North Carolina DWI LawyerLike most states, North Carolina has some very tough laws when it comes to drunk driving—a crime known as driving while intoxicated, or DWI. Depending on the circumstances, a driver arrested for DWI could face penalties such as a license suspension, fine, and even jail time. Fortunately, if you are arrested for the offense, while there’s no way to guarantee that you won’t be convicted of the offense, hiring an experienced North Carolina DWI lawyer can greatly improve your chances of avoiding some of the most severe consequences you may be facing.
Across the nation, it is against the law to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. However, North Carolina state law imposes even lower BAC limitations on certain motorists—specifically underage drivers and those who operate a commercial vehicle. As a result, a driver under the age of 21 can be arrested for DWI with a BAC of 0.02% or more, while the law requires only a 0.04% blood alcohol content when it comes to drivers of commercial vehicles.
The exact penalties for your offense vary based on your criminal history, as well as the facts of your case. While the majority of DWI cases are classified as a misdemeanor offense, in certain instances—such as when the driver was involved in a serious auto accident that led to another person’s serious injury or death—the crime can be considered a felony.
Under state law, the penalties for DWI are split into five different categories, or “levels,” ranging from 1 to 5 according to the severity of the offense. Whereas a level 5 offense carries only a maximum 60-day jail sentence (which is often waived in lieu of community service), the penalties for a level 1 drunk driving offense includes at least 30 days behind bars, with a maximum one-year sentence possible for the most severe cases.
In addition to facing jail time, you may also lose your driver’s license and pay a hefty fine if you are convicted of any type of DWI—no matter the level of the offense you are charged with. You can also expect your auto, life, and health insurance rates to increase as a result of your conviction and you may encounter problems obtaining housing and/or employment due to your flawed criminal record.
With the number of penalties you are facing, it is important to obtain legal representation immediately if you are ever arrested for driving while intoxicated in North Carolina. In many cases, a skilled DWI lawyer can create a strong defense plan for your case to help reduce the charges against you or even get your case dismissed entirely.
To learn more about your potential defense strategies, fill out a free case consultation form to find an experienced North Carolina DWI lawyer in your area.