Charlotte DWI Lawyer

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Charlotte DWI Attorney

Police officers throughout the Charlotte area issue thousands of traffic tickets each year after stopping drivers who violate traffic signals, perform illegal moving violations, or are observed driving erratically. If an officer stops a driver they suspect is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the driver could face severe consequences if they are convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI). A Charlotte DWI defense lawyer is an invaluable asset in this situation.

Experienced Criminal Defense Counsel for DWI in Charlotte, NC

The attorneys at Butler, Quinn & Hochman, PLLC, have extensive experience providing comprehensive criminal defense counsel in a wide range of cases, including DWI cases in Charlotte. If you have been charged with DWI, the first steps you take after arrest are crucial. You must know your rights in this situation and seek legal representation as quickly as possible. The right attorney can potentially help you avoid severe penalties.

Our firm responds as quickly as possible to all new requests for criminal defense counsel. We will meet with you as soon as we can to discuss the circumstances of your arrest and booking and to determine your most viable defenses. If you were wrongfully arrested for a DWI you did not commit, we can help prove the truth of the situation. If you did break the law, we can still potentially help you avoid the worst penalties that might be assigned to you.

You have the right to an attorney when you have been charged with breaking the law, and it is vital that you take full advantage of this right so you can reach the optimal outcome of your case. Our firm’s goal is to help you avoid conviction for DWI if possible or mitigate your sentence if necessary. Whatever your case entails, you can expect responsive and compassionate legal counsel from our team through all stages of the case.

Limiting The Damage Of Traffic Violations

A traffic violation may seem like a minor legal matter, but the cost can add up quickly. Fines can leave your pocketbook lighter, and points against your driver’s license can result in suspension or revocation. By enlisting the services of an experienced traffic ticket defense lawyer, you can limit the damage or even avoid the consequences altogether.

At Butler, Quinn & Hochman, PLLC, in Charlotte, we provide skilled defense against speeding, reckless driving and other traffic violations in North Carolina. In many cases, our attorneys can appear in traffic court on your behalf, sparing you the time and expense of appearing in person.

If you have been charged with DWI, there is a good chance that other traffic violations have been added to your case. For example, if the police officer who arrested you conducted your traffic stop because they observed you speeding or performing a moving violation, you face multiple charges. Our goal as your defense team will be to minimize the total penalties you could face if you are convicted of all the charges included in your case.

Fighting Drunk Driving Charges

A DUI/DWI charge is a serious legal matter that must be addressed with urgency. We can protect your rights in criminal proceedings as well as the administrative process of protecting your driver’s license. While you are not legally compelled to hire a defense attorney, you have the constitutional right to legal representation under the Sixth Amendment, and it is crucial to understand the importance of exercising this right.

Our attorneys are well-versed in DUI/DWI defense strategies and will scrutinize the police evidence to determine if your rights were violated during any point of the process. We are skilled at negotiating with prosecutors. When our clients’ interests are best served by taking a case to trial, we are always prepared to do so.

We are committed to helping our clients avoid jail time, probation, driver’s license and other consequences of a drunk driving conviction. After an arrest for DWI in Charlotte, exercise your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent until you can exercise your Sixth Amendment right to legal counsel and say nothing until you are able to speak with a Charlotte DWI defense lawyer.

You may have more defenses available to you than you initially realize. If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, police use the blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) measurement system to determine whether a driver is under the influence. The standard BAC limit for most drivers is .08%, and anything over this amount qualifies as a DWI. For commercial drivers, the BAC limit is only .04%, and the limit is 0% for drivers under the age of 21.

Your Charlotte DWI defense lawyer can carefully examine the details of your arrest and booking to ensure the police followed due process, respected your rights, and conducted your chemical test for DWI lawfully. Your attorney can also examine the testing lab’s handling of your sample and determine whether any chain of custody violations occurred while handling the sample.

It is possible to fight a DWI charge in Charlotte by proving you were not under the influence when you were arrested, challenging chemical test results, highlighting procedural errors on the part of arresting officers, or exposing any police misconduct that occurred with your arrest and booking. The average person may not be able to make sense of the defense options available to them, so having experienced defense representation is invaluable for anyone in this situation.

