Your future can have a serious setback if you are arrested and convicted of DWI. It is a criminal offense, and a conviction comes with jail time, community service, fines, probation, loss of driving privileges, and increased insurance premiums. A DWI conviction on record can be a serious detriment to finding gainful employment as well as affecting your personal and professional reputation.
Quality Elizabeth City DWI Lawyer: Serving all of Northeastern North Carolina
The criminal defense attorneys at Teague & Glover P.A. have extensive experience successfully defending individuals charged with DWI. The penalties for DWI can be extensive, and the final penalties assessed will be determined by the evaluation of a number of factors. Without a high level of legal representation, you run the risk of incurring more penalties than you could.
An Elizabeth City DWI lawyer in our firm is qualified to represent individuals charged with DWIs in both federal and state courts. In fact, Attorney Keith Teague was a prosecutor prior to becoming a DWI defense lawyer in 1981, so his intimate knowledge of how the other side operates at a practical level has proven to be invaluable to his clients.
Attorney Danny Glover, Jr. has for years taught attorneys across the state in numerous aspects of DWI defense continuing legal education classes. The firm can help you fight your DWI charge, and represents people facing charges in Elizabeth City, the Outer Banks and most of northeastern North Carolina.
Consequences of a DWI
In North Carolina, the laws and penalties governing DWI are complex. For each offense, the penalties range from the lightest (Level 5) to severe (misdemeanor Level A1 or Felony Habitual DWI). The levels are determined by whether it’s a first or subsequent DWI offense, and whether any grossly or serious aggravating factors were also present. We have provided extensive information about DWI laws for some in-depth answers to common questions.
The consequences extend far beyond the legal issues you will be dealing with. You will have two issues to address, initially – your criminal charges and the automatic suspension of your driver’s license. For felony DWI charges, you may have the issue of bail to address as well.
Once your case is in motion, it will move ahead towards a conviction unless you are proactive and seek defense counsel who successfully defends your DWI case. If you are convicted you will face long term consequences, including permanently damaging your criminal record, compromising your personal and professional reputation, as well as your relationships and potential future career.
The costs involved in a DWI conviction can be extensive, and will affect your wallet for a long period of time, as you will be dealing potentially thousands of dollars in fines, possibly the expense of supervised probation and/or an ignition interlock system, as well as greatly increased insurance rates – once you are allowed to operate a vehicle.
Penalties for DWI in NC
Jail time is a minimum of 24 hours (or a minimum of 12 months if there are also three aggravated factors involved), fines of $200, and driver’s license suspension of 60 days to one year.
Jail time is four days (or a minimum of 12 months if there are three aggravating factors involved), fines as determined by the level of the offense, a driver’s license suspension of one to four years, and an interlock ignition device installed in any vehicle you are allowed to drive.
Jail time is 14-30 days but could be as much as two years (or a minimum of 12 months if there are three aggravating factors involved), fines as determined by the offense, a driver’s license suspension of one year (or a permanent revocation if the last conviction occurred within the last five years), and an interlock ignition device installed in any vehicle you are allowed to drive for seven years, if your license has been reinstated.
Aggravating Factors with DWI charge in NC
When arrested for a DWI offense, other circumstances could elevate the seriousness of the crime.
Grossly Aggravating Factors include:
- A prior conviction for an offense involving impaired driving if:
- The conviction occurred within seven years before the date of the offense for which the defendant is being sentenced; or
- The conviction occurs after the date of the offense for which the defendant is presently being sentenced, but prior to or contemporaneously with the present sentencing; or
- The conviction occurred in district court; the case was appealed to superior court; the appeal has been withdrawn, or the case has been remanded back to district court; and a new sentencing hearing has not been held pursuant to G.S. 20-38.7.
Each prior conviction is a separate grossly aggravating factor.
- Driving by the defendant at the time of the offense while his driver’s license was revoked under G.S. 20-28, and the revocation was an impaired driving revocation under G.S. 20-28.2(a).
- Serious injury to another person caused by the defendant’s impaired driving at the time of the offense.
- Driving by the defendant while (i) a child under the age of 18 years, (ii) a person with the mental development of a child under the age of 18 years, or (iii) a person with a physical disability preventing unaided exit from the vehicle was in the vehicle at the time of the offense.
If an offender is found to have one of the above factors in conjunction with DWI, penalties will be levied as Level 2. Having two of these factors will result in Level 1 penalties. Having three of these factors will result in Level A1 penalties (jail time of 12 months minimum, 36 months maximum).
- A Level A1 punishment results in jail time ranging from 12 months to 3 years, with no parole, and a fines up to $10,000.
