Caldwell County DWI Lawyer

Home /  Caldwell County DWI Lawyer

Caldwell County DWI Attorney

Best Caldwell County DWI Lawyer

Driving while intoxicated or impaired is a crime in North Carolina. Depending on the circumstances of your case, such as whether there was a personal injury or a child present, you could be facing severe DWI sentencing. If you’re dealing with a driving while impaired charge, get ahead of your case with the help of a Caldwell County DWI lawyer.

What Is a DWI vs. a DUI in Caldwell County, North Carolina?

In Caldwell County, North Carolina, there is no legal distinction between a DUI (driving under the influence) and driving while intoxicated/impaired (DWI). NC law only charges offenders with a DWI (never a DUI charge), regardless of whether the driver is compromised by alcohol or other legal or illegal substances.

An individual may be charged with driving while intoxicated if they operate a vehicle while having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 percent or above, under the influence of any substance that is proven to have diminished their faculties, or with an NC Schedule I level drug (e.g., opiates) in their system.

Sentencing Levels and Penalties for DWI Crimes in North Carolina

North Carolina is unique in its system of leveling impaired driving violations to determine the appropriate penalties. The various levels are as follows:

  • Level one: This DWI ranking is the most severe and is applicable when there are two or more grossly aggravating factors present in the crime.Penalties include large fines, jail time, drug and alcohol monitoring and treatment programs, and possible probation in exchange for a reduced sentence (serving the minimum jail time is still mandatory).
  • Level two: Level two DWIs must include one gross aggravating factor and are punishable by paying fines, drug and alcohol assessment and treatment, and serving a jail sentence.Jail may be suspended if the defendant consents to monitored sobriety for several months. Community service is added to the penalties for a second offense that occurred soon after the first DWI conviction.
  • Levels three, four, and five: These lower-level DWI categories generally don’t involve any grossly aggravating factors; the specific level is at the judge’s discretion based on the evaluation of mitigating and aggravating factors.Penalties include the payment of fines and a shorter jail sentence, which can often be substituted for community service.
  • Underage offenders: For drivers under 21 who are convicted of a DWI, their crime is punishable by a few weeks of community service, a fine payment, potential treatment program completion, and possible license suspension until turning the legal drinking age.

Mitigating and Aggravating Factors in a Drunk Driving Accident

Certain details of a DWI offense will affect how serious the court considers the violation to be; these are known as mitigating and aggravating factors. Some aggravating factors are considered to be legally gross or blatantly and especially reprehensible.

Mitigating factors are less severe factors that may result in the court viewing the DWI violation as not as serious as it had the potential to be. Examples include the driver having a low BAC during the arrest, being under influence of a prescribed drug, or driving in a relatively safe manner.

Aggravating factors are elements that exacerbate the crime and potentially lead to increased charges or sentencing. Examples include having a BAC of 0.15 or more, colliding with another car, evading arrest, and driving more than 30 mph over the limit.

Grossly aggravating factors are considered to be outstandingly offensive. These include if the DWI incident involved injuring another person, driving with a license that was revoked from a prior DWI, a minor present in the vehicle, and if it was the defendant’s second or subsequent DWI charge.


Q: How Much Is a DWI Lawyer in NC?

A: The amount you may need to pay for a DWI attorney’s services in North Carolina will likely depend on various factors, such as how complicated your case is, how severe the offense is, and how often you need to appear in court. A lower-level violation may be less expensive, while a more severe DWI case may total a much larger amount.

Q: Do I Need a Lawyer for a DWI in NC?

A: Technically, you’re not required by law to have a lawyer for a DWI in NC. NC law doesn’t state the need for a lawyer for a DWI or any charge. However, the legislation is considered stricter and more unforgiving when compared to other states. The law can be complicated, and even pleading guilty may still leave you susceptible to harsh fines and other penalties, so hiring a skilled defense lawyer is always advised.

Q: Is a DWI a Felony in NC?

A: A DWI could be a felony in NC. Most DWI offenses are misdemeanor charges, which still could pose serious penalties. However, some DWI violations are severe enough that they are deemed a felony crime, for which the penalties are much harsher.

Felony DWIs generally include the death or significant bodily injury of another person or a minor child present in the vehicle during arrest. An offense can also become a felony if it is the third or subsequent DWI conviction within the past ten years.

Q: What Are the Levels of DWI in NC?

A: In North Carolina, a DWI crime is assigned a level ranking between one and five, with level one being the most severe and level five being the least egregious. Each level has outlined specifics for appropriate punishment.

The level of a DWI case’s severity is determined by the presence of mitigating, aggravating, and grossly aggravating factors. The more aggravating factors that an impaired driving violation contains, the more likely it is to result in a serious ranking and its penalties.

If You Were Charged with Driving Under the Influence, Get in Touch With a Defense Attorney

Criminal defense attorneys at Cody Law Firm understand how overwhelming and stressful it can be to face a DWI charge, whether it’s your first intoxicated driving arrest or not. Schedule an initial meeting with us today to speak with a DUI attorney about the details of your case and the available options.

Practice Areas

Family Law

Family Law

Estate Planning

Estate Planning



Criminal Defense

Criminal Defense



Request Your

Fields marked with an * are required

"*" indicates required fields

I Have Read The Disclaimer*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.