Penalties for Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License in North Carolina

If You’re Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License in NC -Keep Reading

If you have had your driver’s license revoked or your license has been suspended, you are dealing with a major inconvenience. Most cities in North Carolina are designed in a way that makes driving a car a necessity. There are very few walkable cities locally like you find in large metropolitan areas. Commuting to work, taking children to school and extracurricular activities, going to doctor appointments, and going grocery shopping, for the most part, require using a car. You may be tempted to continue to drive and take your chances of being stopped.

Driving when your license has been suspended or revoked is a lawful offense that can have serious consequences. Your Raleigh traffic lawyers at Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh have experience representing any serious misdemeanors, such as Driving While License Revoked (DWLR). We can guide you through your case and offer our knowledge and assistance. Read further in this post to learn the offenses that can result in a suspended or revoked license and the penalties for driving on a suspended or revoked license in North Carolina.

Four Offenses

On December 1, 2015, North Carolina changed its laws to be less severe for some offenses. These are the four offenses that are delineated currently:

  • 1.) Driving While License Revoked (DWLR) – You can be convicted if you know that your driver’s license has been revoked and you drive a motor vehicle on a highway or road. This is a Class 3 misdemeanor, but a violation may not result in an additional driver’s license suspension.
  • 2.) Impaired driving suspension – Driving when your license has been suspended for impaired driving and you have received a required notice under North Carolina law of the suspension is a violation of the law. This is a Class 1 misdemeanor that can result in an additional driver’s license suspension.
  • 3.) Driving without reclaiming license – When you are charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), your driver’s license is revoked immediately. If the time for the revocation has expired and you have not reclaimed your license but are caught driving, you can be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor. This does not result in an additional revocation of your license.
  • 4.) Driving after notification – If you are pulled driving after failing to appear for a DWI court date or after receiving a notice from the Department of Motor Vehicles that your license has been suspended, you will be cited for a Class 1 misdemeanor and you may face an additional driver’s license suspension.

The Difference Between a Revoked License and a Suspended License

In North Carolina, your license can be taken away in two different ways–revocation and suspension. A suspension is losing your driving privileges for a limited period of time. A revocation is a permanent loss of driving privileges.

A suspended license can be either definite or indefinite. A definite suspension has a set end date. Once the date arrives and you have paid all the fines, you get your license reinstated. An indefinite suspension doesn’t have a set time assigned to it. Instead, it requires you to meet certain demands such as paying fines, taking certain courses, or having a medical review to make sure you can drive safely.

A revoked license is a canceled license. To drive again, an individual with a revoked license must pay any required fines and proceed through the licensing process again to get a new license.

Your license may be revoked if:

  • You accumulate too many points on your driving record
  • You are convicted of a serious traffic offense, such as a DWI
  • You commit certain offenses, such as a hit and run or reckless driving

Penalties for Driving While Your License is Suspended

While the precise penalties depend on your circumstances, you could face the following punishments:

  • Up to 120 days in jail
  • Fines to be set by the judge
  • Driver’s license suspension of an additional one year for the first offense, two years for a second offense, and a lifetime revocation for a third offense
  • Eight points on your vehicle insurance policy, which can result in your premiums increasing up to 220 percent for the next three years under N.C.’s Safe Driver Incentive Plan
  • Additionally, you can receive a permanent criminal record if you are convicted of a misdemeanor offense.

How to Reinstate a Suspended License in N.C.

Our suspended license lawyers can represent you so you don’t have to navigate through the process alone. 

Here is how to get your license reinstated when it has been suspended. You do not have to apply for a new driver’s license. Once either the specified suspension period is met or the requirements for an indefinite suspension have been fulfilled:

  • You will need to pay a restoration fee of $65 to the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
  • If you did not return your driver’s license to the DMV before the suspension period began, you are liable for a $50 service fee.
  • If you were convicted of a DWI charge, and it was for this reason that your license was suspended, you will also be required to pay a DWI reinstatement fee of $130.

How to Regain Your License After It Has Been Revoked

Getting your license reinstated after it has been revoked is more difficult than after a suspension. The process can involve:

  • Having a hearing
  • Paying a certain amount in fees
  • Retaining a knowledgeable attorney

For instance, a third or subsequent DWI offense is punishable by a permanent driver’s license revocation. However, a hearing is allowed after three years from the DWI conviction date. At the hearing, you have the chance to present your case to the DMV outlining why you deserve to have your driving privileges reinstated. If the hearing results favorably for you, the next step is to apply for a driver’s license.

Contact Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh for Traffic Violation Offenses

If your license has been suspended or revoked, call Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh for knowledgeable representation. The consequences are severe if you are found driving without a license. Don’t risk spending time in jail. Contact our firm today at (919) 845-6688 or by filling out our contact form to request a complimentary consultation from a Raleigh driver’s license attorney at our firm.