If you get arrested in North Carolina for DUI/DWI, and you have one or more prior drunk driving/DWI convictions within the previous seven years in any state or federal jurisdiction, you face mandatory minimum jail or prison sentences and the mandatory loss of your driver's license.
Multiple DWI convictions can mean mandatory jail time. Protect your right to fair representation. Contact a DWI/drunk driving defense attorney at our Charlotte office to discuss your options.
Attorney Chris Connelly offers over 25 years of criminal defense experience. He personally manages each case to help ensure you have skilled DWI defense advocacy, committed to seeking the best possible outcome to the potential DUI charges you may be facing.
(Note that we may associate an attorney in another firm to assist with some cases. We also, of course, employ capable support staff who handle various administrative aspects of cases.)
Prior convictions within seven years are considered "grossly aggravating factors".
But Grossly Aggravating Factors can also include a license that was previously suspended for DWI, causing serious injury to others or having as a passenger a child under the age of 18 OR an adult with the mental development of a child under age 18 OR a person with a physical disability that prevented them from exiting the vehicle on their own.
The level of punishment for a DWI conviction depends on how many of these factors exist at the time of your arrest. Mr. Connelly can help you explore ways to avoid harsh and escalating penalties:
- Second DWI Conviction within seven years - misdemeanor DWI with a minimum seven days and a possible maximum of one year in jail, up to $1,000 in fines and a suspended license for four years if you had a previous DWI within three years
- Third DWI Conviction within seven years - misdemeanor DWI with a minimum of 30 days in jail and a possible maximum of two years in jail, up to $2,000 in fines maximum, plus your driver's license revoked permanently if you had a prior DWI within five years
- Fourth DWI Conviction within ten years - Felony DWI punishable by a mandatory minimum of one year in jail, and a possible maximum of three years, as much as $4,000 in fines and permanent license revocation for three previous convictions within the last ten years
An impounded vehicle, ignition interlock devices, mandatory rehabilitation and other consequences may also apply. Whether this is your first DWI/drunk driving charge, or the most recent arrest on charges of driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, we can help..
- Vehicle Seizures
- Traffic Violations
- Do I Need a Lawyer for a Traffic Matter?
- License Revoked/Suspended
- Drivers License Restoration
- DMV Hearings
- Underage Alcohol and/or License Violations
- Boating while Impaired
- Motion for Appropriate Relief
Effective for offenses committed on or after December 1, 2011, a person convicted of Impaired Driving must be sentenced at Level One punishment (mandating a 30 day minimum in jail, maximum of 2 years in jail) if there was a child under the chronological age of 18 OR an adult with the mental development of a child under the age of 18 OR a person with a physical disability that prevented them from exiting the vehicle on their own.
Stopping Patterns at Vehicle Checkpoints
Effective December 1, 2011, the law now requires law enforcement agencies to designate in advance a pattern for stopping vehicles at checkpoints AND also prohibits law enforcement from basing a stopping pattern on a particular vehicle
Effective December 1, 2011, the onerous "Laura's Law" could even increase punishment for a second-time DWI offense by establishing an "Aggravated Level One" punishment. This law mandates 12 months in prison if there are three or more Grossly Aggravating factors. Some of the more onerous applications that would require one year in jail would be if the defendant had a prior conviction from six years ago, never resolved their DWI related suspension and had a child in the car OR had two prior convictions from 6 years ago and never resolved their DWI related suspension. The defendant who receives this sentence of imprisonment must be released four months before the end of the maximum and be placed on post-release supervision. They must abstain from alcohol during this period and it must be verified by 24/7 monitoring system.
"Laura's Law" also provides for a permanent license revocation for this defendant and requires an ignition interlock if the person's license is restored.
When your case is important to you...
When experience counts...
Call us at 704-376-9376 or e-mail our Charlotte office to schedule a consultation about a second or more drunk driving arrest. We provide sound strategies for preventing the loss of you driving privileges. Put the value of having a skilled lawyer at reasonable rates, on your side.
The Law Office of Christopher A. Connelly
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Criminal Defense Attorney
Reasonable Fees ▪ Payment Plans ▪ Credit Cards Accepted ▪ Se habla español
Near jail and courthouse