So, you’ve been charged with DWI in North Carolina and you are wondering what your sentence will be? NCGS §20-179 lays out the sentencing guidelines judges follow in determining aggravating and mitigating factors in DWI sentences. From these factors, judges will determine the Level at which you will be charge. As always, if you need help in your criminal matter in New Hanover, Pender or Brunswick Counties, contact us. At The Nettleman Law Firm, our attorney are always focused on your rights.
When North Carolina judges enter final judgement in DUI cases, they are bound in their sentencing by statute. Factors considered include:
- your breathalyzer reading;
- whether you obtained substance abuse counseling prior to your court appearance;
- prior DWI’s (if any);
- if a child under 16 was in the car with you;
- your driving record
- and more
From the factors, the judge must first determine if there are any grossly aggravating factors. The judge must impose a Level 1 punishment if it is determined that 2 or more grossly aggravating factors exist and a Level 2 punishment if it is determined that 1 grossly aggravating factor applies. The judge may then consider mitigating factors when determining sentencing.
If no grossly aggravating factors exist, the judge will weigh the aggravating and mitigating factors. If the judge determines that:
- The aggravating factors substantially outweigh the mitigating factors, then the judge shall impose Level 3 punishment.
- There are no aggravating and mitigating factors, or the aggravating and mitigating factors are substantially counterbalanced, the judge shall impose a Level 4 government.
- The mitigating factors substantially outweigh the aggravating factors, the judge shall impose a Level 5 sentence.
Once you determine what Level you will be punished at, check here for details in jail time and/or fines.
As always, if you have been arrested for DWI, contact us to get help now. Time is important in your criminal matter.