by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:
STANLY COUNTY, N.C. - A Stanly County attorney has been arrested for DWI four times but never sentenced to prison, Eyewitness News has uncovered.
Albemarle defense attorney Sammy Hopkins Jr. will face a judge for his most recent arrest on Tuesday.
In 1994, Hopkins was arrested for reckless driving and DWI, according to records, but the DWI was later dismissed, according to a court official.
In January 2006, a Stanly County Sheriff's deputy pulled Hopkins over on Highway 52. Records show Hopkins blew a .20 on a breathalyzer test, two and a half times the legal limit.
Hopkins pleaded guilty to a level-five DWI -- the least serious offense -- and was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation.
In March 2011, Hopkins was arrested for DWI again, and convicted in district court.
However, Hopkins appealed the case to Superior Court, where it is still pending.
In March 2012, Hopkins was pulled over by a state trooper and arrested again for DWI and failure to maintain lane control.
Even if Hopkins is convicted for that fourth DWI, a judge would not be able to consider his third arrest as a prior conviction during sentencing, which could mean a lesser punishment.
One of Hopkins' own clients was shocked to hear about his criminal history.
"That's not right, because we get locked up for a lot simpler stuff...he's supposed to be getting me out of trouble, he's getting himself in trouble," Anthony Scott said.
An Eyewitness News crew tried to interview Hopkins outside the courthouse on Monday, but when informed about the story subject, Hopkins said, "Good luck to you," and then referred Channel 9 to his lawyer for further comment.
His lawyer did not return a message seeking comment.
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