Can DWI Charges in Raleigh NC Affect my Driving Privileges before I am Convicted?
Certainly, individuals convicted on charges of driving while impaired (DWI) can face a significant loss of driving privileges. However, even people who have not yet had their day in court, in Raleigh or elsewhere in North Carolina, can face the prospect of a suspended license. Individuals can lose their driving privileges simply by refusing to take the required chemical breath or blood test once a police officer charges them with DWI.
By applying for a North Carolina license, you automatically agree to undergo chemical testing of your blood under state implied consent laws. According to the North Carolina Driver’s Handbook, upon refusal, your license is immediately revoked for at least 30 days. In addition, the Department of Motor Vehicles subsequently adds at least 12 months to the revocation. Even if you need to drive to work or school, six months must elapse before a judge considers restoring limited driving privileges.
The bottom line is that refusal of blood alcohol testing is illegal. Even if you are later acquitted for DWI, you cannot escape the penalties for refusing the test. It may not seem fair, but the best way to avoid a North Carolina suspended license for blood test refusal is to consent to the testing. If the test shows your blood alcohol content exceeds the legal limit, experienced criminal defense attorneys can often get the charges reduced or dropped — as long as you obtain their support immediately after arrest, and before you undergo any questioning by police.
The cards may seem stacked against you when the law requires you to potentially incriminate yourself by agreeing to chemical testing of your blood alcohol level. However, this does not mean a skilled defense attorney cannot help you get better results than you expect for your legal case. With more than half a century of experience defending clients in North Carolina and federal courts, the law firm of Hatch, Little & Bunn, L.L.P. provides comprehensive and skilled legal defense without judgment. Contact us to learn how we can help.