So today’s Raleigh DWI Attorney blog is going to deal with what happens when an individual facing a North Carolina DWI Charge either refuses to blow in the Intoxilzyer or are unable to and the State elects to draw the Defendant’s blood to test for their blood/alcohol concentration. Commonly referred to as a ‘blood case’ these type of DWI’s have some interesting ins and outs for a Raleigh DUI Lawyer or any other North Carolina DUI Lawyer. But, this blog post is not intended on covering all the issues that can come up with blood cases. No, today’s blog post is going to deal with my frustration with the handling of these particular types of cases. You see, with blood cases in North Carolina, the blood is shipped off to the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) to have then run the test to determine the Defendant’s blood/alcohol concentration. In many of these types of North Carolina DWI cases, is very important to the State’s case against the Defendant. However, the blood can take months for it to get back to the District Attorney’s office. Since the State is reluctant to proceed without the blood results, they will continue the case multiple times until the blood results comes in. Now, as a Raleigh Criminal Attorney and Raleigh DWI Attorney, I am no stranger to continuances. In fact, both the Defense and the State will utilize continuances in order to get time to get their evidence together, work out pleas, etc. What my big frustration is that there seems to be a double standard in some counties when it comes to blood cases. You see, for some counties in the Research Triangle Area, DWI cases are required to be resolved very quickly. If the case is several months old, the Defense may not be granted a continuance, regardless of the reason for the motion to continue. Now, some attorneys may be asking for a continuance for selfish reasons, others may have legitimate reasons, like a necessary witness isn’t available that day, or the Defendant needs more time to complete their Substance Abuse Assessment, get money together, or make arrangements should they be facing jail time. Regardless, if the case is outside the predetermined limitations for DWI Cases, the Judge can deny the Defendant’s motion and they are forced to proceed. Now, shift gears to a blood case. In these same counties (one in particular comes to mind – though will not be named) if the DWI is a blood case, the State is given all the time in the world to get their evidence together. Now, I understand the District Attorney’s office has their hands tied because they can’t control the SBI, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Defendant is being required to come to court multiple times on something they have been accused of (but not yet proven) in violation to their right to a speedy trial. As example, I was in this particular county this morning for a client who was charged with a North Carolina DWI November 6th. This client has had 5 court dates since that time, each time having to have a relative take off of work and drive them to court as they can’t drive themselves. The Judge today granted State’s motion, over my vigorous objection, but did mark the shuck last (meaning the State is not suppose to get another continuance on the new date). Now, some may say, what’s a few months of waiting, the State needs to be able to convict these people and need these blood results in order to do it. But keep in mind, these individuals have only been ACCUSED of a crime. Though a Police Officer was suppose to determine that they had probable cause to charge the individual, that is not necessarily enough for a conviction. What if these blood results came back as a .02? Would you still feel it’s appropriate that the State require these individual come to court five, six, eight times, take at least an hour at a time to figure out what is going to be done with the case, only to learn that there was not enough evidence to charge them, let alone convict them? There is good reason we have a Constitutional Right to a speedy trial, so that the State cannot bring charges and then make the Defendant wait around, and come to court under threat of arrest, until the State can make their case. If you are facing a Raleigh DUI Charge, Raleigh Criminal Charge, or Raleigh Traffic Ticket and are in need of a free consultation, contact the Matheson Law Office about your case at 919-335-5291.
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