Aggravating Factors in a North Carolina DWI
North Carolina’s DWI sentencing structure involves a series of levels that take into consideration the degree of the crime. Aggravating and grossly aggravating factors are those that will impact you negatively at sentencing. The more aggravating factors in your case, the more serious the level of sentencing the judge is likely to hand down.
Grossly Aggravating Factors
Grossly aggravating factors are those that are particularly dire. If three or more of these factors are present in your case, you may face Aggravated Level 1 (or Level A1) sentencing, which is the strictest under North Carolina Law. Two grossly aggravating factors may result in a Level 1 sentence.
Grossly aggravating factors include having a prior DWI conviction within the past seven years, or if your current DWI occurred while you were driving with a revoked license or while you are serving sentencing for another DWI. Regardless of any additional factors, if a minor under the age of 18 was in your vehicle at the time of your DWI or if your DWI resulted in an accident that injured another person, you will automatically face Level 1 sentencing.
Sentencing for your DWI will also be impacted if the judge or jury determines that any aggravating factors exist in your case. A step down from grossly aggravating factors, aggravating factors include, reckless driving or speeding at 30 miles per hour or more above the speed limit or speeding to flee the police. Prior convictions can also be considered aggravating factors. If you had one prior conviction that involved impairment in the pat 10 years or if you had two or more convictions that did not involve impairment but resulted in three points being added to your record, the court will deem these aggravating factors in your case.
A Factor You Can Control
Regardless of the circumstances of your case, it is essential that you work with an experienced DWI defender who will be your advocate. A local DWI defense lawyer is ready to fight for you every step of the way.