DWI Sentencing

Below is an overview of the three categories of sentencing factors that a judge must consider in determining which level is appropriate in a North Carolina DWI judgement. Three three categories are: grossly aggravating factors, aggravating factors, and mitigating factors.

Grossly Aggravating Factors

  • A prior DWI conviction within 7 years of the arrest date of the current offense;
  • A DWI conviction while the current DWI is pending;
  • Current offense was committed while the person’s license was revoked for a prior DWI;
  • The offense resulted in serious injury to another person;
  • A child under the age of 18 or a handicap person was in the vehicle during the offense.

If one or more of these factors are present, the person will be sentenced at one of three punishment levels: Aggravated Level 1, Level 1, or Level 2. A discussion of these punishment categories can be found here.

Aggravating Factors

  • An alcohol reading of 0.15 or higher;
  • Especially reckless or dangerous driving;
  • Negligent driving that led to a reportable accident;
  • Driving while the person’s license was revoked;
  • Two or more prior traffic convictions (not involving impaired driving) of which 3 points were assigned;
  • Speeding at least 30 mph over the speed limit;
  • Passing a stopped school bus;
  • Any other factor that aggravates the seriousness of the crime

Mitigating Factors

  • Slight impairment, an alcohol reading of .09 or lower;
  • Safe and lawful driving other that impairment;
  • A Safe driving record;
  • The impairment was due to a lawfully prescribed medication;
  • Voluntary submission to a mental health facility for an assessment;
  • Completion of a substance abuse assessment and 60 days of continuous abstinence from alcohol.

Wake County and Raleigh criminal defense attorney, Steven Saad, has many years of legal experience as both a defender of the accused and a former Wake County prosecutor. He is passionate in his defense of the people that have been accused of crimes within his community and are unfortuate enough to have become part of our criminal system. Steven’s primary objective is to obtain the best possible results in each of his clients’ cases.

The experience Steven gained during his years as a Wake County District Attorney, where he prosecuted tens of thousands of criminal cases, gave him unparalleled insight into the criminal court process in Wake County. Understanding that a case can be won or lost in the smallest details, he knows preparation and communication with clients throughout a case is critical.

If you would like to discuss your case with an experienced and effective defense attorney and former Wake County prosecutor, contact us today. We look forward to speaking with you.