What to Do If You’ve Been Charged With a DUI in North Carolina
Charged with a DUI in North Carolina?
Is this your first time?
Then you are at the right place. The consequences of a DUI conviction extend beyond the arrest date. North Carolina’s DWI law prohibits motorists from driving while intoxicated or impaired.
Depending on the charge, your vehicle will be withheld for ten days after the arrest. You may also face other DUI penalties such as jail term (of up to 36 months), do community work (up to 72 hours), or pay fines of up to $10,000.
Your next course of action will depend on whether the DWI charge will carry severe consequences. Here’s what to do after a DUI charge for fair outcomes:
1. Do Not Answer Any Incriminating Questions Without a Lawyer
Police officers may try to get you to incriminate yourself when charged with a DUI in NC. The arrest may also put you in distress, thus making you plead guilty when you’re innocent.
Only give your name, insurance information, license, and registration documents to the police. Don’t answer the police when asked if you were driving under the influence. You risk facing severe consequences after answering any potentially incriminating questions.
Lying will also worsen the situation since police officers are trained to spot incongruences in your responses. Ask to speak to an attorney if the questions asked seem to jeopardize your case.
2. Take the Chemical Test After the Arrest
Under North Carolina’s implied consent law, you must take a chemical test when charged with a DUI. The test should only be administered once a police officer has adequate reason to believe that you were driving while impaired. You’ll submit to the test through a breathalyzer or blood test to measure your blood alcohol content.
The officer should inform you of the risks of refusing to take the test. DUI in NC penalties includes losing your license for one year or getting your license restricted for six months.
Refusing to take a chemical test won’t guarantee your innocence in a DUI case. The prosecutors may use this gesture as evidence in court. The police may even obtain a warrant to subject you to a mandatory blood test.
3. Locate a Bail Bond Company
Seek the expert services of a bail bond provider if your DUI charge requires you to post bail. The company will require an upfront fee for them to post bail on your behalf. Often, this is a better option than paying bail directly to the court.
The bail bond company guarantees that you will attend your hearings when required. They will dedicate their resources to look for you if you fail to show up.
4. Record All Details of the Events Leading to Your Arrest
Record the details of events that lead to your arrest. You may write this information down or record it on your phone’s voice notes app. Write down what you said to the police when they pulled you over and what they said back to you.
If there were any potential witnesses at the time of the arrest, ask your attorney to contact them. These witnesses may include passengers in your vehicle or any person at the scene of the arrest.
Your records will help the attorney in creating a suitable defense strategy for the DUI case. It will also help them counter any misleading arguments brought by the prosecutors.
5. Determine If You Need a DUI Attorney
Hire an attorney if you intend to take a “not guilty” plea at your court hearing. You may take this plea if you believe that the breathalyzer used to measure your BAC was faulty. The plea may also be ideal if you were not intoxicated or impaired at the time of your arrest.
A DUI attorney can help you build a solid case to challenge the prosecution’s allegations. They can also guide you through the complex legal procedures involved in the case.
Your lawyer may also help you get your driving privileges back if you take a “guilty” plea. Weigh the potential consequences of the North Carolina DUI charge when determining the need for a lawyer.
6. Request a DMV Hearing
You have up to ten days after your arrest date to request a DMV hearing formally. This hearing helps determine whether you qualify to keep your driving privileges. You risk losing your driving license for up to a year if you fail to notify the North Carolina DMV (NCDMV) about your DUI charge.
NCDMV will notify you via mail regarding your eligibility for the hearing. They will also inform you about the deadline for making the requests and the associated fees.
The DMV requires you to mail a completed administrative hearing form to the appropriate address. They will only process your request once you pay the applicable fee.
7. Obtain a DL123 Form
A signed DL123 form obtained from a licensed insurer is needed to prove that you have the required DUI insurance. This form helps you get your driver’s license back since the NCDMV doesn’t require SR-22 forms.
As a state-maintained insurance coverage, it’s pretty costly than the standard insurance policy.
Your auto insurer should give you a car policy with a DL123 form attached. The DL123 form should list your name, the effective/expiration date, and the date of issuance.
Your insurer must submit this form on your behalf to improve your likelihood of getting your license back. It is only valid for thirty days from the issuance date as mandated by the NCDMV.
What’s Comes Next After Being Charged with a DUI?
Knowing your rights after being charged with a DUI can help improve the outcomes of your case. Use the practical tips discussed in this guide to ease the stress that comes with a DUI charge.
We are a leading bail bond provider operating in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Thanks to our decades of experience in issuing bail bonds, we can help get your loved one out of jail quickly. Request a consultation with our licensed bail agents today for free.