DWI: what level of penalty can you face for a first offense

Facing DWI charges can be confusing and stressful, especially if you have never faced charges before.

Police can arrest you for driving with a BAC of .08 percent or more. North Carolina classifies DWI penalties into five different levels of severity. In the state, a DWI will result in a misdemeanor on your record. If you face a first-offense DWI, what level could penalty can you face?

There are five levels of severity, with the fifth being the least serious. A judge could charge a first-offender with any of the levels, depending on the situation, but typically they face charges of one of the lesser levels (5, 4 and 3).

Level 5

  • Fine of up to $200
  • A minimum of one day, up to 60 days in jail
  • License suspension 30 days

Level 4

  • Fine of up to $500
  • A minimum of two days up to 120 days in jail
  • License suspension 30 days

Level 3

  • Fine of up to $1,000
  • A minimum of three days up to six months in jail
  • License suspension 30 days

Level 2

  • Fine of up to $2,000
  • A minimum of seven days up to one year in jail
  • License suspension 30 days

Level 1

  • Fine of up to $4,000
  • A minimum of 30 days up to two years in jail
  • License suspension 30 days

Certain circumstances, such as an aggravated DWI, could result in more serious consequences.

While it can be scary to face charges of driving while intoxicated, knowing the possible penalties can help you prepare.

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