Recently, a new, much tougher DWI law came into effect in NC. The DWI attorneys at Reeves, Aiken & Hightower, LLP, will be evaluating how this new law will potentially impact their clients charged with DWI. Because this is new legislation, we will be posting the analysis of other law firms throughout the state for their views. While individual law firms may compete for cases, it is the shared goal of all criminal defense lawyers to see that justice is done for their clients. When charged with a DWI, it is important that you carefully research criminal defense firms in your area. We invite you to compare the credentials of the firm and their lawyers. Make a considered decision. Your choice of which attorney to represent you in court can be critical, especially in NC where the laws are some of the strictest in the country. We would welcome an opportunity to sit down and meet with you to personally review your case. Call us today at 704-499-9000 or visit our firm’s website at www.rjrlaw.com.
Here is the posting featuring Damon Chetson of Raleigh which provides an excellent “first glance” perspective of “Laura’s Law”:
New North Carolina DWI Law Dramatically Increases Punishments for Drunk Drivers
Recent enhancements to the North Carolina Driving While Impaired (DWI) law are set to go into effect in December, 2011, and dramatically increase punishments for people convicted of certain types of DWI offenses.
Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) July 31, 2011
A recent bill signed into law by Governor Bev Perdue dramatically expands punishments for people convicted of Driving While Impaired (DWI) in North Carolina.
The law – called Laura’s Law – increases punishments for DWI offenders in North Carolina by adding a new level of punishment called Aggravated Level One.
Under the law, a person who is convicted of a North Carolina DWI and who has three or more grossly aggravating factors is sentenced as an Aggravated Level One.
Aggravated Level One imposes punishments of up to three years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, in addition to other punishments including post-release supervision which requires complete abstenance from alcohol consumption.
In addition, the new law imposes other penalties. As of December 1, 2011, the new law requires a judge to impose Level One punishment for someone who has been convicted with a DWI and who has a companion in the car under the age of 18.
“These punishment enhancements are quite severe,” says Raleigh criminal lawyer Damon Chetson. “For instance, a young person who is convicted of a DWI and has a 17-year-old friend in the car at the time of the DWI will be sentenced as a Level One.”
Level One punishments require at least 30 days in jail as a special condition of probation.
“It’s clear that the North Carolina General Assembly is taking a hard line against drunk driving,” adds Mr. Chetson. “It’s also clear that someone charged with a DWI needs to find a good attorney to help defend against these charges.”
Since the 1990s, North Carolina has progressively increased punishments and toughened its DWI laws. In addition, many District Attorneys have policies against dropping charged DWIs.
“Even marginal or weak DWI cases are headed for trial in many counties,” Raleigh DWI lawyer Damon Chetson notes. “Most DAs simply refuse to drop or dismiss DWIs, which makes these new punishment enhancements all the more problematic for defendants.”
The changes to the laws are set to go into effect December 1, 2011, and would apply to any DWI committed on or after that date.
There are many other changes to a law. Mr. Chetson recommends consulting with a criminal defense lawyer about your case before making decisions about how to proceed.