Level of Punishment for a North Carolina DWI

Determining the Level of Punishment for a North Carolina DWI (After December 1st 2011)

If you have been charge with and subsequently been found guilty or plead guilty to a DWI charge in Wake County or another part of North Carolina the next issue you will face is the sentencing hearing. The sentencing hearing for a DWI conviction is required by statute § 20 179. A sentencing hearing will focus on the factors that existed when you were originally charged and some factors from your past history. The trial court is required to hear evidence and determine the existence of 3 types of factors for a DWI. They are 1.) Grossly Aggravating Factors 2.) Aggravating Factors and 3.) Mitigating Factors.

As of December 1st of 2011 there are 6 levels of punishment for a DWI conviction. Listed in declining severity of punishment; they are Aggravated Level I, Level I, Level II, Level III, Level IV, and Level V. “Level 5” is the least punitive while “Aggravated Level 1,” which carries a Maximum jail sentence of 36 months, is the most punitive. The difference in punishment can change drastically depending on which DWI punishment level you come under.

How does the Court determine what Level of sentence you should receive?

The Court will weigh the 3 different types of factors and their finding of factors will place you, by statute, in a specific level for punishment. The 3 types are 1.) Grossly Aggravating Factors 2.) Aggravating Factors and 3.) Mitigating Factors. The Court shall consider evidence of Aggravating or Mitigating factors present in the offense that make an aggravated or mitigated sentence appropriate. The State bears the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that an aggravating factor exists, and the offender bears the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that a mitigating factor exists. This means that the State (the Prosecutor or DA) has a higher standard at which to prove aggravating factors.

What are the Factors for DWI Punishment Levels for Sentencing in North Carolina?

Grossly Aggravating Factors

(1) A prior conviction for an offense involving impaired driving if:
a. The conviction occurred within seven years before the date of the offense for which the defendant is being sentenced; or
b. The conviction occurs after the date of the offense for which the defendant is presently being sentenced, but prior to or contemporaneously with the present sentencing; or
c. The conviction occurred in district court; the case was appealed to superior court; the appeal has been withdrawn, or the case has been remanded back to district court; and a new sentencing hearing has not been held pursuant to G.S. 20 38.7.
Each prior conviction is a separate grossly aggravating factor.
(2) Driving by the defendant at the time of the offense while his driver’s license was revoked under G.S. 20 28, and the revocation was an impaired driving revocation under G.S. 20 28.2(a).
(3) Serious injury to another person caused by the defendant’s impaired driving at the time of the offense.
(4) Driving by the defendant while a child under the age of 16 years was in the vehicle at the time of the offense.
In imposing a Level One or Two punishment, the judge may consider the aggravating and mitigating factors in subsections (d) and (e) of § 20 179 in determining the appropriate sentence. If there are no grossly aggravating factors in the case, the judge must weigh all aggravating and mitigating factors and impose punishment as required by subsection (f) of § 20 179.

Aggravating Factors

(1) Gross impairment of the defendant’s faculties while driving or an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more within a relevant time after the driving. For purposes of this subdivision, the results of a chemical analysis presented at trial or sentencing shall be sufficient to prove the person’s alcohol concentration, shall be conclusive, and shall not be subject to modification by any party, with or without approval by the court.
(2) Especially reckless or dangerous driving.
(3) Negligent driving that led to a reportable accident.
(4) Driving by the defendant while his driver’s license was revoked.
(5) Two or more prior convictions of a motor vehicle offense not involving impaired driving for which at least three points are assigned under G.S. 20 16 or for which the convicted person’s license is subject to revocation, if the convictions occurred within five years of the date of the offense for which the defendant is being sentenced, or one or more prior convictions of an offense involving impaired driving that occurred more than seven years before the date of the offense for which the defendant is being sentenced.
(6) Conviction under G.S. 20 141.5 of speeding by the defendant while fleeing or attempting to elude apprehension.
(7) Conviction under G.S. 20 141 of speeding by the defendant by at least 30 miles per hour over the legal limit.
(8) Passing a stopped school bus in violation of G.S. 20 217.
(9) Any other factor that aggravates the seriousness of the offense.

