Can a DWI be a felony in North Carolina?

Yes. In North Carolina there are two types of DWI's that are felonies.

  1. Felony death by motor vehicle, which a person is charged with if someone dies in an accident that was caused by a drunk driver. Felony death by motor vehicle can also be charged as second degree murder.
  2. Habitual DWI, which a person is charged with if it is their fourth DWI conviction within seven years. A plea or verdict of guilty of habitual DWI requires a judge to sentence you to no less than one year in the Department of Corrections. That sentence cannot be suspended and is the absolute minimum sentence. Most judges give a much longer sentence than the minimum for habitual DWI.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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