Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) April 16, 2015
Although North Carolina’s recent “Booze It & Lose It” campaign was a success, larger bureaucratic issues are impeding state jurists’ efforts.
WSOCTV reported on March 21, 2015 that between March 13 and March 17, law enforcement agencies stepped up patrols and conducted more checkpoints in an attempt to keep drunk drivers off the road. Statewide, the amount of DWI violations decreased in comparison to last year. Statistics show that some 785 people were cited for driving while impaired, as opposed to the more than 800 people in 2014.
However, budget constraints, a voluminous amount of cases, and bureaucratic red tape each stymie North Carolina’s legal system.
In a recent “State of the Judiciary” speech, Chief Justice Mark Martin told the General Assembly how lab results in DWI cases routinely take more than a year to process, how jurors are paid with funds intended for staff, and how prosecutors turn to plea bargains to avoid the cost of going to trial in some cases, according to a March 4, 2015 report from WBTV.
“Courtrooms are getting very clogged; it’s taking a year or even more to resolve cases,” explained Damon Chetson, an attorney from The Chetson Firm, which helps clients avoid DWI convictions. “We have a client we just finished with that took them three years from the time of being charged to resolutions.”
Yet, these lengthy cases could all be avoided were it not for the system’s red tape.
“Wake county has a policy where they don’t plead out DWIs,” explained Chetson. “If you’re charged with a DWI, you’re charged with a DWI. There are no pleas to something less. A significantly larger number than needs to be of these cases end up going to trial.”
Worse, it seems that law enforcement is only piling cases on to the already towering amount.
“They’re being indiscriminate with who they’re charging with DWIs; we have a client who blew a .07 but was still charged with DWI — a weak case for the state that should have been a lesser charge but isn’t, not a case worth fighting,” said Chetson. “All of the DWIs are overwhelming the state bureaus, [and] clogging courtrooms.”
In order to deal with the overwhelming amount of cases, the state’s proposed solution is to allocate more funding. Wake county law enforcement even recently received federal funding to create a DWI task force, and Martin even called for an additional $ 30 million in funding.
“This is not the best solution,” Chetson said. “The solution is to be more careful in what they charge for the DWI. Once the charge is made, an evaluation needs to be made on whether or not to offer pleas — then people can decide whether to fight it or not.”
About The Chetson Firm
The Chetson Firm is a dedicated team with years of experience with criminal charges, drug crimes, fraud, DWI and more. They work to provide top legal advice and services to clients. To learn more, visit http://www.chetson.com