In the state of North Carolina, those who are caught drinking and driving or driving under the influence of drugs are charged with a DWI (Driving While Impaired). The term DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is often times used to describe this offense, although there is no formal DUI distinction in the state of North Carolina. Regardless of how it may be described, it still remains a very serious offense.
The Burden Of Proof
Most people are under the assumption than when you are arrested for a DWI, you are automatically guilty. That is not the case. It is up to the state to prove that you were operating a vehicle or motorcycle while impaired. To do this, the state must provide evidence to show the following:
- You were the one driving a vehicle or motorcycle
- You were driving on a public roadway in North Carolina
- You were legally impaired because of consuming a substance
- You had a blood alcohol content level of .08 or higher
Levels Of DWI In North Carolina
It is important to know that there are different levels of DWI offenses in the state of North Carolina. Getting pulled over for a DWI in North Carolina does not carry one universal penalty like it does in some other states across the United States and surrounding territories.
The level V offense is the least serious and has low fines that reach only a $200 maximum. A 24-hour jail sentence can also be suspended. The same applies for a level IV offense, although the fine increases to as much as $500. A level III offense can only see jail time suspended in the event that the guilty driver performs 72 hours of community service. Fines can reach $1,000 while a jail sentence has the potential to last 6 months.
A level II offense for DWI in North Carolina carries a minimum 7-Day jail term in conjunction with a fine that can reach as high as $2,000. There are more stipulations with a level II offense, which may include abstaining from alcohol used for 90 straight days. Meanwhile, community service can reach as high as 240 hours.
The level I offense includes a fine with the maximum amount of $4,000. That is coupled with as much as two years spent in jail. An aggravated level I offense comes with a fine that can reach as high as $10,000 in addition to jail time that can span up to three years. There needs to be serious legal strategies prepared for anyone with a Level I offense.
All levels of DWI are serious in North Carolina and that is why it is important to hire an attorney that specializes in DWI cases. The Law Office of William T. Corbett Jr. does just that as we know how to maneuver through the process so that you get the least amount of penalties as possible.
Attorney Services In Mooresville NC
A DWI attorney at the Law Office of William T. Corbett Jr. has numerous ways of challenging the burden of proof. Even if a case is not thrown out, there is still a very good chance of receiving a reduced sentence which could result in any of the following:
- Lower fine amounts
- Less time for a license suspension
- Limited driving privilege
- No jail time
There are mitigating factors that can work in your favor when it comes to a DWI charge. Sentences may sometimes be reduced if the person is cooperative and agrees to a field sobriety test. Sentences may also be decreased if the driver has a clean driving record. However, drivers should also know that they do not have to agree to take field sobriety tests or even blow into a breathalyzer. This could work against them when it comes to sentencing, but it also provides the prosecution with less evidence. This is why it is critical to have a DWI or DUI attorney working with you through the legal process.
There are six levels of sentencing for DWI in the state of North Carolina. Level 5 is the least severe level of sentencing while aggravated level 1 is the most severe level of sentencing available. Even if you have aggravated the situation by what you did after being pulled over for a DWI, an attorney can still be of assistance. Contact the Law Office of William T. Corbett Jr. if you find yourself arrested for a DWI in Mooresville, NC.