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Do You Need a DWI Lawyer?

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) charges can be extremely serious. These charges can follow you for the rest of your life if they’re not handled properly, impairing your ability to have a license, become employed, or gain other vital government privileges. You can also face significant jail time and heavy fines, further limiting your ability to live a normal, productive life. If you’ve been charged with a DUI or DWI, you need to contact a Greensboro DWI lawyer right away.

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Hire a Greensboro DWI Lawyer & DUI Attorney

Just because you’ve been charged with a DWI, doesn’t mean you’re guilty. The law and the Constitution provides that you are presumed innocent until the State has proven you guilty. If you have been charges with a DWI, it is critically important that you speak with a Greensboro DWI Defense Attorney right away. It may seem like the prosecution holds all the cards but they don’t. We can help you even the odds. It is possible that there might be grounds for the dismissal of the DWI or suppression of evidence that you did not even recognize. We will ensure that you understand both the charges against you and the defenses available. A skilled Greensboro DWI Defense Attorney can help you take advantage of all of the protections the legal system affords.

North Carolina DWI Law

To be convicted of DWI, the District Attorney on behalf of the State of North Carolina must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant:

  • Drove a vehicle on any highway, any street, or any public vehicular area in North Carolina;

  • While under the influence of any impairing substance; OR

  • With an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more; OR

  • With any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance in the driver's blood or urine.

North Carolina DWI Sentencing

If convicted of a DWI (driving while impaired / driving while intoxicated) in Greensboro, High Point, the communities of Guilford County or anywhere else in the state of North Carolina, there is a large range of potential sentences that an individual can face. Minimize the consequences of a DWI or DUI with the skilled representation of a Greensboro DWI Lawyer and DUI Attorney at Kirkman Attorneys at Law.

Following a DWI conviction, the Court will hold a sentencing hearing. At the sentencing hearing, the Court will determine whether there are any aggravating factors or mitigating factors present. These factors will determine the appropriate sentencing level. In North Carolina, DWI sentencing has six levels. Aggravated Level One is the most severe and Level Five is the least severe. At the sentencing hearing, the State has the burden of proof to establish beyond a reasonable doubt whether an aggravating factor(s) exists and the Defendant has the burden of proof to establish by a preponderance of the evidence (a lower standard than the reasonable doubt standard) that a mitigating factor(s) exist.

The appropriate level of punishment is determined by the Court after balancing of grossly aggravating factors, aggravating factors, and mitigating factors. Below, you will find an explanation of each sentencing level as well as the factors the Court considers in sentencing.

DWI Sentencing Factors

Grossly Aggravating Factors
Each of the following constitute a “grossly aggravating factor” for DWI sentencing purposes:
1. The defendant has a prior conviction involving impaired driving that occurred within seven years before the the time of the DWI offense for which the defendant is being sentenced. (each prior conviction constitutes a separate grossly aggravating factor)

2. The defendant has another conviction involving impaired driving that occurred after the date of the DWI offense for which the defendant is presently being sentenced, and the other conviction occurred prior to or contemporaneously with the present sentencing. (each conviction constitutes a separate grossly aggravating factor)

3. The defendant has a prior conviction involving impaired driving that occurred in district court; the case was appealed to superior court; the appeal has been withdrawn, or the case has been remanded back to district court; and a new sentencing hearing has not been held pursuant to G.S. 20‑38.7. (each conviction constitutes a separate grossly aggravating factor)

4. At the time of the DWI offense, the defendant was driving while the defendant’s driver’s license was revoked for impaired driving.

5. At the time of the DWI offense, the defendant’s impairment caused a serious injury to another person.

6. At the time of the DWI offense, the defendant was driving while a child under the age of 18 was a passenger.

7. At the time of the DWI offense, the defendant was driving while a person with the mental development of a child under age of 18 was a passenger.

8. At the time of the DWI offense, the defendant was driving while a person who has a physical disability which prevents the person from exiting the vehicle unaided was a passenger.

Aggravating Factors
Each of the following constitute an “aggravating factor” for DWI sentencing purposes:
1. Defendant’s faculties are grossly impaired while driving.

