Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Let me know if you don't get an answer to your question.
I'm an attorney in North Carolina.
I'm sorry, I was tied up with something else.
Let me ask you two questions: Did you admit to the officer that you had been driving?
Also, was the 1996 DUI your only prior DUI?
Thanks for that information.
I asked whether you admitted you had been driving because technically they have to prove that you were driving. You do, however, raise a very good point; i.e. you were behind the steering wheel, the keys were in the car, and you were on the road. There are, however, a few cases where the person in you situation has been able to win on the basis that the State cannot prove that he was driving. In your case, the "circumstantial" evidence appears to be enough to convict you.
As for the breath tests, those are probably legitimate. As you may know, they must get two readings, and they must be within 0.1 of each other. (They can also ask you to "try again" if they don't think you're exerting enough pressure.) The must also show that the machine was "calibrated," but usually they can get that evidence. (There are some other conditions, such as that they observe you and they observe that you don't eat or drink anything for a given period of time.) Other than that, there is really no technical defense here.
Unfortunately, in North Carolina there is not much you can do with this. We actually have a statute which prohibits the DA's from reducing the charge to anything else. Fortunately, however, this will be considered you first offense (because the other offenses are so old), and you will typically lose your license for one month, and then you will have limited driving privileges (for work and family responsibilities at least). You will probably have to do community service, and take some sort of alcohol awareness class (or safe driving class). Such an offense usually does not involve actual jail time. Sometimes an attorney can be useful to get you better driving privileges, and of course you may want to hire and meet with an attorney in Fayetteville.
As for the officer's notes, they usually will share those with you.
Please let me know if you have any other questions. If this has answered your question, please click 'accept' so that I can receive credit for this response.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).