The Consequences of a DWI in North Carolina

You may be concerned about your future if you have been charged with a DWI in North Carolina. If you are convicted, there is a potential that you will face jail time, probation, heavy fines, and a criminal record that can make educational and job opportunities challenging to find. Understanding the consequences of a DWI conviction can help you as you move forward through the criminal justice process.

One of the best ways to protect yourself from the potential consequences of a conviction is to hire an aggressive, experienced DWI attorney who can develop a legal strategy and fight for the best outcome possible in your case.

Will I Have to Serve Jail Time If I am Convicted of a DWI in North Carolina?

Jail time is possible for anyone convicted of a DWI, but the reality is that each case is different, and the penalties depend on multiple factors. For example, most defendants convicted of a first-time DWI are not sentenced to active jail time. A jail sentence is more likely for a defendant with prior DWI convictions, who caused an accident that injured another person, is driving on a suspended license or had a child in the car. The possibility of a jail sentence can cause significant anxiety. If you are concerned about this potential outcome, speaking to an attorney can help you understand whether it's a likely possibility in your case.

What Types of Penalties Can Be Required If I am Convicted of a DWI?

In addition to jail time, there are multiple other requirements that a judge can impose on a defendant convicted of a DWI. The judge can impose a period of probation which can be supervised by a probation officer or unsupervised. Supervised probation comes with significant requirements, including the following:

  • Having regular meetings with the probation officer
  • Submitting to random drug and alcohol tests
  • Maintaining employment
  • Not being charged with any other criminal charges during the probation period.

Community service can also be required. Judges may require the defendant to undergo an alcohol assessment and recommended treatment. Continuous alcohol monitoring involves the defendant wearing a continuous alcohol monitoring device to detect alcohol when a judge requires a period of sobriety. Sometimes, a judge will need the defendant to install an ignition interlock device (IID) and pay for the installation and maintenance.

Driving After Being Convicted of a DWI

You may be understandably concerned about losing your license after you have been charged with a DWI. If your license has been suspended, the requirements for license reinstatement vary depending on multiple factors, including the following:

  • Prior DWI charges
  • Blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) level at the time of the charge
  • Whether the driver's license was suspended at the time of the charge

For first-time DWI offenders, the license will be suspended for a year. Most people convicted of a first-time DWI offense can obtain limited driving privileges that allow them to drive for educational, work, treatment, and religious purposes. The judge may extend driving privileges to the grocery store, bank, and for vehicle maintenance. The time frame depends on the unique circumstances of each case. a driving privilege is a court-ordered paper license, and your defense attorney can help you pursue a driving privilege that achieves the most mobility while your license is suspended.

Drivers License Revocation

A driver's license revocation is a potential consequence of a DWI charge. If your driver's license has been revoked for 30 days due to a DWI, you have a right to contest the vocation as long as you request a hearing within ten days of the civil revocation taking effect, which is usually the same day as the DWI arrest. Working with an attorney is crucial if a driver's license revocation is possible in your case.

How a DWI Conviction Can Affect Future Employment

Whether or not a DWI conviction will impact your job and future jobs depends on multiple factors. Some employers will not hire employees who have been convicted of a DWI, such as military and government jobs and Jobs that require a commercial driver's license (CDL). A DWI May negatively impact your opportunities for college and can result in the loss of scholarships or financial aid.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a DWI Defense Attorney in North Carolina

If you are facing DWI charges, it is crucial that you discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The Charlotte DWI defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, are prepared to fight for you and your rights. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today to schedule a free case evaluation.