Home > Statesville Legal Services Blog > DWI Defense: How Active DWI Sentences are Served in North Carolina

DWI DefenseAs you may already know, the penalties proposed in DWI defense cases are not determined by a structured sentencing plan. Instead, under every level of DWI, the judge has two main options for sentencing – they can either put the defendant on probation or move forward with an active sentence. Today, we will address how active sentencing works in DWI defense cases.

To illustrate this process, it is best to start with an example. If a person receives a DWI that is categorized as a Level II offense, they may have to serve a jail term of anywhere from seven days to 12 months, depending the circumstances surrounding the arrest.

In most DWI cases, a person is eligible for parole once the minimum amount of time in jail has been served or at 1/5 of the statutory maximum, whichever is less. In this situation, after the Good Time Rule is applied, the maximum sentence would be cut down to six months.

As a result, this person’s parole eligibility window would open up anywhere from the day their seven-day jail time sentence is finished to 1.2 months after they begin the jail sentence. However, in many cases, only those who have already finished a treatment program or those who are paroled directly into one of these programs are eligible to move forward with their parole.

It is important to keep in mind that in many DWI defense cases with lower sentences, different probationary rules apply. Additionally, when a person receives an Aggravated Level I DWI, they are subject to different probationary rules.