A drunk driving stop can lead to severe consequences. If you’ve been arrested for a DWI in Morehead City or elsewhere in Carteret County, you may be facing jail time, a steep fine, the loss of your driver’s license, and community service. Working with an experienced DWI defense will help you protect your freedom and future.
Attorney Joel Hancock has extensive experience representing clients facing DWI charges in North Carolina. He will thoroughly investigate your case and take an aggressive position when advocating for you. If you would like to speak to an experienced DWI trial attorney and learn more about potential DWI defense, contact Hancock Law Firm, PLLC to schedule an initial consultation.
Providing an Aggressive, No-Nonsense Approach to DWI Defense in Morehead City
Over the years, attorney Joel Hancock has built a substantial criminal defense practice by successfully defending clients against every type of DWI charge. He is ready to tackle your case whether you’re facing a first-time DWI offense or your third. He provides clients with a no-nonsense, aggressive approach that produces results in the courtroom. A DWI charge doesn’t have to result in a conviction; every DWI case is worth defending well. When you work with Joel Hancock, you will benefit from a solid, knowledgeable DWI defense.
North Carolina Prosecutors Take DWI Charges Seriously
In North Carolina, there are many levels of punishment for DWI charges. Prosecutors take DWI charges seriously and may fight for the most severe penalties in your case. If you are convicted of a DWI, the judge will consider multiple factors when determining the specific penalty in your case. The sentencing judge will weigh mitigating and aggravating factors to determine the penalty. Your attorney can present the judge with mitigating factors and negotiate a lighter sentence for you if you are convicted.
Mitigating factors include:
- A slight level of impairment (BAC of .08 or .09)
- A safe and lawful driving record other than the DWI charge
- A safe driving record
- Impairment caused by lawfully prescribed drugs taken within the prescribed dosage
Aggravating factors include the following:
- Being a repeat offender with a prior DWI within seven years
- Driving with a revoked or suspended license
- Engaging in especially reckless or dangerous driving
- Transporting a child while impaired
- Causing serious injury in a collision while impaired
- Driving with a highly elevated blood alcohol concentration (BAC), usually 0.15 percent or higher
Determining the Best Legal Strategy for Your Case
The first step in defending against DWI charges is to find out whether the police officer who pulled you over had a reasonable and articulable suspicion to do so. If the police officer had no reasonable suspicion that you were engaging in a traffic violation or criminal offense, he or she did not have a right to pull you over.
Additionally, law enforcement officers cannot arrest you unless they have probable cause, which is more difficult to prove than having a reasonable suspicion. When your constitutional rights were violated when you were arrested, you can petition the court to dismiss any evidence gathered from the unconstitutional stop or arrest.
Faulty or Inaccurate Blood, Urine, or Breathalyzer Tests
Many prosecutors rely on blood, urine, or breathalyzer test results to secure a DWI conviction. In many cases, the results of the test are not valid. For example, breathalyzer machines must be properly maintained and administered by a police officer with specific training on using the machine. When they are not properly calibrated and maintained, or the officer doesn’t follow the correct procedures, the defendant can challenge the test results in court.
Similarly, if the chain of custody with blood or urine samples was broken or if there was a procedural error related to testing the sample, an attorney can challenge those results. If the court chooses to dismiss the evidence of the tests, prosecutors may not be able to prove that you were driving while under the influence and will be unable to convict you.
Challenging the Prosecutor’s Evidence Against You
Attorney Joel Hancock will investigate all of the details of your DWI case and find any weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case against you. He has successfully defended many North Carolina clients in DWI cases. He has the experience needed to analyze police videos, audio recordings, testing results, and other evidence to find weaknesses.
After he reviews your case information, they’ll compare it to the police officer’s report and testimony while using it to explore your legal defense options. Joel Hancock has multiple DWI defense tactics at the ready and will be able to determine which strategy will work best in your case. He may question the following:
- Whether the police officer had a reasonable suspicion to pull you over
- Whether you were illegally profiled due to your ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, religion, gender identity, or country of origin
- Whether blood alcohol content (BAC) samples were mislabeled, mishandled, or contaminated
- Whether the devices used were defective and when they were last calibrated
- Whether the evidence of impairment or intoxication was valid
- What external factors may have impacted your driving behavior
- Whether you have a medical condition that could have caused physical symptoms or behaviors that mimic intoxication
The penalties for a DWI range from up to sixty days in jail and a fine of $60 to Class F Felony charges that result in a permanent driver’s license revocation and a jail sentence of 12 to 58 months.
Contact a Morehead City DWI Attorney
You do not have to face a DWI change alone. Attorney Joel Hancock is prepared to fight for you by providing you with a robust legal defense. He has experienced challenging blood and breath alcohol test results and constitutional violations during the arrest process. When working with Joel Hancock, you can rest assured that he will keep you informed about the status of your case and answer questions so you can make informed decisions. If you’re facing DWI charges in Morehead City, North Carolina, contact Hancock Law Firm, PLLC to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about how he can help you.