When you are charged with a second DWI offense, the penalties will be more severe than for a first DWI offense. You need representation and an experienced DWI defense attorney at The Law Offices of Sir Ashley Harrison, PLLC will fight for your rights and help you through this tough time.
Under North Carolina law, being convicted of a second DWI offense within seven years is a serious charge. It is vital that you hire an attorney who focuses a substantial amount of his practice on DWI defense in the Charlotte Area. Even if you are convicted of a second DWI offense that is outside the seven-year window, the judge will most likely give you more severe penalties. During sentencing, the judge considers your past DWI record and reviews the facts surrounding your cases, such as if there was a minor in your car, the level of your impairment or if you caused serious injury or even death due to an accident or vehicle collision.
There are five levels of sentencing that the judge uses; with level one being the most severe and level five being the least serious. There is one other felony charge of Driving While Impaired called Habitual Impaired Driving. Felony sentencing for DWI increases the punishments and subjects you to a lifetime license suspension. If convicted of Felony Habitual Impaired Driving, you will never be able to drive in the State of North Carolina. A permanent revocation for Habitual DWI is permanent.
Based on the level the judge uses for sentencing, jail time may range from as little as 24 hours to as much as 2 years in prison or the North Carolina Department of Corrections (DOC). The same is true for the court fine, which can range from a relatively minimum amount to several thousand dollars, depending upon the level of offense. It is possible that if sentenced at level 3, 4 or 5, the judge may impose a penalty of community service ranging from 24 to 72 hours in lieu of jail time. Level 5 DWI normally requires 24 hours of community service. Level 4 DWI normally requires 48 hours of community service and Level 3 DWI normally requires 72 hours of community service. This community service requirement is in addition to other fines, penalties and conditions of any suspended sentence imposed by the judge. You may also be placed on probation for a specific period of time, which is normally associated with the suspended term. It is at the discretion of the Judge whether to make probation supervised or unsupervised. The Judge may order intensive probation, alcohol and drug treatment, and abstinence from alcohol.
Being convicted of a DWI, second offense in North Carolina is a serious criminal charge that can affect you for the rest of your life. Contact a Charlotte DWI Second Offense attorney at The Law Offices of Sir Ashley J. Harrison, PLLC, so they can get started preparing your defense!