• Raleigh DUI Lawyer | Factors Affecting the Sentencing of DWI Charges
  • July 11, 2013
  • Law Firm: Matheson Law Office PLLC - Raleigh Office
  • As a Raleigh DUI Attorney, I see the use of grossly aggravating and mitigating factors every single day.  Before a judge determines renders a guilty or non- guilty verdict, he or she must base his or her conclusion on the mitigating and grossly aggravating factors involved in the defendant’s particular case.  Because one must understand that when the grossly aggravating factors supersede the mitigating factors a more serious punishment must be handed down on the defendant.  On the other hand, a case where the mitigating factors involved supersede the aggravating factors, the defendant will be exasperated knowing that he will be receiving a less serious sentence.  Regardless of the outcome, it is important to understand what aggravating factors and mitigating factors are. 

    Any Raleigh DWI Attorney will tell you that mitigated terms are at the low end, aggravated terms are at the high end.  Grossly aggravating factors include things such as the fact that the crime was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel.  Mitigating factors include things such as the fact that the defendant has a positive employment history or is gainfully employed. If the court selects a term from the grossly aggravated or mitigated range, the court must make written findings of the grossly aggravating and mitigating factors.  The court must make such findings regardless of whether it imposes an active or suspended term of imprisonment.  Grossly aggravating factors must be submitted to the jury and proved beyond a reasonable doubt, unless properly admitted by the defendant.  Mitigating factors, on the other hand, can be weighed by the judge’s authority.

    So let’s talk about grossly aggravating factors and mitigating factors.  For the matters of this talk I shall be touching the aggravating and mitigating factors associated with a Raleigh DWI charge.  Grossly aggravating factors with DWI would be already having a pre-existing DWI charge in the last 7, having a passenger under the age of 18 in the car, resulting in an accident that caused a serious bodily injury, and driving while license was revoked due to a prior DWI.  Now on the other hand, mitigating factors would be slight impairment (.09 or less), safe and lawful driving at the time of the offense, statutory safe driving (no driving offenses for which at least 4 points are assigned within 5 years of date of offense), impairment by lawfully prescribed dosage, voluntary submission to DWI- alcohol assessment and participation in recommended treatment, or, any other factor that mitigates the seriousness of the offense. 

    No matter what factors are in play in our case, your best outcome will only be attained through the acquisition of an experienced Criminal Lawyer  Raleigh. 

    Disclaimer - Information and advice offered in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is specific to North Carolina law. The viewing, receipt and/or exchange of information from this article does not constitute an Attorney-Client Relationship. For assistance regarding your particular legal question speak with an Attorney practicing in the field from which your questions derives.