Thanksgiving Eve, also referred to as “Blackout Wednesday,” is the start of the holiday DWI season. During December, 728 people are killed or injured each day. While tensions are high when it comes to family and work gatherings, you may start with one or two drinks then leave the party without a second thought. DWIs can be detrimental to your life, job, and relationships. If you’ve been arrested for a DWI and you’re thinking of foregoing of an attorney and pleading guilty, here are a few things you should consider.
Should I just plead guilty?
The outcome of a DWI can be devastating. The court-imposed penalties for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in North Carolina can be serious and affect your freedom, finances, and reputation. Consequences can include loss of your driver’s license, community service, court costs, and loss of professional licenses.
Even if you know that you had too much to drink and you are thinking of pleading guilty, it is still recommended that you consult with a DWI attorney. It may be possible to avoid some of the harsh punishments that come with pleading guilty to a DWI.
How Much Will it Cost if I’m Convicted of a DWI?
A DWI is an expensive proposition. It can cost you your freedom and the financial consequences can be expensive. When considering the cost of an attorney versus defending yourself to fight the charges, you need to take the following into consideration:
Because it’s a criminal charge, you have to appear in court even if you plan to plead guilty. The rest of the cost depends on the outcome of your trial. If you’re facing tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of fees, fines, and judgments, not to mention jail time, an attorney is your best bet. Even if you’re facing minor penalties, the cost of an attorney can make the difference between an acquittal or dismissal and a conviction. Not only will that conviction be on your record for any future employers to see, but it will cost you a minimum of $500. Spending a little money an attorney can save you the conviction.
How Can a DWI Attorney Help?
The best shot the average citizen has of avoiding conviction of a DWI is to retain the services of an experienced DWI attorney. There are several procedural processes that the state is required to follow according to the United States Constitution and the laws of North Carolina.
In order to prove a DWI case, the police must have stopped you with reasonable suspicion that you were violating the law. If they stopped you with anything less than that or cannot prove that they stopped you with reasonable suspicion, they cannot convict of a DWI. Additionally, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed every element of the crime. If the state cannot prove any one of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt, then they cannot convict you of a DWI. .
Regardless of the severity of your DWI, your best chance is to hire an experienced attorney. A DWI attorney is skilled in understanding the intricacies of the law and is your best opportunity of avoiding the consequences of a conviction.