Wilmington DWI Penalties and DWI Defense Attorneys
Being charged with drunk driving, driving while impaired (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious charge and should not be taken lightly. A DUI/DWI conviction can have a lasting impact on your ability to do things you take for granted now — running to the store, picking up kids from school, getting to and from work — and for some, particularly those in the military, it can be a career ender.
Minimizing the consequences of a drunk driving conviction starts with fighting the charge itself. Attorney Patrick Roberts of Roberts Law Group, PLLC, was a prosecutor in New Hanover County before committing his practice to defending people like you facing DUI/DWI charges. Our firm understands how to break down the prosecutor's case and, when a conviction cannot be avoided, how to work to minimize the penalties you face.
North Carolina Drunk Driving Penalties
In North Carolina, you can be charged with DWI if you were caught behind the wheel of a truck, car, bicycle, moped, motorcycle or other vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or above. Even if you were not over the legal limit of .08, North Carolina law allows you to be arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence or impaired by alcohol or drugs.
If you are convicted of drunk driving, North Carolina has five levels of punishment. Each level includes suspension of your North Carolina driver's license. Level 1 is the worst, level 5 is the lightest:
- Fine: up to $4,000
- Jail: 30 days to 24 months
- Fine: up to $2,000
- Jail: seven days to 12 months
- Fine: up to $1,000
- Jail: 72 hours to six months
- Fine: up to $500
- Jail: 48 hours to 120 days
- Fine: up to $200
- Jail: 24 hours to 60 days
For levels 3 through 5, the minimum jail sentence can be suspended by a judge after you serve a specified number of hours in jail or complete a specific number of community service hours.
Aggravating and Mitigating Factors in North Carolina DWI Sentencing
In determining the appropriate sentencing level after a DUI conviction, a judge will consider any aggravating or mitigating factors in your case. Essentially, these are reasons that your punishment should be more or less severe than that recommended for your crime.
- Aggravating factors: These will increase the penalty you face for a drunk driving conviction and can include a high BAC (equal to or greater than .15), a DWI accident, a history of DWI, driving on a revoked license and others.
- Mitigating factors: These may reduce the penalty you face for a drunk driving conviction and can include a low BAC (at or below .09), a clean driving record, completion of an alcohol treatment course and others.
Our DUI/DWI defense attorneys will present all reasons to the judge in favor of a lessened penalty if you are convicted of a drunk driving or driving while impaired offense.
Experience Counts in DUI Sentencing. Talk to an Attorney Today
Don't wait until you have been convicted of drunk driving to speak with an experienced Wilmington DWI lawyer. There may be available defenses to avoid a conviction or mitigating factors to lessen any penalties. Contact us online or call 910-212-5555 to meet with an experienced attorney from Roberts Law Group, PLLC, today.