Mitigating Factors

(1) Slight impairment of the defendant’s faculties resulting solely from alcohol, and an alcohol concentration that did not exceed 0.09 at any relevant time after the driving.
(2) Slight impairment of the defendant’s faculties, resulting solely from alcohol, with no chemical analysis having been available to the defendant.
(3) Driving at the time of the offense that was safe and lawful except for the impairment of the defendant’s faculties.
(4) A safe driving record, with the defendant’s having no conviction for any motor vehicle offense for which at least four points are assigned under G.S. 20 16 or for which the person’s license is subject to revocation within five years of the date of the offense for which the defendant is being sentenced.
(5) Impairment of the defendant’s faculties caused primarily by a lawfully prescribed drug for an existing medical condition, and the amount of the drug taken was within the prescribed dosage.
(6) The defendant’s voluntary submission to a mental health facility for assessment after he was charged with the impaired driving offense for which he is being sentenced, and, if recommended by the facility, his voluntary participation in the recommended treatment.
(6a) Completion of a substance abuse assessment, compliance with its recommendations, and simultaneously maintaining 60 days of continuous abstinence from alcohol consumption, as proven by a continuous alcohol monitoring system. The continuous alcohol monitoring system shall be of a type approved by the Department of Correction.
(7) Any other factor that mitigates the seriousness of the offense.

How does the court determine which Level is appropriate for my DWI conviction?

Determining which Level you are sentenced at depends on what and/or how many Factors the Court finds the existence of.

Aggravated Level 1 Punishment for a DWI- To sentence at this level the Court must find the existence of at least 3 Grossly Aggravating Factors.
Level 1 Punishment for a DWI - To sentence at this level the Court must find the existence of at least 2 Grossly Aggravating Factors or one of the Grossly Aggravating Factors listed in the General Statute § 20 179.
Level 2 Punishment for a DWI- To sentence at this level the Court must find the existence of 1 Grossly Aggravating Factor
Level 3 Punishment for a DWI - To sentence at this level the Court must find that the Aggravating Factors are greater than the Mitigating Factors
Level 4 Punishment for a DWI- To sentence at this level the Court must find that there are no Aggravating Factors or Mitigating Factors, or that the Aggravating Factors offset the Mitigating Factors.
Level 5 Punishment for a DWI- To sentence at this level the Court must find that the Mitigating Factors are greater than the Aggravating Factors

If you or someone you know has been charge with a DWI then you should contact a Wake County DWI lawyer and have them explain your rights and options. Eric Gurney is a former Wake County Magistrate with extensive experience in DWI procedure. If you need a Raleigh DWI lawyer then call Eric Gurney at (919) 930-4027 for aggressive DWI representation. The Gurney Law Firm handles DWI cases in Wake County, Durham County, Apex, Raleigh, Wake Forest, Cary and surrounding areas.

Can you get a PJC expunged in NC?

Can I get a PJC expunged off my criminal record?

Many people throughout North Carolina (including many of my own clients) have used a PJC as a way to dispose of criminal or traffic charges. A PJC stands for Prayer for Judgment Continued and is used by the North Carolina Courts as a way for someone charged with a crime to plead guilty but have the court withhold entry of a judgment. In effect it limits the penalty for the guilty plea to just court cost. No other fine or jail is imposed (Though some judges may issue certain requirements to grant a PJC). It is important to note that a PJC is treated by the court system like a conviction and it may not be the best legal option for your particular case. It is always best to consult with a North Carolina criminal lawyer to review your case and explain all of your options.

But what if you want to get that charge expunged off your record later? Can you expunge a PJC in North Carolina?

This question is actually very divisive in the North Carolina legal community and receives mixed answers depending on who you ask. As an expungement lawyer in Raleigh, I believe that a person can and should be able to receive an expungement under the North Carolina General Statute 15A-145. This statute covers expungements for persons who have been convicted of a misdemeanor as a first offender and under the age of 18. While the statute does not specifically have any mention of a PJC, the argument hinges on the fact that the North Carolina Court System treats a PJC like a conviction for most purposes and that should also include expungements.

But is a PJC a conviction?

As the court stated in State v. Mcgee, 175 N.C. App. 586 (2006) “Under the traditional definition, “Conviction” refers to the jury’s or fact finder’s guilty verdict.” And a PJC can only be granted after the Judge establishes the defendant’s guilt. So, since the court treats a PJC just like a conviction, a person should be able to obtain an expungement under the statute dealing with expunction of a conviction.

