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Statesville DWI Lawyer

Defending Your Drunk Driving Charges

One of the most common criminal charges that residents of North Carolina face is that of drunk driving. With the number of alcohol impaired driving fatalities in the state, the laws are very severe. North Carolina has some of the most complicated drunk driving laws in the country. To obtain proper defense for your charges, don't hesitate to speak to our Statesville DWI attorney at Cobb Law PLLC as soon as possible!

Penalties for DWI in North Carolina

The penalty system is based on five levels of punishment depending on the severity of the circumstance and your level of intoxication. These can be found in N.C.G.S. § 20-179.

Level V

Level 5 penalties are imposed if the driver had no aggravating factors or if mitigating factors outweigh the aggravating factors.

  • $200 in fines
  • Jail time between 1 day and 60 days
  • Possible community service for 24 hours
  • Possible vehicle suspension for one month

Level IV

Level 4 penalties are imposed if the driver had no aggravating factors or the aggravating factors are balanced out by mitigating factors.

  • $500 in fines
  • Jail time between 2 days and 120 days
  • Possible community service for 48 hours
  • Possible vehicle suspension for two months

Level III

Level 3 penalties are imposed if the driver had no grossly aggravating factors or the aggravating factors greatly outweigh the mitigating factors.

  • $1,000 in fines
  • Jail time between 3 days and 6 months
  • Possible community service for 72 hours
  • Possible vehicle suspension for three months

Level II

Level 2 penalties are imposed if the driver had one grossly aggravating factor.

  • Fines of $2,000
  • Jail time between 7 days and one year

Level I

Level 1 penalties are imposed if the driver had a minor child (under 18) in the car at the time of the offense or there are two grossly aggravating factors.

  • Fines of $4,000
  • Jail time between 30 days and two years
Time is of the essence. Don't wait to hire an attorney

Sentencing Factors

The courts will use sentencing factors to determine which level should be used in DWI case. These include grossly aggravating, aggravating, and mitigating factors.

Grossly Aggravating Factors

The courts classify these actions as grossly aggravating:

  1. Prior convictions
  2. Driving on a revoked license for DWI
  3. Causing serious injury
  4. Driving a minor or disabled person

Aggravating Factors

Other negligent actions that are not as serious as grossly aggravating factors are classified as simply "aggravating". If a driver is driving with a blood alcohol concentration over .15%, caused an accident, passed a stopped school bus, or fled an officer, then these are considered aggravated. In addition, excessive speeding and prior traffic offenses that add up to at least three points are aggravating factors.

Mitigating Factors

There are certain factors that the judge may take into consideration that lessen the seriousness of the offense. These involve the following:

  • B.A.C. under .09%
  • No chemical analysis of the driver's B.A.C.
  • Impairment caused by a prescribed drug
  • Safe driving except for impairment
  • Safe driving record
  • Mental health assessment & voluntary participation in any recommended treatment
  • Substance abuse assessment and compliance with any recommended treatment

It is important to note that both aggravating and mitigating are at the discretion of a judge.

Time is of the essence. Don't wait to hire an attorney

North Carolina's Safe Roads Act of 1983

In 1983, the North Carolina General Assembly changed the DWI laws in North Carolina by the Safe Roads Act. Under this act, previous DWI laws in North Carolina were repealed and replaced with new laws. In North Carolina, a DWI can be proven in two different ways. The first is by proving the driver's physical or mental abilities are impaired through drugs, alcohol, or both. The second is by proving that the individual's blood alcohol content level is within the illegal zone for his or her circumstance.

Non-commercial drivers, who are older than 20, are considered legally drunk if their blood alcohol level is 0.08% or higher. Commercial vehicle drivers can be convicted of a DWI if their BAC level is 0.04% or higher. Under North Carolina's zero-tolerance law, drivers under the age of 21 can be charged with any recognizable level of alcohol in their blood.

Need an Attorney for a DWI Case in Statesville?

At the sentencing hearing, a judge will determine whether any aggravating factors are involved in the case. Some grossly aggravating factors that can impact your case include prior DWI convictions, causing serious injury because of your impairment, or having an individual under the age of 16 in the vehicle. No matter what the makeup of your case, we encourage you to seek legal assistance at once. We can help you avoid the long-lasting repercussions of a DWI conviction. Do not hesitate to contact Cobb Law PLLC today for the legal guidance you deserve! Our Statesville criminal defense attorney is more than happy to review your case!

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