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What happens if I get charged with a DWI while I''m currently on probation? While I face jail time or imprisonment?

1 Answers. Asked on Oct 10th, 2011 on DUI/DWI - North Carolina
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I got a DWI and I want to know what I should do. I have $512 in probation fees to pay off. I plan on paying them before I go to court in November. Will this help me out when they try my case in court? What punishment could I possibly receive.
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Answered on Oct 31st, 2011 at 12:06 PM

The following answer is for general information purposes only.  It is not meant to be construed as legal advice.

The following statute should provide valuable information to aid you in answering your questions related to this issue of probation:

When you were put on probation, you were made aware that one of the conditions of probation is that you not commit any criminal offense.  It is in the discretion of your probation officer whether or not he/she files a violation report; however, since you have been charged with Driving While Impaired, your probation officer may file a violation report and your probation be tolled (put in HOLD status) pending the outcome of the Driving While Impaired charge. 

N.C. Gen. Stat. 15A-1344 provides details as to the options a judge has to respond to a violation of probation, including: reduction, termination, continuance, extension, modification, or revocation.  In Wake County, the typical procedure is that the probationer is given a chance to defend against the violation report or to admit the violation and then move into sentencing.  During the sentencing phase, the probation officer makes a recommendation to the District Attorney as to what the State wants (i.e. 2 jail weekends and an extension of probation for 1 year), and the District Attorney then makes his request to the judge for a specific punishment for the violation.  The probationer or his/her counsel then has a chance to argue for a lesser or different outcome or agrees with the recommendation.  With regards to the probation fees, it could be favorable for you to pay the remaining probation fees as it would be detrimental to get behind on your payments; however, please be aware that your probation officer may still file the violation report regardless of your payment. 

You have the right to counsel for both the Driving While Impaired charge and the Probation Violation.  It would be preferable to consult with a local attorney in the county where you are on probation and the county in which the Driving While Impaired charge occurred to receive advice on likely outcomes or possible resolutions for this particular issue.  The attorney would also be able to advise you whether active time is likely for a conviction of Driving While Impaired depending on the grossly aggravating, aggravating, and mitigating factors present in your case.

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Driving under the influence (sometimes known as driving while intoxicated/DWI or operating under the influence/OUI) can have serious legal ramifications, from the loss of your driver's license to jail time, fines and increased insurance rates. If you have a commercial driver's license, the penalties can be even more serious. If you've been charged with drunk driving, talk to a criminal defense attorney immediately. A lawyer with DUI defense experience can review the police report, breathalyzer results and other evidence, try to find weaknesses in the prosecutor's case and work tirelessly in your defense. DUI law firms can also work with clients and prosecutors on plea bargains, alternative sentences and license reinstatements.
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