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Criminal Lawyer Greensboro NC



Impaired Driving Lawyers in Greensboro

What is Impaired Driving in North Carolina?

Impaired driving is one of the most common charges our Criminal Lawyers deal with in the Criminal Justice System. Impaired Driving can be charged if you are above the legal limit in North Carolina which is a .08, or if you are under the influence of a controlled substance, such as marijuana.

When you’re discussing DWI with a friend or family member, you will often hear multiple terms describing an Impaired Driving case, DUI which stand for Driving Under the Influence and then there’s DWI which stands for Driving While Impaired. In North Carolina, it’s important to note that the legislature has defined Impaired Driving charges as Driving While Impaired or DWI. So, as a little knowledge dropper in friend or family discussions, technically there are no DUI’s in North Carolina only DWI’s because the law defines impaired driving as a DWI.

In North Carolina, impaired driving is the legal term used to describe the offense of driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other impairing substances. Impaired driving is a serious criminal offense that can carry with it significant legal and financial consequences, including fines, license suspension, and potential jail time.

Under North Carolina law, a person is considered to be driving while impaired (DWI) if they operate a vehicle while:

  • Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher
  • Under the influence of any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance or its metabolites
  • Under the influence of any impairing substance that affects their mental or physical faculties to a significant degree
  • Under the influence of a combination of alcohol and any other impairing substance that affects their ability to drive safely

It’s important to note that even if a person’s BAC is below the legal limit, they can still be charged with DWI if they are impaired to the point that it affects their ability to drive safely. In North Carolina this is referred to as appreciable impairment.

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Division of Motor Vehicles:

  • There were 17,899 DWI convictions in North Carolina in 2020.
  • This is a decrease from the 20,120 DWI convictions in 2019, possibly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting decrease in traffic volume.
  • In 2020, there were 6,852 alcohol-related crashes in North Carolina.
  • These crashes resulted in 360 fatalities and 4,821 injuries.
  • This is a decrease from the 7,426 alcohol-related crashes in 2019, which resulted in 415 fatalities and 4,929 injuries.

The North Carolina General Statute governing DWI charges, is NCGS 20-138.1:

§ 20-138.1.  Impaired driving.

(a) A person commits the offense of impaired driving if he drives any vehicle upon any highway, any street, or any public vehicular area within this State:

  1. While under the influence of an impairing substance; or
  2. After having consumed sufficient alcohol that he has, at any relevant time after the driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. The results of a chemical analysis shall be deemed sufficient evidence to prove a person’s alcohol concentration; or
  3. With any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance, as listed in G.S. 90-89, or its metabolites in his blood or urine.

In North Carolina, to convict a person of driving while impaired (DWI), the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were operating a vehicle while under the influence of an impairing substance, such as alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both.

To prove that a defendant was under the influence of an impairing substance, the state may use evidence such as the defendant’s performance on field sobriety tests, the results of a breath or blood test, reckless driving observed, inability to handle instructions such as license and registration, and any other physical or behavioral signs of impairment observed by law enforcement.

Additionally, the state must also prove that the defendant was driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle while impaired. This means that the state must show that the defendant was operating the vehicle or had the ability to do so while impaired. Of note, operating a vehicle for a DWI can simply be having the keys in the ignition and the car running.

It’s important to note that the state doesn’t have to prove that you were driving recklessly or caused an accident to obtain a DWI conviction. Simply driving or being in physical control of a vehicle while impaired is enough to constitute a violation of the law.

Investigation of Impaired Driving Charges in Greensboro

When investigating a potential DWI in North Carolina, the Greensboro Police Department & Guilford County Sheriff’s’ Department follow a standardized set of procedures to gather evidence and determine whether a driver is impaired. These procedures may include the following steps:

  1. Initial observation: Police officers may observe a driver’s behavior on the road, such as swerving, drifting, or driving too slowly. They may also observe physical signs of impairment, such as slurred speech or the smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath.

  2. Field sobriety tests: If an officer suspects that a driver is impaired, they may ask the driver to perform a set of standardized field sobriety tests, which typically include tasks such as walking in a straight line or standing on one leg. The results of these tests can provide evidence of impairment.

  3. Breath or blood test: If an officer has probable cause to believe that a driver is impaired, they may ask the driver to take a breath or blood test to measure their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Refusing to take a chemical test can result in a license suspension and other penalties.

