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First-Time DWI Laws and Penalties
North Carolina has a reputation for being one of the toughest states when it comes to dealing with DWI offenders. It’s important that drivers know the laws and the potential penalties that come with a DWI conviction.
You can receive a DWI charge for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of any impairing substance, including alcohol, illicit drugs, and prescribed drugs. If alcohol is the substance in question, you are considered intoxicated beyond the legal limit if your BAC (blood alcohol content) is above 0.08%.
License revocation occurs in an administrative process that is separate from criminal proceedings. If you refuse the chemical test or blow over 0.08%, your license will be automatically suspended for 30 days. During this time, you will have the opportunity to request a hearing to potentially retain your driving privileges. If you don’t request a hearing, or if you lose the hearing, your license will be revoked for 1 year.
As for criminal penalties, a first-time offender can usually expect to receive a Level V DWI, which is the least serious, unless there are aggravating factors present without mitigating factors to outweigh them. The minimum sentence is 24 hours in jail or 24 hours community service, with a maximum sentence of 120 days. First-time offenders typically receive a fine up to $200, some amount of probation, and a requirement to complete a substance abuse assessment. A conviction will also result in 1-year license revocation.
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Don’t assume that your first DWI isn’t serious or that you can beat it on your own. Without qualified representation, you are likely to end up with severe consequences. Get dependable guidance and representation from one of our DWI lawyers today. Call (336) 722-5700 or fill out our online contact form below to get started.