So, the next step for someone who has received a PJC and would like it expunged off their record is to talk to an expungement attorney who can tell if you qualify for an expungement in NC.

If you need to have your criminal record cleaned and get an expungement, contact an NC Expungement Lawyer. The Gurney Law Firm handles all types of expungements in North Carolina. Contact an Expungement lawyer by calling (919) 930-4027. The Gurney Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm in Raleigh, NC and serves all of Wake County and Durham County. This includes Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Apex, Wake forest, Zebulon and Fuquay-Varina.

Speeding Tickets for Teens in Raleigh NC… Will I go to jail?

December 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Criminal Law, Traffic Law

New Law Affects Teen Drivers in NC – G.S. 20-13.3

Tell your teen driver to slow down! It could cost them big after the New Year. The UNC School of Government reports that: On January 1st, 2012 the new law on Civil License Revocations for Provisional Licensees goes into effect. It’s a scary law that can land a teen driver in jail and result in a 30 day suspended license for speeding 15 mph over the posted speed limit (among numerous other moving violation).

The newly amended law, G.S. 20-13.3, will affect 16 and 17 year old drivers that have been issued a limited learner’s permit or a provisional license issued by NC DMV pursuant to G.S. 20-11. These drivers are defined as “provisional licensee[s].” G.S. 20-13.3(a)(4). This new law does not affect 15 year old drivers that have been issued Provisional Licenses because under North Carolina state law someone under the age of 16 cannot be arrested.
The new law is activated by commission of a “criminal moving violation,” which are driving offenses that are punishable as a misdemeanor or felony offense. This includes Reckless driving (G.S. 20-140) and Speeding more than 15 mph over limit or more than 80 mph (G.S. 20-141(j1))… Both of which are not uncommon for teens to be charged with.

Please see the end of this article for a complete list of criminal moving violations.

Under the new law a provisional licensee’s permit or license is subject to revocation under G.S. 13-3 if: (1) a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the provisional licensee has committed a criminal moving violation, (2) the provisional licensee is charged with that offense, and (3) the provisional licensee is not subject to a civil revocation pursuant to G.S. 20-16.5 for the same underlying conduct.
Bottom Line – If your teen speeds they risk license revocation and jail! Contact The Gurney Law Firm if you or your teen has been charge with a traffic or criminal offense (919) 930-4027. Mr. Gurney is a criminal defense attorney in Raleigh, NC and serves Raleigh, Cary, Garner, Apex, Wake Forest and all of Wake County.

The following offenses are criminal moving violations:
• G.S. 20-137.4: Operating a school bus while using a mobile phone
• G.S. 20-137.4A: Operating a school bus while using a mobile phone to text or access electronic email
• G.S. 20-138.1: Driving while impaired
• G.S. 20-138.2: Driving while impaired in a commercial vehicle
• G.S. 20-138.2A: Operating a commercial vehicle after consuming
• G.S. 20-138.2B: Operating a school bus, school activity bus, or child care vehicle after consuming alcohol
• G.S. 20-138.3: Operating a motor vehicle by person less than 21 after consuming alcohol or drugs
• G.S. 20-138.5: Habitual impaired driving
• G.S. 20-138.7(a): Operating a motor vehicle while there is an open container of alcohol in the passenger area and while the driver is consuming or has consumed alcohol
• G.S. 20-140: Reckless driving
• G.S. 20-141(j1): Speeding more than 15 mph over limit or more than 80 mph
• G.S. 20-141(j3): Speeding in a commercial motor vehicle carrying a load that is subject to the permitting requirements of G.S. 20-119 and (i) driving 15 mph or more over the posted speed, or (ii) driving 15 mph or more over the permit speed
• G.S. 20-141.3: Operating a motor vehicle willfully in a prearranged speed competition, or operating a motor vehicle willfully in speed competition, or allowing one’s vehicle to be operated in a prearranged speed competition, or wagering on a prearranged speed competition
• G.S. 20-141.4: Felony death by vehicle, misdemeanor death by vehicle, felony serious injury by vehicle, aggravated felony serious injury by vehicle, aggravated felony death by vehicle, repeat felony death by vehicle
• G.S. 20-141.5: Speeding to elude arrest
• G.S. 20-141.6: Aggressive driving
• G.S. 20-149(b): Improper operation by an overtaken driver causing a collision resulting in serious bodily injury, bodily injury, or property damage
• G.S. 20-157(a), (h), (i): Failing to move over for law enforcement or emergency vehicle giving warning signal, or violating G.S. 20-157 and causing damage to property or injury, or violating G.S. 20-157 and causing serious injury or death
• G.S.20-166(a), (a1), (b), (c), (c1): Failing to stop and remain after a crash resulting in serious bodily injury or death, or failing to stop and remain after a crash resulting in injury, or failing to provide information or render assistance following a crash, or failing to stop and remain after a crash resulting in damage to property or non-apparent injury
• G.S. 20-166.1: Failing to notify law enforcement or other owner following crash, or failing to provide proof of insurance to DMV upon request
• G.S. 20-166.2: Failing, when a passenger in a vehicle involved in a crash, to remain at the scene, or provide information, or render assistance
• G.S. 20-167.1: Transporting spent nuclear fuel without notifying NCSHP in advance

