Motta & Muñoz, PLLC

Providing legal services to the greater Triangle area.

DWI Defense

The attorneys of at Motta & Muñoz are very experienced with handling charges of driving while impaired, or DWI as it is commonly known. We have handled over one hundred DWI cases across Durham, Wake, Orange, and Chatham counties.

A higher percentage of DWI cases go to trial than virtually any other crime, including murder.  If you are charged with a DWI, you want an attorney who is skilled in defending a DWI, one who knows what the State needs to prove, and how the defense can best attack the weaknesses in the State’s case.  Stephen Motta is the attorney for you.  Stephen has worked for over eight years as an assistant district attorney (“ADA”) in five NC counties (including Orange and Chatham counties for over five years), and in that time he has tried hundreds of DWI cases in both District and Superior courts.  Since opening his private practice in 2010, he has successfully defended people with DWI charges by using his experience that he gained as an ADA: by spotting the weaknesses in the State’s case, and attacking those weaknesses to the client’s advantage.

The following is very important information to know for all prospective clients who have been charged with a DWI:

  • Reasonable Suspicion to Stop
    • A police officer must have at least reasonable suspicion in order to stop a motorist suspected of driving while impaired.  This standard is for the Judge to determine: whether a reasonable person would make the determination that a person committed the crime, given the same facts and circumstances.  It has to be more than a hunch.
    • Motta & Muñoz has been successful with motions to dismiss DWI’s based on a lack of reasonable suspicion. Please give us a call at (919) 321-8277 for a free consultation.


  • Probable Cause to Arrest
    • The standard needed for an officer to arrest is greater than that for a stop: a police officer needs probable cause to arrest.  Probable cause has been defined in NC courts as being more likely than not that a crime has been committed, and more likely than not that the defendant is the one who committed that crime.  With a DWI, an officer must testify that he formed an opinion based on his observations that a person is appreciable, or noticeably, impaired before he placed him under arrest.  The officer uses several Field Sobriety Tests (“FST”) such as the Walk and Turn (“W&T”), One Legged Stand (“OLS”), and Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (“HGN”) and the finger to nose test, to establish probable cause to arrest.  Three tests, the W&T, OLS, and HGN are considered Standardized FSTs, because they have been approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  Many times the arresting officer is not sure exactly what it is he is looking for when conducting these tests!  If the NHTSA tests are not conducted properly, the results do not come in against the accused.  As a former prosecutor, Stephen Motta has tried hundreds of DWI cases, and knows how to question officers to expose mistakes that were made when conducting these tests.
    • The Motta & Muñoz law firm has successfully challenged this standard in court. Please give us a call at (919) 321-8277 to discuss your case with us.


  • EC/IR II Issues
    • In most DWI cases, the State will try to introduce into evidence results taken from the EC/IR II Intoximeter machine that captures breath alcohol from the accused individual after he or she has been arrested.  However, there are many steps that an officer must take before properly administering this test.  Any mistakes made by the office can cause this reading to be thrown out of court.  Stephen Motta has the experience of over 100 trials for DWI cases, and knows how to ensure that every possible defense to your DWI case is explored and investigated prior to entering the courtroom.
    • Give us a call at (919) 321-8277 to discuss your case today.


For more information about DWI’s click here.



  • 919-321-8277