Aiding and Abetting DWI is a charge DWI Attorneys often see when a "Principal" driver is driving another person's vehicle while impaired. The passenger will then be charged with Aiding and Abetting the DWI! Many clients are very surprised by the concept of being charged with a DWI when they clearly weren't driving. The charge basically asserts that the passenger in some way knowingly turned over their vehicle to the impaired driver.
NC courts have characterized aiding and abetting as follows:
A defendant aids and abets when he knowingly advises, instigates, encourages, or aids another person to commit a crime and his actions cause or contribute to the commission of the crime.
What this means for a defendant is that the state has to prove the elements of "knowingly" and "aiding". No doubt, depending on the circumstances, this type of DWI charge can be difficult for the state to prove. Also, in many cases, the state may be willing to dismiss the aiding and abetting charge if the "Principal" driver is convicted of DWI. Otherwise, aiding and abetting will generally be prosecuted by the state as any other DWI, plead guilty or go to trial.
If convicted of aiding and abetting a DWI in Asheville, you will be punished according to NC statute as a level 5 DWI. This is the least punishment a DWI carries, but nevertheless, serious charges that will cost you thousands and revoke your license for a year. If you've been charged with Aiding and Abetting DWI in Asheville, NC or surrounding Western NC areas, contact an Asheville DWI lawyer today!