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Using CAM Devices to Reduce Mecklenburg DUI Jail Sentences

On behalf of Randall & Stump, PLLC in DUI/DWI on Monday, September 9, 2019


DUI cases are prosecuted aggressively and can carry serious consequences. If you’re facing DUI charges, you may be wondering if there is anything you can do to help yourself avoid the harshest possible sentence. The good news is that Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) devices can help you get your charges reduced, but it’s important to understand how this works.

If you’re facing DUI charges, the best thing you can do is contact a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. The DUI defense attorneys at Randall & Stump, PLLC help people charged with DUI in the Charlotte and Mecklenburg area get a fair result. We can help you understand your options and work with you every step of the way to make sure your rights are protected. If you’d like to hear more about how we can help you, call us at (980) 237-4579 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Understanding North Carolina’s DUI Penalties

North Carolina’s DUI penalties are complex and confusing for non-lawyers to understand. The penalties you face will depend on your blood alcohol content (BAC), your prior record, and the precise DUI offense you have been charged with. North Carolina determines which penalty applies depending on which of the following seven offense levels you fall into:

  • Habitual DWI. If you have been convicted of DUI four times in the last 10 years, you will be charged with habitual DUI. You could face a 12-month prison sentence, permanent license revocation, vehicle forfeiture, and mandatory alcohol abuse treatment.
  • Aggravated Level 1 DWI. If charged with aggravated level 1 DUI, you could face up to $10,000 in fines, incarceration from 12 to 36 months, and suspension of your driver’s license.
  • Level 1 DWI. If convicted of a Level 1 DWI, you are facing a minimum of thirty days in jail and up to 24 months in prison, up to $4,000 in fines, and a suspension of your driving privileges in North Carolina.
  • Level 2 DWI. A level 2 DUI carries a mandatory seven-day jail sentence with the possibility of up to 12 months. You will also face fines of up to $2,000, suspension of your North Carolina driving privileges, and a mandatory substance abuse assessment.
  • Level 3 DWI. If convicted, you face between 72 hours and six months in jail, suspension of your North Carolina driving privileges, a mandatory substance abuse assessment, and a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Level 4 DWI. A level 4 DUI carries a possible jail sentence of 48 hours to 120 days, suspension of your North Carolina driving privileges, community service, and a mandatory substance abuse assessment.
  • Level 5 DWI. While this is the least serious DUI offense, you still face going to jail anywhere from 24 hours to 60 days, suspension of your North Carolina driving privileges, a mandatory substance abuse assessment, community service,and a $200 fine.

Each of these offenses also carries various licenses suspensions and restrictions, as well as the possibility of being placed on probation, being ordered to complete a specified number of community service hours, being required to have an Interlock device installed on your vehicle,and being required to complete an alcohol abuse assessment.

Aggravating and Mitigating Factors

In determining your offense level, the court will consider three factors:

  • Mitigating factors that would support a lighter sentence. For example, having an otherwise clean driving record, your BAC was just over the legal limit, or participating in treatment prior to sentencing would all be considered mitigating factors.
  • Aggravating factors that would support a harsher sentence. For example, gross impairment of 0.15 or higher or driving recklessly at the time of your arrest would be considered aggravating factors.
  • Grossly aggravating factors that would support the harshest penalties. A prior DUI conviction within the last 7 years, causing serious injury as a result of your DUI, or having a minor in the vehicle at the time of your arrest are all considered grossly aggravating factors under North Carolina law.

Generally speaking, these aggravating and mitigating factors will be weighed against each other in order to determine your offense level, should you be sentenced at Level 3, 4, or 5. For example, you can qualify for a level 5 offense if the mitigating factors outweigh any aggravating factors. That said, you should be aware that grossly aggravating factors will automatically raise your charges to a level 2 offense or higher.

How CAM Devices Can Help

Under North Carolina law, the use of a CAM device is considered a mitigating factor and if you are facing a level 1 or 2 DUI offense, a CAM device cannot help you get your charges reduced. However, agreeing to wear a CAM device pre-trial or as part of your probation could help you avoid jail time or reduced any active jail sentence.

Contact the Mecklenburg DUI Defense Attorneys at Randall & Stump, PLLC

DUI charges are among some of the most serious criminal charges you can face. At Randall & Stump, PLLC, we understand that it’s your future at stake, and so we fight to make sure you get the best possible result. If you’ve been charged with DUI and want someone on your side, call us at (980) 237-4579 or our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with one of our DUI defense lawyers today.