Consequences of Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License in North Carolina

The loss of one’s driving privileges can wreak havoc on a person’s life. Oftentimes, we don’t realize how essential a driver’s license is to our day-to-day activities, until it is suddenly lost. How will you get to work? Who will take the children to school? Without a driver’s license you won’t even be able to run simple errands such as going to the grocery store, doctor’s office, or any other daily task. Going out of town or for a night out with friends is simply out of the question, unless you have a ride.

No matter how desperate a person may feel, driving on a suspended or revoked license is not the answer. Anyone who decides to drive after driving privileges have been revoked is endangering others, as well as violating the law. If you have been involved in a car accident with a driver whose license has been suspended or revoked, seek counsel from an experienced Raleigh car accident lawyer at once.

Driving With a Revoked License Is a Serious Offense in North Carolina

In the state of North Carolina, driving with a revoked license is a very serious offense. Driving is considered to be a privilege which is earned, and is not a right. Drivers who have had this privilege taken away, whether it was for reckless driving, an alcohol-related offense, or causing an accident with severe or fatal injuries, must take the license revocation very seriously.

Drivers who are found to have be driving with a suspended or revoked license may find themselves facing a Class 1 misdemeanor charge under North Carolina General Statute §20-28. If convicted, penalties could include hefty fines, as well as jail time. Drivers who have less than four convictions may be sentenced to between one and 45 days. Those with five or more convictions could face up to 120 days behind bars.

Driving with a revoked license can also result in the loss of driving privileges for additional periods of time, or on a permanent basis. Any person who attempts to drive with a suspended or revoked driver’s license while alcohol-impaired, may have their vehicle seized, particularly if they have had their license revoked for a DWI conviction.

Reasons Your License May Get Suspended or Revoked

A person’s driver’s license can be suspended or revoked for a number of reasons; driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI), an alcohol-impaired accident, fleeing or failing to stop at the scene of an accident, speeding, and a variety of other offenses.

According to the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the following are some of the driving offenses that may result in the suspension or revocation of a person’s driver’s license, above and beyond any criminal charges he or she may face:

OffenseTime of Suspension
Obtaining a learner’s permit or license under false pretenses1 year
First speeding in excess of 55 mph, at least 15 mph over legal limit30 days
Second speeding in excess of 55 mph, at least 15 mph over legal limit60 days
Speeding in excess of 55 mph, at least 15 mph over legal limit, and while attempting to evade officers and avoid arrest1 year
Speeding and reckless driving (same event)60 days
Two charges of reckless driving within a 12-month span1 year
Willful racing with another vehicle3 years*
Watching, betting on, or loaning a car for a prearranged race3 years*
First DWI1 year
Second DWI4 years
Third and subsequent DWIsPermanent Revocation
Willful refusal to submit to a blood or breath test1 year
Misdemeanor death by vehicle1 year
Felony death by vehiclePermanent Revocation

*This offense will also result in the seizure of your vehicle.

A person’s driver’s license may also be suspended if he or she gets two speeding convictions within a 12-month period of time, one speeding conviction and one reckless driving conviction within a 12-month period of time, or a conviction for speeding in excess of 75 miles per hour. Sentences imposed by the court may revoke a person’s driving privileges in certain other situations.

Getting Your Driver’s License Reinstated

Drivers may be able to get their driver’s licenses reinstated once the required waiting period has passed, per N.C.G.S. §20-28 (a2-c). Under this law, individuals who have received a one year suspension of driving privileges may be eligible to apply for a license after 90 days. Those whose privileges have been revoked for two years can apply after one year, and even drivers whose license has been permanently revoked could meet the eligibility requirements necessary to apply for a license after three years have passed.

Part of getting one’s license reinstated will include a restoration fee, as dictated by N.C. G.S. § 20-7(i1). For many people, the restoration fee will be $50.00, however drivers who have had their privileges revoked for DWI or DUI may be required to pay $100.00. Drivers who have had their licenses suspended or revoked for health reasons are not required to pay a restoration fee.

How a Raleigh Car Accident Attorney Can Help

Driving with a suspended or revoked license is dangerous and illegal. If you have been involved in a car accident you believe to have been caused by a driver who was driving while his or her license was suspended or revoked, contact our attorneys at once for a free consultation. In this consultation, a Raleigh car accident attorney can review your case and advise you of the legal options open to you.

Our attorneys have decades of legal experience helping accident victims and their families. We not only understand the dangers of driving on a revoked license, we are compassionate about the pain and suffering that comes about when a driver has violated the law by driving with suspended or revoked license, and causes a serious or fatal car accident. Let us be the aggressive advocate you will need to seek justice.


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