The consequences for driving while impaired (DWI) in Mecklenburg County are serious, and things only get worse with second, third, and subsequent offenses. If you or a loved one has been arrested on suspicion of a second offense DWI in Charlotte, NC, the stakes and potential penalties are automatically raised. Prior DWI convictions will have a serious impact on your sentencing because each prior offense counts as a grossly aggravating factor in your current case.
For help with your second or third offense DWI, call a Charlotte DWI lawyer from Randall & Stump PLLC at (980) 237-4579 or reach out through our online form to schedule a free, initial case consultation.
Per North Carolina General Statute § 20-138.1, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of an impairing substance; after having consumed enough alcohol to put yourself over the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit; and/or if you have any amount of a Schedule 1 controlled substance in your body.
BAC limits in the North Carolina are:
When you are charged with driving wile impaired in Mecklenburg County, there are a number of factors that will impact how you will be punished for a second or third DWI. These include:
These are serious aspects of your case that will work against you, potentially heightening your offense to a Level 2 DWI, Level 1 DWI, or Aggravated Level 1 DWI.
Aggravating factors in your case, though not as serious as grossly aggravating factors, will result in you being charged with a higher-level offense.
These elements actually work in your favor. If no grossly aggravating factors are present in your case, a judge can use these to reduce the level of sentencing for your DWI charge, if convicted.
If you are facing a second offense DWI in Charlotte, it’s important to discuss with your lawyer if any of the above factors are relevant to your situation. An attorney from Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys will look at the facts and will determine if any of the mitigating factors may help minimize the penalties you face or how to defend against any aggravating elements that may apply.
DWI crimes are charged on a scale in North Carolina. This means that the number of grossly aggravating, aggravating, and mitigating factors present in your case will determine which level of DWI Sentencing you will face, if convicted.
If there are three or more grossly aggravating factors present in your second offense DWI in Charlotte, then you will be charged with an aggravated level one DWI.
Penalties for an aggravated level one DWI offense include:
You face level one DWI punishment for a second or third DWI if there was a minor and/or disabled person in your vehicle at the time of your offense, or if two of the other grossly aggravating factors are present in your case.
Penalties for a level one DWI misdemeanor are:
If no minor was in your car at the time of your DWI, and if only one other grossly aggravating factor is present, you will face a level two DWI punishment.
Punishments for a level two DWI offense include:
Level three DWI punishment is imposed in DWI cases when no grossly aggravating factors are present, but when aggravating factors outweigh mitigating factors.
If found guilty of a level three DWI, for a second offense DWI in NC, you face the following penalties:
If there are no aggravating or mitigating factors present in your case, or if aggravating factors are balanced with mitigating ones, you will face level four DWI punishment for your DWI charge.
Punishments for a level four DWI offense include:
If the mitigating factors in your case outweigh the aggravating factors, then a judge will sentence you to a level five DWI misdemeanor.
Penalties for a level five DWI offense are as follows:
In addition to jail time and fines, if you’re found guilty of a second or third DWI in Charlotte, NC, you face a number of collateral consequences. Such penalties include increased insurance rates, suspension of your driver’s license, installation of an ignition interlock device, inability to obtain or maintain certain professional licenses, immigration issues, and more.
If you’ve been charged with a second or third offense DWI in NC, or if you’re facing charges for a third or subsequent DWI offense, it’s important to work with your attorney so that you can remain informed of any of the above factors that may affect your case and any legal challenges that may exist to fight your charges.
After your first DWI offense, your license is revoked for 1 year. If law enforcement charge you with an additional DWI within that 1 year revocation period, they have the ability to seize your vehicle. This is a result of the Governor’s DWI initiative and takes place at the time of the arrest.
This is also true for any time law enforcement charge you with a DWI while your license has been revoked due to previous charges. Upon conviction, the judge will forfeit your vehicle.
When you face the life-changing consequences that follow an arrest for a second or third DWI, it is important that you hire an experienced Charlotte DWI lawyer. The attorneys of Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys will explore and exhaust every defense available in your case, including:
It is important that you don’t lose hope simply because you were charged. Rather, you should put yourself in the best position by hiring an attorney, who will fight vigorously to defend your rights.
When you’re arrested for DWI in Mecklenburg County, you’re likely dealing with several concerns. What would a conviction mean for your employment? What about custody of your children? Will you be able to retain your driver’s license and other professional certifications? As these questions run through your mind, let a Charlotte DWI attorney from Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys handle your defense. With over 35 years of combined legal experience and with a member of our firm, certified with the National College of DUI Defense, we have assisted countless individuals to face charges of second or third offense DWI, and know what it takes to protect your freedom and future.
Contact us today at (980) 237-4579 for a free, initial evaluation of your case.