Third-Time DWI in Elizabeth City

Like all states, North Carolina takes drunk driving offenses very seriously. When someone has multiple convictions for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI), the penalties are harsh and far-reaching.

Skilled legal representation is essential to mitigate the impact of a third-time DWI in Elizabeth City. The lawyers at Parks Zeigler, PLLC understand how to handle these cases to achieve the most favorable results possible in the circumstances.

Consequences of a Third DUI Conviction

North Carolina uses a tiered system when imposing sentences for criminal violations. When considering a sentence for a DWI conviction, a judge could consider mitigating factors such as the driver was at or only marginally above the .08 blood alcohol limit, or they were not violating traffic laws when they were pulled over. But the judge must also consider the driver’s past convictions as aggravating factors. With two past convictions within a 7-year period, a driver faces sentencing under Level 1 or Aggravated Level 1 if other grossly aggravating factors were also present.

An Elizabeth City attorney can advise someone facing sentencing on a third DWI about the best way to move forward.

Habitual Offender Status

A person who has had three DWI convictions must be careful to avoid any additional convictions. North Carolina General Statute § 20-138.5 states that anyone convicted of Driving While Impaired for a fourth time within ten years is a habitual offender. Being a habitual offender leads to more significant consequences. The sentence includes a mandatory five-year license revocation and a mandatory minimum of 12 months in prison. Additionally, the government may seize the driver’s vehicle and sell it at auction.

Defenses to DWI Charges

There are multiple strategies a skilled defense attorney can employ to challenge a third-time DWI charge in Elizabeth City. Even with a chemical test that indicates the presence of alcohol or drugs, you may be able to challenge the charge of Driving While Impaired.

Police conduct often offers opportunities for the defense. A judge could dismiss a charge if the officer did not have reasonable cause to stop the vehicle, failed to timely and effectively inform the driver of their rights, or violated the driver’s other Constitutional rights.

A legal professional can also challenge the officer’s competency in administering sobriety tests. They may be able to force the prosecution to prove the equipment used was properly maintained and calibrated, and that the lab’s procedures are sufficient to safeguard the integrity of their results.

Defend a Third DWI Charge With an Elizabeth City Attorney

Any DWI charge is a serious matter with high-stakes consequences, including the potential for a criminal record, steep fines, and jail time. The attorneys at Parks Zeigler, PLLC understand what you are facing and will work vigorously to help. Get in touch as soon as you are charged or arrested for a third-time DWI in Elizabeth City.

Areas We Serve

Centrally located on the waterfront in downtown Elizabeth City, our team provides quality legal representation across the following counties in the Northeast North Carolina region.

  • Camden County
  • Gates County
  • Chowan County
  • Pasquotank County
  • Currituck County
  • Perquimans County
  • Dare County

Also serving only criminal and traffic cases in the following counties:

  • Beaufort County
  • Tyrrell County
  • Martin County
  • Washington County

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law N/a
4768 Euclid Road,
Suite 103

Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462
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524 Albemarle Drive,
Suite 200

Chesapeake, Virginia 23322
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200 N. Water Street,
Suite 2A

Elizabeth City, NC 27909
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