Law enforcement entered an off-campus fraternity house near the University of North Carolina-Charlotte last weekend. Police and agents from North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement suspected that underage people may have been drinking at the frat on Saturday evening.
An arrest for a driving while impaired offense in North Carolina may seem daunting for many drivers. A DWI charge can have significant impact in a variety of areas. A person’s privilege to drive may be adversely affected after the arrest. The government may seize a vehicle for potential forfeiture under specified circumstances. Certainly, criminal charges can result in consequences.
It seems that Justin Bieber’s name finds its way into the headlines on a fairly regular basis. Last month we discussed an arrest of the entertainer after an alleged street race in Florida. The singer was charged with driving under the influence and other offenses in January. While the entertainer’s name continues to make headlines for a variety of reasons, the alleged drinking and driving case is back in the news.
Most investigations into an alleged driving while impaired offense arise during some kind of investigation into other issues. Law enforcement in Pitt County investigation an alleged traffic offense or car accident may begin to suspect that a driver consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel. Police may use that new suspicion to expand a traffic stop to include a DWI probe. But, some people may encounter police in other ways that may also open a DWI probe.
In general, a person suspected of a crime has the right to remain silent. A person cannot be compelled to incriminate him or herself. Often, pop culture will acknowledge the idea in the reading of Miranda rights to close out a TV drama. But, speaking to authorities is not necessarily the only place where statements a person makes may be used in court related to an alleged crime.
We have discussed how North Carolina uses a system of aggravating and mitigating factors for judges to consider in sentencing a person for a drunk driving conviction. The DWI sentencing statute includes a variety of concepts and classifies situations as mitigating, aggravating and even grossly aggravating factors that may be considered at sentencing. A person accused of grossly aggravating or aggravating factors may have those facts determined in a trial, as these factors may be used to increase the potential consequences of a DWI conviction.
A former Greenville police officer was arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired during the wee hours of the morning on February 20, 2013. The incident apparently began as a routine traffic stop on East Fifth Street in Greenville at around 2:30 a.m. The off-duty patrol officer was ultimately placed under arrest on DWI charges.
A commissioner from New Hanover County, North Carolina, has resolved legal issues in two criminal cases under a plea deal with prosecutors. In late December, law enforcement in Wilmington claims that the commissioner was found slumped behind the wheel of his car. Police found pills during an investigation. The man was charged with felony drug possession, drunk driving and impeding traffic charges. The man was also charged with a separate DWI in Wilmington from a December 2012 incident.
Repeat drunk driving offenses can bring increased penalties under North Carolina law if a person is convicted. As the number of priors increases, the potential for jail time and license suspension durations may also increase. But, when a person is accused of a fourth DWI in a 10-year time frame, prosecutors may pursue a habitual DWI charge.