Collateral consequences of North Carolina DWI convictions – One of the toughest misdemeanors you can face in the state of North Carolina is Driving While Impaired (DWI). We say the toughest because not only are they hard to defend, but they have some pretty bad consequences. Of course, like most other crimes you face possible jail time, probation, fine, and community service, but there is more to it than that.
A conviction of DWI has some of very harsh collateral consequences that you do not have to worry about with regard to most other misdemeanors. In this blog, we will talk about some of those collateral consequences. Like all of our blogs, this is intended for general informational purposes only, and not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a DWI attorney.
DWI sentencing in North Carolina
In North Carolina, DWI’s are punished according to the North Carolina DWI sentencing guidelines. Those guidelines are based on mitigating, aggravating, and grossly aggravating factors. We discuss DWI sentencing in much more detail in a blog that you can read here.
If you are convicted of DWI at trial there is a short DWI sentencing hearing prior to the judge sentencing you. Once that is concluded you will be informed of just some of the issues you will have to deal with going forward.
Consequences of DWI conviction besides jail time
Similar to the collateral consequences of criminal convictions, it’s not just about what period of incarceration that a defendant is facing. With regard to DWI convictions, other than jail time, some of the consequences you may face include but are not limited to the following:
- Suspension of your Driver’s license
- Community service
- Requirement of installing an ignition interlock in your car (some cases)
- Increase in automobile insurance rates
- Points on your driver’s license
- Abstinence from alcohol verified by continuous alcohol monitoring
- Requirement of obtaining a substance abuse assessment
The above-named reasons are why it is highly recommended that you hire an attorney and do everything you can to defend yourself against your DWI charge.
Additional considerations and consequences with regard to DWI convictions
After the immediate consequences there are also a few more things that someone convicted of DWI has to face:
- In North Carolina DWI’s can never be expunged from your criminal record, no matter how much time has passed.
- License reinstatement is not always simple. There are costs involved and sometimes additional requirements to be met before you can start driving again even after your period of suspension is over.