North Carolina DWI First Offense
For many people facing a DWI, this is their first criminal charge and they have no idea what to expect. If this is what you’re currently going through, you should contact an experienced DWI defense attorney to guide you through this stressful and confusing process. A DWI defense attorney can help alleviate the anxiety you’re feeling by answering your questions about the pending penalties you could face upon conviction. Plus, it just makes you feel better to know that there is someone out there who is on your side.
What to Expect for a North Carolina DWI First Offense
DWI is somewhat odd in North Carolina, as there is a special statute for sentencing impaired driving. Many people think that DWI offenses are classified as a misdemeanor. Frankly, impaired driving is not truly a misdemeanor or felony, except in the case of Habitual Impaired Driving. For simplicity sake, DWI cases are more similar to misdemeanors than felonies. Prior to sentencing, the judge will take into account whether or not you had any aggravated or grossly aggravating factors associated with your DWI charge. For example, the judge will look to see if your breath test was well above the legal limit or if you had a minor in your vehicle. You will be sentenced based on one of five levels, with Level One being the most serious. There is quite a difference in penalties based on your sentencing level. In certain circumstances it is also possible that your vehicle can be impounded and sold at auction; during which time you can be responsible for the impoundment fees. Depending on your case, you may also be required to complete community service and can even be put on probation.
Under North Carolina law, a DWI first offense conviction results in a mandatory 12-month license suspension, depending on the judge’s decision. However, it may be possible for you to obtain a conditional license ten days after the 30-day pre-trial revocation. There are numerous conditions to obtain a Pre-Trial Limited Driving Privilege
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