North Carolina uses a structured sentencing system for most of its criminal law. This system is a grid system where a person’s prior record level and the seriousness of the current crime are used to establish a sentencing range. Within that range, the judge can set an appropriate sentence. If you have questions about this, contact a criminal lawyer Raleigh at (919) 352-9411.

But DWI sentences are handled differently. DWI sentencing is governed by North Carolina’s Fair Sentencing law which, in addition to the judge’s decision at the time of sentencing, governs how much time the person will serve.

Let’s look at the most serious DWI level. If someone has two grossly aggravating factors, that person will be sentenced as an Aggravated Level 1 offender, if convicted of a DWI. The judge can impose a sentence of up to 3 years in prison according to the statute, and fine you up to $10,000.

While a person convicted of DWI may be paroled into DART (a substance abuse treatment program administered by the DOC), the person will probably serve two years in prison, instead of three years.

Damon Chetson - 1008 posts

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.

Sentencing Guidelines