Nothing is worse than being charged with driving while impaired in North Carolina. Expectedly, you may feel overwhelmed and concerned about the situation. For your first offense, you will have a 30-day civil revocation, which may not sound bad on paper but could have severe consequences. Instead of trying to understand laws in North Carolina, look for a criminal defense lawyer without delay. You can learn more here about hiring an attorney. Here are some key things to know.
Understanding the laws
For the initial time, you can consider going back to the clerk’s office to get your license back by paying the reinstatement fee. You can continue to drive unless and until you are convicted of the charge. If you refused to take a test, your license would be revoked, even if you were not convicted of the charge. You have the option to challenge the same when you get the notice, which will be sent to the address on the license. Charges related to driving while impaired are taken very seriously, and the sentencing can be pretty harsh. One may have to spend up to two years in jail for a conviction. Your punishment could be more than you imagine if you had a prior conviction.
Stopped on Suspicion of a DWI
You should take the proper steps when an officer asks you to stop on suspicion of a DWI. Here are some quick tips:
- Stop your vehicle. As long as it is safely possible for you to stop when you see those flashing blue lights, you should do so. Remain in the car and do not get anxious. Your hands should be on the steering.
- Don’t argue. Even if you are not wrong, do not argue with the office. If they ask for your documents, such as the license, hand over the same and don’t say too much at this point.
- Focus on your rights. You have a few rights. You don’t have to answer any questions and have the right to remain silent. You can also decline to take a field breath and field sobriety test. Remember that if you refuse a field breath test even at the police station, your license could be suspended for one year, no matter whether you are convicted of driving when impaired.
Look for a DWI defense lawyer immediately and ensure you discuss all aspects of your case in detail. Find an attorney specializing in criminal law.