If you have been charged with a DWI, make sure you explore all of your options before pleading guilty. One of the most effective tools that can be used to prepare a defense in a DWI case is actually one of the lesser known defenses that North Carolina law provides today. This tool is referred to as a Knoll motion.
There are two requirements for a standard Knoll motion. First, you must prove a violation of one of the statutes dealing with pre-trial release and/or requirements of procedures established by the State as applied to defendants in custody charged with DWI. Your legal counsel should check North Carolina’s statutes and procedures to verify if a violation of this nature occurred. Your county’s local bond policies are important when analyzing whether a violation occurred or not.
The second requirement is a proper showing of prejudice against the defendant after being arrested and subjected to an extended delay in custody. A showing of prejudice is required if there is evidence of your blood alcohol concentration, but there is one exception to this requirement. A showing of prejudice is not required when there is no blood alcohol concentration evidence or the defendant refused a breathalyzer test. When proving impairment, especially without any blood alcohol concentration, your physical condition at the time of arrest is critically important. If you were arrested and subjected to an extended delay in custody without the opportunity to gather evidence to prepare your defense, this may be enough to prove prejudice. One of the most significant rights you have after being arrested for a DWI is your right to communicate with legal counsel, family and friends. This right implies that, at the very least, you have the right to have your family and friends see you, observe and examine you so that they may attest the truth as to your alleged intoxication. Since impairment goes away with time, the opportunity to gather evidence in your defense is time sensitive. This period of time where your friends, family and any other witnesses are denied access to see you comes at your most crucial time to gather evidence against your alleged “impairment” and it is therefore protected by North Carolina law. If you were denied these opportunities to secure independent proof of your sobriety, then your rights were violated and your case could be dismissed. Contact the Law Office of Ronald J. Shook today so that you can successfully prepare the most effective defense to your DWI case.
- Submitted by Intern Fernando Bleicher