How to Survive a DWI Charge
Being charged with a DWI can feel like the end of the world. It is hard not to think about the impact a DWI conviction would have on your life. Depending on your profession, a DWI conviction can limit career opportunities or jeopardize your licensure. Depending on the circumstances and severity of the charges against you, it may also end up requiring jail time. However, it is important to remember that charges are not the same as a conviction. Although you may feel like a criminal when you have handcuffs on your wrists, you are still innocent until proven guilty, and it is critical to do everything that you can to keep from being proven guilty. So what can you do? We’ll cover that in this guide. Of course the information offered here is intended to be general. If you would like personalized feedback based on your specific case though, you are welcome to contact the experienced DWI Defense Attorneys at Coastal South Law to schedule a consultation.
Steps to Survive a DWI Charge
The first thing to do after you have been charged with a DWI in North Carolina is to contact an experienced DWI defense attorney so that they can thoroughly assess the circumstances of your case and determine the best course of action. Depending on your situation, you may have a basis to move to dismiss the charges against you--for instance, if you were stopped without probable cause or your constitutional rights were violated--or there may be an opportunity for your attorney to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution so that you can plead to a lesser offense. It’s also important to start taking restorative action with regard to your life and in the eyes of the law. You are not simply in waiting mode between the time that you are charged and go to trial, it’s critical that you use this time productively. By spending this time enrolling in an alcohol treatment program, seeking rehabilitative care, going to therapy, finding a mentor, starting a job, or doing community service, you are demonstrating to the court that you are someone who can be rehabilitated and who wants to change for the better. This can go a long way when it comes to sentencing and even considering other available options.
It is important to do as much as you can at this stage to increase your chances of having the charges against you dismissed or of being found not guilty, as a conviction can have serious ramifications. If you have an employer, you may be required to inform them of the charges against you or you may only have to inform them if you are convicted. It’s important to make sure that you comply with these requirements. Your employer may also have resources available, such as substance abuse counselling, that you can take advantage of, and which may also allow you to keep your job.
Talk to a Lawyer
Being charged with a DWI is not the end, it is just the beginning of a process that you can impact more than you think. If you are facing DWI charges in North Carolina, contact the experienced DWI defense attorneys at Coastal South Law and schedule a consultation today.