North Carolina is known to have some of the most serious DWI laws in the United States.
The sentencing guidelines are quite complex and based on different “levels” of DWI charges. While Level 5 is considered the least serious charge, Level 1 Aggravated is the most serious.
The more aggravating factors involved in the arrest, the higher the charge level. While common aggravating factors include negligent or reckless driving, gross impairment, having at least two traffic offenses on a driving record, or driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, common gross aggravating factors include driving with a minor child passenger in the vehicle, driving with a suspended license caused by a drunk driving offense, or causing an accident that results in injury or death.
Here is a breakdown of the different levels of a North Carolina DWI:
- Level 5 DWI – A conviction is punishable by a maximum 60-day jail sentence and a fine no more than $200.
- Level 4 DWI – A conviction carries a maximum 120-day jail term and a fine not exceeding $500.
- Level 3 DWI – A conviction results in a maximum six-month jail sentence and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Level 2 DWI – A conviction leads to a maximum one-year jail term and a fine no more than $2,000.
- Level 1 DWI – A conviction is punishable by a maximum two-year jail sentence and a fine not exceeding $4,000.
- Level 1 Aggravated DWI – A conviction carries a maximum three-year jail term and a fine of up to $10,000.
A first offense is often associated with a driver’s license suspension period of up to one year, while a second offense can lead to driver’s license suspension for up to four years. A third offense can result in permanent driver’s license revocation.
If you have been charged with a DWI offense in Charlotte, contact Pinnacle Law today at 704-761-4404 and request a free consultation.