  4. Arrest: If the officer determines that there is sufficient evidence of impairment, they may place the driver under arrest and transport them to a local police station or jail.

  5. Formal charges: After the arrest, the driver will be formally charged with DWI and may be released on bail pending their trial.

It’s important to note that while these procedures are standardized, they are not foolproof, and there may be instances in which a driver is wrongfully charged with DWI. If you are facing DWI charges, it’s essential to consult with an experienced DWI defense attorney who can help you understand your legal options and build a strong defense.

How do Bonds work for a DWI Charge?

How do I get myself or a loved one out of jail for an impaired driving charge in Greensboro?

In North Carolina, the bail process for a DWI charge is similar to the bail process for other criminal charges. After a person is arrested for DWI, they will typically be taken to a local police station or jail for processing.

At that point, the person may be given the opportunity to post bail, which is a sum of money that serves as a guarantee that the person will appear in court for their trial. The amount of bail can vary depending on the severity of the offense, the person’s criminal history, and other factors.

If the person is able to post bail, they may be released from jail pending their trial. However, if they are unable to post bail, they will remain in jail until their trial date.

It’s important to note that in North Carolina, some DWI charges may be considered “non-bailable offenses,” meaning that the person charged cannot be released on bail until their trial. This typically applies in cases where the person has a prior conviction for DWI or another serious offense.

If you are facing DWI charges in North Carolina and are concerned about your bail options, it’s essential to consult with an experienced DWI defense attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options.

Where is the Greensboro Jail?

The Greensboro jail, also known as the Greensboro Detention Center, is located at 100 S. Greene St. in Greensboro, North Carolina. This is in the downtown area of Greensboro, near the intersection of South Greene Street and West Washington Street

If you need to visit someone who is being held at the Greensboro jail, it’s important to check the facility’s visiting hours and policies beforehand. In some cases, you may need to schedule a visit in advance or meet other requirements, such as providing identification or submitting to a search.

What is the Punishment for a DWI in North Carolina?

The punishment for a DWI in North Carolina can vary depending on a number of factors, including the person’s prior criminal history, the circumstances of the offense, and the level of impairment.

For a first-time DWI offense in North Carolina, the punishment may include the following:

  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • A potential jail sentence of up to two years, with a mandatory minimum of 24 hours in jail
  • A potential suspension of the person’s driver’s license for up to one year
  • Completion of an alcohol assessment and any recommended treatment programs
  • Possible installation of an ignition interlock device on the person’s vehicle

Now bear in mind that in Greensboro, NC, there is not a first-time offenders program for DWI’s. And DWI’s can be punished far more harshly if other aggravating factors exist connected to the impaired driving charge.

For repeat offenses or aggravated DWI charges (such as driving with a BAC of 0.15% or higher), the penalties may be more severe, including longer jail sentences, higher fines, and longer license suspensions.

It’s important to note that these are only general guidelines, and the specific punishment for a DWI charge can depend on a variety of factors. If you are facing DWI charges in North Carolina, it’s essential to consult with our top rated DWI lawyers in Greensboro who can help you understand your legal rights and options, and work to protect your interests throughout the legal process.

Defending Impaired Driving Charges in Greensboro

What are the possible defenses to Impaired Driving charges in Greensboro, NC?

There are a number of potential defenses to DWI charges in North Carolina, depending on the circumstances of the case. Some possible defenses include:
  1. Challenging the traffic stop: If the police officer did not have a valid reason for stopping the vehicle, any evidence obtained during the stop may be suppressed. This could include evidence of impaired driving, such as field sobriety tests or breathalyzer results.

  2. Disputing the validity of the breathalyzer or blood test: Breathalyzer and blood tests are not infallible, and there may be issues with the accuracy of the test or the manner in which it was administered. An experienced DWI defense attorney can review the test results and procedures to determine if any errors or discrepancies occurred.

  3. Asserting that the person was not impaired: In some cases, a person may exhibit signs of impairment due to factors other than alcohol or drug use, such as fatigue or illness. An attorney may be able to present evidence to support the theory that the person’s behavior was not due to intoxication.

