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Raleigh, NC 27601

DMV Hearings

The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has the power to suspend or revoke the driver's licenses of motorists in the Tar Heel State who have been convicted of certain traffic offenses. In order to have driving privileges reinstated, many alleged offenders must request hearings to argue for reinstatement of their driver’s license.

While DMV hearings are not held in traditional courtrooms, they still follow procedures that are similar to criminal trials. In addition to presenting evidence and witnesses to support their cases, alleged offenders will testify under oath and answer questions about their driving history (as well as possible alcohol consumption if the suspension or revocation is related to a drunk driving offense).

Attorney for DMV Hearings in Raleigh, NC

If you need to request a hearing to resolve your North Carolina driver's license suspension or revocation, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. The Coolidge Law Firm helps clients accused of traffic violations in Apex, Holly Springs, Garner, Fuquay-Varina, Cary, Knightdale, and many surrounding areas in Wake County.

David Coolidge is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Raleigh who also defends students at such local institutions of higher learning as North Carolina State University, Meredith College, Duke University, and Shaw University. Call (919) 239-8448 to have our attorney review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.


Overview of DMV Hearings in North Carolina


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Types of License Suspensions and Revocations in Wake County

People can have their licenses suspended or revoked in North Carolina for a variety of reasons. The underlying offense that leads to a suspension or revocation determines when an alleged offender is eligible for a DMV hearing.

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), the lengths of suspensions or revocations and hearing eligibility is as follows for these common traffic violations:

Offense

Length of Suspension/
Revocation

Discretionary Pre-Hearing Allowed

Hearing Allowed After Mandated Minimum Time

Driving While Impaired (DWI) — First Offense

One year

No

No

DWI — Second Offense

Four years

No

Yes (Two years)

DWI — Third or Subsequent Offense

Permanent

No

Yes (Three years from date of last conviction)

DWI Test Refusal

One year

Yes

No

30-Day Civil Revocation

30 days (extends until compliance with the court)

No

No

Driving with Suspended or Revoked License — First Offense

One year

No

Yes (90 days)

Driving with Suspended or Revoked License — Second Offense

Two years

No

Yes (One year)

Driving with Suspended or Revoked License — Third or Subsequent Offense

Permanent

No

Yes (Three years)

Failure to Appear

Indefinite

No

No

Failure to Pay Fine

Indefinite

No

No

Speed Over 55 MPH and Exceeding Limit by More Than 15 MPH — First Offense

30 days

No

No

Speed Over 55 MPH and Exceeding Limit by More Than 15 MPH — Second Offense within 12 Months

60 days

No

No

Speed Over 55 MPH and Exceeding Limit by More Than 15 MPH with Conviction for Reckless Driving

60 days

No

No

Speed Over 55 MPH and Exceeding Limit by More Than 15 MPH — Two Convictions Speeding Over 55 MPH in 12 Months

Up to six months

Yes

No

Accumulation of 12 Points in Three Years
—OR—
8 Points in Three Years Following Reinstatement of License — First Suspension

60 days

Yes

Yes

Accumulation of 12 Points in Three Years
—OR—
8 Points in Three Years Following Reinstatement of License — Second Suspension

Six months

Yes

Yes

Accumulation of 12 Points in Three Years
—OR—
8 Points in Three Years Following Reinstatement of License — Third or Subsequent Suspension

One year

Yes

Yes

Moving Violation While License Suspended— First Offense

One year

No

Yes (90 days)

Moving Violation While License Suspended— Second Offense

Two years

No

Yes (One year)

Moving Violation While License Suspended— Third or Subsequent Offense

Permanent

No

Yes (Three years)

Violation of Ignition Interlock Restriction

One year

Yes

No


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Raleigh DMV Hearing Process

When an alleged offender is eligible to request a DMV hearing, he or she will need to submit various forms and required documentation. Instead of a judge, any DMV hearing is overseen by a hearing officer.

During a DMV hearing, an alleged offender may submit evidence or call witnesses to present the case as to why his or her license should be reinstated. Evidence that can be submitted may include proof of DWI breath tests being improperly administered, false positives on ignition interlock device tests, or other law enforcement errors.

A criminal defense lawyer may be able to file a motion for appropriate relief in order to challenge a previous judgment and possible get your license reinstated. Even if the DMV hearing does not provide the relief that you are seeking, you will have 30 days to appeal the decision to Superior Court.


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DMV Hearing Resources in North Carolina

NCDOT | License Suspensions and Revocations — NCDOT is responsible for maintaining approximately 80,000 miles of roadways as well as 18,000 bridges and culverts across North Carolina in addition to regulating and implementing programs to support rail, aviation, ferry, public transit and bicycle and pedestrian transportation. The department includes the North Carolina DMV, whose mission statement establishes that the division "delivers quality motor vehicle services, promotes highway safety and furnishes timely and accurate information by providing excellent customer service, enforcing motor vehicle laws and maintaining the integrity of official DMV records." On this section of the NCDOT website, you can learn more about suspensions and revocations, find information about fines and payment options, and read answers to frequently asked questions.

Share the Road | North Carolina Driver's Handbook — View the full text of the handbook NCDOT provides motorists in the Tar Heel State. Learn more about your license, your driving privilege, and how the DMV serves you. Hearings are also discussed under the Suspension section of the handbook.


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The Coolidge Law Firm | Raleigh DMV Hearing Lawyer

Has your driver's license been suspended or revoked in the Research Triangle? If you are eligible for a DMV hearing, you will want to be certain that you have knowledgeable legal representation. The Coolidge Law Firm represents individuals in communities all over Wake County, such as Zebulon, Raleigh, Wake Forest, Rolesville, Morrisville, Wendell, and many others.

Raleigh criminal defense attorney David Coolidge also helps students at local colleges like Wake Technical Community College (Wake Tech), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and William Peace University. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation as soon as you call (919) 239-8448 or complete an online contact form today.



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David Coolidge
David A. Coolidge
is heading up our team as criminal defense attorney and graduate at the top of his class from Duke University School of Law ...
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Brent Blakesley
manages the daily operations at Coolidge Law Firm. Brent graduated from Duke University in 2008 with a BA in Computer Science, BA in Linguistics ...
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