Hickory Felony DWI Lawyer

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Hickory Felony DWI Lawyer

Hickory Felony DWI Attorney

The dangers of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or illegal drugs are severe, which is why North Carolina enforces strict legal consequences on those convicted of such offenses. If you are facing a felony DWI conviction, the repercussions can be long-lasting, which is why it’s crucial for your future that you contact a Hickory felony DWI lawyer as soon as possible.

Cody Law Firm’s team of Hickory criminal defense and DWI lawyers have helped thousands of individuals facing these steep charges. Our experienced attorneys can help guide you through the complicated legal processes that follow a DWI charge while we work diligently to construct an aggressive defense strategy for your case.

What Qualifies as a Felony DWI Charge in Hickory, North Carolina?

In Hickory, North Carolina, most DWI offenses are categorized as misdemeanors. However, there are certain circumstances that can qualify DWI offenses as felonies. One way that a DWI can be a felony is if the offense is classified as a habitual DWI, which can happen if you are convicted of three or more DWIs within a 10-year timeframe.

In addition to habitual DWIs, here are some of the other offenses that can be classified as felony DWIs in North Carolina:

  • DWI accident resulting in a serious injury or death to another party
  • DWI with a child under the age of 18 in the vehicle
  • Impaired driving that results in involuntary manslaughter
  • Impaired driving of a commercial vehicle

If you are convicted of any of the above crimes or habitual DWI offenses, you can face a minimum mandatory prison sentence of 12 months and a permanent suspension of your driver’s license. Additionally, you may have a potential civil claim filed against you from any victims of your offense. You will also likely have your vehicle seized and be required to complete an alcohol or drug treatment program while serving your prison sentence.

How Long Does a Felony DWI Stay on Your Record?

In North Carolina, the period for which a DWI stays on your criminal record is generally 7 years for misdemeanor offenses and 10 years for felony offenses. The state court is able to take into consideration any prior criminal convictions when determining your sentencing for a new DWI charge. This 7-year or 10-year period of time that prior convictions remain on your criminal record is called a lookback period.

Here are some of the different ways that a DWI can affect your sentencing:

  • If a new misdemeanor DWI conviction occurs within the 7-year lookback period of the first conviction, then it would still be charged as a misdemeanor. However, you would likely receive a harsher penalty.
  • If a new felony DWI conviction occurs within the 10-year lookback period of the first conviction, then it would still be charged as a felony, but you would likely receive a harsher penalty.
  • If you are convicted of three or more DWI offenses, misdemeanor or felony, within a 10-year period, then you would be sentenced as a felony habitual DWI offender.
  • If your last misdemeanor conviction occurred more than 7-years before the new offense, then it would not be considered in your sentencing, and you would be deemed a first-time offender.
  • If your last felony conviction occurred more than 10 years prior to the new offense, then it would be disregarded in your sentencing, and you would be considered a first-time offender.

Whether you are facing your first DWI conviction, your third, or more, it is essential to the outcome of your case that you consult with a trusted criminal defense attorney. A lawyer with experience handling DWI cases can knowledgeably review the specifics of your case.

Depending on the unique circumstances of your case and your criminal history, you may be eligible to have your case dismissed or the sentencing reduced. DWI convictions not only have steep financial repercussions and potential prison sentencing, but they can impact your long-term employment capabilities if one remains on your criminal record.


Q: What Makes a DWI a Felony in North Carolina?

A: In North Carolina, DWIs that are classified as habitual are considered Class F felonies. These occur when someone is convicted of three or more DWI offenses within a 10-year period or the offense results in an accident that causes serious injuries to another person. DWIs that lead to the death of another person are considered Class D felonies.

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

A: Most DWI lawyers in North Carolina are going to cost around $2,500. Similar to other legal cases, the precise cost of a DWI lawyer is going to vary depending on the overall severity and complexity of the case, the experience level of the lawyer, and whether the case is brought to trial, along with many other potential factors.

Q: What Is the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI in North Carolina?

A: According to the North Carolina Safe Roads Act of 1983, the state does not legally recognize a difference between Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). A DUI is considered the same as a DWI under state law, regardless of whether the impaired driving was caused by alcohol, prescription drugs, or any illegal substances.

Q: What Happens If You Get Four DUIs in North Carolina?

A: If you get 4 DUIs in the state of North Carolina, you are considered a habitual DUI or DWI offender. A habitual DWI is anyone who has had three or more DWI convictions in the past 10 years, and this crime is considered to be a Class F felony. State law also requires that habitual DWI offenders receive a minimum jail sentence of one year while also completing a substance abuse program during their sentence or as a condition of their parole.

Experienced Legal Representation for Your DWI Case

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) convictions come with steep legal consequences, especially when it is a felony offense. In addition to the financial cost, loss of license, and potential prison sentence, a felony conviction can stay on your record for a full decade and impede your opportunities for fair employment for years to come. This is why it is imperative to consult with a reputable DWI lawyer as soon as possible.

Cody Law Firm has earned our strong reputation throughout the state of North Carolina through our aggressive defense approach and our record of achieving favorable outcomes for thousands of clients. Whether this is your first offense or you have multiple offenses, we can ensure that your constitutional rights are upheld and that you receive a fair trial in court.

Give us a call today or request a consultation with our team so that we can review your unique case.

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