Will I Lose My Driving Privileges If Convicted on a DUI Charge?

North Carolina residents who are facing DUI charges likely have a lot of questions about how it will affect them if the court ultimately convicts them. The truth is, a DUI charge can affect you both personally and professionally. For example, you may lose your driving privileges temporarily or permanently.

How can I find out how long a suspension or revocation will last? Can I fight a suspension or revocation?

Suspension and revocation reasons and time lines

According to the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, there are various reasons as to why the state may suspend or revoke your license. For DUI offenses, though, state laws are as follows:

  • First-time offense: If convicted on a first-time offense, license suspension or revocation may last one year.
  • Second-time offense: If convicted a second time, your license suspension or revocation can last four years.
  • Third or subsequent offenses: If you have three or more DUI convictions on your record, a judge may take away your driving privileges permanently.
  • Refusing chemical testing: If you refuse a breath, blood or urine test, there is a mandatory license suspension period of one year.
  • Ignition interlock violation: If convicted on an ignition interlock violation, license suspension may last for one year.

Getting your license restored is a possibility, though, if you satisfy all the necessary requirements.

Fighting suspension or revocation

Fighting to have your license restored early is not easy. In some cases, mandatory suspension or revocation periods make it impossible. In other cases, there are time lines in place for which one can request a hearing to have one's case reviewed. For example, following a third or subsequent DUI conviction that results in a permanent loss of driving privileges, one can actually ask to have his or her license restored three years from the date of conviction.

If the judge dismisses your DUI charge but you find that the situation still affects your driving privileges, your legal counsel can help you take action to get them restored as soon as possible.

Don't go it alone

Losing your driving privileges can affect your family and your job, particularly if you have a professional license on the line. Because you stand to lose so much if convicted on a DUI charge, having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side will prove invaluable.