Traffic Tickets Dos and Don’ts

Traffic tickets are the single most misunderstood problem encountered by citizens.  The internet and your friends give often incorrect legal advice on how to best handle the situation.  People often save a few  hundred dollars (they think) by representing themselves only to find out a few weeks later that their license has been revoked and/or their insurance rates tripled because they did not know what they were doing.  Our law firm handles numerous types of traffic tickets ranging from speeding to driving on a revoked driver’s license.  There are inexpensive solutions to these problems if handled correctly.  Whether you hire our firm or not, do not attempt to represent yourself based upon friends, family, and internet information.

Driving While Impaired Cases (DWI)

The holy grail of all traffic tickets is the driving while impaired charge.  It is the one charge that rarely, if ever, is pled down to a lesser offense.  The N.C. Legislature has made it illegal for a district attorney to reduce or dismiss a DWI absent significant circumstances.  The consequences can be dire for an impaired driving conviction as well, including but not limited to:

  1. Prison for up to two years;
  2. Loss of license for four years;
  3. Supervised probation;
  4. Having to wear an alcohol monitoring device on your leg for up to 120 days;
  5. Community service up to 120 hours;
  6. Fines of up to $4,000.00, plus court costs, and probation fees;
  7. Having to place an interlock device (blow box) on your car; and,
  8. Other sanctions in the discretion of the Court.

When you are charged with a DWI, your attorney should ask the following questions prior to allowing you to plead guilty:

  1. Why did the officer stop you?
  2. What did the officer observe prior to asking you step from the vehicle?
  3. What kind of tests did the officer ask you to perform?  Did the officer do those tests correctly under appropriate circumstances?
  4. Did the officer have you blow on a roadside test?
  5. What did you say to the officer?
  6. What did the officer find in your car?
  7. Which rights did the officer read to you and when?
  8. Did you call a witness?
  9. Was your blood taken?
  10. Was the breath device being operated correctly?
  11. Can they prove you were the driver?
  12. Was it a road block?  (All road blocks should be challenged)

There are many other questions to consider when dealing with an impaired driving charge.  Our firm has handled these type cases for over 50 years.   Do not approach this type of case thinking it is cut and dried.  There are often defenses that go unnoticed if each case is not closely analyzed by an attorney who handles a lot of impaired driving offenses.  We are happy to speak with you at no charge regarding the circumstances of your case.