– Criminal Defense lawyer
A conviction of Driving While Impaired can range in five different Levels of Punishment based on an array of factors. A Level 5 is the base level punishment, typically handed out for first-time offenses that have no aggravating factors. A Level 1 is the most severe punishment and automatically results in jail time. Learn offense explanations
Levels of Punishment for DWI in NC
5. Level Five DWI punishment is imposed if there are only Mitigating Factors and no aggravating factors present. Level Five is punishable by a fine up to $200 and a minimum jail sentence of 24 hours and a maximum of 60 days. A judge can suspend the sentence and probation be assigned.
4. Level Four DWI is imposed if the Mitigating Factors outweigh the Aggravating Factors, meaning that if an aggravating factor is present, mitigating factors can be recognized to lessen the punishment. A Level Four conviction is punishable by a fine up to $500 and a minimum jail sentence of 48 hours and a maximum of 120 days. A judge can suspend the sentence and assign probation.
3. Level Three DWI punishment will be imposed if there are no Grossly Aggravating Factors involved and the Mitigating Factors and Aggravating Factors are considered equal and balance each other out. Level Three is punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and a minimum jail sentence of 72 hours and a maximum of six months. A judge can suspend the sentence and probation can be assigned.
2. Level Two DWI punishment will be imposed if the Judge determines one Grossly Aggravating Factor is present. Level Two is punishable by a fine up to $2,000 and a minimum jail sentence of seven days and a maximum of one year. A judge cannot suspend the minimum jail sentence.
1.Level One DWI is imposed if the Judge finds 2 Grossly Aggravating Factors present. A Level One North Carolina DWI is punishable by a fine up to $4,000 and a minimum jail sentence of 30 days and a maximum of 24 months. A judge cannot suspend the minimum jail sentence. No parole.
While a Level One DWI is the most serious level, there is a step above a level one known as an aggravated level one DWI. This punishment level comes with 12-36 months and up to $10,000 fine with no possibility of parole.