If you have been accused of a DUI in North Carolina for the second time in 7 years, you can expect to be charged with a misdemeanor that carries serious penalties. You are advised to contact a lawyer in order to have a chance of reducing the consequences. Until then, get an idea of the penalties that you will likely face for a second DUI in North Carolina.
Administrative Penalties in North Carolina
You can expect your license to be suspended for at least one year in most cases. However, if your first offense was less than 3 years ago, your license will be suspended for 4 years. Before you can get it reinstated, you need to show proof of an SR22 insurance policy for North Carolina.
Once your driver's license is reinstated, you will have to pay to get an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. If the license is suspended for 1 year, the device must stay in your car for that long, while it must stay in the vehicle for 3 years if your license is suspended for 4 years. Most of the time, a second DUI in North Carolina also warrants a trip to an alcohol safety course, as well as anywhere from 24 to 72 hours of community service.
Criminal Penalties for a Second DUI in North Carolina
There are 5 main sentencing levels when it comes to DUIs in North Carolina. Your level will be decided by a judge based on your driving record, your blood alcohol level, and whether there was a child in the car with you during your DUI stop, to name a few factors. The levels range from 1 to 5, with level 1 being the worst. Therefore, you can expect the fines for your second DUI in North Carolina to range from $200 to $4000, depending on your level.
Jail time ranges from 7 days to 1 year, again depending on your assigned level. You may be offered probation or community service in order to reduce your jail time, but this is usually only when you have no aggravating factors in your DUI, and certainly not if your last offense was only 3 years ago.
Get Legal Help
If you have been accused of a second DUI in North Carolina, you should contact a lawyer quickly. You can then decide together whether to plead guilty and accept a plea bargain, or fight your case by pleading not guilty. In some cases, you will find that you have nothing to lose by fighting, especially if you can provide proof that the charge is incorrect. On the other hand, you may find that accepting a plea bargain is for the best, especially if this is your second offense in less than 3 years. Either way, you will need a lawyer to determine what to do next.