Second-Offense DWI in North Carolina

The consequences of a second driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction are almost always more severely punished than the first. While the judge in your first case may have considered your offense a lapse in judgment, a second DWI may indicate a pattern of behavior and a disregard for safety. In other words, if the court believes you did not learn your lesson, you may face steeper penalties beyond the minimum sentencing guidelines.

If you are facing DWI charges after a prior conviction in North Carolina, you need an experienced and dependable criminal defense lawyer on your side. The premier legal team at King Law is proud to offer unparalleled legal services to their clients in North Carolina. When you partner with us, your attorney will conduct a full investigation into your case to protect your rights and develop the best possible defense to fight your charges.

Administrative License Penalties for a Second DWI

In North Carolina, there are two types of DWI penalties: criminal and administrative. Unlike criminal penalties, administrative penalties are issued by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The most common administrative penalty for a DWI offense is driver’s license revocation. 

If you are convicted of your second DWI within three years, you may face a license suspension of four years. Your attorney may be able to help you petition the court for limited driving privileges so that you can get to work or other essential locations. However, it is essential to note that your limited privileges may be contingent on completing drug and alcohol education or rehabilitation programs. 

In addition to having your license revoked, you may also be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. When you are permitted to drive, you will have to blow into a breathalyzer and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or less to be able to start your car. You must also pay out of pocket to install and maintain the device.

Criminal Penalties for a Second-Offense DWI

Second-offense DWIs are typically charged as a misdemeanor offense. In North Carolina, there are five levels of misdemeanor DWIs with level five being the least severe and level one being the most severe. The penalties for all five levels are listed below:

  • Level 5: Up to 60 days in jail and a fine of $200
  • Level 4: Up to 120 days in jail and a fine of $500
  • Level 3: Up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000
  • Level 2: Up to one year in prison and a fine of $2,000
  • Level 1: Up to two years in prison and a fine of $4,000

Second-offense DWIs are typically categorized under levels one through three. However, the charge could be raised if certain aggravating factors were at play in your case. Some examples of aggravating factors include driving with a child under the age of 18 or causing a car accident due to your impaired driving.

Can I Get My License Reinstated in North Carolina?

If you have been penalized with a four-year license revocation due to your second DWI, you may be able to get your driving privileges conditionally restored before the entire four years have passed. In other words, although your revocation period is not yet complete, you may be able to have your license reinstated. The North Carolina Department of Transportation may conditionally reinstate your driver’s license if you meet the following requirements:

  • Your license has been revoked for at least two full years
  • You were not convicted of a motor vehicle, alcohol, or drug offense during the revocation period
  • You do not currently use alcohol, drugs, or prescription medication irresponsibly or excessively
  • You are not illegally using any controlled substance such as marijuana, cocaine, or heroin

If the North Carolina Department of Transportation conditionally restores your driver’s license, you will still be required to comply with the same ignition interlock requirements detailed above. Additionally, the Department of Transportation may see fit to subject you to any other reasonable conditions or restrictions for the two remaining years of your revocation period. Your attorney can help you file for reinstatement and protect your rights and interests through each of your legal obligations.

Discuss Your Case With a Premier DWI Defense Attorney Today 

The consequences of a second DWI can be severe and have a lasting impact on your life. If you’ve been arrested or charged with DWI, contact King Law to partner with an experienced DWI lawyer as soon as possible. Our attorneys are committed to building meaningful relationships with each and every client to provide them with first-class legal services in North Carolina. To learn more about how we can help protect your rights and freedoms, give us a call at (888) 748-5464 (KING) or fill out our contact form today.