Dec 8, 2015

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Common Misconceptions a DWI Lawyer Can Clear Up

Each year, over a million US drivers are charged with a DWI. People consider it a common offense, but its frequency does not take away its seriousness. Driving while under the influence can lead to suspended licenses, marks on your permanent record, and even jail time. If you have been pulled over for DWI, it is important to know the facts and what to do if arrested. Here are a few things a DWI lawyer in Charlotte NC would want you to know.

One of the biggest misconceptions about DWI charges is that it is only in relation to alcohol. Although alcohol related DWI’s are the most common, they can come from many other sources. These include any substance that alters a person’s state of mind or decreases their hand-eye coordination. As these are the most important aspects of driving, and partaking of a substance that hinders your ability to use these aspects of bodily function is considered driving under the influence.

Another misconception about DWI law is that you are required to take the Breathalyzer test. It is not mandatory, but there are some drawbacks to that refusal. In court, if you are found guilty and you refused field tests, your sentence could be heavier. Most commonly, your license will be suspended for a longer period of time, but jail time can also occur. The best time to agree to take the test is when you are absolutely sure you can pass it. If you’re doubtful, don’t take the test and your attorney can eliminate that evidence against you in court.

One misconception that applies to a variety of arrests besides DWI, is that if the officer does not read you your Miranda rights, you can automatically have the charge and case thrown out. In reality, it is not in the law that the officer has to read you those rights in every case. Those only apply in cases in which the suspect could be incriminated on his own testimony upon arrest. The Miranda rights protect the one being arrested from having his statements used against him in court before he has a chance to build a case, as per his right to fair trial. DWI cases are usually quite cut and dry, and it is the defendant’s impairment while driving that defines his guilt, not necessarily his words. One last DWI misconception is that you do not need an attorney to fight your case. As mentioned before, DWI’s are quite serious in spite of their frequency and can harm your permanent record.

If you feel you are being wrongfully charged, hiring a DWI lawyer in Charlotte, NC, is essential to either having the charges dropped, or lessening your sentence. Contact Havelka Law PLLC today to schedule an appointment.

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