Raleigh DUI Lawyers
The rate of DUI-related accidents in the United States remains high. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 10,839 people died in 2009 as a result of alcohol-impaired driving. Of these fatalities, 363 occurred in North Carolina.
While in some states driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a more serious charge than driving under the influence (DUI), North Carolina laws do not distinguish between the two. In North Carolina, DUI is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a fine of up to $4,000. Additionally, DUI offenders lose their driving privileges for anywhere from one year to life.
If you face Raleigh DUI charges, the best thing you can do to protect your rights is contact an experienced lawyer. The Raleigh DUI attorneys of Hatch, Little & Bunn, LLP have extensive experience in criminal and civil litigation, and can minimize the effect that a DUI might have on your driving record and insurance rates.
Skilled Raleigh DUI attorneys fighting for your best interests
It is important to be aware of your rights if a police officer pulls you over for suspected drunk driving. The police may stop a driver if they have a reasonable suspicion that the driver is operating a vehicle while impaired. After the officer pulls you over, he or she can ask you to perform field sobriety tests. Examples of field sobriety tests include the following:
- Walk-and-turn test. The officer asks you to take nine steps down a line, turn in a specific manner, and walk back down the line in the same manner without losing your balance.
- Finger-to-nose test. In this test, you must extend one arm to the side, bring the arm to your front, and curl your arm inwards and touch the tip of your nose.
- “Alco Sensor” test. This is a handheld test that is administered in the field. The results of this test are not usually permitted in court.
You do not have to submit to any of these tests. However, the prosecution might use a refusal as evidence against you at trial. Our knowledgeable DUI lawyers in Raleigh can offer more information about how to protect your rights when you are pulled over.
If an officer has probable cause to believe that you were impaired while driving, he or she can arrest you. At the station, you may either agree or refuse to take a breath test that determines your blood-alcohol concentration. Before issuing the test, the officers must advise you of your rights—including your right to call a DUI attorney in Raleigh and your right to refuse to take the test. Keep in mind, though, that if you refuse to comply, your license is automatically revoked for one year.
After being arrested for DUI, it is always advisable to contact a Raleigh DUI lawyer at Hatch, Little & Bunn, LLP as soon as possible.
Contact experienced drunk driving defense attorneys in Raleigh
The Raleigh DUI lawyers of Hatch, Little & Bunn, LLP have the knowledge and legal insight necessary to challenge the evidence in your case. To discuss your case with a skilled criminal defense lawyer, email the criminal team at Hatch, Little & Bunn or call 919-670-1411 today.