Fight for the Best Possible Outcome Against Your DWI

Wilmington DWI Attorney

Arrested for DWI? Call (910) 595-1377

Whiskey, car keys and handcuffs - Wilmington DWI lawyer

North Carolina has some of the strictest DWI laws in the nation. Even for a first-time offense, you may have your license revoked, face jail time, and be subject to fines. Protect your driving privileges and future today by calling our Wilmington NC DWI lawyer at James F. Rutherford, Attorney at Law, P.A.

Why clients choose our firm:

  • An advocate who truly cares for clients
  • 10+ years of trusted legal experience
  • Top-rating for ethics and legal skill (AV® rating)
  • Certified as a Specialist in Criminal Law
  • Certified in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing

If you've been pulled over for a DWI, the most important thing you can do is protect your rights. Avoid answering any incriminating questions, be polite when talking to the police officer, and immediately contact a DWI attorney in Wilmington if the stop leads to an arrest. Our Wilmington criminal defense attorneys can help you understand your options and walk you through complex DWI laws. You can count on our Wilmington DWI lawyers to fight for the best possible outcome inside and outside of court.

Don't face these charges alone. If you've been arrested for a DWI, call our firm today at (910) 595-1377.

DWI Penalties in North Carolina

In North Carolina, DWI penalties are based on "levels," with each level indicating the severity of the factors involved. Level A1 is the most serious while Level 5 is the least. When a judge assess DWI penalties, he or she will look at any mitigating or aggravating circumstances involved to determine your penalty level.

For a first-time DWI offense, you could be facing:

  • Up to 2 years in jail if grossly aggravating factors are involved
  • License revocation or suspension up to 1 year
  • Court costs and fines that increase if aggravating factors are involved
  • Community service

What Penalties am I Facing for my 2nd DUI?

For repeat offenders or DWI offenses with aggravating circumstances, you may be subject to:

  • Higher fines
  • Longer jail time
  • Mandatory installation of an interlock ignition device
  • Longer suspension periods

In addition to the criminal penalties, you may also face increased insurance premiums. In some extreme cases, you may even be denied coverage altogether if the company views you as a high-risk policyholder due to your DWI charges.

What Are Considered Aggravating Factors?

The most serious level of DWI that you can be charged with under North Carolina law, is Level 1 aggravated. As your penalties for this level can be severe, it is important to understand the factors that can lead to this conviction. The judge can determine your level on based on the following factors:

Aggravating Factors:

  • Speeding
  • Prior criminal or driving record
  • BAC of 0.15% or higher
  • Child in the vehicle (under 18 years old)
  • Driving with a suspended license
  • Reckless driving

Our Wilmington DWI attorney is prepared to defend you if you have been charged. Start your defense by calling (910) 595-1377 today.

Put a Certified Specialist on Your Side

James F. Rutherford is a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law by the North Carolina State Bar and has been Certified in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. He has an in-depth understanding of the law and how field sobriety tests are conducted - along with their many flaws and inaccuracies. Level the legal playing field by putting his unique expertise on your side. We'll work hard to help you challenge the DWI evidence against you and build a strong defense.

Call a Wilmington DWI lawyer at (910) 595-1377 to explore your defense options.

Our Clients Share Their Experience

  • “Outstanding professional, you're in great hands from the start.”


  • “He prepared us both for the proceedings and made the experience as stress-free as possible.”

    Kara B.

  • “He went above and beyond his duties as an attorney and handled my case with skill and tact.”


  • “You could see it on his face he actually cares about children in the school and their rights as individuals.”


  • “He stepped up and did an outstanding job.”


  • “He was able to get it dismissed and also represented my father who also won his case.”


  • “James is always willing to go the extra mile for his clients.”


  • “He was always in great communication with us, organized, and reliable, which gave us the utmost confidence in him.”


  • “James listened with intention, developed a strategy, thoroughly prepared me and completely made me feel assured that justice was on my side. ”

    Susan W.

  • “James Rutherford is the by far the best attorney to have to see you through your case.”


Contact Us Today to Get Started

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