First, if you have been charged with a DWI in North Carolina, always speak with a local DWI Defense Attorney about your case. There are so many different things that need to reviewed about your case, it really is important to have a professional look at your case. Additionally, if you face a DWI in Wake County, your case will not immediately be set in 5C, so no worries.
So, what is courtroom 5C? Well, courtroom is a room on the fifth floor of the courthouse. As simple as they may seem, the implications are a bit more involved. You see, when charged with a crime in North Carolina, both the Defendant and the State are given ample opportunity to prepare the case. Whether the two sides will come to a resolution for a plea deal or dismissal of the charge, or the case is for trial, it can take several visits to the courthouse to make all necessary preparations. However, to ensure that the judicial system moves along efficiently, both sides are limited in the number of times they can ask for a continuance, resulting in a new, later court date. Now, there is no set number of continuances per side. There are many factors which play into why the Defense or the State may ask for a continuance and the Judge in that courtroom on that date will have to make a determination for themselves whether to grant the motion to continue. However, eventually a party will not be permitted to continue the case and must be prepared for trial at the next setting. You may be wondering why I am discussing continuances in an article about a special courtroom in Wake county: well, because they are directly related.
You see, when the State is struggling to get their case ready for trial, they know that they may run out of time. There are many reasons why the State may not be ready, perhaps one of the Police Officer's is no longer on the force and must be subpoenas, perhaps the Raleigh DWI Stop involved multiple officers and they must get them all there for the trial. Perhaps the case is a blood draw case and the results haven't gotten back. Whatever the reason is, if the State is not prepared, and the Judge refuses to grant the State's Motion to Continue, then the State will either need to try and proceed without the evidence/witness or dismiss the case. In circumstances where this may be a possibility, courtroom 5C comes into play. If a case is set to 5C, then no new court date is given. The District Attorney in that room will contact the Defendant and/or Defense counsel to let them know of a date they'd like to have the trial. If the Defendant or Defense counsel or unavailable, then they can request a different date and the State will accommodate.
Now, that may seem like a fair compromise. However, when you consider the Defendant's Constitutional right to a speedy trial, and the reality that in some instances, cases have set in 5C for over a year, you start to see the problem. As a Defendant or Defense Counsel, you should always be weary of a case being set in 5C and try and have a court date set as soon as possible to protect the Defendant's Speedy Trial argument.
If you were charged with a Wake County DWI and are looking at Raleigh DWI Defense Lawyers, contact the Matheson Law Office, Pllc for your free consultation and have our DWI attorney explain your rights to you.