A DWI, "driving while impaired," charge (sometimes called a DUI, "driving under the influence" charge) is serious. Failing field sobriety tests and/or exceeding the .08 North Carolina legal limit in a breath or blood test may result in harsh and lifelong consequences. Your case requires skillful handling.
At the Law Office of Christopher A. Connelly, in Charlotte, North Carolina, we defend the rights of those accused of a DWI.
Stopped for DWI? Contact a Charlotte DWI defense lawyer at our office. Call 704-376-9376 or e-mail us for a consultation. Do not give up your right to legal representation.
Is this your first driving while impaired offense? Fight it aggressively, and protect yourself from the penalties that accompany even one conviction. Mecklenburg County criminal defense attorney Chris Connelly, a skilled and experienced DWI defense lawyer, has over 25 years of criminal defense experience. He will help make sure that your rights are protected.
At the Law Office of Christopher A. Connelly, in Charlotte, North Carolina, we provide our clients with legal representation marked by excellence, quality and respect.
A DWI Conviction Can Have Serious Effects
- You will pay fines.
- You may go to jail.
- Your driver's license will be suspended for a period of time.
- A conviction for DWI will go on your criminal and driving record.
- Your automobile insurance rates will increase for several years.
- You may have an ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle that you drive, at your expense.
- It may be difficult to obtain insurance with a conviction for DWI.
- You will be required to go to an alcohol abuse assessment to determine if you have alcohol dependency and then to an appropriate level of further treatment.
Experienced Defense Against All Driving While Impaired Charges
DWI defense lawyer Chris Connelly can handle the administrative hearing at the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) involving your driver's license status, as well as defense against all criminal charges, including:
- Multiple DWI offenses
- Boating while impaired
- Underage alcohol and/or license violations
- Vehicle seizures
Driving While Impaired Laws Are Complex and Skilled DWI Defense Is Critical
You can be arrested for DWI on a lawn mower or in a parking lot, as well as when driving or boating. North Carolina DWI laws are complex, and the outcome of your case will depend on the specific facts surrounding your arrest.
DWI and a Commercial Driver's License
If you have a commercial driver's license (CDL), it will be revoked even if you were driving your personal vehicle at the time of your arrest. If you are driving a commercial motor vehicle, then a BAC level of .04 is the North Carolina legal limit. Furthermore, you cannot obtain temporary commercial driving privileges, although we may be able to get them for your personal vehicle. If you are a professional driver, you need professional representation.
- Underage alcohol violations FAQ
- Chemical tests
- What will your status as a driver be following a DWI conviction ?
- Do I need a lawyer for a traffic matter?
Blood Test in DWI Cases
Police may also ask for, or in some cases, compel the taking of a blood sample. This highly invasive, potentially risky procedure need not be done by a doctor or a nurse or even in a hospital. Instead, it can be done by "any qualified person". A Court Order, Magistrate's Order, or search warrant may not be needed in special instances. Some consider it to be a more accurate reading of alcohol concentration than breath testing. However, the results may be suppressed if we can establish:
- No reasonable articulable suspicion to stop you in the first place
- Improprieties in the establishment or management of any DWI roadblock or checkpoint
- Unacceptable delay in analysis of the blood
- Proper procedures were not followed in requesting or compelling the blood sample
- Law enforcement did not have proper authorization from a neutral and detached judicial official
Serious Penalties for Parents and Caretakers
Effective for offenses committed on or after December 1, 2011, a person convicted of Impaired Driving must be sentenced at Level One punishment (mandating a 30-day minimum in jail, maximum of two years in jail) if there was a child under the chronological age of 18 OR an adult with the mental development of a child under the age of 18 OR a person with a physical disability that prevented them from exiting the vehicle on their own.
Stopping Patterns and Vehicle Checkpoints
Effective December 1, 2011, the law now requires law enforcement agencies to designate in advance a pattern for stopping vehicles at checkpoints AND also prohibits law enforcement from basing a stopping pattern on a particular vehicle.
Effective December 1, 2011, the onerous "Laura's Law" could even increase punishment for a second-time DWI offense by establishing an "aggravated level one" punishment. This law mandates 12 months in prison if there are three or more grossly aggravating factors. Some of the more onerous applications that would require one year in jail would be if the defendant had a prior conviction from six years ago, never resolved his or her DWI-related suspension and had a child in the car OR had two prior convictions from six years ago and never resolved his or her DWI-related suspension. The defendant who receives this sentence of imprisonment must be released four months before the end of the maximum and be placed on post-release supervision. The individual must abstain from alcohol during this period, and it must be verified by a 24/7 monitoring system.
"Laura's Law" also provides for a permanent license revocation for this defendant and requires an ignition interlock if the person's license is restored.
Contact a Driving While Impaired Charges Defense Lawyer Regarding Mecklenburg, Cabarrus and Gaston Cases
If you are facing driving while impaired charges, get skilled legal representation. Contact our Charlotte DWI defense attorney online, or call 704-376-9376 to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case. We will discuss strategies for obtaining restoration of driving privileges after your DUI/DWI and how to avoid increased insurance rates.
The Law Office of Christopher A. Connelly
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Criminal Defense Attorney
Reasonable Fees ▪ Payment Plans ▪ Credit Cards Accepted ▪ Se Habla Español
Near jail and courthouse