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Charlotte, NC - Criminal Law
Lawyer Paul L. Whitfield has the advantage of knowing first-hand the strategies that district attorneys use in prosecuting cases. He served Charlotte as a traffic court prosecutor and as a special prosecutor for law enforcement agencies in public nuisances cases handling narcotics, gambling and pornography matters. Mr. Whitfield's multidimensional background as a trial lawyer will benefit your case.
Mr. Whitfield currently provides criminal defense in traffic cases and general criminal practice in state courts, including DUI/DWI.
A wide range of felonies and misdemeanors are litigated under the North Carolina Judicial System. In criminal court, you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and the burden of proof lies on the prosecution. Choosing a seasoned criminal defense lawyer in the early stages of arrest or investigation allows your attorney more time for case preparation and to devise an effective strategy.
DUI (driving under the influence) is referred to as driving while impaired, or DWI, in North Carolina. The offense carries stiff penalties in North Carolina, as it does now in many states. Anyone driving with a BAC (blood alcohol content) testing .08 or higher is subject to DWI charges.
Recent amendments to North Carolina DWI (driving while impaired) laws have established more restrictive statutes and harsher penalties for DWI offenses:
- Individuals convicted on evidence of blood alcohol level at .16 or greater must use an ignition-interlock system in their vehicles before restoration of license.
- Offenders must have ignition-interlocks installed not only in the primary vehicle, but also in all vehicles registered in their name.
- The open container law prohibits open containers for beer or wine in the motor vehicle while in a public vehicular area.
A traffic offense may be categorized as a minor infraction, a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the nature of the violation. Examples would include
- Minor infractions - mechanical and moving violations;
- Misdemeanors - reckless driving, driving without insurance, driving without a license;
- Felony - injury or death resulting from a traffic violation.
Traffic violations may result in loss of license, increased insurance rates, substantial fines, and time in jail or prison, depending on the charges.
Obtaining a lawyer to represent you in any criminal charge can make a considerable difference in the outcome of your case. We may be able to lessen charges or have charges dismissed, especially if we are contacted early in your case. To speak with a lawyer, please call our office or send us an email and we will arrange a consultation.