Can a NC DWI Case Be Dismissed Pre Trial?

   The short answer is yes, it is possible to have a DWI case in NC dismissed pre trial. Generally DWI cases in NC are plead guilty or not guilty, with no reductions or dismissals to be had. While dismissals are possible, the reality is that pre trial dismissal of DWI is exceedingly rare. 

   One of the most common situations where DWI charges are dismissed is where a significant deal of time has elapsed between the charge date, and the day the defendant decides to deal with the case. Recently I had an out of state client who had been putting off dealing with a DWI case since 2008. The DWI charges were here in Western NC, and the officers were still around and ready to proceed. After interviewing the officers, I was able to negotiate with the state a dismissal of the DWI based on a lack of basis for the traffic stop. Even though the officers were still of the belief that the charges were valid, to their credit, they honestly conceded that they didn't report the details of the stop in their records, nor could they remember  why the stop  occurred.

   As mentioned throughout this website, a valid traffic stop is a crucial 4th Amendment prong for the state in securing DWI charges that will stick. Equally important to the nature of the stop, is law enforcement's need to be able to articulate the nature of the stop. If they can't, then there is no rational reason for the state to proceed, and a dismissal is appropriate. Sometimes, just as in this case, mandatory jail time can be avoided when proper analysis is given to achieve  DWI dismissal. 

   Dismissal pre trial can also be achieved by a successful motion to suppress. This motion is made when a scenario similar to what I've described above occurs, and the state insists on proceeding anyway. Sometimes, there are more nuanced arguments to be made in a motion to suppress, where law enforcement can articulate the case fully, but defense counsel believes a violation of the defendant's constitutional rights has occurred. These motions are difficult to win as well. 

   Challenging DWI charges in Asheville or surrounding NC areas is an uphill battle, even when the evidence is slim. If you're facing DWI in Asheville or surrounding Western NC areas,  call an Asheville DWI lawyer today.

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