If you’ve recently been charged with Driving While License Revoked (DWLR), there are likely a number of questions going through your mind: How serious is this charge? Could I possibly end up in jail? Can I get through this situation without further negatively impacting my license situation? You may even be wondering why your driver's license is revoked in the first place. These questions are all understandable and deserve attention. Driving While License Revoked is a misdemeanor level traffic offense that is generally much more complicated to resolve than a speeding ticket. Depending on your prior criminal and driving record, a conviction for DWLR could result in anything from a simple fine to further suspension of your license or even jail time. The potential for such drastic consequences means that it is imperative for you to take this charge seriously and reach out to an experienced attorney in North Carolina. The purpose of this article is simply to provide basic info about the charge you’re facing.
North Carolina DWLR Charges
Before discussing Driving While License Revoked, it’s important to first distinguish DWLR from other charges that may seem similar but are actually less serious offenses:
- No Operators License, often referred to as NOL, is a charge issued when a person is found to be driving but has never previously possessed a driver’s license granted by NC DMV.
- Expired Operators License is a charge issued when a person has previously been granted a driver's license by NC DMV but simply forgot to renew it in a timely fashion.
- Failure to Carry Valid Drivers License is a charge issued when a person has a valid, active drivers license, but forgot the actual physical license at home when they drove.
To differentiate, receiving a charge for Driving While License Revoked specifically means that for some reason the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles has suspended or revoked your driving privileges within the State of North Carolina. Notice we said your driving privileges within North Carolina. We make this distinction because your driving privilege in NC can be suspended in this state EVEN IF you have a valid and active license in another state!
Why did you receive a charge for Driving While License Revoked in North Carolina?
Now that we’ve distinguished DWLR from other similar sounding offenses, let’s review a few common reasons a person's driving privilege or driver’s license may be suspended:
1. Unresolved Traffic Tickets or Unpaid Fines
Outstanding charges for “Failure to Appear” (FTA) or “Failure to Pay” (FTP) are the most common reason that a person may have a revoked license. If you have received a ticket in the past (whether it was for speeding, expired registration, etc.) and missed your court date without rescheduling it, you probably received a charge for “Failure to Appear.” If this FTA went unresolved for more than 45 days, it was then likely forwarded to the NC DMV for entry of an indefinite suspension of your NC driving privileges. Similarly, if you received a ticket and either you or an attorney negotiated a resolution, but you never paid the court costs owed in the case, then you may have received a “Failure to Pay” charge which can also lead to a license suspension if not resolved in a timely manner. As you can understand, the State of North Carolina has an interest in making sure that persons appear for their criminal charges and also that they pay for the court costs owed. If you have an outstanding FTA or FTP on your record, there is a good chance this is the reason your license is currently revoked.
2. Driving Related Suspensions
Prior instances of poor driving which led the driver to be both charged and convicted for an offense are the second leading cause of license suspension or revocation. Suspension of a driver’s license for poor driving can happen for a number of reasons: you may have accumulated too many points on your license, you may have been convicted of a high speed (greater than 80mph or more than 15mph over the limit in a 55mph zone or higher), or you may have received certain combinations of speeding related convictions within a year.
3. Driving While Impaired (DWI)
Being charged with or convicted for Driving While Impaired is the third most common reason a person’s license may be suspended. When a person is initially charged with DWI, their license is suspended for at least 30 days, or until such time as they pay the “Civil Revocation Fee” which is required before their license can be returned. Similarly, when a person is convicted for DWI, their license is suspended for at least one full year or until they fulfill all the terms of their suspension (alcohol assessment/treatment, and potentially the installation of an interlock alcohol sensor device if there was an elevated blood alcohol level). If a person is caught driving during either of these periods of suspension, and does not possess a valid Limited Driving Privilege (LDP), they will likely be charged for Driving While License Revoked - Impaired, a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries a serious risk of jail time. If you have received this charge please contact a North Carolina attorney right away.
4. Miscellaneous Documentation Offenses
The least common reason for a license to be suspended is due to some sort of documentation concern. A non-exhaustive list of these possible issues includes: failure to maintain adequate automobile liability insurance, failure to deposit security to cover damages that may have arisen from an automobile collision, failure to provide medical documentation regarding fitness to drive (epilepsy, narcolepsy), illegal transportation of alcohol without the proper permit, or fraudulent use of a license or learner’s permit.
Reinstatement of your License
Now that we’ve gone through a number of the reasons that a person’s license may be suspended, it’s important to know that resolving just the DWLR citation itself won’t lead to a reinstatement of your license. All underlying issues that are causing the suspension must be resolved before the license may be reinstated. Given this, our goal at iTicket.law is not just to resolve your pending charge for DWLR, but instead to help you figure out if and how we can get you back on the road legally. That means reviewing your driving record and helping you figure out what needs to be done in order to get your license reinstated. We have attorneys in over 80 counties in North Carolina which means we can seek to help our clients resolve many of their Failure to Appear cases across the state. If you have multiple outstanding cases in multiple locations, you can avoid having to coordinate between multiple different firms - a headache definitely worth avoiding!
“Well that’s great, but I know I have a really complicated driving record and I’m worried I can’t get my license reinstated, what about me?”
We know that every case is different, and for some persons (especially those who have received permanent revocation) reinstatement may not be possible in the time span of your active case. We are dedicated to working with our clients on finding the best resolution for you, whatever your circumstances.
DWLR tickets are serious and having an attorney at your side throughout the process is an invaluable aid. Give us a call at (919) 200-0822 to speak for free to a member of our team about your Driving While License Revoked ticket.
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