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Life After DWI – What Happens If I Am Convicted

If you are convicted of DWI in North Carolina, you need to know what to expect. Hiring a DWI defense attorney is the best ways to ensure you receive the best possible sentence and also from a very early point in the process understand what is at stake if you are found or plead guilty. In North Carolina, DWI convictions are punished based on 6 conviction categories that range from A1 (the most serious requiring active jail time) to Level 5 (the least serious usually involving no jail time). Your punishment level is determined based on the presence or absence of certain grossly aggravating, aggravating, and mitigating factors. Most first offense DWIs in North Carolina receive a punishment between Levels 3 and 5; however, depending on the circumstances of the case, a first time offender could be sentenced more severely and can receive active jail time. The different types of punishments and sentences can range based on many factors and depends mainly on the details of your specific situation. Chad Brown Law is here to help you determine what steps you need to take to address your case properly and effectively and how to move forward with the proceedings if you are convicted or lead guilty.


Administrative vs. Criminal Penalties

Your first DWI offense most likely will result in an administrative license suspension for 30 days (45 days in some cases) with the possibility of obtaining limited driving privileges after 10 days. However, if you refused to submit to a Breathalyzer exam prior to arrest, your suspension will be for a minimum of one year with the possibility of obtaining a limited driving privilege after 6 months. The amount of time of civil suspension increases with subsequent offenses and can eventually lead to a permanent revocation. In addition to having your privilege to drive revoked, some person convicted of DWI will be required to install ignition interlock systems on their vehicles that must be used prior to starting the vehicle. These systems are typically very expensive, but if required by the law they must be installed prior to having your privilege to drive reinstated.

As noted above, North Carolina law penalizes persons convicted of DWI based on a wide range of factors. Generally, criminal penalties will include fines (up to $10,000), court costs, community service, probation, required substance abuse assessments and compliance with any recommendations, and in some cases active jail time (up to 36 months). Certain factors that will typically increase criminal punishments include: having a minor child present in the car at the time of arrest, having a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher, having prior DWI convictions, and causing personal injury.

While North Carolina law does not prohibit reducing DWI charges, most district attorney’s offices will not reduce DWI charges for any circumstances. Chad Brown Law is here to help you determine what the possible outcomes of your case may be and how factors may influence your case positively or negatively. We look at your individual situation and how we can help you assess the best path to move forward with your proceedings. Call Chad Brown Law today so we can help you understand the penalties you may be facing due to your DWI charge.

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Request a free consultation using our toll-free number:


150 Charlois Blvd

Ste 390,

Winston-Salem, NC 27103

(336) 546-5066

303 N. Center Street


NC 28687

(704) 992-3002

104 Broad St

Wilkesboro, NC 28697

(336) 818-9828