North Carolina has a zero tolerance law for DWI under 21. That means if you are under the legal drinking age and caught with any level of alcohol or other intoxicant in your system, you will face consequences. You can even be convicted in our state for showing signs of impairment without BAC evidence and will need the help of a seasoned Under 21 DWI attorney in Raleigh, NC.
The safest way for those under the age of 21 to avoid underage DWI is to never get behind the wheel after drinking. However, being arrested for DWI is not the end of the story. If you or your child/underage loved one faces underage DWI arrest, hiring an expert Raleigh Underage DWI attorney can help.
Attorney Jesse Scharff, cofounder of Scharff Law Firm in Raleigh, has specialized training in DWI offenses in North Carolina. Our team understands that an underage DWI charge may be excessive under the zero tolerance policy. We also know that a conviction can mar a young adult’s record and prevent him or her from obtaining scholarships and impact the future in detrimental ways.
Being Pulled Over on Suspicion of DWI
If you are pulled over for DWI, your first impulse may be to quickly deny any alcohol consumption. Only deny drinking if you have had nothing to drink. Otherwise, remain silent. Cooperate with the police officer and provide him or her the information needed, and ask to speak with your under 21 DWI attorney. You can and should reject any field sobriety tests. When you reject them, tell the officer you will instead submit to a chemical test at the station.
Underage DWIs are considered class 2 misdemeanors in North Carolina. Those who are convicted may end up completing a community service sentence, jail time, loss of driver’s license, and pay up to $1,000 in fines. In certain cases, an underage drinker may face the same sentencing as an adult DWI defendant. In addition to court ordered fines, defendant’s will also pay other court fees, any court-mandated DWI school costs, rehabilitation program costs, and higher auto insurance rates.
Underage drivers should always submit to a chemical test. Individuals may choose to refuse field sobriety tests, but yield to blood or urine screenings. Refusing will not stop a prosecuting team from pursuing a case against you, and refusal will also lead to the automatic revocation of your license for a full year. If they can prove the smell of alcohol was on your breath, you may face consequences.
Scharff Law Firm’s expertise in North Carolina DWI laws allows us to provide immediate attention to your case. We start working quickly on DWI cases to ensure we look at all evidence to form a personalized defense approach. Your future may ride on the successful outcome of an underage DWI case, and we’re ready to fight for it. Our firm prefers not to enter guilty pleas unless there is no other course of action. There are many different ways to fight under 21 DWI charges, including addressing the legitimacy of the stop and the protocols by which you were arrested.
Underage DWI cases have to be carefully addressed due to the state’s zero tolerance policy. In the event you are found guilty, we will work hard to ensure you understand what your sentencing could be in the worst case scenario from the moment you call us for a free consultation. Our Raleigh Under 21 DWI lawyers will advise you throughout the course of your case so you can make informed decisions regarding the defense approach and your future.
For more information or a free consultation about your underage DWI case, contact us today. Underage DWIs are difficult to defend in North Carolina, but not impossible. Let us help you navigate your case.