Legal Question in DUI Law in North Carolina

Got a DWI in 2010, it was my first offense, and I registered a .12 vs. a legal limit of .08 in NC. I hired an attorney, who appeared for me in court, and plead me guilty as part of a plea deal. I lost my license for a year, was placed on probation, did community service, attended addiction classes, and was fined.

While I thought this was harsh for a first offense, I only today learned why. All on my court paperwork shows my blood alcohol level as .17, more than double the legal limit. This means my offense was one with Special Circumstances, which raises it from Level One to Level Five. Apparently, someone at the court copied the poorly formed 2, on the officers ticket, as a 7. Further, nobody, including my attorney, looked at the breath test and saw there was a mistake.

Is there anything I can do now? Obviously, I've already served any punishment, but I'd like to correct the record and make sure my insurance company and vocational board know the truth.

Asked on 5/07/12, 8:06 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Amanda Houser The Houser Law Firm, P.C.

You are a ding dong of the first order The levels go from one being the most sever to five being the lowest not the other way around as you mistakenly believe. Even at a .17 for a first offense this would only be one grossly aggrivating factor - not 'with special circumstances' (where did you even get this stupid term from?). If you had a decent DWI attorney even half worth his salt, he would have found you mitigating factors that would have countered the .17 to put you legitimately into levels 4 or 5 for punishment - again the lowest two levels. At the most, the mistake of .12 versus .17 means you skipped out of the interlock device on your car if you received a limited driving privelige during your suspension. While your pesudo honesty is somewhat admirable, you hardly need to go and make any corrections - especially to bloodsucking insurance companies. If you wanna donate money, donate to some victems of DWI charity not the insurance companies. Better yet, why don't you just concentrate on not ever driving drunk again and putting innocent people on the road at risk. This of course is the primary lesson you should have learned from all of this. If you truely learned that lesson - trust me - every District Attorney and Judge in the state will be satisfied with the punishment you received.

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Answered on 5/07/12, 9:23 pm

Clarke Dummit Dummit Fradin (Winston-Salem Office)

I apologize for the first attorney's rude comments, and her lack of legal knowledge as well ( .17 is an aggravating factor, but not a grossly aggravating factor.).

You should do your first attorney the courtesy of contact him/her and advising what you found. Chances are that the mistake did not effect your sentence at all. The only way that it would have effected the outcome was if you had been ordered to put an Interlock into your car for a year (required on ALL cases above a .14).

Best wishes

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Answered on 5/10/12, 7:27 pm

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