2024 How Much Does a DWI Cost in North Carolina?

If you were recently arrested for driving while impaired (DWI) in North Carolina, you may be wondering about the DWI cost in North Carolina. Fines and jail fees are common consequences of being charged with a DWI, and a conviction could lead to even more financial worries. One way you can protect your rights and seek lowered penalties is by hiring an experienced DWI defense attorney in North Carolina.

The attorneys at Cody Law Firm can investigate whether your rights were violated during your initial arrest. Our law firm has helped many clients receive lower penalties than they initially were facing. This can help you reduce the financial consequences of a DWI charge.

What Does a DWI Cost?

The costs of a DWI in North Carolina could be considerable. Court fees, transportation-related costs, and legal fees are common expenses paid by DWI defendants.

Transportation-Related Costs

Your license will be revoked for a minimum of one year if you are convicted of a DWI. This could lead to considerable financial costs if you are required to take rideshare options or public transportation to get to and from work.

With the help of a DWI defense attorney in North Carolina, you could have your license restored. First-time offenders may be given the option of undergoing a DWI substance use assessment before their driver’s license is restored.

While facing charges or as a condition of probation, you could be ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. This monitors whether you are sober before the engine starts. There are installation costs and monthly fees tied to this option. A DWI conviction could also lead to steep increases in your monthly car insurance premiums.

Court Fees

After your initial arrest and throughout your probation (if you are given probation), there will be court fees and potential court supervision fines. North Carolina counties generally pass on the costs related to supervision and probation to defendants.

If you are given the option of going to rehabilitation classes or ordered to undergo those services, you will likely have to pay for them out of pocket.

Legal Fees

One of the most important steps that any defendant should take after being arrested for a DWI is to hire a criminal defense attorney. They can work to reduce the potential penalties of being convicted of a DWI or fight the charges outright. Defense attorneys generally work through billable hours. If your lawyer works on a billable hour system, you may have to pay upfront through what is known as a retainer.

There are no accurate means of estimating your criminal defense cost, but the complexity of the case and the amount of time your attorney and their legal aids have to spend on the case is one significant factor. A misdemeanor charge is generally less costly to defend than a felony DWI charge.

How Are DWIs Classified in North Carolina?

There are five levels that DWIs are classified under in North Carolina. Level V offenses are the least severe. The most serious offices can result in significant jail time and fines.

  • Level V: Conviction for a Level V DWI carries a maximum fine of $200. There is a minimum jail sentence of 24 hours. Jail can be suspended if the defendant completes community service and other requirements.
  • Level IV: This level of offense can result in a maximum fine of $500 and 120 days in jail. Again, jail time can be suspended if alternative punishments are offered by the courts.
  • Level III: A Level III DWI carries a maximum fine of $1,000. The minimum jail term is 72 hours, which can be suspended if the defendant completes alternative options like community service.
  • Level II and 1: The most serious DWI offenses are reserved for repeat offenders. The minimum sentence cannot be suspended. A Level I DWI conviction comes with a minimum jail sentence of 30 days and fines.

When imposing punishments, judges may consider whether there are aggravating circumstances tied to your arrest. Aggravating circumstances include excessive BAC levels, resisting arrest, attempting to evade arrest, excessive speeding, and causing bodily injury.


Q: How Much Does a DWI Cost in North Carolina?

A: The cost of a DWI charge in North Carolina includes legal fees, court fees, fees for court supervision programs, and transportation fees. These costs can go up considerably if you do not have legal representation. An experienced lawyer can work to prevent your license from being suspended or have it reinstated. Your attorney can also work to have your charges and potential penalties reduced.

Q: What Is the Penalty for a DWI in North Carolina?

A: The penalty for a DWI could be fines, confinement to jail, and the loss of driving privileges. A DWI is a serious offense, and the financial costs of a conviction could be considerable. You can reduce the potential penalties that you are facing by hiring an attorney. They can protect your rights and question the validity of the arrest if the facts support your innocence.

Q: How Likely Is Jail Time for a First DWI in North Carolina?

A: First-time offenders who are charged with misdemeanors often have a chance of avoiding time in jail by enlisting the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Judges have the discretion to suspend jail sentences for lesser DWI offenses, particularly when there are no aggravating factors involved, such as resisting arrest or injuries. An attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system.

Q: How Much Is a DWI Lawyer in North Carolina?

A: Many attorneys offer complimentary initial consultations to discuss your case. Following this, services are typically charged based on an hourly rate or a flat fee structure. When searching for legal representation, it’s important to weigh not only the hourly rate but also the experience and success rate of the law firm. This can ensure that you receive quality representation tailored to your needs.

Schedule Your North Carolina DWI Consultation Today

Facing a DWI charge in North Carolina can be stressful. Many defendants are understandably ready to put the past behind them and move on. One way you can increase the chance of a favorable resolution of your DWI case is by hiring an experienced law firm that understands how to defend clients facing DWI charges. Cody Law Firm brings many years of experience in this legal realm. To schedule your DWI consultation, contact our office today.

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