Misdemeanors vs Felonies
In the state of North Carolina, there are only two types of DWI charges that are felonies. They are:
- Felony death by motor vehicle: a person is charged with this if, while drunk driving, he/she causes an accident that results in the death of another person. Felony death by a motor vehicle can also be charged as second-degree murder.
- Habitual DWI: A person is charged with this if he/she picks up four DWI convictions in ten years. In addition to jail time (determined by a judge), a habitual DWI charge also prevents a person from ever having a license in the state of North Carolina again.
All other DWI convictions are considered misdemeanors. Every misdemeanor conviction is followed by a separate hearing to determine the appropriate level of punishment. Prior DWI convictions, other alcohol-related offenses and any injuries inflicted upon other persons are taken into account in these follow-up hearings. Depending on what factors are associated with your DWI conviction, punishments can range from community service, jail time, license revocation or some combination of all three.