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New Milford Police Charge Man with Speeding and DWI: DWI Punishment Levels in North Carolina

Police Car CloseupNew Milford, North Carolina police stopped a man for driving at an excessive speed on Danbury Road. The result of the pullover was a DWI arrest for the driver.  The 24-year-old failed several field sobriety tests, and it was determined that he was operating his car under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

The man was charged with DWI and traveling unreasonably fast.  He was later released on a $500 bond.  He will appear before the North Carolina Superior Court in Bantam County.

In North Carolina, if a driver is convicted of a DWI under North Carolina’s drunk driving statute, the driver is eligible for one of six levels of punishment.  Level 5 being the least serious and Level 1 being the most serious.

In order to be a Level 5, the judge must find that there were no grossly aggravating factors, and that the mitigating factors substantially outweighed them.  Punishment for a Level 5 is as follows: fine up to $200, imprisonment for 24 hours to 60 days, and at least 24 hours of community service to be completed within 30 days of the sentencing.

To find a Level 4, the judge must find that there were no grossly aggravating factors, and that they are balanced with mitigating factors, so they are equal.  A person can face a fine of up to $500, and imprisonment between 48 hours, and 120 days.  Further, if the sentence is suspended, the judge must impose imprisonment for 48 hours, or at least 48 hours of community service to be completed within 30 days.

Next, Level 3 is more severe, and here, there are no grossly aggravating factors, and they substantially outweigh mitigating factors.  Punishment includes a fine of up to $1000 and imprisonment for between 72 hours at 6 months.  Also, if the sentence is suspended the judge must pursue imprisonment of 72 hours; or at least 72 hours of community service to be completed within 90 days.

Level 2 is even more serious, and in order to find this the judge must find grossly aggravating factors.  The judge will not weigh aggravating and mitigating factors.  Punishment for a Level 2 DWI conviction involves a fine of up to $2000 and imprisonment for 7 days to 12 months.  If the sentence is suspended, the judge must impose an active term of 7 days in jail.

Finally, punishment for a Level 1 DWI conviction involves a fine of up to $4000 and imprisonment for at least 30 days and up to two years.  And, an aggravated Level 1 is the most severe misdemeanor DWI level.  If a judge finds more than two grossly aggravating factors, the driver is sentenced to aggravated Level 1 punishment which includes a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for between 120 days and 3 years.

If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI or Felony DUI, call the law offices of Reeves, Aiken & Hightower, LLP for a consultation.  You can contact our Charlotte, North Carolina office at 704-499-9000, or our Fort Mill, South Carolina office at 803-548-4444, or toll free at 877-374-5999.