2. Defendant has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more.

3. Especially reckless or dangerous driving.

4. Negligent driving that led to a reportable accident.

5. Driving by the defendant while his driver’s license was revoked (when the revocation was a result of something other than impaired driving).

6. Defendant has two or more prior convictions of a motor vehicle offense (not involving impaired driving) for which at least three driver’s license points are assigned or for which the defendant’s driver’s license is subject to revocation, if the convictions occurred within five years of the date of the DWI offense for which the defendant is being sentenced.

7. Defendant has one or more prior convictions of an offense involving impaired driving that occurred more than seven years before the date of the offense for which the defendant is being sentenced.

8. Defendant has a conviction of speeding while fleeing or attempting to elude apprehension.

9. Defendant has a conviction of speeding by at least 30 miles per hour over the speed limit.

10. Passing a stopped school bus in violation of G.S. 20‑217.

11. Any other factor (that occurs during the same incident as the impaired driving offense) that aggravates the seriousness of the offense.

Mitigating Factors
Each of the following constitute a “mitigating factor” for DWI sentencing purposes:
1. Slight impairment of the defendant’s faculties resulting solely from alcohol, and an alcohol concentration that did not exceed 0.09 at any relevant time after the driving.

2. Slight impairment of the defendant’s faculties, resulting solely from alcohol, with no chemical analysis having been available to the defendant.

3. Driving at the time of the offense that was safe and lawful except for the impairment of the defendant’s faculties.

4. A safe driving record, with the defendant’s having no conviction for any motor vehicle offense for which at least four points are assigned under G.S. 20‑16 or for which the person’s license is subject to revocation within five years of the date of the offense for which the defendant is being sentenced.

5. Impairment of the defendant’s faculties caused primarily by a lawfully prescribed drug for an existing medical condition, and the amount of the drug taken was within the prescribed dosage.

6. The defendant’s voluntary submission to a mental health facility for assessment after defendant was charged with the impaired driving offense for which defendant is being sentenced, and, if recommended by the facility, defendant’s voluntary participation in the recommended treatment.

7. Completion of a substance abuse assessment, compliance with its recommendations, and simultaneously maintaining 60 days of continuous abstinence from alcohol consumption, as proven by a continuous alcohol monitoring system (of a type approved by the Division of Adult Correction).

8. Any other factor that mitigates the seriousness of the offense.

DWI Punishment Levels

Aggravated Level One DWI Punishment
Aggravated Level One DWI Punishment is imposed if three or more grossly aggravating factors are present.
Aggravated Level One DWI Punishment can include:
Fine: Up to $10,000
Jail: Minimum of 12 months, maximum of 36 months — with no eligibility for parole
Can part of Jail term be suspended? Yes, but only if a condition of special probation is imposed requiring a minimum term of imprisonment of at least 120 days.
If probation is imposed: It will include the condition that the defendant abstain from alcohol for at least 120 days and undergo a substance abuse assessment and related treatment or education

Level One DWI Punishment
Level One DWI Punishment is imposed if (1) the defendant was accompanied by a minor child (under 18) at the time of the DWI offense OR (2) if there are two of the other grossly aggravating factors present.
Level One DWI Punishment can include:
Fine: Up to $4,000
Jail: Minimum of 30 days, maximum of 24 months
Can part of Jail term be suspended? Yes, but only if a condition of special probation is imposed requiring a minimum term of imprisonment of at least 30 days. However, the Court can reduce the 30 days to not less than 10 days IF as a condition of special probation the defendant is required to abstain from alcohol consumption and be monitored by a continuous alcohol monitoring system for a period of not less than 120 days.
If probation is imposed:
It will include the requirement that the defendant undergo a substance abuse assessment and related treatment or education.
Probation may include a requirement of abstaining from alcohol, monitored by a continuous alcohol monitoring system, for anywhere between a minimum period of 30 days, up to the entire length of the term of probation.

