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.

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.

Have you been arrested for DWI?

As a first time offender in North Carolina, there are 5 sentencing levels for DWI offenses ranging from Level 1, the most serious, to Level 5, the least serious. The judge in your particular case will analyze a number of specific factors to determine the sentencing level for your offense. In general, jail time and fines are determined along the following graduated scale, though there are no mandatory minimums for sentencing purposes. If you want to know more about the specific factors that lead to each sentencing level, click here. To find out more about punishments for DUI offenses in North Carolina, check out our previous post here.