The Gurney Law Firm handles all traffic tickets in Wake County. If you have received a speeding ticket in Raleigh and need a Traffic law lawyer contact us at (919) 930-4027. The Gurney Law Firm handles traffic and criminal defense in Raleigh, Wake Forest, Wakefield, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Durham and the rest of the Triangle.

What is a PJC or Prayer for Judgment Continued?

November 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Criminal Law, Traffic Law

What is a PJC or Prayer for Judgment Continued? How do I get a PJC?

A PJC or Prayer for Judgment Continued in North Carolina is a finding of guilt without an entry of judgment for a criminal or traffic offense.  A PJC is a creation of the North Carolina courts and is unique to our state.  A PJC is typically used in traffic cases and some criminal misdemeanor cases.  A PJC in Wake County is only granted by a Wake County District or Superior court Judge.

When a defendant gets a PJC on a traffic ticket they may receive no Division of Motor Vehicle points or insurance points in most cases.  Also in most cases a defendant’s license may not be suspended when they receive a PJC.  It is important to remember that even though no points are added to the driver license or insurance, it will still show up on your driving record.

Many people believe that getting a Prayer for judgment is a “cure-all” legal remedy and is a good disposition for all cases, but this simply isn’t true for all cases.  While a PJC is great for some situations and charges, it can be harmful in others.

Prayer for Judgment continued (PJC) facts for North Carolina:

  1. No license or insurance points will be assessed (in most cases) if you get a PJC
  2. After a PJC is granted there are usually no fines assessed, only court cost
  3. A defendant may use 1 PJC every 3 years per household for insurances point purposes
  4. A defendant may use 2 PJCs every 5 years for license (DMV) points
  5. PJC cannot be used on all traffic infractions… no PJC for DWI or speeding over 25 MPH or CDL related charges
  6. A PJC is not recognized for active Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDL) or when driving a commercial vehicle when the citation
    was issued
  7. In some cases the Judge may require the Defendant to take a class or do community service in order to grant the PJC

How do I get a PJC?

If you have been charged with a traffic offense or criminal charge a PJC might be the best option for you.  Because every case is different you should contact a criminal defense law firm like The Gurney Law firm to review your case.  If you qualify for a PJC and it is in your best interest to do so, your attorney will ask the court to enter a guilty plea without entry of judgment.

Will a PJC or Prayer for Judgment Continued be on my criminal record?

YES!  A PJC in North Carolina will show up on your criminal record.  This is one reason why a PJC might not be the best way to handle some cases. But, can a PJC then be expunged of my NC criminal record?

Can a PJC be expunged off my NC criminal record?

On this area of the law there is some debate among Judges and attorneys as to whether this can / should be done.  I will discuss this topic in more detail in another Legal News Blog on The Gurney Law Firm website.

Can I use a PJC for misdemeanor offense that aren’t traffic related?

Yes, and this is a common use for a PJC.  But remember that it is still a plea of guilty and does show up on a criminal history check in North Carolina.  It is much better to have a criminal defense lawyer to get the case dismissed or go to trial and have a not guilty verdict.

Is a PJC right for my case?

Every case is different and you should always ask a criminal defense lawyer like Eric Gurney to review your specific charges.  Because every case is different, there is no way to tell you if a PJC is right for your case until I hear all the facts.  Eric Gurney is a criminal defense lawyer in Raleigh and can tell you if a PJC is right for you.

