Prior DWI Conviction Will Affect a Subsequent DWI Arrest
Facing a DWI charge is scary enough, but if you are have been previously convicted of DWI and are facing another DWI charge the consequences at stake are greater. North Carolina has some of the toughest DWI laws in the nation and as a result multiple DWI convictions within a specific time frame carry much greater punishment. Punishment for DWI is determined by looking at grossly aggravating, aggravating, and mitigating factors in each case. Grossly aggravating factors are the most serious. If you have one grossly aggravating factor in your case you face a minimum of 7 days jail time up to a year. If you have two grossly aggravating factors then the sentence goes up to 30 days minimum jail time up to 2 years.
A prior conviction of DWI within 7 years of the new offense is considered a “grossly aggravating factor.” Timing is the most important factor. A prior DWI conviction will fall into this category if the conviction of DWI occurred within 7 years of the time of the current charge. For example, if you were convicted of DWI 8 years ago but you were charged with the current DWI 1 and a half years ago then the prior DWI conviction would be considered a grossly aggravating factor because the previous conviction and new charge fall with 7 years of each other. If there is more than one DWI conviction within that 7 year time frame then the sentencing becomes increasingly more severe.
There are some cases in which the DWI conviction was in another state and due to that state’s statute the conviction may not be able to be proven in court. This is a very complex area of the law and the information given here is just a very general overview.