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DWI Basics

  • By James Cummings
  • Feb 17, 2015

Being arrested for DWI in North Carolina is a serious crime. North Carolina has one of the strictest DWI laws in the country. This is true dating back to the late 1990’s, and since that time the laws have become tougher. Because the laws are so harsh, many people think they cannot successfully defend a DWI charge. This is not true! You can and should fight back if you have been charged with DWI.

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety breaks down the basics of a DWI in the state. For a misdemeanor case, there are five levels of DWI, all of which carry the possibility of jail time:

  • Level I is the most serious level of DWI, and has the most significant financial impact as well, with the possibility of paying up to $4,000.00 in fines and a minimum jail sentence of 30 days. 
  • Level II has a lower fine of up to $2,000.00 and also a lower jail term, with a minimum jail time to do of just 7 days. Like Level I offense, a Judge lacks authority to alter the minimum sentence for this category of DWI. 
  • Levels III, IV and V are less severe and the Judge does have the ability to suspend the minimum sentence. In these categories it is possible to eliminate jail time, but it is likely you will be required to perform a certain number of community service hours.

Levels I and II are for repeat offenders, or cases involving grossly aggravated factors, while the other categories are reserved for first time offenders or cases with other mitigating factors. Because of the strict punishment guidelines for DWI’s, it is critical you have all the facts of your case thoroughly examined so you can present an effective defense. Spending time in jail takes time away from your family, and leaves you unable to attend work. With such high fines being imposed for all levels of DWI, it is vital you maintain employment and the ability to perform your job. Our experienced legal team can help reach satisfactory results for your DWI case.

If you have been charged with DWI in North Carolina, call a skilled North Carolina criminal defense lawyer for help. We fight for your rights and work and maintain your daily schedule. We aggressively defend your case to reach solutions that fit your needs.