You’ve Been Arrested for DWI in Charlotte – What To Do Right Now?
First Our Credentials
North Carolina DWI lawyer Robert J. Reeves is a practicing trial attorney here in Charlotte with 25 years experience in both criminal and civil courts. He is licensed in both North Carolina and South Carolina. Located across the street from the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, Mr. Reeves focuses his criminal practice on Driving While Impaired (DWI) and Boating While Impaired (BWI) cases. He has undergone the same training as police and received certificates from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) in both DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing as well as the Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE). Mr. Reeves is an accomplished trial attorney who has been inducted into the National Trial Lawyers Top 100, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and Super Lawyers. He is also a member of the National College for DUI Defense. Mr. Reeves will work tirelessly on your behalf and makes himself personally available to his clients to answer questions when you need him – evenings, weekends, and holidays. Every client is given his personal cell phone number 704-351-7979 and direct email address which is Robert@RJRlaw.com. We know how stressful this ordeal is to you and will do everything we can to ease your burden. We are going to be engaged in every step of the process, and Mr. Reeves will be there to guide you from start to finish.
The Arrest Process
If you’re reading this material, you or someone you care about has had a difficult night. On the way home from dinner or an evening out, you were stopped by police or came upon a DWI checkpoint. You may have admitted to a few drinks but felt fine to drive. You would never drive if you thought for a moment you were unsafe. Nevertheless, life circumstances can change pretty quickly. You now find yourself facing a DWI arrest. You haven’t slept and just spent a night in jail for the first time ever. Your driving record and maybe even your job is at risk. And, if you convicted, you will be left with a permanent criminal record and have to pay potentially thousands of dollars over the next few years in court costs, fines, and significantly higher insurance rates in the future. All this for just having drinks with dinner or a few beers at the game. So how did you get here?
Regardless of the reason you were initially stopped by police, everything changes once the officer detects any alcohol on your breath. At that point, the focus shifts to a DWI investigation and DWI arrest. First, you will be asked a series of questions while gathering requested documents such as your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance cards. These are “divided attention” tasks. Next, you will be asked to step out of your car and perform “field sobriety tests” on the side of the road. These sanctioned tests, even if properly administered, are difficult to complete under the best of conditions and without the anxiety of being investigated by police. Consequently, if you do attempt to comply, you will most probably fail and be arrested. If you refuse, you absolutely will be arrested. You get the idea here. Either way, once the investigation starts, plan on spending the night in jail.
What To Do When Released
When you get out the next morning, the first thing you need to do is to consult with an experienced Charlotte DWI attorney. There are a lot of lawyers who aggressively market for DWI cases. Over the next few days, you’re going to receive a significant amount of unsolicited mail from lawyers trying to get you to hire them. Friends and co-workers will typically want to help and will make suggestions. Almost everyone seems to “know a good lawyer” and how a DWI arrest is supposed to go. We respectfully suggest you do your own research before deciding. The lawyer you ultimately retain can make a real difference in the outcome of your case. Check out their experience and credentials. You may even want to meet and interview several attorneys. Then, after you have completed a thorough review, you are then in a position to make your best choice of who will handle your case. Go with the lawyer who gives you the most confidence and makes you the most comfortable.
Limited Driving Privilege (LDP)
The first thing almost every client wants to know is “when can I drive again?” After a DWI arrest, they are told before being released that their driving privileges are suspended for the next thirty (30) days. During the first ten (10) days, we will assist you in gathering all necessary information and then prepare documents for a Limited Driving Privilege. On the eleventh (11th) day after your arrest, we will ask a District Court judge to sign your privilege, file it with the court, and get you back on the road. After thirty (30) days from your arrest date, you can get your original license returned. We explain this procedure in detail in other sections of this website. Of course, you can call us, and we will further explain what needs to be done.
What is the DWI Arrest Process
Your first court date and time is shown on the arrest documents given to you when released. All Charlotte DWI cases start in Courtroom 1130 at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. If you hire a lawyer, you can sign a Waiver of Appearance form, and we can then appear on your behalf. You will not have to be there. On that first date, we will examine all documents in your file and request a second court date in 1130. As before, you will not have to be at that next court date. In the meantime, we will file several standard Motions and request any video evidence that may be available in your case. After the second court date in 1130, your case will start being scheduled on the fourth floor, or the District Court level. At those scheduled dates, you will have to be present. Our office will send you letters after each court appearance with the new date, time, and courtroom number. There will be several more court dates while we continue to collect all of the State’s evidence, including video. We will also personally speak with the arresting officer to learn what was recorded about the circumstances of your arrest. Once we have all the evidence and have carefully reviewed same, we will then be in a position to go over your options so that you can decide what is best for you. We will answer all of your questions, review the pros and cons, and make recommendations. Then, you will decide how you want to proceed. We never pressure our clients on any course of action. Rather, we advise and suggest options. It is always your case and your decision. We always remember that we work for you.
Is a DWI Case Worth Fighting?
Absolutely. A DWI arrest is a misdemeanor, not a felony. But, if convicted or pled guilty, a DWI results in a permanent criminal record that can never be expunged even years later. As with all criminal charges, a DWI should be thoroughly investigated and aggressively defended. The burden of proof is on the State of North Carolina, and the prosecution must prove all elements “beyond a reasonable doubt.” North Carolina has some of the toughest DWI laws in the country, with subject to few legal, rather than factual, defenses. You are beginning a very stressful time in your life. That’s why hiring an experienced DWI attorney is so important. We know and understand what is involved and how this process works. Let get us involved and see what can be done.
Thank you for visiting our firm’s website. We have purposefully put a lot of real information about what to expect and hope it helps answer some of your initial questions. After you have had an opportunity to read this material, please feel free to call us for a confidential review your particular case. Every case is unique, and individual facts can sometimes make a real difference in outcome. We will give you a candid assessment and explain your “worst case scenario.” The consultation is free, but the advice and guidance will help you sleep better tonight.