Cars are an absolute necessity in our everyday lives. Whether it’s going to work, dropping your kids off at school, or simply a short trip to the grocery store, most people use their cars for every commute.
Traffic violations can often cause people to either lose their license or have it suspended. Being unlicensed can put you at the mercy of public transport, Uber, and other unreliable means of transportation. This can often force people to carry on driving with a suspended license.
Driving with a license suspended, however, is a lawful offense. In North Carolina driving on a revoked license can have serious implications.
What Is The Difference Between A Revoked An Suspended License?
A license can be either revoked or suspended by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
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 DWI
- You commit certain offenses, such as hit and run or reckless driving
A license is typically only suspended if you fail to pay a fine, maintain insurance, or appear in court for a traffic violation.
How Is a Driver’s License Suspended?
There are many reasons your license can be suspended in North Carolina. While some are due to committing major offenses, some minor offenses can also lead to your license being revoked. Below are a few reasons:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Accumulation of a certain number of points on your driver’s license within 3 years.
- Failure to pay court fees
- Impaired during conviction
- Over speeding
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Not having car insurance
- Driving a commercial vehicle without the proper license
- Suspension for not fulfilling child support payments
If your license has been suspended, you will be notified by mail and given a date when your suspension will begin. If you continue to drive after your license has been suspended, you can be fined and/or imprisoned.
The penalty for driving with a suspended license in North Carolina?
The penalties for driving on a suspended or revoked license in North Carolina can be harsh. If this is your first time being caught, you may face the following penalties:
Driving with License Suspended First Offense
If you are caught driving with a suspended license you can be convicted of this offense. This is a Class 3 misdemeanor. It includes imprisonment of 1-10 days, a fine of no more than $200, and a further license suspension of 1 year.
Driving with License Suspended Second Offense
If you are caught driving with a license suspended for the second time, it is considered a Class 2 misdemeanor. The penalties include imprisonment of 60 days-6 months, a fine of no more than $1,000, and a further license suspension of 2 years.
Driving with License Suspended Third or Subsequent Offense
If you are caught driving with your license suspended for the third time or any subsequent offense, it is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. The penalties for this include imprisonment of 150 days-3 years, a fine of no more than $2,500, and a further license suspension of 3 years.
Can you go to jail for driving on a revoked license?
Yes, if you are driving on a revoked license in North Carolina, you can be subject to jail time.
If you drive without a license and are caught, it is considered a Class 2 misdemeanor offense. The penalties include imprisonment of 1-60 days and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
However, if you are driving without a license and are involved in an accident that results in serious injury or death, you can be charged with a felony. The penalties for this include imprisonment of 1-3 years and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
How To Avoid Jail Time For Driving On A Suspended License
There are a few ways you can avoid jail time if you are caught driving on a suspended license. If this is your first offense, you may be able to get what is called a Prayer for Judgment Continued or PJC. A PJC is when the judge hearing your case agrees to not convict you of the offense and instead continues the prayer for judgment.
This means that as long as you do not commit another similar offense within a certain period of time, usually 1-3 years, your record will remain clean.
Another way to avoid jail time is by getting what is called an intervenor sentence. This is when the court orders you to complete certain conditions such as attending drug and alcohol classes, community service, or completing a driver’s education course.
If you complete all the conditions of your intervenor sentence, then your charges will be dismissed and you will not have a conviction on your record.
Lastly, if you have a clean driving record and this is your first offense, you may be able to get what is called deferred prosecution. This means that your charges will be postponed for a certain period of time and as long as you do not commit another similar offense, your charges will ultimately be dismissed.
How Is a Suspended License Reinstated?
After a license is suspended, the driver in question is not allowed to drive until the period of suspension is over. At the end of the suspension period, you have to pay a fine and meet other requirements before you can drive again.
To have your license reinstated, you must:
- Pay a $100 reinstatement fee to the North Carolina DMV.
- Provide proof of insurance if your license was suspended for not having insurance.
- Complete any required driving school or alcohol treatment program.
- If your license was suspended for DWI, you must also install an ignition interlock device on your car.
Once you have met all the requirements and paid the fee, you will be able to get your license reinstated.
Should You Hire An Attorney If Your Driver’s License Is Suspended?
If your driver’s license is suspended, you should consider hiring an attorney. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected.
An attorney can also help you determine what the best course of action is in your case. If you are facing jail time, an attorney may be able to help you get a PJC or an intervenor sentence.
If you are facing a felony charge, an attorney can help you understand the charges against you and develop a defense strategy.
Driving with a license that is suspended or revoked is a serious offense in North Carolina. If you are caught driving on a suspended license, you can face jail time, fines, and a further suspension of your license. There are ways to avoid jail time if this is your first offense, such as getting a PJC or an intervenor sentence. To have your license reinstated after it has been suspended, you must pay a fee and meet other requirements.
Ensure you are giving yourself the best opportunity to get your license reinstated by hiring an experienced traffic lawyer to help you through the process.
At The Law Office of J.M. Kotzker, P.C., we have experience dealing with license suspensions and can help you get your license reinstated.
Has Your License Been Suspended? Contact Our Team Today!
Navigating the legal system alone can be difficult. At The Law Office of J.M. Kotzker, P.C., we can give you the legal representation you deserve. If you need help resolving your suspended or revoked license case, contact us today!