The Gurney Law Firm is a criminal defense firm in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Eric J Gurney is a former Wake County Magistrate and has years of experience dealing with the North Carolina court system.  If you need a criminal lawyer in Raleigh, Cary, Apex or Wake County please call us at (919) 930-4027.  The Gurney law firm handles traffic tickets in Raleigh, drug charges in Wake County,  and serious felony charges in the Triangle among all other criminal charges.

Speeding Ticket Quotas in North Carolina… G.S. 20-187.3?

October 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Traffic Law

Speeding Ticket Quotas in North Carolina… G.S. 20-187.3?

 

After receiving a speeding ticket in Raleigh, a woman wondered to herself, “Why didn’t the officer just cut her a break and give her a warning?  Why did the officer feel he needed to give her a speeding ticket?  Do police officers in Wake County have a certain quota of tickets they have to give out each month? ”

A recent posting on the UNC School of government took a look at the legality of quotas of this kind and concluded that “the use of quotas for officers doesn’t seem to be widespread.”  Also, a poll conducted by the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) showed that police seem not to use speeding ticket quotas.

In some states they have specific statutes that outlaw the use of traffic ticket quotas and other quotas for criminal charges.  North Carolina does not have a general anti-quota statute.  However, there is a North Carolina General Statute that does specifically prohibit the North Carolina State Highway Patrol
for using speeding ticket quotas.  It can be found at G.S. 20-187.3 and it provides that “[t]he Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety shall not make or permit to be made any order, rule, or regulation requiring the issuance of any minimum number of traffic citations, or ticket quotas, by any member or members of the State Highway Patrol. Pay and promotions of members of the Highway Patrol shall be based on their overall job performance and not on the basis of the volume of citations issued or arrests made.”

After talking to police offers in Raleigh and Wake County I feel that the general use of quotas are not being used.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a Wake County Speeding ticket or a Raleigh traffic ticket I urge you to call The Gurney Law Firm at (919) 930-4027.  Mr. Gurney is a Raleigh criminal defense lawyer.  The Gurney Law Firm serves all of Wake County including Raleigh, Durham, Apex, Cary, Wake Forest, Rolesville, Zebulon, Holly Springs, Garner, Morrisville, Wendell, Knightdale and Fuquay-Varina.

Traffic Attorney in Raleigh

October 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Traffic Law

Traffic Attorney in Raleigh

If you got a traffic ticket or DWI in Raleigh, Wake Forest, Garner, Apex, and Cary or anywhere in Wake County you should contact The Gurney Law Firm at (919) 930-4027.  Traffic offenses are the most common charge given by police… But they have serious consequences if they are not handled properly.

A simple wake county speeding ticket can seriously raise your car insurance rate.  A DWI is even worse.  It is important to work with a traffic attorney in Raleigh.  Being found guilty on a traffic offense can cause your insurance to go up between 25% and 400%.

If you have been charged with a traffic offense in WakeCounty I urge you to contact The Gurney Law Firm at (919) 930-4027.  Mr. Gurney is a traffic attorney in Raleigh and is available to talk to you about your case.

New Law Affects Teen Drivers in NC – G.S. 20-13.3

October 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Traffic Law

New Law Affects Teen Drivers in NC – G.S. 20-13.3

Tell your teen driver to slow down!   It could cost them big after the New Year.  The UNC School of Government reports that:  On January 1st, 2012 the new law on Civil License Revocations for Provisional Licensees goes into effect.  It’s a scary law that can land a teen driver in jail and result in a 30 day suspended license for speeding 15 mph over the posted speed limit (among numerous other moving violation).

The newly amended law, G.S. 20-13.3, will affect 16 and 17 year old drivers that have been issued a limited learner’s permit or a provisional license issued by NC DMV pursuant to G.S. 20-11. These drivers are defined as “provisional licensee[s].” G.S. 20-13.3(a)(4).  This new law does not affect 15 year old drivers that have been issued Provisional Licenses because under North Carolina state law someone under the age of 16 cannot be arrested.

The new law is activated by commission of a “criminal moving violation,” which are driving offenses that are punishable as a misdemeanor or felony offense.  This includes Reckless driving (G.S. 20-140) and Speeding more than 15 mph over limit or more than 80 mph (G.S. 20-141(j1))… Both of which are not uncommon for teens to be charged with.

