Finding the Right Lawyer for DUI Charges in Gaston County
If you've been arrested or charged with impaired driving in Gastonia, Belmont, Dallas, or anywhere in Gaston County, North Carolina, you may feel overwhelmed and uncertain about your future.
That's normal, if not entirely expected.
Everyone knows a driving while impaired charge is serious stuff, and no one wants to be convicted if they can avoid it. That's because the consequences of a conviction can include loss of your driver's license, fines, court costs, and even jail time in certain circumstances.
Several important factors should be considered when looking for a DUI defense attorney in Gaston County.
This article will provide an overview of what to look for when selecting a lawyer to help you with your DUI case.The Right Lawyer Can Make All the Difference in Your Case
First and foremost, we think it's a good idea to find a DWI attorney with substantial experience handling cases in Gaston County.
"In my opinion, general criminal defense, entering guilty pleas, and handling DWI charges in district court are not enough. Experience counts, and that specifically should include jury trial experience in Superior Court."
- Bill Powers, Gaston County DWI Attorney
You want someone with experience navigating the relevant court systems in Gaston County and who has an expansive knowledge of North Carolina State law.
Your DWI charge deserves the attention of an experienced DUI defense lawyer who understands the local protocols and procedures for handling DWI charges in Gaston County.
Part of what we do at Powers Law Firm PA is provide you with a realistic assessment of your DWI case and what you can expect in terms of outcomes.
This is one of the most common questions when it comes to DUI charges in Gaston County.
The short answer is yes; but, one would be remiss in failing to add, it depends on the circumstances surrounding your case. Even someone with no prior DWI convictions can be sentenced to jail time if there is something referred to as a grossly aggravating factor associated with the allegations.
We can help you understand what penalties might be imposed, if convicted, and advise you on how best to proceed.What are "Grossly Aggravating Factors?"
There are several grossly aggravating factors in North Carolina, that if proven Beyond a Reasonable Doubt by the State (the "ADA," the prosecuting attorney) that can result in the imposition of a period of incarceration (jail or prison, depending in the unique aspects of any give case).
In very general terms, that includes:
- Prior DWI conviction (within 7 years)
- Child passenger under 18 in the vehicle
- Accident Resulting in Serious Injury as a result of the impaired driving
- Driving while license revoked, impaired revocation
We provide a FREE DOWNLOAD of the North Carolina DWI Quick Reference Guide if you'd like more specifics.Is DUI a Felony or Misdemeanor in North Carolina?
The offense of Driving While Impaired (DWI) is ordinarily a misdemeanor in North Carolina. There are important exceptions.
Impaired driving can be a predicate offense for very serious felony charges, including but not limited to:
- Felony Death by Vehicle
- Second Degree Murder
- Involuntary Manslaughter
- Habitual Driving While Impaired
- Felony Serious Injury by Vehicle
- Aggravated Felony Death by Vehicle
- Aggravated Felony Serious Injury by Vehicle
The terms DUI and DWI are synonymous, and all generally refer to operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs (both legal and illegal.)
The NC DWI law (N.C.G.S. 20-138.1) calls the offense "Impaired Driving." The commonly used acronyms such as DUI and DWI are not something specifically referred to in the statute. That's also true for the terms "drunk driving" and "drunken driving."
The standard of proof for DWI offenders does not involve being "drunk." Indeed, it's a much lower standard than that.
"The State need only prove you were appreciably impaired, at or above the legal limit, or had a Schedule I controlled substance in your system."
- Bill Powers, Gaston County DWI attorney