There is no way to beat around the bush when it comes to DWI cases in North Carolina. The state treats DWI with the utmost seriousness, and those who are arrested for DWI in North Carolina can end up spending time in jail, spending a lot of money, losing their licenses, and seeing their whole lives change in a very short time.
The State of North Carolina does not treat all DWI cases the same, and repeat offenders face a range of potential punishments that differ from those that first-time offenders face. If you’ve received your first DWI in North Carolina, you need to know what to expect, and you need to know your options.
The Civil Revocation Law (Losing Your License)
Even before your case ever goes to court you’ll be forced to give up your license. North Carolina’s Civil Revocation Law requires a driver to hand over his license when charged with a DWI. The minimum license suspension is 30 days, but there are some instances in which limited driving privileges can be granted. At this stage, it is a good idea to contact an attorney to help you determine if you’re eligible for limited driving privileges and to help you wade through the license revocation process.
After the 30 days has expired, you pay your fee to the court, and you get your license back, things don’t necessarily just go back to the way they were. You can be faced with a range of restrictions once you’re driving again, according to the website of the DMV:
“When your license is restored after a suspension for DWI, or when a limited driving privilege is issued after a DWI conviction, there is a BAC restriction, meaning the law is more strict for you than for everyone else. The first time the license is restored, the alcohol concentration restriction is .04%. The second and/or subsequent times, it is 0.00%―no alcohol allowed in your blood at all.”
Punishment for First DWI Conviction
If convicted for DWI for the first time in North Carolina, things can get a lot worse than losing your license for 30 days. Here are the potential punishments for a first DWI conviction. Any one or combination of these is possible:
- Mandatory license revocation for one year.
- Fine up to $2,000
- No less than 24 hours of imprisonment (and up to 24 months)
- 24 hours of community service
- 30 days without a limited driving privilege
Loss of license, potential jail time, fines, and a different set of rules once you start driving again. These are serious consequences for anyone who is convicted of DWI in North Carolina. However, if you’re dealing with a DWI case, you do have options. There are steps that can be taken to ensure the process goes smoothly. DWI laws (as with most laws in the state) can be complicated, and the entire process can be overwhelming. An experienced attorney in the field will be able to lay out the entire case for you, make all of your options clear to you, and efficiently and effectively walk you through the legal process when dealing with a DWI arrest.
DWI laws in North Carolina can be quite complex. Having an experienced North Carolina DWI Attorney is your first step in protecting yourself and your rights.