In North Carolina, the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) revokes your driver’s license if you’re charged with driving while impaired (DWI). If it happens to you, it’s in your best interest to speak promptly with an experienced Winston-Salem driver’s license lawyer at LAWSMITH, the Law Offices of J. Scott Smith.
Two kinds of penalties can be imposed if you are charged with DWI in North Carolina. You can be prosecuted on a criminal DWI charge in the state’s criminal courts, but you’ll also face an “administrative” driver’s license suspension imposed by the Division of Motor Vehicles.
WHEN IS A DRIVER’S LICENSE REVOKED BY THE DMV?
When a motorist is charged with DWI in North Carolina, that driver is subject to an automatic thirty-day license revocation if he or she:
- refuses a breathalyzer test to determine his or her BAC (blood alcohol content) level
- is 21 or older and is driving with a BAC level at or over 0.08 percent
- has a previous DWI conviction and is driving with a BAC level at or over 0.04 percent
- is a commercial driver and is driving with a BAC level at or over 0.04 percent
- is under 21 and is driving with any trace of any blood alcohol content
FOR HOW LONG WILL SOMEONE’S DRIVING PRIVILEGE BE SUSPENDED?
A license may be revoked for one year in this state after a first DWI conviction. A restricted license can be issued if no one was injured in the DWI incident, no passenger was under the age of sixteen, and the offender agrees to a substance abuse assessment.
To restore a driver’s license after a one-year revocation, the offender must attend alcohol education sessions or treatment as outlined in the substance abuse assessment. A second DWI conviction in a three-year period will trigger a four-year driver’s license revocation.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY FOR REFUSING TO TEST?
If a law enforcement officer in this state stops you in traffic and asks you to take a breathalyzer test, if you refuse, a thirty-day license suspension is imposed. You can request a hearing to fight for your license, but if you don’t prevail, you’ll be penalized with a one-year license suspension.
Even if you are not found guilty of DWI by a criminal court, a one-year suspension is still the penalty for a refusal to test. In such cases, a restricted license may be issued after six months.
WHAT HAPPENS AT A DMV LICENSE SUSPENSION HEARING?
A DMV hearing is your chance to retain your driving privilege and avoid a year-long revocation. As soon as possible when you’ve been charged with DWI, arrange to meet with an experienced Winston-Salem driver’s license lawyer and ask that lawyer to request a DMV hearing for you.
If you do not make the request for a hearing, your driving privilege is automatically suspended or a year. You should understand that a DMV hearing is entirely administrative and completely separate from your criminal DWI case.
HOW CAN YOU BE SURE THAT YOU’VE CHOSEN THE RIGHT ATTORNEY?
You should be represented at a DMV hearing by an experienced DWI defense lawyer with LAWSMITH, the Law Offices of J. Scott Smith. We are the attorneys that scores of DWI clients have relied on for effective defense representation.
We will fight for your driving privilege at a DMV hearing, and we also provide comprehensive defense in DWI criminal cases to clients throughout the Winston-Salem or Greensboro area.
If you’ve been charged with DWI and you’re at risk of losing your license to drive, speak now to an attorney at LAWSMITH. Call 336-306-8644 or use the contact form here on our website. With offices in Winston-Salem and Greensboro, we will fight aggressively on your behalf.