Level Two DWI Punishment
Level Two DWI Punishment is imposed if (1) there are no minor children (under 18) present in the vehicle at the time of the DWI offense AND (2) there is one grossly aggravating factors present.
Level Two DWI Punishment can include:
Fine: Up to $2,000
Jail: Minimum of 7 days, maximum of 12 months
Can part of Jail term be suspended? Yes, but only if a condition of special probation is imposed requiring a minimum term of imprisonment of 7 days OR the individual is ordered to abstain from consuming alcohol for at least 90 consecutive days, as verified by a continuous alcohol monitoring system (No more than 60 days of pretrial credit may be given for voluntary alcohol monitoring prior to judgment). However, if no active term of imprisonment is imposed as a result of continuous alcohol monitoring and the defendant is subject to Level Two DWI Punishment because of a prior DWI conviction or a conviction for driving while the defendant’s license is revoked as a result of a prior DWI then the Court must also require the defendant to complete 240 hours of community service.
If probation is imposed:
It will include the requirement that the defendant undergo a substance abuse assessment and related treatment or education. Any term of probation may include a requirement of abstaining from alcohol, monitored by a continuous alcohol monitoring system, for a minimum period of 30 days up to the entire length of the term of probation.

Level Three DWI Punishment
Level Three DWI Punishment is imposed if (1) there are no grossly aggravating factors AND (2) the aggravating factors substantially outweigh any mitigating factors.
Level Three DWI Punishment can include:
Fine: Up to $1,000
Jail: Minimum of 72 hours, maximum of 6 months
Can part of Jail term be suspended? Yes, but only if a condition of special probation is imposed requiring a minimum term of imprisonment of at least 72 hours OR performance of community service of at least 72 hours OR any combination of no less than 72 hours of imprisonment or community service.
If probation is imposed:
It will include the requirement that the defendant undergo a substance abuse assessment and related treatment or education.

Level Four DWI Punishment
Level Four DWI Punishment is imposed if (1) there are no aggravating or mitigating factors OR (2) any aggravating factors are substantially counterbalanced by any mitigating factors .
Level Four DWI Punishment can include:
Fine: Up to $500
Jail: Minimum of 48 hours, maximum of 120 days
Can part of Jail term be suspended? Yes, but only if a condition of special probation is imposed requiring a minimum term of imprisonment of at least 48 hours OR performance of community service of at least 48 hours OR any combination of no less than 48 hours of imprisonment or community service.
If probation is imposed:
It will include the requirement that the defendant undergo a substance abuse assessment and related treatment or education.

Level Five DWI Punishment
Level Five DWI Punishment is imposed if the mitigating factors substantially outweigh any aggravating factors.
Level Five DWI Punishment can include:
Fine: Up to $200
Jail: Minimum of 24 hours, maximum of 120 days
Can part of Jail term be suspended? Yes, but only if a condition of special probation is imposed requiring a minimum term of imprisonment of at least 24 hours OR performance of community service of at least 24 hours OR any combination of no less than 24 hours of imprisonment or community service.
If probation is imposed:
It will include the requirement that the defendant undergo a substance abuse assessment and related treatment or education.

EVEN THE SMALLEST DETAIL CAN BE THE KEY TO YOUR ACQUITTAL.

Contact a Greensboro DWI Lawyer and DUI Attorney today!

Areas Served

Kirkman Attorneys at Law is based in Greensboro, North Carolina, but we provide criminal defense in many of the surrounding cities. If you need a criminal defense attorney in one of the following areas, Kirkman Attorneys at Law can help fight your charge.

  • Guilford County
  • High Point
  • Jamestown
  • Oak Ridge
  • Stokesdale
  • Colfax
  • Forest Oaks
  • Greensboro
  • Summerfield
  • Pleasant Garden
  • Whitsett
  • Browns Summit
  • Climax
  • Gibsonville
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Kirkman Attorneys at Law has a long established record in traffic and criminal defense. We are a relationship-oriented law firm that is committed to providing our clients with zealous advocacy and personalized service of the highest quality in the most responsive and efficient manner possible. Our firm has long enjoyed a reputation for both effective representation and professionalism.

If you are facing an criminal charges, we can provide the honest answers and effective solutions that you deserve.

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When it comes to your future, it is essential to reach out to a defense attorney right away. Contact us below for Help Fast Or Call Us Now: 1 (336) 274-7898

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    KIRKMAN ATTORNEYS AT LAW

    100 South Elm Street, Suite 410,
    Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
    (336) 274-7898