car keys on bar table with empty drink; dwi

A conviction of driving while impaired in North Carolina can have a serious impact on your life, your finances, and your reputation.

A DWI conviction may result in a sizable fine, loss of your driver’s license, and even the loss of your freedom if you have prior convictions.

If you or a loved one has been charged with DWI or driving under the influence (DUI) as it’s often called, you need to speak with one of our knowledgeable Shelby criminal defense lawyers as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.

At Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., attorneys David Teddy and Daniel Talbert are both Board-Certified Specialists in Criminal Law, an elite level of certification recognized by the North Carolina Bar. Less than 4 percent of lawyers in the state are board-certified.

In addition, Mr. Teddy has received special training in the defense of people charged with driving while impaired. He is also the author of “A Trial Lawyer’s Guide to Defending a DWI Case in North Carolina,” which teaches other attorneys how to handle DWI cases.

If you are facing a DWI charge, you need a highly qualified Shelby DWI attorney who will map out a strong defense strategy and fight aggressively for your rights. Contact us today to discuss your options for moving past this stressful incident and on with your life.

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The law office of Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., is located in Shelby, N.C. approximately 40 miles west of Charlotte, N.C. Our mission is to provide aggressive, innovative, and passionate representation for people who are often in the midst of stress and anxiety associated with legal problems.

Is A DWI A Felony In Shelby, NC?

North Carolina DWI laws indicate that motorists may be charged with driving while impaired if they are under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal drugs. Drivers who register .08 or higher on a blood alcohol test or breath test may be charged with DWI.

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety outlines five levels of misdemeanors for a DWI, as well as a felony charge. Punishments for DWI in North Carolina include:

  • Level 5: Up to $200 fine and 60 days in jail
  • Level 4: Up to $500 fine and 120 days in jail
  • Level 3: Up to $1,000 fine and six months in jail
  • Level 2: Up to $2,000 fine and one year in jail
  • Level 1: Up to $4,000 fine and two years in jail

Felony DWI: Drivers who have three DWI convictions within the past seven years can face a felony DWI charge. They face a mandatory minimum jail term of one year, as well as completion of a substance abuse program.

Drivers who are younger than 21 face penalties if there is any amount of alcohol in their system or on their breath.

In addition to fines and jail time, DWI convictions will result in a revoked driver’s license. Additional punishments may include mandatory substance abuse treatment and forfeiture of vehicles.

What Factors Are Considered In DWI Punishments?

The factors a judge may take into consideration when determining a DWI punishment include:

  • Any previous convictions of drunk driving or driving while impaired within the past seven years
  • Serious injury caused to another person
  • Whether the driver was transporting young children
  • Whether the impairing substance was an illegal drug or a lawful substance
  • Whether the impaired driver was driving on a revoked license as a result of a prior DWI conviction

A first-time DWI conviction typically does not carry jail time if there are no aggravating factors. However, the court will consider all these factors in determining the sentence.