What are DWI charges in North Carolina?

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

North Carolina residents might be familiar with the concept of driving while intoxicated, or DWI, but they might not know the details of the legal repercussions. If you’re caught drunk driving in the state of North Carolina, you could face multiple penalties depending on the charge.

What are the different charges that you can face with a DWI?

There are several different levels of misdemeanors for driving while intoxicated. In North Carolina, a Level I misdemeanor would be the most severe while a Level V misdemeanor would be the least severe.

Most misdemeanors for DWIs involve paying a fine and serving some sort of jail time. Depending on the judge, the jail time might be reduced or replaced with community service.

All misdemeanors for DWIs involve a temporary or permanent suspension of the defendant’s driver’s license. At the lowest level misdemeanor, this is only a 30-day suspension while Level I and Level II DWI charges will involve having licenses revoked permanently.

Repeat offenders or those who have more severe DWI charges might also be required to take substance abuse classes. This might not be the case with a Level V DWI misdemeanor.

What happens to repeat offenders?

A felony DWI is what happens to any driver who has had three or more prior DWI convictions within the past seven years. They are also mandated to serve at least one year jail time and go through a substance abuse program.

Repeat DWI offenders in North Carolina might also have their vehicles seized by the state as a means to prevent future DWI convictions. This mostly happens if the convicted person is found to be driving while under the influence when their license has already been revoked. In those cases, the vehicle will be seized by the officers making the arrest at the time of the arrest.

Penalties for DWI can be severe, especially for repeat offenders. Mounting a defense to the charges may help an individual get them reduced or even dismissed.