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Woman gets split sentence in NC DWI, death by motor vehicle case

Prosecutors say that a 24-year-old woman in Brunswick County, North Carolina, was given a form of intermediate sentence upon conviction of death by motor vehicle and drunk driving charges this week. The woman was accused of driving while impaired and being under the influence of drugs when she crashed a Chevy Tahoe at the city limits of Boiling Spring Lakes, North Carolina in November 2011.

A friend of the driver was killed in that wreck. The woman accused of driving that night reportedly agreed to plead guilty to several charges, according to Port City Daily. The judge sentenced the woman to serve 36- to-53-months in prison. However, that time was suspended under an intermediate sentencing option.

The prison sentence was suspended and the young woman was ordered to serve nine months behind bars, followed by five years’ probation. The original sentence essentially will lay dormant, unless the woman does not fulfill terms and conditions of her intermediate sentence. Among the terms, the young woman must give presentations about the dangers of impaired driving to high school kids. In addition to the nine-month active sentence, she will be required to jail for 48 hours each year on the anniversary of the wreck.

When a person is convicted of a criminal charge in North Carolina, there may be options related to sentencing issues. Most people would expect that if prison or jail time is to be ordered at sentencing, then that is that. However, there may be several different outcomes at sentencing. North Carolina law generally has three different types of sentences.

Depending on a variety of factors in an individual case, a person may avoid jail and be placed on probation with the potential for jail or prison time hanging over his or her head in case there is an alleged violation of the probationary terms and conditions.

A second potential outcome is a split sentencing scenario, where a person receives a combination of time behind bars and probation. Often, this type of situation is referred to as intermediate sentencing. An active sentence generally refers to those situations where the person is sentenced to serve time behind bars.

Source: Port City Daily, “Brunswick County woman pleads guilty to felony death by motor vehicle, DWI,” Aug. 8, 2013