. This makes it easier for us to spot strengths and weaknesses when investigating your case.

​Penalties:

In North Carolina, penalties may vary based on your age, offense number, and license type, but can include:

  • Jail time
  • Fines and court costs
  • Community service
  • Alcohol assessment and classes
  • License suspension or revocation
  • Higher insurance rates

With so much at stake, why wouldn’t you hire an experienced DWI attorney? With over a fourteen years of experience, we have the knowledge and training needed, so call us today for a free case evaluation.

How can we fight a DWI charge?

The legality of the stop. Was there reasonable suspicion that warranted the stop? Were you speeding or driving erratically? Were you involved in an accident? Did you run a stop sign? If there was no reason for you to be legally pulled over, this may help your case.

The arrest. This is where probable cause comes into play. Officers must have probable cause that you have committed a crime in order for them to be able to arrest you. Everything before being arrested comes into play – your driving, the officer’s observations of you, and your performance of the Field Sobriety Tests. How were the Field Sobriety Tests administered? How were blood, breath, or chemical tests administered?

If the court finds that the officer had Reasonable Suspicion to stop the vehicle and Probable Cause to arrest the defendant, then the remaining issue is: does the admissible evidence prove each element of Driving While Impaired Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.

Your blood alcohol concentration is the most common way NC determines whether you’re legally impaired·

  • 21 or Older: 0.08
  • Commercial drivers (CDL): 0.04%
  • Younger than 21: greater than 0.0%
  • Prior DWI: 0.04% *

**​In addition, the state looks at whether your physical or mental fitness is provably impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.**

​Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference in a DWI and a DUI?

​A: In North Carolina, they’re the same thing. In North Carolina, DWI (Driving While Impaired) is the name of the offense that you will be charged with, but other states use DWI and DUI.

Q: An officer never read me my Miranda Rights. Can I get my case thrown out?

A:​ No. The only potential consequence is that the prosecution may not be able to use any of your answers to questions asked by the police after the arrest.

Q: Can I get a DWI on a boat?

A: Yes, in North Carolina you can get a DWI on a boat, a golf cart, a bike, a horse, etc.

Q: What are the different tests that are used to check for impairment or intoxication?

A: There are three different kinds of tests.

1. Pre-exit tests (Can be administered while you’re still sitting in your vehicle):

  • reciting the alphabet
  • counting backwards
  • finger dexterity

2. Field sobriety tests:

  • One leg stand.
  • Walking in a straight line
  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (follow pen or light with eyes)

3. Breathalyzer and blood tests.

Q: What happens if I refuse chemical testing?

​A: Usually, there are two results:

  1. Your driver’s license will be suspended one year, even if you are found not guilty of the DWI charge.
  2. The fact of refusal can be introduced into evidence as “consciousness of guilt”
Q: What is an alcohol assessment? Should I get one?

A: An alcohol assessment is a standardized evaluation and interview to determine whether or not you have a substance abuse problem. At the end of the evaluation, the counselor you meet with will recommend alcohol class(es) or treatment. If you’re convicted of a DWI, you will be required to follow through with the recommendations.

​Involuntarily participating in any recommended classes or treatment qualifies as a “mitigating factor” for sentencing purposes and may help reduce your punishment if you are convicted of DWI.​

Q: After being charged, what can I do about driving back and forth to work?

A: For the first ten days, you can’t do any driving whatsoever. However, under certain circumstances, we may be able to get you a limited driving privilege good (e.g. for work and school) from the 11th day to the 30th day.

To do so, we would need the following items from you:

  • A dl-123 form from your insurance company.
  • A substance abuse assessment from a drug and alcohol counseling center.
  • A signed letter from your employer on your employer’s letterhead stating the hours during which you need to drive if you need to drive outside of the standard hours of 6:00 am to 8:00 pm. Monday through Friday.
  • $100.00.
Q: Are there different levels of DWIs?

A: Yes. There are levels based on factors such as your BAC, driving record, past offenses, and specific circumstances surrounding your DWI arrest. Call us for a free consultation today so that we can evaluate your case.

Q: Will I have to put an interlock device on my car?

A: If one of the following is true, then yes.

  • Your BAC is .15 or higher, even if this is your first offense, OR
  • You have any prior DWI convictions within the prior 7 years (regardless of your BAC in the present case).

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