• North Carolina DUI Law | What Happens From an Out-of-State DUI
  • July 27, 2012
  • Law Firm: Matheson Law Office PLLC - Raleigh Office
  • Getting a North Carolina DWI Can be a frustrating situation regardless of where you live. However, for those who travel through the great state of North Carolina and happen to be charged with a North Carolina DWI, there are some added headaches you should be aware of. As a DWI Attorney Raleigh and DWI Attorney Durham, I have had many of my DWI clients be residents of other States then North Carolina. I have walked them through their cases, including the North Carolina DWI Sentencing Structure and the Field Sobriety Test, and assist them with the added burdens of being an out-of-stater.

    First, if you were charged with a DWI in NC, your license may not have been taken at the time of your arrest, as it would have been had you had a NC Driver's License. Now, that's not to say they won't take it, as this is not a very well understood notion, but it shouldn't have been taken as only the NC driving privilege was suspended. That being said, whether your license was taken or not, your will still need to pay the $100 "Civil Revocation Fee" at some point - this can be what stands between you and your driving privileges in your home state.

    The next thing to realize is that a North Carolina DWI is what is referred to as a "non-waivable" offense. That means, the Defendant cannot 'waive' their right to appear in court and have just their Attorney show up for them. That being said, in the jurisdictions I am aware of, courts will make an exception for out-of-state defendants so long as the Attorney as a quality, valid, signed and notarized Waiver with them. That's not to say you are guaranteed not to have to show, this has simply been my experience in the jurisdictions I practice. And even then, the judge may require the Defendant to show up for the trial or plea for sentencing purposes. This can be due for many reasons, but the most important of them is the fact that a DWI charge can carry with it jail time and they'd like to have the Defendant present to place them in custody.

    The final thing which comes up for an out-of-state North Carolina DWI Defendant is the Substance Abuse Assessment. In North Carolina, a DWI conviction carries with it the requirement that the Defendant receive a Substance Abuse Assessment from a NC State Certified provider and adhere to all recommended treatment. If the Assessment is completed prior to the conviction, it will serve as a mitigating factor for sentencing purposes. The problem is, if the Defendant is an out-of-state Defendant, they'll likely have problems getting to a North Carolina Substance Abuse Assessment Provider. Assessments can be performed by a Provider in your state so long as a NC Provider will sign off on their Assessment of the Defendant and submit the paperwork to the state of North Carolina. Therefore, the solution is to contact a North Carolina Provider and have them provide you with 'approved' assessment providers in your area who they'd be willing to submit the paperwork for should you get your assessment from that Provider in your area. This also can be something which may hold up your driving privileges in your State.

    For information about your particular NC DWI, contact a local (to the jurisdiction in which you were stopped) North Carolina DWI Attorney for assistance with your case.

    Disclaimer - Information and advice offered in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is specific to North Carolina law. The viewing, receipt and/or exchange of information from this article does not constitute an Attorney-Client Relationship. For assistance regarding your particular legal question speak with an Attorney practicing in the field from which your questions derives.