If you have been arrested for a DWI in Marion, North Carolina, you do not have to fight the charges against you alone. The award-winning DWI defense attorneys at King Law are committed to protecting the rights of the accused across North Carolina. We pride ourselves on taking a personalized approach to every case so that we can build meaningful relationships and craft the best possible defenses for our clients.
Is a DWI Charged as a Felony in North Carolina?
Like other states, North Carolina has laws in place prohibiting drivers from operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08%. However, the limit is even lower for commercial drivers at 0.04%. Drivers under the age of 21 may be charged with a DWI if any amount of alcohol is present in their system.
If you were charged with your first DWI, the offense would likely be classified as a misdemeanor. There are five levels of misdemeanor DWIs in North Carolina. The level you get charged with will depend heavily on the severity of the crime and any aggravating factors in your case. The five levels of misdemeanor DWIs are as follows:
- Level 5: Up to 60 days in jail and a $200 fine
- Level 4: Up to 120 days in jail and a $500 fine
- Level 3: Up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine
- Level 2: Up to one year in prison and a $2,000 fine
- Level 1: Up to two years in prison and a $4,000 fine
Drivers who have three or more DWI convictions within seven years may be charged with a felony-level DWI. Convicted individuals are sentenced to one year in jail at minimum and completion of a substance abuse program. The maximum jail sentence for a felony DWI is 56 months. Additionally, those convicted of a DWI may face a mandatory driver’s license suspension.
Factors Considered in North Carolina DWI Sentences
When determining punishments for those convicted of a DWI in North Carolina, the court will consider various mitigating and aggravating factors. Aggravating factors that can heighten the severity of the crime include:
- Prior DWI convictions
- A BAC of 0.15% or higher
- Reckless driving
- Causing a reportable accident
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Speeding by 30 MPH or more over the posted speed limit
- Driving with a revoked license
- Driving with a child under the age of 18 in the vehicle
If one or more of these factors are present in your case, you may face harsher penalties than you would have otherwise. Conversely, mitigating factors such as a lower BAC or driving safely despite their impairment may decrease the penalties you may face.
How Our Dedicated DWI Defense Attorneys at King Law Can Help Your Case
Many individuals arrested for a DWI incorrectly assume that a failed breathalyzer test leads to an automatic conviction. However, this is not always the case. A skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to employ several strategies to turn your case around and get your charges reduced or dismissed. Some ways our talented attorneys at King Law may be able to help you include:
- Conducting a full investigation into your case
- Providing you with sound advice and answering your legal questions
- Guiding you through North Carolina’s complex criminal justice system
- Challenging the validity of your breathalyzer, chemical, or field sobriety tests
- Crafting a solid defense strategy that fits your unique needs
- Representing your interests before and during trial
If you have been arrested for a DWI in Marion, it is never too early to start working on your defense. Contact an experienced King Law attorney today to protect your rights and guide you through the legal process with ease.
Consult With a Highly-Qualified DWI Defense Attorney Today
Individuals accused of a DWI in Marion, North Carolina, do not need to leave their fate to chance. The trusted attorneys at King Law are proud to serve Marion and the neighboring communities and provide our clients with unparalleled legal representation. Our team is committed to protecting the rights and interests of the accused and will do everything in our power to achieve a favorable outcome for your case. To discuss your case with a member of our award-winning legal team, call us today at (888) 748-5464 (KING) or complete our contact form.