Can You Go to Jail For a North Carolina DWI?
Under North Carolina law, it is illegal for you to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. It is not necessary that the officer directly prove your BAC is above the legal limit for you to face a DWI conviction. You may be arrested and convicted of a North Carolina DWI simply for displaying behavior that suggests your mental and/or physical faculties are appreciable impaired at the relevant time of driving. If you are found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol, you could face imprisonment. The length of your sentence depends on the exact circumstances under which you receive your DWI.
With a potential for a period of incarceration on the line, it’s a good idea to talk to a skilled Charlotte DWI lawyer about your case. There are plenty of reasons you may fail a field sobriety tests, even if you were not actually intoxicated or impaired while you were driving. Talking to an experienced attorney can help you figure out what your rights are. To schedule a free and confidential consultation of your case, contact Randall & Stump, PLLC today at (980) 237-4579.
Understanding the Different Levels of NC DWIs
Under North Carolina law, a DWI is classified under one of six levels. The level your North Carolina DWI falls under is determined by several factors, including:
- You BAC at the time you were pulled over
- Your driving record
- Previous DWI convictions
- Your criminal history
- Active prescriptions
- Your appearance during your DWI stop
- Your behavior during your DWI stop
- Your manner of driving leading up to the DWI stop
That level at which your DWI is classified will determine how much jail time you potentially face upon conviction. The penalties for the different levels of DWI in North Carolina are as follows:
Level five is the lowest level of DWI under NC law. This offense carries a punishment of one to 60 days in jail. This can likely be negotiated down, depending on how the judge views the mitigating factors in your case. Along with this, level five DWIs hold a fine of up to $200, and a suspension of your license for one year.
A level four DWI results in slightly more severe penalties than a level five:
- A maximum fine of $500
- Between two and 120 days in jail
- A driver’s license suspension
If you’re convicted of a level three DWI, you risk losing your driver’s license for up to one year. Your maximum fine, however, increases to $1,000. You are also looking at between 72 hours and six months in jail. As under other levels, your sentence is negotiable, depending on how favorably the judge views your case.
If your North Carolina DWI is classified as level two, your maximum possible fine can reach up to $2,000. You also face the same license restrictions, and your maximum possible jail time increases to one year.
A level one DWI carries a maximum jail sentence of two years. In addition to license restrictions, your maximum possible fine also increases to $4,000.
Aggravated Level One
The highest level your DWI can be assigned is aggravated level one. Factors that increase the likelihood that your DWI is aggravated include, but aren’t limited to:
- Previous DWI convictions
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license
- Dangerous or reckless driving
An aggravated level one DWI could cost you up to $10,000 in fines, as well as a maximum of three years of incarceration. You could face the same license restrictions as under the other levels. In addition, you may be required to abstain from alcohol for a period of time following your release.
Talk To An Attorney About How to Handle Your North Carolina DWI Case
A DWI attorney will be the best person to ask about your potential consequences after a DWI. Randall & Stump, PLLC is the right call for anyone facing a DWI in the Charlotte area. Talk to one of our lawyers about what charges you’re facing, and the best ways to reduce your possible sentence. Schedule your free, confidential consultation online, or by calling (980) 237-4579 today.