|July 20, 2012|
For those charged with a North Carolina DWI, they are already aware of what an absolute nightmare this charge carries with it. From attorneys fees, court costs, Substance Abuse Assessment, North Carolina Insurance Points, Interlock, etc. there are many things that come with a DWI charge and none of them are pleasant. as a Durham DWI Lawyer and a Raleigh DWI Lawyer I see this frustration all the time. What is probably the most baffling thing that occurs with a North Carolina DWI Charge is the 'punishment' that the Driver receives BEFORE he or she is EVER CONVICTED of ANY CRIME WHATSOEVER!
That's right, ladies and gentleman, the State of North Carolina punishes those Driving on our wonderful streets and highways for merely being charged with a crime. While most would find this concept upsetting, and very much unconstitutional, the fact is, it is still law in North Carolina. So, what is it I am referring to when I put 'punishment' in quotation marks.
If someone is simply CHARGED with a North Carolina DWI, that driver will lose their license for 30 days. Again, no matter the facts surrounding the case, no matter how innocent the driver may seem, if charged with a DWI, the driver loses their license for 30 days. Now, the driver can petition the court for a Limited Driving Privilege however there are several problems with that. First, the Privilege can not be granted for the first ten days of the 30 day suspension, so no matter what, the driver cannot drive for ten days after being charged with a DWI in North Carolina. Second, the petition cost $100, so that is $100 for the 'privilege to drive for 20 days for having been CHARGED with a crime. Lastly, the Privilege has restriction on it, namely; the driver can only drive Monday through Friday, 6 AM until 8 PM for work, school, or household needs. If there is a need to drive outside those hours/days for school or work purposes, the driver must present to the court something in writing from school and/or work indicating those needs. Even then, a petition is a request that the court grant it, there is no guarantee.
Okay, so lose your license for 30 days, and if you want to drive sooner, you can pay $100 and get a limited driving privilege, that's not so bad, right? Well, after 30 days, you MUST PAY the "Implied Consent Violation" fee of $100 to get your license back. That's right, ANOTHER One-Hundred Dollar 'Fee' without ever having been convicted of anything. That is, One-Hundred Dollars to get back your license you lawfully had in the first place. And, before you think you'll just not drive for a while, no matter when you want to get your license back, you STILL Must may that $100 Implied Consent Fee. That has even gone for my out-of-state clients who didn't have a North Carolina License to suspend for 30 days. NC puts it as an outstanding fee and most other states won't grant you driving privileges in their state until it has been resolved.
And now for the best part. Even if you are found not guilty, even if the Officer doesn't show up and the District Attorney has to dismiss the charge against you, you are NOT REFUNDED THESE EXPENSES! So, even if the State of North Carolina was completely wrong in charging you with a DWI, you will still be out these costs because you were CHARGED with the crime!
If you have been charged with DWI in North Carolina, contact a local DWI Attorney for recommendations on how to handle your particular case. About the Author
I am North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney who also practices as a Raleigh DWI Lawyer practicing in Raleigh, Durham and the greater Triangle area. In addition to Raleigh Criminal Lawyer, I also handle North Carolina traffic citations with a focus on North Carolina DWI charges.
Disclaimer - Information and advice offered in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is specific to North Carolina law. The viewing, receipt and/or exchange of information from this article does not constitute an Attorney-Client Relationship. For assistance regarding your particular legal question speak with an Attorney practicing in the field from which your questions derives.