Please see the end of this article for a complete list of criminal moving violations.

Under the new law a provisional licensee’s permit or license is subject to revocation under G.S. 13-3 if: (1) a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the provisional licensee has committed a criminal moving violation, (2) the provisional licensee is charged with that offense, and (3) the provisional licensee is not subject to a civil revocation pursuant to G.S. 20-16.5 for the same underlying conduct.

Bottom Line – If your teen speeds they risk license revocation and jail!  Contact The Gurney Law Firm if you or your teen has been charge with a traffic or criminal offense (919) 930-4027.  Mr. Gurney is a criminal defense attorney in Raleigh, NC and serves Raleigh, Cary, Garner, Apex, Wake Forest and all of Wake County.

The following offenses are criminal moving violations in North Carolina:

  • G.S. 20-137.4: Operating a school bus while using a mobile phone
  • G.S. 20-137.4A: Operating a school bus while using a mobile phone to text or access electronic email
  • G.S. 20-138.1: Driving while impaired
  • G.S. 20-138.2: Driving while impaired in a commercial vehicle
  • G.S. 20-138.2A: Operating a commercial vehicle after consuming
  • G.S. 20-138.2B: Operating a school bus, school activity bus, or child care vehicle after consuming alcohol
  • G.S. 20-138.3: Operating a motor vehicle by person less than 21 after consuming alcohol or drugs
  • G.S. 20-138.5: Habitual impaired driving
  • G.S. 20-138.7(a): Operating a motor vehicle while there is an open container of alcohol in the passenger area and while the driver is consuming or has consumed alcohol
  • G.S. 20-140: Reckless driving
  • G.S. 20-141(j1): Speeding more than 15 mph over limit or more than 80 mph
  • G.S. 20-141(j3): Speeding in a commercial motor vehicle carrying a load that is subject to the permitting requirements of G.S. 20-119 and (i) driving 15 mph or more over the posted speed, or (ii) driving 15 mph or more over the permit speed
  • G.S. 20-141.3: Operating a motor vehicle willfully in a prearranged speed competition, or operating a motor vehicle willfully in speed competition, or allowing one’s vehicle to be operated in a prearranged speed competition, or wagering on a prearranged speed competition
  • G.S. 20-141.4: Felony death by vehicle, misdemeanor death by vehicle, felony serious injury by vehicle, aggravated felony serious injury by vehicle, aggravated felony death by vehicle, repeat felony death by vehicle
  • G.S. 20-141.5: Speeding to elude arrest
  • G.S. 20-141.6: Aggressive driving
  • G.S. 20-149(b): Improper operation by an overtaken driver causing a collision resulting in serious bodily injury, bodily injury, or property damage
  • G.S. 20-157(a), (h), (i): Failing to move over for law enforcement or emergency vehicle giving warning signal, or violating G.S. 20-157 and causing damage to property or injury, or violating G.S. 20-157 and causing serious injury or death
  • G.S.20-166(a), (a1), (b), (c), (c1): Failing to stop and remain after a crash resulting in serious bodily injury or death, or failing to stop and remain after a crash resulting in injury, or failing to provide information or render assistance following a crash, or failing to stop and remain after a crash resulting in damage to property or non-apparent injury
  • G.S. 20-166.1: Failing to notify law enforcement or other owner following crash, or failing to provide proof of insurance to DMV upon request
  • G.S. 20-166.2: Failing, when a passenger in a vehicle involved in a crash, to remain at the scene, or provide information, or render assistance
  • G.S. 20-167.1: Transporting spent nuclear fuel without notifying NCSHP in advance

 

Fight Your Speeding Ticket

October 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Traffic Law

Pretty much everyone I know has received a speeding ticket at some point in their life. Speeding tickets in Wake County are very common and happen to people in all walks f life.  But what do you do if you get one? A simple speeding ticket can end up costing you a lot if it’s not handled correctly.Your first step should be to consult an attorney who handles traffic law.  Here at The Gurney Law Firm we handle Wake County traffic tickets with due diligence and understanding.  It is important to understand the impact traffic tickets can have on your license and your insurance.

