While facing a criminal charge, the State has only a certain amount of time to prosecute you. Otherwise, your case is over. However, in North Carolina, the current DUI statute limitations is under debate.

So What is the NC DUI Statute Limitations?

dui statute limitationsBecause the State has all the power, money, and resources, the DUI statute limitations is very important. So here is where we stand in North Carolina. As of this writing, there is a pending case on appeal that should answer the question. Even though a DWI is very serious, it is still a misdemeanor charge. Last year, the NC Court of Appeals ruled charging a defendant with DWI did not toll the two-year statute limitations. However, the NC Supreme Court put that decision on hold for now. Rather than waiting, the legislature has passed a new law especially for DWI cases. Effective December 1, just charging a defendant with DWI now tolls the statute limitations. Before, a magistrate judge had to present or indict a defendant. Thus, under the amended version, issuance of a citation within two years of the offense satisfies the statute limitations.

As is customary, either the appellate courts or the legislature make sure DWI cases are special. For example, expungement or plea bargaining is not an option in DUI. However, serious felonies like murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking are routinely negotiated. So why the difference in treatment? Sort of makes you wonder. After all, drug dealers and their lethal products kill and injure many more people than truly drunk drivers. While we can guess, there really does not seem to be a good answer or justification for DUI special laws.

The Harsher DUI Laws The Greater Need to Fight

While the State continues to single out DUI cases, the more we have to fight for our clients. Rather than give up, these new laws just make the need for experienced criminal lawyers greater. And the harder they make it, the more we will push back. So don’t quit. After all, we are just starting.