A DWI conviction can have consequences in all aspects of your life. Losing your driving license alone may affect your ability to work. It’s likely to impact your career, relationships and even your liberty.
When you are facing your third DWI conviction, you know that you’re likely to face serious penalties. Below is an explanation of North Carolina’s DWI laws.
DWI laws in North Carolina are notoriously strict
North Carolina uses a sliding scale when evaluating the seriousness of a DWI and, in turn, when applying the appropriate penalties. A third offense will be treated as evidence of habitual drunk driving and can, therefore, carry hefty consequences. If the three offenses occur within ten years it results in a habitual impaired driving conviction and is a Class F felony.
Other penalties include:
- An automatic and permanent suspension of your driving license in the state of North Carolina
- An ignition interlock device fitted on your vehicle
- Mandatory jail time of 24 hours and a maximum of three years
- A fine ranging from $2000 to $4000 with a maximum fine of $10000 in aggravated offenses
Is jail time avoidable?
As mentioned above, North Carolina’s DWI laws impose a mandatory jail time of at least 24 hours. In some circumstances, however, the judge may decide to suspend this. This will usually only be available where there are significant mitigating factors and there is a benefit to imposing more stringent rehabilitation conditions than jail time.
Defending or challenging a third DWI charge can be a difficult process, especially with the likelihood of mandatory jail time. Early legal assistance is the best way of making sure you have the right support in place throughout the process.