What to Expect When Arrested for Your First DWI in North Carolina

What to Expect When Arrested for Your First DWI in North Carolina

You face severe penalties, when caught driving while intoxicated also termed, DWI in North Carolina. In fact, the state of NC is among the most extreme for those charged in these crimes. So what happens during this arrest process and can you get a bail bond to get out of jail?

What is DUI or DWI in North Carolina?

The State defines a DWI in North Carolina as:
  • Impaired motor functioning while driving, due to the influence of a substance
  • Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.8 percent or higher
  • Presence of schedule 1 controlled substances in your bloodstream

As these points clarify, you can get a DWI for alcohol or drugs. Many states call a DWI a DUI, meaning “driving under the influence.” The charges are essentially the for same type of crime.

Your Arrest for DWI in North Carolina and the State’s Filing of Charges

When an officer stops you and suspects you of drunk driving or drugged driving, he or she asks you to undergo a Breathalyzer or field sobriety test. If these tests show intoxication or influence of drugs, the officer arrests you and takes you to a police station.

The booking process involves several steps, including taking your photo and fingerprints. You go into a holding cell. Often, you must stay in jail for up to 24 hours. But sometimes you can call a friend or family member to bail you out, using cash or as part of the bail bond process.

Your chances of being allowed to bail out or get a bail bond depend on the severity of your charges. Negative factors that aggravate your charges include:
  • Driving recklessly and endangering others
  • Driving with a revoked license
  • High BAC, such as 0.15 or more
  • Accident or negligence along with the DWI/DUI
  • Passing a school bus
  • Having minors in the car
  • Hurting another person during the DUI
  • Prior convictions of DWI


Positive factors that help you gain reduced penalties include:

  • Seeking substance abuse treatment after your offense
  • Seeking mental health treatment
  • An otherwise clean driving record

The judge determines the weight of your charges and whether aggravating or mitigating factors affect your penalties. When you face your first DWI in North Carolina, hire a lawyer immediately. To do this, post bail by calling a reputable bail bond company. When your bail bond is accepted and you leave jail, hire a lawyer to start fighting your charges right away.

What Happens after Your Bail Bond for a DWI in North Carolina

After you bond out of jail, the judge in your case can assign a multitude of penalties. This typically starts with being issued a court summons for you to appear in front of the judge on a specific date. You must appear for this hearing, as part of which the court reads your charges and asks you to plead not guilty or guilty. Most people in NC DWI cases plead guilty under recommendation of their lawyer. The judge issues a fine and determines your sentence.

One of the penalties is license revocation. For how long you lose your license is the judge’s determination. It depends on the severity of your charges, as well as your actions. You also face fines, jail time, probation, community service requirements and drug and alcohol evaluation.

Your First Call after Arrest for DWI in NC

As soon as possible after your arrest for DWI in North Carolina, and when permitted to do so by law enforcement, call a bail bond company to get out of jail. Only by getting out can you quickly meet with an attorney and make arrangements to avoid the greatest inconveniences of the court processes and resulting penalties. DJ’s Bail Bonds in Raleigh, NC serves many NC counties throughout the state, including Wake County and Johnson County. Have a loved one call us if you cannot, or make the call yourself to (919) 986-1547 for 24/7/365 service.

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