In North Carolina, a motorist who kills or seriously injures another person while driving while impaired will very likely face one or more serious felony charges. If this happens to you, you must be represented by an experienced Winston-Salem DWI defense lawyer at LAWSMITH.
Choosing the right DWI attorney can make the difference in these cases. At LAWSMITH, we’ve built a reputation for legal excellence in the field of DWI law. We routinely defend clients who face every possible DWI-related charge, and we bring each case to its best possible resolution.
When someone drives while impaired in North Carolina and causes a fatality, that driver may be charged with one or more felony offenses, including second-degree murder, aggravated felony death-by-vehicle, felony death-by-vehicle, or involuntary manslaughter.
WHAT IS “FELONY DEATH-BY-VEHICLE” IN NORTH CAROLINA?
North Carolina defines “felony death-by-vehicle” as causing another person’s death while in violation of the state’s DWI laws. In fact, there are actually two “felony death-by-vehicle” charges in this state:
- Felony death-by-vehicle: Felony death-by-vehicle is prosecuted in North Carolina as a Class D felony. A conviction is punishable by up to 204 months (that’s seventeen years) in prison and a fine to be determined by the judge.
- Aggravated felony death-by-vehicle: A motorist who commits felony death-by-vehicle and has a prior DWI conviction will be charged with “aggravated felony death-by-vehicle,” which is also a Class D felony in North Carolina.
When a person is convicted of second-degree murder based upon DWI, that person cannot also be tried for death-by-vehicle or for involuntary manslaughter arising from the same incident, but the court may additionally sentence the defendant for the underlying misdemeanor DWI.
DWI-RELATED DEATHS AND INJURIES – WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS?
Most DWI offenses in this state are misdemeanors, but DWI-related fatalities and serious injuries leading to felony charges are a growing concern. In 2017, over 360 DWI-related deaths and more than 7,900 DWI-related serious injuries occurred on North Carolina’s streets and highways.
That’s one reason why DWI laws are vigorously enforced – and defendants are aggressively prosecuted – in this state. And that’s why – if you’re charged with any DWI violation – you must be defended by an experienced Winston-Salem DWI defense lawyer at LAWSMITH.
Do not try to represent yourself. Especially if the charge is a felony, a conviction will be penalized severely, and the consequences of that conviction will make your life difficult for many years to come.
WHO WE ARE AND HOW WE HELP
You must be represented by an experienced DWI attorney who will advocate aggressively for justice on your behalf. At LAWSMITH, the Law Offices of J. Scott Smith, we are known for legal excellence and for aggressive defense representation. And we’re ready to work for you.
Contact us at once if you are charged with DWI or any DWI-related misdemeanor or felony. Call 336-306-8644 – or complete the contact form here on our website – to meet with a reliable and experienced DWI defense lawyer.
The offices of LAWSMITH are located in Winston-Salem at 250 Executive Park Boulevard, Suite 100, and in Greensboro at 204 Muirs Chapel Road, Suite 104. Let us fight for you and protect your rights if you are charged with DWI in the greater Winston-Salem area.