Driving While License Revoked (DWLR) in NC
Driving While License Revoked is a seriously criminal offense in North Carolina. Being convicted can carry heavy punishments that may effect your driving privileges. Even with recent changes to the North Carolina law that make certain DWLR’s less severe, the statutes can still be difficult to understand. It is incredibly important that someone consults with an attorney before handing this type of charge.
The Two Types of DWLR Charges in North Carolina
There are currently two types of DWLR charges in North Carolina, one based on a prior impaired driving charge and another based on non-impaired driving charges. The first one is generally called DWLR Impaired Revocation, and the second is generally called DWLR Not Impaired Revocation.
DWLR Impaired Revocation
This classification of DWLR is charged when someone’s license was originally revoked for a violation of an impaired driving statute. This includes revocations that can occur before a impaired driving charge is even set in court. A person can be charged with this offense if they are driving during a period of pre-trial suspension caused by being charged with DWI or for refusing to give a breath sample during their DWI investigation. Most commonly, someone is charged with DWLR Impaired Revocation for driving while their license is suspended for a DWI conviction. This charge is the most serious of the two DWLR classifications and is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor in North Carolina. The maximum punishment for this offense is 120 days in jail.
DWLR Not Impaired Revocation
There are many different scenarios that may lead to someone being charged with this classification of DWLR. Common reasons why someone’s drivers license can be suspended include accumulating too many drivers license points (12 DMV points within 3 years, or 8 points within 3 years following a previous reinstatement), a failure to appear in court (FTA), or being convicted of certain offenses, such as speeding over 15 mph in a 55 mph zone or speeding in excess of 80 mph. The length of revocations issued by DMV can also vary. This type of DWLR was recently decriminalized and is now classified as a Class 3 Misdemeanor in North Carolina. The maximum punishment for this offense is 20 days in jail, but this type of sentence is rare. In most instances, a DWLR Not Impaired Revocation can be dismissed if the accused fixes whatever issue initially revoked their driving privilege and they can be issued a new license.
How To Handle a DWLR Charge in North Carolina
The most common reason why someone is charged with DWLR is for failing to appear in a previous court case. Therefore, the most common way to handle a DWLR charge is to dispose of whatever prior issue created the suspension. It could be as simple as a forgot seatbelt ticket from a few months back or as complicated as numerous decades old tickets from several different states. In either event, an experienced attorney will need to pour over a person’s driving record to decipher where and how the old issues can be resolved.
It would be near impossible to go through how to handle every scenario that could be the cause of a person’s license being revoked. Take comfort in knowing that experienced attorneys can put you on the track of driving legally again.
North Carolina’s DWLR statutes are complicated, and different facts and circumstances in each case make it hard to lump these charges into broad categories. There are hundreds of scenarios that could lead to someone’s driving privileges being revoked. That is why it is incredibly important that someone use an experience criminal defense attorney to help navigate this murky section of law. Choosing the right attorney can make the difference in the immediate return of someone’s license or an extended suspension.
Steven has literally handled thousands of DWLR charges in Wake County and has reviewed thousands of driving records. During his time as a Wake County District Attorney, he was a supervisor who oversaw every DWLR charge in Wake County. Don’t waste a free opportunity to speak with a former prosecutor about getting your driving privileges back.