So, today in the world of this Raleigh DWI Attorney I witnessed something that had my interest. I watched as an attorney plead out a dwi charge for their client who had a prior DWI charge. Now, fortunately, for this North Carolina DUI Charge, the Defendant’s Prior NC DUI Conviction was more then 7 years ago and therefore was not a Grossly Aggravating Factor, only an Aggravating Factor (side note: I find it silly that the legislation couldn’t come up with different names for these two things so they aren’t so close that they cause confusion to many clients as I try to explain the difference between them). However, this Defendant’s license was revoked at the time of the current NC DWI and therefore had at least one Grossly Aggravating Factor. Now, aside from the fact that I thought the Defense Attorney could have argued better for sentencing, it wasn’t what I found so interesting about this plea deal. What was interesting about this case was the fact that the Defendant was reported to the Police by an anonymous tip AND that the Defendant had refused to provide a breath sample to the Police Officer when they caught up with her. Now, let me preface what I am about to say, I do not know all the facts about this case. There may have been a very good reason to plea this case out; the Police Officer may have gotten reasonable suspicion before he stopped her, they may have drew blood, they may have other evidence that I am not privy to, or the Defendant may have just wanted to plea the case out and get it over with (almost had a client facing similar sentencing do this exact thing). But, given that the Defendant was facing a minimum jail sentence (they were actually sentenced above the minimum to 120 days active jail sentence) I find it difficult to understand why a trial was not had? First, for anonymous tips, there’s extra steps the State must go through in order to justify the stop based on it, and even then there are certain challenges that can be made to try and prevent the testimony of what the tip was, which could prevent the State from entering any evidence as a result of the tip and possibly beating the case. Additionally, a case where the Defendant has refused to below is a very triable case. Understand, ‘very triable’ and ‘very winnable’ are two completely different things. But, at least with a refusal, the State has to either: 1. prove appreciable impairment, which is a subjective concept that a Raleigh Defense Attorney could cast doubt on or 2. it’s a blood draw, in which case the Defense attorney could try and keep it out unless the State presents evidence of chain of custody as well as the presence of the person who drew the blood. Again, I say, I do not know all of the facts of the case, so I am not trying to be too critical of this particular case. But I am extremely curious as to why this was plead out and not tried. In my talks with other attorneys (given, only a handful when considering the large volume of attorneys doing Raleigh DWI Defense and Durham DWI Defense) it seems that many attorneys are quick to plea and avoid trial because they don’t feel that there’s much chance of winning. And while that is true (they can be hard to beat) there is little to no consequence to the Defendant if they decide on a trial and it is their only chance of beating the NC Driving While Intoxicated charge. I guess what I am trying to say is, when speaking with the Attorney you may potentially hire in this case, be sure you inquire as to whether they are prepared to try the case or are they just interested in a quick turn-around where they just plea out the case. Disclaimer – Information and advice offered in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is specific to North Carolina law. The viewing, receipt and/or exchange of information from this article does not constitute an Attorney-Client Relationship. For assistance regarding your particular legal question speak with an Attorney practicing in the field from which your questions derives.
No matter what your situation is, we will give you prompt attention, regular updates, and clear explanations regarding developments in your case. Call us anytime at (919)-335-5291 for a consultation.
Matheson & Associates employs a skilled set of attorneys and support staff to ensure our clients zealous and determined representation. Whether you are facing a DWI or other criminal charges, need help forming a business, or just need someone representing your interests in a personal injury claim, Matheson & Associates is prepared and eager to be your advocate. We have experience representing hundreds of clients and we are dedicated to total client satisfaction. Call us today for a consultation and find out why so many trust Matheson & Associates to represent their legal needs.