Punishment comes swiftly when you are arrested in North Carolina for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or refusing to take an Intoximeter blood alcohol breath test. Without so much as a hearing, you are automatically stripped of your driver’s license. The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is compelled by law to immediately suspend your driving privilege for six months for willfully refusing to submit to a breath or blood test. When you need to get back on the road, you can consult the DWI lawyers at Crosswhite, Crosswhite & Johnson, PLLC to explore your options. We represent individuals near Statesville and elsewhere in North Carolina, including Mooresville, Mocksville, and Taylorsville.Automatic Pre-Trial Suspension of Your Driving Privilege
If you are diligent, you can work quickly after being charged and try to obtain a restricted “work license,” called a Limited Driving Privilege (LDP), which allows you to drive to places like work and school. This LDP typically lasts from day 10 to day 30 of your initial 30-day revocation. Once 30 days have passed, your full drivers license is restored until the day of your DWI trial.Post-Trial DMV Restoration Hearings
If you lose your DWI case, your license is suspended for at least a year, and you will have to apply for another LDP. Depending on your DWI conviction, you may lose your driving privilege for several years, or you may even suffer a permanent revocation. But even when a revocation is “permanent,” you can sometimes present your case to the DMV again after a certain amount of time has passed.
More often than not, you eventually become eligible for a DMV hearing to argue for a limited privilege. At your hearing, you must prove to a DMV officer that you are not going to drive drunk again. However, you have already been convicted of a DWI offense, so now you need to assert a strong case for restoring your limited driving privilege. You must produce evidence, including an updated copy of your driving record and a freshly issued form “DL-123” proof of insurance. You need to show that you have successfully completed all of your prior court requirements, including assessment and community service requirements.
At your DMV restoration hearing, you are allowed to present witnesses who can attest to your character, and you can speak on your own behalf in order to convince the DMV officer of your reliability and sincerity. You must carefully prepare for this hearing in order to avoid creating an unflattering presentation. It is critical to have an experienced DMV hearings attorney who can argue your case, present the evidence, and carefully question your witnesses.DMV Refusal Hearings
Another type of DMV hearing is a refusal hearing. These hearings occur when you are accused of refusing to take an Intoximeter breathalyzer test. North Carolina recognizes a concept called “implied consent” that says drivers automatically consent to a blood alcohol test when they get behind the wheel. You can refuse the handheld “breathalyzer” test, but police officers will invariably send you to an “Intoximeter” breath test, where a first-time refusal will cost you your driving privilege for up to a year. After six months, you can request a Judge to issue you a limited privilege.
It is possible that an arresting officer failed to inform you of the consequences of refusal. Or perhaps you spoke unclearly, so the officer may have misinterpreted your answer as a refusal. You also may have a medical condition like COPD that prevented you from accurately performing the test. An experienced attorney can advise you and help you present your case in the best possible light if a hearing is necessary.Consult an Experienced Iredell County Lawyer to Mount a Strong Criminal Defense
When you are trying to obtain a limited driving privilege, a good attorney can be critical to your chances. Even in a DWI “refusal” case, you may still have options available at a DMV hearing.
If you have lost your driving privilege, you should seek advice from advocates with experience handling DMV hearings. Take the time to consult a capable criminal defense attorney who can represent your interests in Iredell County or the surrounding area. You can reach Crosswhite, Crosswhite & Johnson, PLLC for a free consultation at (704) 873-7233 or by using the contact form available on this site. Our clients also come from throughout Davie and Alexander Counties, as well as the communities near Charlotte and Winston-Salem.