- A Level 1 punishment results in jail time ranging from 30 days to 24 months and fines up to $4,000.
- A Level 2 punishment results in jail time ranging from 7 days to 12 months and fines up to $2,000.
- A Level 3 punishment may result in jail time ranging from 72 hours to 6 months in jail and fines up to $1000.
- A Level 4 punishment may result in jail time ranging from 48 hours to 120 days in jail and fines up to $500.
- A Level 5 punishment may result in jail time ranging from 24 hours to 60 days in jail and fines up to $200.
Aggravating Factors include:
- Gross impairment of the defendant’s faculties while driving or an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more within a relevant time after the driving. For purposes of this subdivision, the results of a chemical analysis presented at trial or sentencing shall be sufficient to prove the person’s alcohol concentration, shall be conclusive, and shall not be subject to modification by any party, with or without approval by the court.
- Especially reckless or dangerous driving.
- Negligent driving that led to a reportable accident.
- Driving by the defendant while his or her driver’s license was revoked.
- Two or more prior convictions of a motor vehicle offense not involving impaired driving for which at least three points are assigned under G.S. 20-16 or for which the convicted person’s license is subject to revocation, if the convictions occurred within five years of the date of the offense for which the defendant is being sentenced, or one or more prior convictions of an offense involving impaired driving that occurred more than seven years before the date of the offense for which the defendant is being sentenced.
- Conviction under G.S. 20-141.5 of speeding by the defendant while fleeing or attempting to elude apprehension.
- Conviction under G.S. 20-141 of speeding by the defendant by at least 30 miles per hour over the legal limit.
- Passing a stopped school bus in violation of G.S. 20-217.
- Any other factor that aggravates the seriousness of the offense.
Mitigating Factors include:
- Slight impairment of the defendant’s faculties resulting solely from alcohol, and an alcohol concentration that did not exceed 0.09 at any relevant time after the driving.
- Slight impairment of the defendant’s faculties, resulting solely from alcohol, with no chemical analysis having been available to the defendant.
- Driving at the time of the offense that was safe and lawful except for the impairment of the defendant’s faculties.
- A safe driving record, with the defendant’s having no conviction for any motor vehicle offense for which at least four points are assigned under G.S. 20-16 or for which the person’s license is subject to revocation within five years of the date of the offense for which the defendant is being sentenced.
- Impairment of the defendant’s faculties caused primarily by a lawfully prescribed drug for an existing medical condition, and the amount of the drug taken was within the prescribed dosage.
- The defendant’s voluntary submission to a mental health facility for assessment after he was charged with the impaired driving offense for which he is being sentenced, and, if recommended by the facility, his voluntary participation in the recommended treatment.
- Completion of a substance abuse assessment, compliance with its recommendations, and simultaneously maintaining 60 days of continuous abstinence from alcohol consumption, as proven by a continuous alcohol monitoring system. The continuous alcohol monitoring system shall be of a type approved by the Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety.
- Any other factor that mitigates the seriousness of the offense.
You can get in-depth answers to more of your questions on our DWI FAQ page.
Experienced Outer Banks DWI Lawyer Protects Your Rights
We are passionate about protecting your rights and pursuing every possible avenue that could achieve a positive outcome for DWI charges. We build a powerful defense case that will be based on a number of factors, including:
- Determining if the vehicle stop or your detention was legal and there was reasonable and articulable suspicion of that.
- Determining if the arrest was legal and if there was probable cause for the arrest
- Determining if the field sobriety tests were administered and interpreted properly. Both of our attorneys, D. Keith Teague and Danny Glover, Jr., are certified as Standardized Field Sobriety Test Administrators per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration guidelines.
- Determining if the breath tests were administered properly and comply with all necessary statutes and regulations.
- Whether any evidence in the case has the potential for being suppressed
We focus on either beating your case outright, or having your charges dropped or reduced as much as possible, or, if neither of those options are available, reducing the punishment in your case as much as is legally possible, including taking action to help you fight to keep your driving privileges so you can get to work or go to school.
We serve as counsel for individuals charged with DWI in many NC communities, including the Outer Banks, Elizabeth City, or in any community or rural area in northeastern North Carolina. Our firm stands ready to move into action for your defense.
If You Had a DWI Arrest, Get Help Now. Contact Us Today
Call us toll free and speak with a knowledgeable attorney about your case, or use our online form so we can review the facts in your case quickly and efficiently. We are ready to get to work for you, and our initial consultation is without charge, so you can learn what we can do for you without obligation. Don’t wait. Call today.
Last Updated: January 11, 2014