No other misdemeanor in NC carries as serious a threat of jail time as does Driving While Impaired charges. NC DWI convictions are sentenced by a judge according to levels and factors. Unlike most other criminal charges, defense attorneys can't strike plea negotiations with the state to present to a Judge on NC DWI charges. It is solely in the judge's discretion per NC DWI sentencing structure, after all the aggravating/mitigating factors are settled. Jail time for DWI charges is commonly handed out in NC courts. Make no mistake about the severity of Driving While Impaired Charges in NC. Often times felonies are easier to work with than NC DWI charges!
The most benign DWI charges handed out, levels 3,4,5 are typically available with community service options. But this is not always the case. Level 5 generally doesn't require jail time, but can carry up to 60 days by statute. Often times on level 4 and 5, sentences of 10 days up to 6 months are handed out! Keep in mind, this could be on your first offense!
If you are found to have grossly aggravating factors, even on your first offense, jail time is required. Level 2 DWI requires 7 days minimum, if you have one grossly aggravating factor. Repeat offenders, serious injury, or other factors present could trigger this requirement. Minors in the car or 2 gross factors bump sentencing to level 1, requiring at least 30 days in jail. Level A1, with 3 gross factors requires 4 months in jail minimum. Keep in mind that all these sentence levels have years long maximum sentences! And the maximums do get handed out on a regular basis.
The answer to whether you'll go to jail on your NC DWI charges depends on a number of factors and circumstances. You'll definitely want to retain a skilled dwi traffic lawyer to analyze your case, who can help you reduce the impact of these serious charges upon a conviction. Call an Asheville DWI lawyer today!