Possible Penalties for DWI

North Carolina prosecutors take DWI cases very seriously and aggressively pursue convictions in these cases. State law defines the severity of a DWI violation using a level system, with level 5 DWIs being the least serious and level 1 DWIs being the most serious and incurring the harshest penalties. Most DWI violations are prosecuted as misdemeanors, but it is possible for a defendant to face a felony DWI charge under certain conditions.

The level of DWI a defendant faces and their penalties, if convicted, will depend on the number of mitigating and aggravating factors present in the case. Mitigating factors work in the defendant’s favor and typically encourage leniency in sentencing. If a driver has two or more mitigating factors in their first DWI case and did not cause an accident, they are likely to face a level 5 misdemeanor DWI charge.

Aggravating factors are the opposite, enhancing the level of a DWI offense and the severity of the resulting penalties. Commonly cited aggravating factors in DWI cases can include causing a serious accident resulting in bodily injury or death, having a record of a prior DWI conviction within the past few years, having an extremely high BAC, or driving while intoxicated with a minor child in the vehicle.

Penalties for DWI conviction vary based on the level of the offense, and these penalties generally include fines, jail time, and driver’s license suspension. The higher the level of the offense, the larger the fine, the longer the incarceration term, and the longer the suspension term the defendant will face. Additionally, the sentencing judge has the discretionary power to assign additional penalties they believe suit the defendant.

For example, a judge may determine that a defendant has a substance abuse disorder and require the defendant to complete a mandatory substance abuse treatment program at their own expense as part of their sentence. A judge may also assign a defendant to perform community service and attend victim impact panels that confront them with the surviving family members of individuals killed in drunk driving accidents.

Felony DWI carries the most severe penalties. The defendant could be incarcerated in state prison rather than county jail, face several thousands of dollars in fines, and face a several-year-long driver’s license suspension. If they caused an accident resulting in bodily harm or death, they face civil liability for the damages they inflicted on others in the form of a personal injury suit or wrongful death claim from the victim’s family.

The Hidden Financial Impact of a DWI Conviction

While an individual charged with DWI may dread the court’s decision when it comes to their sentencing, the reality is that their conviction can carry many other penalties that are not immediately obvious. The total financial toll of a DWI can extend for years in the form of increased auto insurance premiums, difficulty finding work, or being forced to find a new job because of the loss of their driver’s license.

The financial problems that a DWI conviction can cause will escalate dramatically if the defendant has caused an accident with someone else. The injured driver can file an auto insurance claim against the DWI driver to seek compensation for their damages, but if this does not fully cover their losses, they are likely to file a personal injury suit. Ultimately, the DWI driver could face a severe financial penalty that negatively impacts their life for years to come.

What to Expect From Your Charlotte DWI Defense Lawyer

You have the right to an attorney after you have been arrested for any crime in Charlotte. Once you are placed under arrest, comply with instructions from arresting officers, but do not say anything. Even if you know you did nothing wrong, attempting to explain your side of the situation is likely to work against you. Say silent until you are able to speak with a Charlotte DUI defense lawyer.

When you choose Butler, Quinn & Hochman, PLLC, to represent your defense, we can immediately investigate the circumstances of your arrest to ensure the arresting officers followed proper procedures and the rules of due process. If we detect any issues, we can be sure to bring them to light when crafting your defense. If you did not commit the offense, we will do everything possible to prove the truth about the situation and help you avoid conviction.

If you did break the law, your situation is not hopeless. While you may dread the penalties you will face in conviction, a good defense attorney can potentially help mitigate these penalties through plea bargaining. This won’t be an option for every defendant, but if a plea deal is offered in your case, it could make a tremendous difference in the total penalties assigned to you in sentencing.

We take time to clearly explain our billing policy to every client we defend so there are no surprises when it comes to the cost of their legal counsel. Your choice to hire a private Charlotte DWI defense lawyer is an investment into your own future that can pay off significantly when you compare the results your attorney could reach to what you could expect on your own. It is always worth having defense counsel you trust for any type of criminal case.

A Proven Ally In Your Time Of Need

Butler, Quinn & Hochman, PLLC, has the skills, resources, and experience needed to defend our clients in Charlotte in the toughest DWI cases. When you need strong defense against a traffic ticket or drunk driving charge, our defense lawyers will be here for you. To arrange a legal consultation with an experienced criminal law attorney in Charlotte, contact us today online or by telephone at 704-569-9800.

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