In North Carolina, there are five levels of misdemeanor DUI charges in addition to a felony DUI charge. A level one is the most serious misdemeanor while a level five is considered to be the least serious. If a person has three convictions within seven years, the next charge will be a felony, and it comes with a mandatory year in prison if convicted. In addition, an individual must complete a substance abuse program while in jail or on parole.
An offender may be charged with a level one DUI charge if they were transporting a child while impaired. In addition, drivers can face the most serious misdemeanor charge if they drive while impaired on a revoked license or cause an accident while doing so. The minimum sentence is 30 days in jail, and that sentence cannot be modified or suspended by a judge. The maximum punishment is two years in jail as well as a fine of up to $4,000.
An individual who is a repeat DUI offender could also lose their vehicle at the time they’re taken into custody. If this happens, the car will be forfeited by the driver and used or sold by the local school system. The vehicle can be returned if its owner wasn’t the driver taken into custody.
While drivers in North Carolina who are charged with DUI can face significant penalties, defense options are available. An attorney might be able to assert that a driver was not intoxicated at the time of a traffic stop. Instead, legal counsel may claim that a driver was experiencing a medical condition when an officer first made contact.