North Carolina Multiple DWI Defense Lawyers

Many innocent people face driving while under the influence (DWI) charges every year in North Carolina. The consequences associated with being convicted of a DWI are serious. Penalties only get more serious with a second, third, or fourth DWI charge. If you are facing multiple DWI charges in North Carolina, hiring a skilled attorney is essential. Having a prior DWI conviction on your record can become a grossly aggravating factor in your current DWI case. In fact, every prior DWI conviction becomes its own grossly aggravating factor in a current DWI case.

Facing a Second, Third, or Fourth DWI? We can Help

If you are facing multiple DWI charges, hiring a skilled lawyer is even more essential. The consequences for a subsequent DWI conviction include fines up to $10,000 and significant jail time. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC we have effectively represented many clients facing multiple DWI charges in North Carolina. Contact our Charlotte DWI defense lawyers as soon as possible to discuss how we can help defend you against DWI charges and give yourself the best opportunity to acquire potentially helpful discovery related to your case.

What is a DWI?

The elements of a DWI do not change when a person is facing an additional DWI. However, the sentencing becomes harsher when the defendant has one or more additional DWI convictions on his or her record. A DWI occurs when a driver does one or more of the following:

  • Drives while under the influence of an impairing substance that causes an appreciable impairment to a person’s mental and/or physical faculties, or
  • Drives with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher, or
  • Drives with any amount of a Schedule 1 controlled substance in his or her blood or urine

Drivers under the age of 21 cannot have any amount of detectable alcohol or Schedule 1 controlled substances in their system. Drivers with commercial driver’s licenses cannot drive while a blood alcohol level over .04%.

Grossly Aggravating Factors for Subsequent DWI Sentencing

Drivers who have multiple DWI charges will have aggravating and grossly aggravating factors added to their sentencing. Grossly aggravating factors can heighten a DWI offense to a Level 2 DWI, Level 1 DWI, or Aggravated Level 1 DWI. These are the most serious categories of DWI convictions. The following factors are considered grossly aggravating factors:

  • The driver had a previous DWI on record within the last seven years
  • The driver had a prior conviction of driving with a revoked driver’s license was revoked due to a drunk driving offense
  • The driver’s DWI resulted in a serious injury of another person during the DWI

North Carolina law also recognizes aggravating factors which also increase the severity of penalties. Mitigating factors reduce the penalties for DWIs.

Penalties for Multiple DWI Convictions in North Carolina

If you are facing your second DWI conviction, you can be charged with an aggravated level one DWI. The penalties for an aggravated level one DWI include the following:

  • Fines up to $10,000
  • A prison sentence of one to three years without the possibility of parole
  • 120 days in jail and 120 days of Continuous Alcohol Monitor if a judge suspended the sentence.

If you are convicted of a second or third DWI and there was a disabled person or minor in your car at the time of the DWI, you will face a level one DWI punishment. A level one DWI punishment is a misdemeanor that comes with a fine of up to $4,000 and between 30 days to two years in jail. If you are convicted of a level three DWI for a second DWI offense in North Carolina, you will face the following penalties:

  • A jail sentence between three days and six months
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • 72 hours of community service if a judge suspended the prison sentence and at least 72 hours of required community service and 12 months of probation
DWI Defenses in North Carolina

If you are facing a second or third DWI conviction, making a compelling defense will be essential. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC we will thoroughly analyze the facts of your case in order to determine what possible defenses you have to the charge. We have helped many clients fight multiple DWI charges. In many cases, we can question the legality of the traffic stop as well as the evidence used against our clients. Many times, law enforcement officials do not properly administer field sobriety tests and or breathalyzer DWI tests in North Carolina. Contact our DWI defense lawyers today to schedule your free case evaluation.