40% of All Fatal Car Accidents Involve DWI
DWIs are a pervasive issue, both inside and outside of North Carolina. The occurrence of DWIs has increased dramatically over the past two years and continues to rise. Recent statistics reflect that nearly 90 people in the United States die every day due to car accidents, and that a shocking 40% of them involve a drunk driver. If you are charged with being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and involved in a fatal car accident, the civil and criminal consequences can be severe. If you are found guilty of DWI in court, you also open yourself up to civil liability.
Fighting a DWI Charge
While many people believe that DWI charges are black and white, there is actually quite a large margin for error. In many cases people are convicted of DWI without even being given a breathalyzer test. Police officers in North Carolina have the ability to charge someone with a DWI even if they are under the legal limit, provided that they observed them acting or driving in a way that made them appear to be under the influence. Field sobriety tests often yield highly biased and unreliable results. There are many reasons that a person may not be able to balance, such as uneven ground, disabilities, or poor balance. Even apparently erratic driving can often be explained by non-DWI reasons, such as reaching for a pacifier under the front seat. Regular negligence is preferable to a finding of DWI. Even if you were given a breathalyzer test there are many things that can affect the results and make them seem higher than they actually were. An experienced North Carolina attorney can help you to fight the charges or to have them reduced or dismissed.
Consequences for Drunk Driving Vehicular Manslaughter in North Carolina
In North Carolina, DWI laws are not taken lightly, and when a death occurs as a result, the penalties are extremely harsh. In North Carolina, the penalties for a drunk driving vehicular manslaughter range from 15 to 480 months in prison. Additionally, those convicted will owe steep fines, and receive a permanent criminal record. Whereas a regular incidence of vehicular manslaughter can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances (for instance, regular negligence would generally be a misdemeanor unless you have a previous charge of felony vehicular manslaughter), vehicular manslaughter that occurs while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol is automatically charged as a felony. Being convicted of a felony affects everything from your voting rights to your employment prospects. Felonies can also not generally be expunged, so it’s important to fight them before you are convicted rather than hoping for the best and fighting them on the backend.
Contact Coastal South Law
If you are facing charges for DWI or felony vehicular manslaughter and drunk driving in North Carolina, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the attorneys at Coastal South Law to schedule a consultation and find out how we can fight for the best possible outcome in your case.