First Offense DWI
North Carolina laws are extremely harsh on drunk drivers, even first offenders. If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI or DUI), you should not assume that the legal system will go easy on you because you have never been in legal trouble before.
To protect your driving privileges following a DWI arrest, call the office of Timothy R. Oswalt in Jacksonville at 910-333-0224. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to explain your rights and answer your questions.
Consequences of a First DUI/DWI Conviction in North Carolina
If you are convicted of a first DWI offense in North Carolina, you will lose your driver’s license for a minimum of one year. In most situations, you can apply for a limited-use license that will allow you to drive to and from work during the one-year suspension. However, for the next three years, you will need to buy high-risk auto insurance, known as SR-22 insurance. You will also be required to undergo an alcohol assessment program and complete the classes that are recommended by the program, pay a significant fine, and serve at least a day in jail or perform at least 24 hours of community service.
The penalties for drunk driving become increasingly harsh for second or third DWI offenses. If you are convicted of a second DUI/DWI offense within three years, you will lose your North Carolina driving privileges for four years. As a result, it is important to do everything you can to keep a first conviction off your record.
Is There a Defense to Drunk Driving Charges?
Even if you think you are guilty of driving under the influence, it’s important to contact a DWI defense attorney to evaluate your case. Given the life-changing consequences you face, you owe it to yourself to consider your options.
There is always something an experienced lawyer can do to improve your situation. For example, if the police made mistakes in the DUI stop or when administering the Breathalyzer test, the evidence may be suppressed and the charges dismissed. If any part of the state’s case is weak, the prosecutor may be willing to accept a favorable plea bargain.