What to Expect When You Call Our Office
When you first call the office, we will schedule your initial free consultation. We will meet in person at our office at 311 E. Main Street in Durham, NC, or you can send us your original paperwork and we'll talk with you by telephone. We want to get all of the facts from you!
Marcus and Bailey will then review the facts and give you our opinion on the issues in your case. After your initial consultation, you'll need to tell us the truth and every detail is important! We'll advise you not to discuss your case with anyone. Marcus and Bailey will advise you about any problems with drinking you may have, and will help you obtain treatment and help if you need it. You can be confident that everything you tell our team is confidential and will not leave our office.
In your initial consultation Marcus and Bailey will explain to you the worst that can happen in your case if you are convicted. We will discuss aggravating factors and mitigating factors that will affect your sentence and the five levels of DWI in North Carolina. They'll tell you what the financial cost will be to you including attorney fees, court costs and fines.
We will discuss whether you will want to obtain a pre-trial privilege. If you blew .08 or more, or refused to blow in the breath machine at the police station, your license will be revoked for 30 days. You may ask for a pre-trial privilege in some situations. We'll need to know the date of your stop by the police, and the date of the license revocation (usually they are the same date). Ten days from the revocation date, you may be eligible for a pre-trial privilege. In the meantime we'll help you find an alcohol assessment agency and will discuss what you can expect from the assessment. You will also need to obtain a form from your insurance agency called a DL-123.
Another important matter to consider is the consequences of an allegation by the State that you refused a blood or breath test. If it is alleged that you refused, we will find out whether the Department of Motor Vehicles has your proper address on file. If it does not, then a letter from the Department of Motor Vehicles saying you have refused will not arrive to you in time for us to request a hearing.Ten days from the day of refusal entry on your record at the Department of Motor Vehicles, your license will be revoked for one year unless you request a hearing before the ten days have passed. Refusal cases are difficult to win, but we will fight for you there too!
Another important question is what result you had when you blew into the breath machine at the police station. If you blew and had a result of .15 or over, you may be required to have the interlock device for 1 year and suffer other consequences. We will fight for you there too!
In order to prove that you are guilty of driving while impaired beyond reasonable doubt, in North Carolina the prosecution must prove that you were 1) driving a vehicle, 2) on a street or highway 3) while under the influence of an impairing substance or after having consuming sufficient alcohol that you have, at a relevant time after the driving, an alcohol concentration of .08 or more. Additionally, the prosecution must have allowed you all the rights and privileges guaranteed you by the North Carolina Constitution and the United States Constitution.
In our interview we'll also be asking you whether you were actually stopped. Did the police come and ask you questions and then leave and come back again? Did an accident occur? Did the officer see you driving? Why were you stopped? Each of these answers may lead to a not guilty verdict.
Were you administered field sobriety tests? Standardized sobriety tests include the “one leg stand”, “the walk and turn”, and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test. We will ask you detailed questions about each of these tests, whether the proper instructions were given to you, whether the officer properly demonstrated these tests to you, and whether there was a video made of the tests. Generally we will watch the videotapes of your performance of the sobriety tests because field sobriety tests are subjective and a judge’s view of your impairment can well be different than the officer’s view.
Did you blow into a portable breath test? How many times did you blow? Did the officer follow the proper procedure? Problems in these areas may also lead to a good result for you.
The next area of our query will be whether the breath test procedure at the police station was properly followed. For example, did the breath test machine operator watch you closely for at least 15 minutes before your first breath in the breath machine? Did the operator check to make sure that you didn’t burp, belch, vomit or have anything in your mouth prior to the test? How many times did you blow? Were the results consecutive and within .02 of each other? If you did refuse or if you are alleged to have refused, did you refuse to take the test after you were told that your license would be suspended or revoked?
We will then find out about your experience at the police station after you blew into the breath test machine. When were you released from jail? Were you allowed to call a witness? Did you have your cell phone? Did you have access to telephone numbers and were you allowed access to a working telephone if you did not have your cell phone? All of these questions are important because time is of the essence with an alcohol offense allegation. Alcohol leaves your system within a few hours. If you want to contest the issue of your impairment you need to get out of jail as soon as possible so that you can gather evidence on your own behalf, including going to a hospital emergency room or urgent care immediately and demanding the administration of a blood test. The State keeping you longer than it should without good reason may lead to a not guilty verdict.
After you have retained us, we will review your case and decide which motions we will file in your case. The District Court will not generally hear our arguments unless we have notified the District Attorneys in advance by filing written motions.
We will schedule the first date we can obtain your pre-trial privilege date and follow up on that to get the privilege signed as soon as possible. We will calendar your case and send you a letter saying where to go, what to wear, and what to bring. We will check online to verify that the breath testing device was properly maintained and that the chemical analyst who administered your test had a proper permit.
On your court date, you need to arrive at court or at our office in business attire and a team member will accompany you to the court house. Each court date is a drill. We are ready every time until we find the most optimum situation for you. This strategy can mean that you can expect several continuances. It takes time and patience to find what is best for your situation.
Marcus handles all trials. He's been practicing for over 25 years in criminal defense and DWI defense law. You need an attorney who knows the law backwards and forwards. Marcus has appeared on television and has had articles written about his knowledge and the cases that he has won. Marcus teaches classes to attorneys about DWI law. He is the lawyer you need to fight for your rights, license and freedom!
Not only do you need an attorney who knows the law, you need an attorney who knows the science. Marcus understands how alcohol is absorbed in your system, and other scientific factors that go into a DWI prosecution. He can advise you as to whether you need an expert witness to testify to any medical condition you have or had that made you seem impaired when you were not, such as a concussion after an accident. We will refer you to a nurse, who can be an excellent tool in your defense.
Not only do you need an attorney that knows the law and the science, you also need an attorney that is local to the area. Marcus goes to court regularly in Durham, Orange and Alamance Counties. We retain attorneys throughout the state and country to represent people properly. If you hire Marcus, Marcus will be the lead attorney in the case. If the case is not in our geographical area, we will work closely with a local attorney on your case, all for the same reasonable fee. It is as if you get 3 attorneys for the price of 1!
We will investigate your case and we will review the videos if available and pick the right time to interview the officer. We will do everything allowed by the rules to pick the best situation for you. Once your case is resolved you will know that our team has done everything possible to fight for you. We are available after your case is resolved to explain anything, to advise as to future proceedings to pursue and to address any problems you may have in the future.
We look forward to meeting with you and working with you to resolve your case.
Time is of the essence. Call us at 919-688-1941 or Contact Us through our web site!