Driver’s License Suspension
At Crosswhite, Crosswhite & Johnson, PLLC, we understand that losing your driving privilege can have an enormous impact on your life. Our DWI lawyers work hard to restore those benefits for individuals near Statesville and in other areas of North Carolina, including Mooresville, Taylorsville, and Mocksville. When you have been convicted of this offense, getting back on the road can be a key step toward resuming your normal life.Causes for Suspending the Driving Privilege
You can lose your driving privilege for a number of reasons. Suspensions may result from careless driving, racing, or accumulating “points” on your license. But Driving While Impaired (DWI) offenses are some of the most common reasons for loss of a driver’s license.
Most people know that a DWI can result in the loss of your driving privilege, but there are situations when your license can even be suspended if you have not actually had anything to drink. North Carolina recognizes a concept called “implied consent,” which states that in order to drive you must be willing to submit to a blood alcohol test. If you refuse to submit to an “Intoximeter” blood alcohol breath test, or if you refuse a blood test, your license will be automatically suspended. Your license can also be suspended if an officer believes your driving was impaired by drugs or of prescription medication.Types of Suspensions
When you are initially charged with a DWI offense, your license is immediately suspended without so much as a hearing. This initial suspension lasts for a set number of days, after which your license is typically returned until your hearing date. Although you will always spend some time under suspension, you can often secure a Limited Driving Privilege (LDP) for part of this period. This special relief from a judge may allow you to drive under strict stipulations controlling the time, date, and purpose of your driving.
Once your case is heard, you will either be found “not guilty,” and your driving privilege will be reinstated, or you will be convicted and a second suspension of your driving privilege will begin. The length of this post-conviction suspension can vary greatly, depending on your past driving record and the nature of your conviction. Standard DWI offenses carry a number of possible suspensions:
- First conviction: Driver’s license suspended for one year.
- Second conviction: Driver’s license suspended for four years if the prior offense occurred within three years of the current offense.
- Third conviction: “Permanent” revocation of your license if at least one of your earlier convictions happened within the past five years.
- Fourth conviction: “Permanent” revocation of your license. Your fourth can be considered a felony if the three prior DWI convictions occurred within the past ten years.
It is important to note that, even if your license has been suspended “permanently,” you may eventually qualify to apply for an LDP under some circumstances.
If a judge concludes that your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) was 0.15 or greater, you cannot obtain a Driving Privilege for at least 45 days following your conviction. Furthermore, the state will require you to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your car at your own expense.
Violations of suspension are a very serious matter. If you drive while your privileges are suspended or drive in a way that violates a judge’s stipulations in your LDP, your driving privilege may be suspended for an extended period, and you may face fines, jail time, and the seizure of your vehicle.Consult an Iredell County Lawyer to Explore Your Options After a DWI
When your license has been suspended, a knowledgeable attorney can help you work towards restoring your driving privileges or obtaining a limited privilege. However, you should take the time to choose a law firm with DWI defense experience. The Iredell County attorneys at Crosswhite, Crosswhite & Johnson, PLLC have represented individuals throughout Alexander and Davie Counties, as well as the Charlotte and Winston-Salem areas. Call us for a free consultation at (704) 873-7233 or use the contact form located on this page.