The impact of a DUI conviction in Charlotte can limit your ability to drive and put a dent in your wallet with significantly higher insurance costs. It can also change your life for good. When you get a DUI in North Carolina, you get hit with one-two punch. The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will handle the driving part of the offense (and the inceased insurance premiums) while the courts handle the criminal case. That's right. Get a DUI and you could be facing criminal charges in addition to the other damage.
As any seasoned DUI attorney in Charlotte can tell you, North Carolina's sentencing structure for DUIs is complicated at best. At worst, it can be misinterpreted or misunderstood and lead to unecessary consequences that could possibly been avoided. Here's a brief overview of DUIs in North Carolina and why having a DUI attorney on your team is wise.
DUI Levels, Aggravating Factors, and Felony Charges
If you are convicted of DUI in North Carolina, the severity of the sentence depends on the level of DUI. The least serious penalties range from a small fine and a year without your license while the most serious can put you in jail for a long time. In a DUI trial, the judge considers aggravating factors to determine the sentencing level.
Blood alcohol content .15 Percent >
Driving without a license
Passengers under 18
Prior criminal and/or driving record
Any other aggravating factors.
Remember, the higher your BAC, the more severe your penalties may be and the more important it is to have the right Charlotte DUI attorney. Multiple convictions will result in harsher sentences and the list of aggravation factors above is far from comprehensive.
North Carolina Criminal DWI Levels: Fines and Incarceration
There are five levels of DUIs in North Carolina and are categorized from least serious to most serious in decending order:
- Level V: Up to $200 + and jail for 24 hours to 60 days
- Level IV : Up to $500 and jail sentence for 48 hours to 120 days
- Level III : Up to $1,000 and jail for 72 hours to six months
- Level II: Up to $2,000 and jail for one week to one year
- Level I: Up to $4,000 and jail for 30 days to two years
Additionally, certain North Carolina DUIs also include felony charges. If you are convicted of three DUIs within seven years, it's a felony. If causing serious injury or death while driving under the influence, you're looking at criminal charges. North Carolina drivers convicted of felony DUI face a minimum of one year in state prison.
Partner With a Charlotte DUI Attorney to Protect Yourself
If you get a DUI in Charlotte, don't underestimate how a conviction can change your life for good. You don't have to navigate the complex North Carolina DUI laws alone. A seasoned Charlotte DUI attorney can help minimize the damage of a DUI with a strong, knowledgeable defense. Call the Law Office of Jason H. Reece at 704-714-8888 or fill out this quick form to see how we put 25 years of experience to work for you.