Contact The Gurney Law Firm if you have received a speeding ticket or DWI in Wake County and let us help.  The Gurney Law Firm serves all of Wake County including Raleigh, Durham, Apex, Cary, Wake Forest, Rolesville, Zebulon, Holly Springs, Garner, Morrisville, Wendell, Knightdale and Fuquay-Varina.

The Gurney Law Firm has experience with Traffic Violations, Speeding Tickets and Moving Violations. Let us fight and negotiate for you to minimize your exposure to license and insurance points. In many traffic cases we can represent you in court without you having to appear.

  • Speeding Tickets
  • Careless and Reckless Driving
  • DWI / DUI
  • Failure to Change Address
  • Expired or No Registration
  • DMV Hearings
  • Limited Driving Privilege
  • Driving While License Revoked
  • No Operator’s License
  • Failure to Wear a Seatbelt
  • Speeding
  • Speeding in a Work Zone
  • Speeding in a School Zone
  • Fail to Avoid Accident
  • Prayer for Judgment
  • All Other Traffic Charges

It is worth your time and money to contact an attorney.  Let us know if you we can help (919) 930-4027.

DWI Check Points in Raleigh and Wake County

October 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Traffic Law

DWI Check Points in Raleigh and Wake County

The headlines this past summer touted that one recent DWI check point in Raleigh netted 81 arrests and 10 DWI charges.  This was considered a successful check point for the Wake County Traffic Safety Task Force who runs the check points in Wake County.

The team of law enforcement officers who run these check points in Wake County are called the Wake County Traffic Safety Task Force.  They are comprised of the Wake County sheriff’s office and other police forces located in the county.  This includes police officers from Raleigh, Wake Forest, Cary, Garner and Apex among others. The task force conducts these recurrent, unannounced traffic checkpoints in hopes of catching suspected drunken drivers, drivers with suspended or revoked licenses and other traffic offenders.  The task force also serves outstanding warrants and will transport the arrested individuals to the Wake County Jail which is located at 330 S. Salisbury St. Raleigh, NC.

The Task force was launched in April of 2009 and has been successful.  The task force runs numerous check points around the county and has arrested hundreds of drivers for DWI,, other traffic offenses, drug charges and other criminal offenses.

Eric Gurney is a former Wake County Criminal Magistrate who has served as the Magistrate on DWI check point projects.  He has firsthand  experience on how these check points are set up, conducted and maintained.  Mr. Gurney knows “seeing how the system works from the inside is always beneficial when trying to truly understand the complexities of an operation like this.”

If you have been charged with a DWI or any other criminal offense contact Mr. Gurney at (919) 930-4027 for dedicated legal defense.  The Gurney Law Firm serves all of Wake County including Raleigh, Durham, Apex, Cary, Wake Forest, Rolesville, Zebulon, Holly Springs, Garner, Morrisville, Wendell, Knightdale and Fuquay-Varina.  Talk to an attorney 24 Hrs a day at (919) 930-4027.

Wake County Speeding Tickets… To Pay or Not Pay?

October 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Traffic Law

Wake County Speeding Tickets…….. To Pay or Not Pay?

Every day in North Carolina, thousands of people across the state, are pulled over by the police and given traffic tickets. Here in Wake County some of the most common traffic offenses are Speeding, Driving While License Revoked and DWI. Once you receive a ticket you should contact an attorney and see if they can resolve your issue with minimal damage to your driver’s license and your auto insurance rates.

Traffic violations carry the threat of increased insurance points and license points. The goal of any good traffic law attorney should be to minimize your exposure to these points and see that the client receives quality representation.

For some of the more minor charges, i.e. speeding, the defendant has the option to just mail in a check and plead guilty to the charge. Unfortunately some people do this and waive there right to challenge the traffic violation. People do this because they don’t understand the true cost a guilty plea has or they just don’t want to deal with it. Some may think that they are saving money by not hiring an attorney but in the long run it can cost you so much more. In many cases a guilty plea on a traffic violation can result in your insurance rate going up 25% to 400%. And this increase can last up to 3 years!

In addition to receiving insurance points (which make your insurance rates higher) you are at risk of getting license points. Points on your license can lead to your driver’s license being revoked.

If you have been charged with any traffic offense please call The Gurney Law Firm at (919) 930-4027 and see how your traffic charge can be resolved best.