Driving While License Revoked

Most people drive every day of their lives.  Losing your driving privilege can adversely affect school, work, child care, virtually every aspect of your life.  You may have lost your license for a variety reasons.  But for whatever reason, you cannot ignore a revoked or suspended license.  Doing so, can result in you being pulled over by an officer, arrested, and forced to face enormous penalties that include jail, fines, increased insurance rates, and even further revocation of your driving privilege.  You will also have a criminal record. 

A person arrested for driving while license revoked (DWLR) now has two issues to address instead of one: reinstating the revoked or suspended license as well as criminal charges for driving without a valid license. Some people can be charged with this crime despite not knowing that their licenses had been suspended or revoked.  We can help!  We can assist you in restoring your driving privilege and getting the DWLR charge dismissed. 

Raleigh DWLR Lawyer

Were you recently arrested for DWLR or driving while your license was suspended? Instead of pleading guilty and hoping for mercy from the court, speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you reduce or eliminate the possible consequences of a conviction.  Just pleading guilty and paying your DWLR ticket can lead to serious consequences. 

Coolidge Law Firm helps guide Wake County residents through this complicated process, and we fight to defend residents of such areas as Raleigh, Cary, Holly Springs, Apex, Knightdale, Morrisville, Wendell, and many more. Call (919) 239-8448 right now to set up a free, confidential consultation that will let our firm review your case and discuss your legal options.


Issues in a DWLR Case in North Carolina


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Reasons for Drivers License Revocation in Wake County

A North Carolina driver’s license may be suspended or revoked for any one or combination of several circumstances, including:

  • Accumulating 12 Driver License Points within three years
  • Accumulating eight Driver License Points within three years of having license reinstated following a suspension
  • Driving While Impaired (DWI) conviction
  • Failure to appear in court
  • Misdemeanor or felony death by vehicle conviction
  • One conviction for speeding over 75 mph
  • One conviction of speeding over 55 mph and one conviction of reckless driving within a 12 month period
  • Speeding in excess of 55 mph, at least 15 mph over legal limit
  • Two convictions of speeding over 55 mph within a 12 month period
  • Unpaid traffic tickets
  • Unpaid court costs
  • Willful racing with another motor vehicle
  • Willful refusal to submit to a blood or breath test

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North Carolina DWLR Charges

Under North Carolina General Statute § 20-28, any person who drives any motor vehicle on North Carolina highways while his license is revoked can be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor. However, this offense is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor if the person’s license was originally revoked for an impaired driving revocation.

An impaired driving license revocation is defined in North Carolina General Statute § 20-28.2 as a revocation pursuant to a violation of one of the following offenses:

  • North Carolina General Statute § 20-13 — Alleged offender less than 21 years old willfully refused to submit to a chemical analysis or was convicted of offense involving impaired driving
  • North Carolina General Statute § 20-16(a)(8b) — Alleged offender violated a regulation of a military installation prohibiting conduct substantially similar to conduct that constitutes impaired driving
  • North Carolina General Statute § 20-16.2 — Refusal of implied consent to chemical analysis
  • North Carolina General Statute § 20-16.5 — Immediate civil license revocation for certain persons charged with implied-consent offenses
  • North Carolina General Statute § 20-17(a)(2) — Impaired driving
  • North Carolina General Statute § 20-17(a)(12) — A second or subsequent conviction of transporting an open container of alcoholic beverage
  • North Carolina General Statute § 20-138.5 — Habitual impaired driving
  • North Carolina General Statute § 20-16(a)(7) — Alleged offender committed an offense in another state, which if committed in North Carolina would be grounds for suspension or revocation
  • North Carolina General Statute § 20-17(a)(1) — Manslaughter (or negligent homicide) resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle
  • North Carolina General Statute § 20-17(a)(3) — Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used
  • North Carolina General Statute § 20-17(a)(9) — Felony and misdemeanor death by vehicle, felony serious injury by vehicle, aggravated offenses, repeat felony death by vehicle, or any other offense listed under North Carolina General Statute § 20-141.4
  • North Carolina General Statute § 20-17(a)(11) — Conviction of assault with a motor vehicle

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Wake County Penalties for DWLR

Because North Carolina utilizes a complex “structured sentencing” method of determining punishments, the possible consequences of being convicted for DWLR depend on the alleged offender’s criminal record. A higher prior conviction level increases the maximum sentence for an alleged offender, and misdemeanor prior conviction levels are as follows:

  • Prior Conviction Level I — No prior convictions
  • Prior Conviction Level II — One to four prior convictions
  • Prior Conviction Level III — Five or more prior convictions

With the misdemeanor class level and the prior conviction level, a judge can impose one of three forms of punishment for a conviction:

  • Active Punishment — This type of sentence requires an alleged offender to be incarcerated in a local confinement facility (jail) if the sentence is 90 days or less, or he is committed to the Statewide Misdemeanant Confinement Program and serves the sentence in a local confinement facility designated by the program if the sentence is more than 90 days
  • Intermediate Punishment — This requires a sentence of supervised probation and may include one or more conditions such as drug treatment court, house arrest with electronic monitoring, community service, substance abuse assessment, or other requirements
  • Community Punishment — Any sentence other than active punishment that may include assignment to drug treatment court, special probation, house arrest with electronic monitoring, community service, period or periods of confinement in a local confinement facility, substance abuse assessment, monitoring, or treatment

Alleged offenders charged with DWLR face the following possible sentences:

  • Class 3 Misdemeanor, Prior Conviction Level I — 1 to 10 days Community Punishment
  • Class 3 Misdemeanor, Prior Conviction Level II — 1 to 15 days Community or Intermediate Punishment
  • Class 3 Misdemeanor, Prior Conviction Level III — 1 to 20 days Community, Intermediate, or Active Punishment
  • Class 1 Misdemeanor, Prior Conviction Level I — 1 to 45 days Community Punishment
  • Class 1 Misdemeanor, Prior Conviction Level II — 1 to 45 days Community, Intermediate, or Active Punishment
  • Class 1 Misdemeanor, Prior Conviction Level III — 1 to 120 days Community, Intermediate, or Active Punishment

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Find a DWLR Lawyer in Raleigh

If you have been arrested in North Carolina for DWLR or driving while your license was suspended, you should immediately contact a criminal defense attorney who will work to achieve the most favorable outcome to your case. Coolidge Law Firm will stand by your side and fight get charges reduced or dismissed.

Our firm serves clients throughout the greater Wake County area, including such communities as Raleigh, Fuquay-Varina, Wake Forest, Zebulon, Garner, and Cary. We can provide a complete and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (919) 239-8448 today to schedule a free legal consultation.

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