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North Carolina Defense Attorney Manages DUI/DWI Charges

Determined pursuit of the best possible resolution of your case

A conviction for a DUI/DWI in North Carolina carries serious consequences. You could serve time in jail, be forced to pay a stiff fine, and lose your license for a considerable amount of time. Additionally, you face higher insurance premiums and your reputation being tarnished. At the Law Office of Anthony R. Morrow in Rutherfordton, we understand the turmoil a DWI arrest causes. We are prepared to deliver an aggressive defense to the charges and help mitigate the consequences.

Defenses available to drunk driving charges in North Carolina

Although forensic evidence of blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent and above is compelling, the authorities don’t get the last word. An aggressive defense to DWI includes challenging the test results, based on the accuracy of the breathalyzer; the qualifications of the person running the test; and the chain of evidence of your samples. Depending on the circumstances, it might also be possible to challenge the basis for the traffic stop that led to your arrest.

However, in many cases, the BAC evidence proves insurmountable. It’s then our task to seek a sentence reduction by alerting the court to mitigating factors that argue for leniency. We actively pursue the least punitive options available, especially when there is a chance you might lose your license for any period of time. If the case results in a license suspension, we can help you obtain a restricted license that allows you to commute to work or school. If you suffered an administrative suspension of your license because you refused a roadside breath test, we can seek to have your license reinstated, depending on the facts of your refusal.

To help protect your rights in any encounter with police, we suggest you download and print the American Civil Liberties Union “bust card” and carry it with you always.

How NC courts use aggravating and mitigating factors to set DWI penalties

North Carolina courts look at mitigating factors, aggravating factors and grossly aggravating factors to decide the punishment for a DWI conviction. The grossly aggravating factors are:

  • Prior DWI conviction within seven years
  • DWI while license is suspended for a previous DWI
  • Serious injury to another person while DWI
  • Child under 18 in vehicle while DWI

The aggravating factors are:

  • BAC of .15 or above
  • Reckless driving and/or an accident
  • Driver license revoked for something other than DWI
  • Prior conviction(s) for DWI
  • Speeding while attempting to elude officers
  • Speeding 30 miles per hour over the legal limit
  • Passing a school bus illegally

The mitigating factors for a DWI are:

  • Slight impairment where test was unavailable
  • Safe driving record
  • BAC did not exceed .09
  • Driving lawfully (except for impairment) at time of offense
  • Impaired by prescribed dosage of legal medication
  • Voluntary submission to mental health facility for assessment

State law provides for five levels of punishment for a DUI/DWI offense, where Level 1 is the most severe and Level 5 is the least severe:

  • Level 1 — Jail time from 30 days to 24 months and a fine of up to $4,000. Requires two grossly aggravating factors.
  • Level 2 — Jail time of seven days to 12 months and a fine of up to $2,000. Requires one grossly aggravating factor.
  • Level 3 — Jail time of 72 hours, community service of 72 hours, or any combination of jail and community service up to 72 hours, and a fine of $500. Punishment available if aggravating factors outnumber mitigating factors.
  • Level 4 — Jail time of 48 hours, community service of 48 hours, or any combination of jail and community service up to 48 hours, and a fine of $500. Punishment available if aggravating factors balance with mitigating factors.
  • Level 5 — Jail time of 24 hours, community service of 24 hours, or any combination of jail and community service up to 24 hours, and a fine of $200. Punishment available if mitigating factors outnumber aggravating factors.

We argue persuasively drawing the court’s attention to mitigating factors, while rebutting the factual support for including aggravating and grossly aggravating factors in your sentencing discussion.

Contact a highly trained trial lawyer to fight your DUI/DWI charges

The Law Office of Anthony R. Morrow has the knowledge, skill and experience to deliver high-quality, determined criminal defense to clients charged with drunk driving. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 828-919-9590 or contact us online. We are located at 185 N. Main Street, Suite L, Rutherfordton, off U.S. 221, but can come to you if circumstances require.

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Office Location
  • Mail
    P.O. Box 145
    Rutherfordton, North Carolina 28139
    Phone: 828-919-9590
    Fax: 855-679-2323