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Proving You Did Not Cause an Accident in a North Carolina DWI

After a DWI charge in North Carolina, you may escape heightened penalties by proving you didn’t cause an accident. Although you might have been involved in a collision that resulted in a serious injury, the accident may not have been your fault. If you can show that the accident would have happened regardless of your alleged impairment, you can avoid much more serious legal consequences. 


Causing a Crash May Lead to Higher DWI Penalties in North Carolina


Causing a crash does not inherently lead to heightened DWI penalties in North Carolina. However, you face more serious consequences if you are involved in a collision that leads to serious injuries. If prosecutors successfully establish that you caused this accident while driving drunk, you will face a Level II DWI. A serious injury is an “aggravating factor” for sentencing purposes. The presence of one aggravating factor causes Level II DWI penalties, while additional aggravating factors can make consequences even more severe. 


A Level II DWI comes with a mandatory minimum jail sentence of one week. You might also face up to one year in jail for this offense – plus a fine of $2,000. With these heightened penalties in mind, it is important to establish you did not cause the serious injury in question. Note that if you cause multiple serious injuries, you could easily face a Level I Aggravated DWI. For example, you might be accused of causing three people to suffer serious injuries after colliding with a minivan carrying all of the alleged victims. This could potentially lead to a mandatory minimum one-year jail sentence and a maximum sentence of three years. 


It is even more important to prove you didn’t cause the accident if someone lost their life. This situation can easily lead to felony charges in North Carolina. 


How Do I Prove I Did Not Cause the Crash in a North Carolina DWI?


You can only face heightened penalties if prosecutors can prove you caused the accident “beyond reasonable doubt.” You may have been intoxicated at the time of the accident, but this doesn’t automatically mean you caused the crash. To convict you of DWI resulting in serious injuries, prosecutors must establish a “proximate cause” between your DWI offense and the accident. 


For example, the injured party may have run a red light before the accident. As long as you didn’t commit any other traffic offense while intoxicated, courts may conclude that the accident was not your fault. A DWI lawyer in North Carolina can help you establish that you did not cause the accident – even though you were intoxicated at the time. 


Work With an Experienced DWI Lawyer in North Carolina


If you have been accused of a serious DWI offense in North Carolina, it makes sense to contact a qualified defense attorney as soon as possible. You are not alone in this battle, and an attorney can help you determine the most appropriate course of action. Although auto injuries may be serious, they are not always caused by intoxicated drivers. Reach out to Coastal South Law today – and get started with a defense strategy. 



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