What Issues Can Arise After You’re Convicted of a DWI?
Depending on an individual’s legal strategy, a DWI conviction may occur after a loss at trial or after entering a guilty plea. However, in either situation, a person is facing a DWI conviction, which carries with it a variety of issues and consequences. This process can be very stressful and daunting for clients. In this article, I will try to clarify and explain your options and what to expect in the event of a DWI conviction in Wilmington, NC.
One of the most serious consequences of a DWI conviction is the possibility of jail time. In North Carolina, a DWI conviction at the highest sentencing level can result in up to three years in jail. However, for most first time offenders, any jail sentence is typically suspended in favor of court mandated community service. For repeat offenders however, the possibility of jail time is likely.
A large issue that is a byproduct of a DWI conviction is license revocation. Under North Carolina law, a first-time DWI conviction immediately causes the loss of driving privileges for a period of one year. Although this revocation is non-negotiable upon conviction, it can be somewhat mitigated by applying for a Limited Driving Privilege, which allows the individual to drive during certain hours for purposes like school or work. However, for a second offender, a DWI conviction carries with it an automatic four-year revocation and no possibility of a Limited Driving Privilege.
Fines and Costs
An often overlooked, but substantial part of a DWI conviction are the fines and costs associated with it. In North Carolina, a DWI conviction depends on the sentencing level the individual is at, but can range from a maximum fine of $200 to $10,000. These fines must typically be paid immediately upon conviction. Additionally, on top of the fines, the judge can (and likely will) impose a special DWI fee of $100 and court costs of $190.
One of the most serious financial consequences of a DWI conviction is the dramatic increase in the cost of car insurance. Under North Carolina law, a DWI conviction carries 12 insurance points. Because of this, insurance companies are allowed to increase your rates up to 400% for a period of up to three years (as long as no additional points for other offenses are obtained). Additionally, a driver with a DWI conviction on their record will be considered a high risk driver and may be dropped from their insurance carrier all together.
Assessment and Treatment
When a judge finds an individual guilty of DWI, part of the conviction requires the individual to obtain a substance abuse assessment and to complete all required treatment. Under North Carolina law, an assessment costs $100. After this assessment, a recommended course of treatment is outlined and must be completed. This treatment can cost anywhere from $25-$50 an hour. Click for more information on Alcohol Assessments and Treatment.
If you have recently been convicted of DWI, or have current DWI charges, it is vitally important that you speak with an experienced Attorney who understands how best to defend these charges in court. At Minick Law, our Wilmington DWI attorneys are standing by to discuss your case, and see how we can help. Call Today (910) 300-9995
James Minick is founder and C.E.O. of Minick Law, P.C. James is committed to providing top notch legal services through his team of highly specialized legal professionals. James will defend your rights.