Any drunk-driving arrest should be taken seriously, but if you’ve been convicted of driving while impaired within the previous seven years, the consequences can be much harsher. Your earlier DWI conviction is considered as a GROSSLY aggravating factor according to the state’s classification system, which means that you will likely fall into one of the offense levels that includes mandatory jail time. Carolina Law Group, headed by Tommy Kellis, provides exceptional legal representation for motorists accused of operating a vehicle while impaired throughout North Carolina. We have detailed knowledge of the sentences associated with a second and third DWI conviction, and even cases where someone has been found guilty of DWI several times. Once you are aware of the relevant legal standards, we will develop a strategy designed to achieve a resolution that minimizes the disruption to your life.
North Carolina has six sentencing levels for DWI charges, with Level 1A being the most serious. Many individuals with a DWI conviction on their record are sentenced in Levels 1A I and II, where terms of incarceration cannot be suspended. In Level II, the minimum jail term is seven days and the maximum is one year. Level I convictions are punishable by at least 30 days and as much as two years behind bars. Level 1A convictions are punishable by at least 120 days and as much three years in prison. This is in addition to the fines and license suspensions that are imposed in DWI cases. Level III cases carry a top fine of $1,000 with the maximum amount rising to $10,000 for a Level 1A matter.
Even a first DWI conviction is punishable by a one-year license suspension, but loss of driving privileges lasts much longer for multiple offenders. A second DWI conviction leads to a potential four-year license suspension and if someone is guilty of drunk driving three times in the seven-year period, their license can be revoked permanently. You can seek a Limited Driver’s Privilege that gives you the legal ability to drive to work, school, substance abuse treatment and religious services. We can advise you on restoring your driving privileges if you qualify.
You might think you have no chance of beating a DWI charge once your Breathalyzer result exceeds the pertinent legal limit, which is a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 percent for most drivers, but there are many reasons why a DWI prosecution could be defeated. Making the effort to do so is even more important if you’re facing an enhanced multiple offender sentence. Our DUI defense attorneys might find that the law enforcement officer lacked proper legal grounds to stop your vehicle or retain an expert who will testify that your test result was tainted.
The Carolina Law Group in Morehead City represents clients who are facing enhanced penalties in North Carolina DWI cases due to previous drunk driving convictions. We assist motorists from Emerald Isle, Atlantic Beach, Newport and other Carteret County locations. Please call us at 252-672-2059 or contact us online to speak with a respected lawyer.