Asheville Dui Guy

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Asheville, NC DUI Attorney

If you have been arrested for an Asheville DUI, chances are you were shocked, embarrassed, overwhelmed, anxiety-ridden and totally stressed out. The consequences of an Asheville DUI conviction are both severe and far-reaching. They can affect your personal relationships, your career opportunities, and may even affect your divorce or child custody hearings. Even one DUI can have far reaching negative consequences that can last a lifetime.

Many people make the decision to simply plead guilty—particularly if this is their first DUI arrest—because they believe it will make the entire thing go away more quickly. Unfortunately, this is simply NOT TRUE. When you plead guilty to DUI charges, you have set in motion consequences which cannot be reversed. Some of these consequences include:

  • Time spent behind bars;
  • Extremely high fines and fees;
  • The loss of your driver’s license for a specific amount of time;
  • Potentially having an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle;
  • The potential loss of your job, or an inability to find employment;
  • Insurance premiums which become so high as to be unaffordable in some cases;
  • An inability to secure a government college loan or to join the military, and
  • A permanent blot on your criminal record.
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It is virtually always a better idea to fight your DUI charges. In some cases, you may find your DUI charges dismissed completely because of lack of evidence or police mistakes. At the very least, your Asheville DUI defense attorney may be able to have your charges reduced or to get you into a diversionary program as an alternative to jail. Remember these two important facts:

The most important thing you can do to lessen the negative consequences of your DUI charges is to speak to an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. Remember, the prosecution is required to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. If the state is unable to prove an element of your DUI offense, or if the police officer improperly conducted your stop, your field sobriety tests, or your chemical tests, then it could be difficult to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

A failed field sobriety test or chemical test does not automatically mean you cannot win your DUI case.

The state of North Carolina has fairly harsh DUI costs and penalties, as well as strict DUI laws. As such, it is advisable never to plead guilty to DUI charges before you have consulted a skilled Asheville DUI defense attorney who can thoroughly examine the details of your DUI arrest. You may have some preconceived notions regarding your DUI charges which can harm you in the long run. Some of the most common “myths” about DUI include:

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If you tested under 0.08 percent BAC, you are safe from prosecution. This could be the most common DUI myth—you can be charged and convicted of a DUI with a BAC less than the legal limit if the State can definitively prove your ability to drive was impaired by the alcohol you consumed.

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Driving under the influence of prescription drugs is not a crime. Again, if the state can show your ability to drive was impaired by the prescription drugs you were taking, you could be charged with a DUI.

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If you cooperate fully with the officer and “pass” the field sobriety tests you will be allowed to go home. Rarely true. There is a reason the Miranda warning advises you that you have the right to remain silent. The biggest obstacle many DUI attorneys must overcome is the evidence freely given to the officer by their client—then taken out of context and used against the client.

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You have to be driving to be charged with DUI. Again, not necessarily true. If you were so intoxicated that you pulled off the road and decided to sleep it off for safety’s sake, you could still find yourself being charged with DUI—especially if you left the keys in the ignition. The theory behind this is that you were still in control of the vehicle even though you were sound asleep. Perhaps you could have woken up, still in your impaired state, and driven off. One court upheld a DUI conviction where the woman was asleep in her car, the car was hopelessly mired in mud, and she had two blown tires. Unfortunately, her keys were in the ignition, and the court believed she could have driven if she chose to.

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Penalties for a DUI in the State of North Carolina

You may be wondering what you might face in the way of state-associated penalties. North Carolina uses a unique sentencing structure for DUI convictions. Penalties are based on the “level” of the offense. Levels are ranked in descending seriousness. The lower the level of the offense, the higher the punishment will be,  The levels are as follows:

Level 5

  • Immediate license suspension for 30 days, with the possibility of limited driving privileges after 10 days.
  • Up to a $200 fine.
  • Between 24 hours and 60 days in jail. (Your judge might suspend your sentence to 24 hours of imprisonment or 24 hours of community service as part of probation.)
  • Substance abuse assessment, if you’re placed on probation.

Level 4

  • Immediate license suspension for 30 days, with the possibility of limited driving privileges after 10 days.
  • Up to a $500 fine.
  • Between 48 hours and 120 days in jail. (Your judge might suspend your sentence to 48 hours of imprisonment or 48 hours of community service as part of probation.)
  • Substance abuse assessment, if you’re placed on probation.

Level 3

  • Immediate license suspension for 30 days, with the possibility of limited driving privileges after 10 days.
  • Up to a $1,000 fine.
  • Between 72 hours and 6 months in jail. (Your judge might suspend your sentence to 72 hours of imprisonment or 72 hours of community service as part of probation.)
  • Substance abuse assessment, if you’re placed on probation.

Level 2

  • Immediate license suspension for 30 days, with the possibility of limited driving privileges after 10 days.
  • Up to a $2,000 fine.
  • Between 7 days and 12 months in jail. (Your judge might suspend your sentence to 90 days of abstaining from alcohol, which the court will monitor.)
  • Substance abuse assessment, if you’re placed on probation.

Level 1

  • Immediate license suspension for 30 days, with the possibility of limited driving privileges after 10 days.
  • Up to a $4,000 fine.
  • Between 30 days and 24 months in jail. (Your judge might give you 10 days under probation cases involving alcohol monitoring for 120 days.)
  • Substance abuse assessment, if you’re placed on probation.

Aggravated Level 1

  • Immediate license suspension for 30 days, with the possibility of limited driving privileges after 10 days.
  • Up to a $10,000 fine.
  • Between 12 months and 36 months in jail. (Your judge might give you 120 days under probation cases involving alcohol monitoring for a minimum of 120 days.)
  • Monitored abstaining from alcohol for 4 months after prison release.
  • Substance abuse assessment.

To better understand this process, contact our firm at 828-759-5556. 

If you refuse a chemical test in the state of North Carolina, you will face a minimum of 30 days license suspension. If found guilty, your license will be suspended for one year.

When you have been arrested for a DUI, the long-term effects of a potential conviction may not be your first priority, however it is important to consider these consequences carefully. When you call an experienced Asheville, NC DUI attorney, you have a vastly increased chance of minimizing those consequences, and being able to move on with your life. Your DUI attorney has the experience, knowledge and skill to level the playing field on your behalf, fighting to help you overcome your DUI charges.

If you or someone you love has been arrested and charged with DUI in Asheville or anywhere in the State of North Carolina, it important to discuss your case with an experienced Asheville DUI defense lawyer immediately. Asheville DUI defense lawyer will investigate all angles of your arrest and help you build a solid defense that is designed to protect your future. Swift and aggressive legal representation is the first step towards avoiding serious and lifelong consequences. Call Asheville DUI defense lawyer, today at 828-759-5556 or fill out our confidential contact form to begin building a solid defense against these serious charges.

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Would you like to speak to a DUI Attorney? Please submit the online contact form and one of our attorneys will call you as soon as possible. If you would prefer, we are available, and you can call us now at 828-759-5556.

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