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Photo of Joshua Nielsen

Underage? Repeat offender? Specific factors may impact DUI charge

by | Sep 29, 2017 | DWI/DUI

Many facets can go into a charge for driving under the influence. Your age, criminal record, actions during the arrest and numerous other factors could impact the type of allegations with which police could potentially charge you. Because of the uncertainty that comes along with a DUI stop, you may wonder about the severity of your particular case.

Even if you do not feel impaired, you could still face criminal charges for DUI. Officers may base their decisions on a variety of aspects, and you may need to gain information on what led to the charges in order to better know how to defend against them. Additionally, you may also want to learn more about North Carolina state laws regarding DUI.

Offense levels

When it comes to DUI charges, various levels exist. If you face a Level V charge, this is a misdemeanor allegation at the lowest level. However, the allegations become more severe when they reach Level II and Level I. For these levels to apply, authorities must consider you a repeat offender, or other aggravating circumstances exist such as:

  • Driving on a revoked license
  • Having children in the vehicle
  • Causing a crash that resulted in injuries to another person

These levels can come with more severe punishments if a conviction takes place.

Felony charges

Though DUI charges typically fall into the category of misdemeanor, they could also increase to felony allegations. If you have had three DUI convictions in the last seven years, authorities will likely consider you a habitual offender, and you could face serious felony charges. The more serious a charge, the more difficult it may seem to defend against. However, you still have the option to create a defense against felony DUI allegations.

Underage offenders

Because the legal drinking age is 21 years old, individuals under this age who officers suspect of DUI could face immediate punishments. Because the state follows a zero-tolerance policy for underage DUI, any level of alcohol detected in the person’s system could result in a 30-day driver’s license revocation before trial, and a conviction could lead to a revocation for up to one year.

Addressing charges

Each case involving DUI charges differs. Therefore, you may want to pay particular attention to the details of your case in order to determine your most feasible defense routes. If you feel confused or uncertain about the upcoming legal proceedings, you may wish to gain reliable legal information on your options.