DWI Charge? Changes in NC Laws that Affect You

The legislature enacted several significant changes to DWI sentencing guidelines for offenses committed on or after December 1, 2011. These changes, known as Laura’s Law, can have a serious effect on defendants charged with driving under the influence in NC. We have previously discussed Changes in North Carolina Sentencing and Probation laws that affect you. Today, we turn our attention to changes in North Carolina laws that took effect for offenses committed after December 1, 2011.

What is an Alford Plea?

Much attention has been placed on the West Memphis 3 in recent years. Recently, an Arkansas judge allowed the three men to enter a plea agreement, known as an Alford Plea, whereby they essentially plead guilty but may still maintain their innocence. How does this work exactly? The Alford Plea arises out of a US Supreme Court Case that originated in North Carolina in 1970. What effect does an Alford plea have on you or your case?

Changes in NC Probation Laws that Affect You

In what is easily the largest set of sweeping changes to Structured Sentencing in NC since it was implemented in 1994, the legislature last year passed the Justice Reinvestment Act of 2011.

In this two part series, we will discuss what impact this new piece of legislation will have on you and your case. We will first discuss the Act’s impact on probation violation cases. Next time, we will see what impact the Act has on sentencing in your case.

DUI Punishment in NC

You can read the first part of our post on DUI punishments here where we discussed Sentencing Guidelines in DUI Cases.

In addition to jail and/or fines, you can expect some other consequences to a DWI conviction.

  • Community Services
    • Community service may be available for Level 3, 4 or 5 offenders and is at the discretion of the court for Level 1 and 2 offenders. If you are ordered to serve community service, xpect between 24 and 72 hours which must be completed within a specified time frame.

Sentencing guidelines in DUI cases

So, you’ve been charged with DWI in North Carolina and you are wondering what your sentence will be? NCGS §20-179 lays out the sentencing guidelines judges follow in determining aggravating and mitigating factors in DWI sentences. From these factors, judges will determine the Level at which you will be charge. As always, if you need help in your criminal matter in New Hanover, Pender or Brunswick Counties, contact us. At The Nettleman Law Firm, our attorney are always focused on your rights.