In an effort to stiffen penalties for DWI the North Carolina legislature passed Senate bill 105 on June 28 which would increase the penalty for driving while intoxicated which results in a death. This bill would increase this to a Class D felony and also includes a graduated scale of penalties. The new bill which could go into effect on December 1, 2012 has been re- written to stiffen DWI penalties as follows:
SECTION 2. G.S. 20-141.4(b) reads as rewritten: Page 2 S105 [Ratified]
“(b) Punishments. – Unless the conduct is covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment, the following classifications apply to the offenses set forth in this section:
(1) Repeat felony death by vehicle is a Class B2 felony.
(1)(1a) Aggravated felony death by vehicle is a Class D felony. Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 15A-1340.17, the court shall sentence the defendant in the aggravated range of the appropriate Prior Record Level.
(2) Felony death by vehicle is a Class E D felony. Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 15A-1340.17, intermediate punishment is authorized for a defendant who is a Prior Record Level I offender.
(3) Aggravated felony serious injury by vehicle is a Class E felony.
(4) Felony serious injury by vehicle is a Class F felony.
(5) Misdemeanor death by vehicle is a Class A1 misdemeanor.”
SECTION 3. G.S. 20-141.4(a6) reads as rewritten:
“(a6) Repeat Felony Death by Vehicle Offender. – A person commits the offense of repeat felony death by vehicle if:
(1) The person commits an offense under subsection (a1) or subsection (a5) of this section; and
(2) The person has a previous conviction under:
a. Subsection (a1) of this section;
b. Subsection (a5) of this section; or
c. G.S. 14-17 or G.S. 14-18, and the basis of the conviction was the unintentional death of another person while engaged in the offense of impaired driving under G.S. 20-138.1 or G.S. 20-138.2.
The pleading and proof of previous convictions shall be in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 15A
If you should find yourself in a situation where you have been charged with a DWI you need to contact an attorney who has the experience and knowledge necessary to handle your case with the care it deserves. For a private, confidential consultation with one of our experienced DWI lawyers, please call 704-499-9000 or toll-free 877-374-5999 even on weekends or holidays.