A driver in North Carolina may have his or her driver’s license suspended or revoked for a number of reasons. Although suspension or revocation can certainly put a damper on an individual’s ability to get around, the good news is that suspension and revocation are rarely permanent.
If you are in this unfortunate situation, you should understand what do if your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked, the process for reinstating your license, and why working with a suspended license attorney is within your best interest.
Why Your License May Be Revoked or Suspended in North Carolina
There are a number of traffic offenses that may result in your license being suspended. IDriveSafely provides information about these traffic violations, as well as the related suspension periods. These include:
Traveling more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit when driving faster than 55 miles per hour. Your license can be suspended for 30 days.
Failure to stop and assist when involved in a car accident. Your license can be suspended for one year.
Racing on public roads or highways. Your license can be suspended for three years.
Your license may also be suspended or revoked if you have multiple traffic offenses (i.e. you have speeding and reckless driving violations within a single year), or if you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI).
The Difference Between a License Suspension and a License Revocation
Having your license revoked and having your license suspended are very similar, although the process for getting your license back is different.
When your license is suspended, it means that your privilege to drive is taken for a specified period of time but is then reinstated without you having to reapply for a new driver’s license, take a driving test, etc.
When your license is revoked, on the other hand, your driving privileges are completely terminated. According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, these privileges cannot be reinstated unless you meet certain eligibility requirements.
How to Reinstate a Suspended License in N.C.
You do not need to apply for a new driver’s license after your license has been suspended. Instead, once the specified suspension period is up:
- You will need to pay a restoration fee of $65. This fee is paid to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
- In the event that you did not return your driver’s license to the DMV before the suspension period began, you will also be liable for a $50 service fee.
- Finally, if you were convicted of a driving while impaired (DWI) charge, and it was for this reason that your license was suspended, you will also be required to pay a DWI reinstatement fee of $130.
How to Get Your License Back After a Revocation
The process of reinstating a driver’s license after it has been revoked, and not merely suspended, is much more complicated. You should know that the process of getting your license reinstated:
- May require a hearing.
- Will require you to pay a certain amount in fees.
- Could be better handled by a knowledgeable attorney.
For example, a third or subsequent DWI offense is punishable by a permanent driver’s license revocation. However, a hearing is allowed after three years’ time from the DWI conviction date. At the hearing, you will have a chance to present your case to the DMV stipulating why you deserve to have your driving privileges reinstated. A knowledgeable attorney can help you build a strong argument to take before the DMV.
If the hearing goes in your favor, then the next step is to apply for a driver’s license.
What Happens if I Drive Without a License?
When a person has had his or her driver’s license suspended or revoked, there may be temptation to drive without a license. However, driving without a license is ill-advised and illegal, and it may increase the suspension period and result in a large fine as well as losing your car.
If your license has been suspended or revoked, the best thing you can do is to request a hearing to have your license reinstated and to refrain from driving until that time.
Why Should I Work With a Suspended License Attorney?
If you need help getting a driver’s license back, it is recommended that you work with an experienced suspended license attorney. This is especially true if you would like to request a hearing with the DMV for license restoration, as DMV hearings are notoriously complicated and hard to win. If you have multiple offenses against you, the chances of your license reinstatement request being granted are slim without an experienced legal professional on your side who can present your case in a skilled and convincing manner.
Everyone makes mistakes. If you have turned your life around for the better, you do not deserve to have your driving privileges permanently revoked. For those who rely on their vehicles to transport their children, commute to work, and run essential errands, a license suspension or revocation can be extremely inconvenient, and even detrimental to that person’s life.
Contact Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., for a Suspended or Revoked License Case Review
At Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C., our dedicated NC DWI lawyers understand how troublesome a license suspension or revocation can be whether that is a car, truck or motorcycle. Our attorneys have the experienced and board-certified credentials that you are looking for when your driver’s license ─ and your future ─ are on the line.
If you have been convicted of a traffic offense in North Carolina and your driver’s license has been temporarily suspended or permanently revoked, our law firm wants to help. Begin the process by requesting a case review today ─ fill out our online form or contact our offices directly by phone.
We serve clients in Shelby, Cleveland County, Gaston County, Gastonia, Lincoln County, Lincolnton, Rutherford County, and Rutherfordton. If you are unable to travel to our location, we provide out-of-office and after-hours appointments.