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Legal Defense Strategies You Need to Face DWI Charges

The future may look bleak if you’re facing DWI charges. You’re probably wondering how this mistake can affect the rest of your life. Depending on your attorney’s defense strategy, you could come out alright or lose almost everything. That’s why it’s essential to find an attorney who understands North Carolina DWI defense law and can prepare an experienced and informed case to fight for your rights.

4 Steps to Understand North Carolina DWI Defenses

Step 1

Your first step is understanding your charges. Check out our DWI page and other blogs to fully understand what you are facing! Once convicted, a DWI stays on your permanent record. You can’t ever remove this conviction from your record with an expungement!

Step 2

Know that refusing to blow into an officer’s chemical testing machine at the station can result in a suspension of your driving privileges for one year. However, even if you blow a high number, there are good defense strategies for DWI charges!

Step 3

Understand possible defenses to your charges and discuss them with potential attorneys. You need the best possible representation for your charges! Always ask questions and expect to hear an intelligent, informed answer from a potential attorney.

Step 4

Consider some of the top potential DWI defense law strategies an experienced attorney may use to defend your case and help a court declare you not guilty!

Consider These DWI Defense Law Strategies

The Knoll Motion Defense

A Knoll Motion refers to a 1984 NC case where Mr. Knoll blew a .30, which is much higher than the legal limit of .08. However, the judge dismissed his case because his attorney challenged the state’s actions violating his rights.

If a magistrate keeps you in jail unnecessarily on bond, they step on your rights to find witnesses who can attest to your behavior during the DWI arrest time period. If you don’t pose a danger to yourself or others and have no criminal convictions, there is no legal reason why the magistrate would set a bond for you.

You have the right to witnesses when you prepare your defense. If the magistrate keeps you away from potential witnesses by keeping you in jail on a bogus bond, they circumvent your rights! A judge may dismiss your case outright before it even arrives in a courtroom!

The Ferguson Motion Defense

In NC, you have the right to a witness present when you submit to a test of your breath. It is your constitutional and statutory right for law enforcement to give you access to a witness. 

An officer must read your rights to you, which include:

  • 30 minutes to contact a witness who can meet you at a station to observe your test.
  • An officer must inform you that you may call a witness to observe the testing.

If your witness arrives in time, but law enforcement does not let them into the room to observe your testing, they’ve violated your rights. A judge may throw out your chemical testing results or even dismiss your case if:

  • The officer does not read you your DWI informed consent rights.
  • Your witness arrives and is not allowed into the intox room to observe the testing. If this happens, the judge can suppress your breath test results or even dismiss your case.

The Absher Motion Defense

In the 2009 case of Mr. Absher, the government allowed the destruction of a video in their custody. Mr. Absher’s case faced negative consequences as a result. An ‘Absher Motion’ is a good defense when attempting to get a DWI dismissed because law enforcement has destroyed or lost evidence that would have helped the court see your innocence. 

Loss of evidence often occurs when:

  • Someone mislabels the video
  • Footage download doesn’t work properly
  • Accidental deletion
  • Any other reason: the reason for missing evidence doesn’t have to be sinister or subversive to win this motion.

If officers lost something that would’ve minimized your guilt or helped your attorney effectively cross-examine witnesses against you, you can move for dismissal under an Absher Motion.

The State of North Carolina must legally volunteer evidence of your innocence even if you don’t explicitly request it. But if you DO request items favorable to your defense and the State fails to provide the evidence, their behavior may be a flagrant violation of your constitutional rights.

We Can Help

At Scharff Law, our extensive experience with DWI cases has shown us various ways to defend against a DWI charge in North Carolina. The number you blow on the machine at the station is NOT the end of the issue. 

You can challenge your charges in many ways, including:

  • The stop of your vehicle
  • Your arrest
  • Post arrest procedure
  • No witness allowed
  • Officer losing video evidence that would have helped your case
  • Other witness testimony at the scene of an arrest
  • Steps that the magistrate took to hold you on a secured bond
  • And many more ways an experienced attorney can challenge your DWI charges!

You have a right to an attorney who can attack your charges and find your best case scenario moving forward. Contact us today at Scharff Law to find out how we can help you build your best DWI defense.