  4. Challenging the validity of the field sobriety tests: Field sobriety tests are often used as evidence of impairment in DWI cases, but they are not always reliable indicators of intoxication. An experienced attorney may be able to question the validity of the tests or the officer’s administration of them.

  5. Asserting that the person’s rights were violated: If the police officer violated the person’s constitutional rights during the arrest or investigation, such as conducting an unlawful search or seizure, any evidence obtained as a result may be suppressed.

It’s important to note that the viability of any defense will depend on the specific facts of the case. If you are facing DWI charges in North Carolina, it’s essential to consult with our Top Rated DUI Lawyers in Greensboro, NC who can evaluate your case and work to develop a strong defense strategy.

How can I help you with my DWI case?

If you are facing DWI charges in North Carolina, you’ve come to the right place. There are several ways you can help us with your defense:

  1. Be honest and forthcoming: It’s important to be completely honest with us about all of the facts surrounding your case. Good facts, bad facts, we need them all so we can properly assess your case and make determinations as to whether it’s a trial case or we need to seek to mitigate the circumstances of it. 

  2. Provide all relevant information: Make sure to provide our DUI Lawyers with all relevant information, including any documents or evidence that may help your DWI case. This could include witness information & statements, medical records, or any video or audio recordings of the incident.

  3. Please try to follow our advice: Our DUI Lawyers have years of experience and expertise in defending DWI cases of every sort, so it’s important to follow our advice and guidance throughout the legal process. This could include attending treatment programs, refraining from alcohol use, or avoiding certain activities.

  4. Be patient and realistic: DWI cases can take time to resolve, so it’s important to be patient and realistic about the process. DWI charges are marathons and not sprints – often taking anywhere from 6 months to a year or longer. Our Impaired Driving Lawyers will work to achieve the best possible outcome for your case, but understand that every DWI case is different. What happened for someone you know and you, may be different based on the facts of the case, officers involved and a variety of factors.

By working closely with our DWI Lawyers and providing us with all relevant information, you can help us build the best defense possible to your impaired driving charges.

What can a DWI lawyer do to help me defend against impaired driving charges in Greensboro?

Our Top Rated DUI Lawyers have done it all when it comes to Impaired Driving cases, we’ve suppressed the stop of vehicles, intoxilyzer results, we’ve mitigated sentences to prevent jail time and we’re here to help you defend against your DWI charge:

  1. Assessing the evidence: Our Impaired Driving charges will review all of the evidence in your case, including police reports, witness statements, and any test results, to assess the strength of the prosecution’s case against you.

  2. Identifying legal issues: Our Top Rated DUI Lawyers will also look for any legal issues that could impact the admissibility of evidence or the validity of the charges, such as improper police conduct or a violation of your constitutional rights.

  3. Developing a defense strategy: Based on the evidence and legal issues, our Top Rated DWI Lawyers will develop a defense strategy tailored to your case. This may involve challenging the evidence, negotiating a plea agreement, or taking the case to trial.

  4. Representing you in court: At Jason Aycoth Criminal Lawyer | DUI | Traffic Tickets | Car Accidents, we will represent you in court and advocate on your behalf throughout the legal process. This may involve filing motions, arguing legal issues, or presenting evidence and witnesses at trial.

  5. Negotiating with the prosecutor: In some cases, our DUI Attorneys may be able to negotiate with the prosecution to reduce the charges or obtain a favorable plea agreement. This could involve negotiating for reduced charges, a reduced sentence, or alternative sentencing options.

  6. Providing guidance and support: We’re also here for you. We will provide guidance and support throughout the legal process, including answering your questions, providing updates on your case, and helping you navigate the criminal justice system.

Overall, our DWI lawyers can help you mount a strong defense against a DWI charge in North Carolina by leveraging our legal knowledge, experience, and expertise to protect your rights and interests.

What’s Next for My DWI Case?

The information above is focused on general information about impaired driving in Greensboro, NC. The reality is, in North Carolina, DWI charges can be extremely complex in terms of the possible defenses and mitigation strategies.

This page is devoted to providing general information about DWI charges, and the reality is our DWI Lawyers fully comprehend the possible defenses to a DWI, and how best to protect your rights.

If you’d like to learn more about your DWI charge and the possible Impaired Driving defenses, call our Top Rated DUI Lawyers today. We’re here for you and we’re only a phone call or message away.

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