Former NBA Player Steve Francis Charged with Public Intoxication

Alcoholism affects so many people, and unfortunately it can lead to other alcohol-related criminal charges such as driving while impaired (DWI), possession of an open container of alcohol, and underage drinking. Alcoholism can also play a role in other criminal offenses where intoxication or the possession of alcohol is not an element of the crime such as assault, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct.

Steve Francis has battled alcoholism for a number of years, and he was recently charged for public intoxication in California.  While public intoxication does not seem like a charge with severe penalties or consequences, the penalty in California is more harsh than in most states. In California,the misdemeanor charge of public intoxication includes a maximum sentence up to six months in jail.

In contrast, North Carolina treats the charge of public intoxication much differently. This charge is still a misdemeanor offense, but it is a class 3 misdemeanor, which is the lowest level of misdemeanor with which a person can be charged. As a result, the maximum penalty in North Carolina for a charge of public intoxication is 20 days in jail.

It is also important to note that simply being intoxicated in public is not enough to be convicted. In order to be convicted in North Carolina, in addition to being intoxicated, the State must prove in N.C.G.S. 14-444 that the defendant was disruptive in one of the following ways:

(1) Blocking or otherwise interfering with traffic on a highway or public
vehicular area, or
(2) Blocking or lying across or otherwise preventing or interfering with access to or passage across a sidewalk or entrance to a building, or
(3) Grabbing, shoving, pushing or fighting others or challenging others to fight, or
(4) Cursing or shouting at or otherwise rudely insulting others, or
(5) Begging for money or other property.

If you are charged with a North Carolina alcohol crime such as public intoxication, underage drinking, driving while impaired (DWI)  in Forsyth County or one of the surrounding counties, you need to speak with a Forsyth County criminal defense attorney in Winston-Salem.  Please call our office at (336) 725-6559 for a free consultation with an experienced Winston-Salem criminal defense attorney with knowledge about alcohol charges  such as public intoxication or DWI to review your case and to discuss your options.

Tiger Woods Pleads Guilty to Driving While Impaired

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Tiger Woods’ charge of Driving Under the Influence will be dismissed as long as he complies with the terms of his diversion program. Although some states (and specifically counties) offer a diversion program for charges of Driving While Impaired (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence DUI), there are many states such as North Carolina that don’t have diversion programs for a charge that are designed specifically for impaired driving.

A Driving While Impaired (DWI) charge is about more that you blood alcohol content.  The investigating officer must have reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle as well as probable cause to arrest you.  If you are charged with Driving While Impaired in Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, North Carolina or one of the surrounding counties, you need an experienced North Carolina DWI attorney to handle your case.   An experienced Winston-Salem DWI attorney, with experience in North Carolina DWI law, will guide you through this process to make sure that all of your rights are being protected and that all of your possible defenses are being asserted.  Please call us at (336) 725-6559 and schedule a free consultation with a Winston-Salem DWI lawyer to assist you.  Our office is located for your convenience in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Officer’s False Testimony Leads to More than 100 DWI Dismissals

Last week, the Wake County District Attorney’s Office dismissed a total of 175 cases, including 104 DWI cases, after the investigating officer gave false testimony in at least three prior cases. Now, the video has been released for one of those cases, and the video clearly contradicted the officer’s testimony. In court, the officer testified that the suspect refused to take the breathalyzer test, that she did not ask for a witness to be present, and that she did not try to call anyone to ask them to be a witness.  All of these statements were false statements.

Always remember that whenever you are charged with Driving While Impaired in North Carolina, you are presumed to be not guilty, and the State has the burden of proof to prove that you are guilty.  Your rights for any DWI case include, but are not limited to the following:

1. You have the right to either take or refuse a breathalyzer test.
2. You also have the right to call a witness and have that witness present to watch you take the test.

A conviction for Driving While Impaired in North Carolina carries serious penalties and consequences.  If you are charged with Driving While Impaired in Forsyth County or one of the surrounding counties, please call our office at (336) 725-6559 to speak with an experienced and aggressive Winston-Salem DWI attorney.

“Am I Eligible to Get a Limited Driving Privilege?”

Being able to drive is extremely important. so I understand the problems that may arise when someone does not have a valid North Carolina drivers license.  In North Carolina, your drivers license may be suspended for several reasons.  Some of those reasons include a conviction for Driving While Impaired (DWI), Driving While License Revoked (DWLR), various speeding convictions, or upon a conviction of a moving violation that occurred during a period that your license is suspended.  In addition, your license may be suspended if you miss your court date or if you do not pay your fine, fees, and court costs for a ticket that you have already handled.

In instances involving convictions for DWI, DWLR, certain speeding convictions, or convictions for moving violations while your license was already suspended, you may qualify for a limited driving privilege which will allow you to drive to go to work and for the maintenance of your household (grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, etc.)  However, what about suspensions that are caused by failures to appear or failures to pay money that is owed to the court?  Are you eligible for a limited driving privilege in those situations?

Under N.C.G.S. 20-20.1 (b)(8), a person is only eligible to apply for a limited driving privilege if “the person has no pending charges for any motor vehicle offense in this or in any other state and has no unpaid motor vehicle fines or penalties in this or in any other state.”   As a result, you are not eligible to apply for a limited driving privilege if you have outstanding tickets or outstanding fines.

Therefore, the best thing that you can do if you want to get your license is to call an experienced North Carolina attorney who regularly handles traffic tickets and speeding tickets in Forsyth County and many of the surrounding counties.  Give me a call today for a free consultation in my office, which is located in downtown Winston-Salem.  I’ll advise you of what steps you need in order to get your license.


Changes to Limited Privileges for (Driving While Impaired ) DWI cases in North Carolina

A conviction for Driving While Impaired (DWI)  in North Carolina results in a number of consequences.  One consequence is that your license will be suspended for at least a one-year period.  In some circumstances, depending on a number of factors, you may be eligible for a limited privilege which allows you to drive for work, school, and a few other limited purposes.  Driving to church or some other house of worship was not permissible with respect to that limited driving privilege.  Effective October 1, 2015,however,  a limited driving privilege now includes the ability to drive to church or some other place of religious worship.

If you are charged with Driving While Impaired, and you need an experienced DWI attorney in Forsyth County or one of our surrounding counties, please call The Law Offices of Frederick B. Adams, P.C.  today for a free consultation.  In addition to DWI cases in North Carolina, we also assist clients with traffic/speeding tickets, criminal offenses, or personal injury/wrongful death cases.