Wake County DUI pleas?

If you’re charged with a DUI in Wake County – Raleigh, Apex, Cary, or the other towns in the county – you have one of two options.  To agree to plea to the DUI charge, and accept all of the consequences – license suspended for a year (with some possible limited driving privileges), alcohol or drug treatment, unsupervised probation or community service, and other unpleasant costs.

You do have another option: to go to trial, fight the charge, and convince a judge (in District Court) or a jury (in Superior Court) that you are not guilty of driving under the influence on Wake County’s roads.

That’s because in Wake County, the assistant district attorneys almost never offer a person charged with a DUI (drunk driving, DWI, etc.) to plea to a different charge. Instead, a defendant must either accept a DUI plea, or fight the charge by going to trial.

If you go to trial, you’ll first be tried in District Court in front of a judge.  If you lose in District Court, you have the choice to appeal – appeal is automatic if you want it – to Superior Court, where you will have a jury trial.

While no one wants to go before a jury, given the way Wake County handles its DUI cases, many people do have to go to trial to defend their rights.

Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.