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Category Archives: Driving Laws

Special Rules For Young Drivers

There are several rules for young drivers that are important to know as certain offenses and convictions by young drivers have a different impact then the same offenses and convictions by older drivers.

For instance, in advancing to the next stage of graduated licensing, a conviction of a moving violation will delay the ability to obtain a full or less restrictive license. Moreover, a teen driver will lose their license for 12 months or until they receive an eligibility certificate or high school diploma if they are suspended from school or have long term disciplinary action.

Lastly, a provisional licensed driver will lose his or her license for 30 days if they receive a second moving offense within 12 months of each other and will lose their license for 90 days for a third moving violation within 12 months of the first conviction.

This is more restrictive then the rules affecting a full license holder since only two speeding tickets over 55 mph in 12 months will revoke the license of a full license holder. The bottom line is that as a limited license holder you need to be a careful driver.

DWLR “non-moving violation” can cause a revocation quirk

I previously wrote about the change in the DWLR system so that a conviction of a DWLR not involved an impaired revocation is no longer considered a moving violation.

See N.C.G.S. 20-28.1. As such, a DWLR conviction will not automatically cause a one year (or longer) suspension of one’s license privilege.

However, what recently came as a surprise to me, is that a conviction of DWLR actually causes 2 license points to be point on the license record.

Therefore, a DWLR can actually cause a license revocation if the DWLR conviction results in a person accumulating 12 points (or 9 points if previously revoked for points).

This is a quirky fact since one would not think that a “non-moving” violation would not cause any license points at all. As such, be careful when pleading to a DWLR non-impaired offense especially if you have license points already assessed in past 3 years.

When I Received the Speeding Ticket the Officer Told Me …..

got pulled over for speeding in raleigh ncOfficers will often give advice as to have to handle a speeding ticket when they issue a ticket in order to make the ticket seem more palatable.

Keep in mind that officers are:

  • not lawyers and cannot give legal advice
  • trying to avoid any potential conflict with a driver at the scene
  • usually issue many tickets and do not remember giving advice to any particular driver.

The tickets are handled in court by the district attorney not the officer.

The only advice you should accept is the one given by a lawyer.

Speeding Ticket Suspensions

Many of my clients do not understand the potential affects that a seemingly simple traffic ticket could have on their license privilege. There are many speeding violations that could result in a suspension in the discretion of the NC DMV. Believe me, no one wants the discretion to suspend a license to be left in the hands of the DMV. For instance, if one is convicted of speeding over 55 mph twice in a 12 month period their license may be revoked. The important dates to look at are the first conviction date and the OFFENSE DATE of the second conviction. As a result, one cannot simply continue the second violation until after 12 months from the earlier conviction in order to avoid a suspension. Another common possible suspension violation is speeding over 75 when the speed limit is 65 of less. In these cases it is very important to hire an attorney. Although a limited privilege may be available in these circumstances those can be very expensive to maintain and are “limited” in scope.

Suspension Caused by Car Accident

Accident Causing Revocation

Frequently I come across clients whose license has been suspended due to a car accident.  These usually fall under two types

1) failure to have insurance at the time of the accident or
2) a judgment is obtained against them in civil court as a result of a car accident.

Often the client is not even the driver of the vehicle but was sued based on their ownership of the vehicle. The reason for this suspension is set out in N.C.G.S. 20-279.5 and N.C.G.S. § 20-279.13. The revocation regarding judgments reads:

(a) The Commissioner, upon the receipt of a certified copy of a judgment, which has remained unsatisfied for a period of 60 days, shall forthwith suspend the license and any nonresident’s operating privilege of any person against whom such judgment was rendered.

The only ways to get back one’s license upon a revocation based on such a judgment are:

1) if the judgment is stayed;
2) if the judgment is satisfied (paid in full);
3) the judgment creditor waives the suspension;
4) the judgment is over ten years old (or 20 if renewed) or
5) the judgment is discharged in bankruptcy.

If you need help with these types of situations please give our firm a call.

Be Careful of Changes to DWLR and No Insurance Laws

Beginning with offenses committed after December 1, 2013 Driving While License Revoked and No Insurance charges have been reclassified as lower misdemeanors. A driving while license revoked is now a class 3 misdemeanor as long as the reason for the revocation was not impaired driving. Driving without insurance is also treated as a class 3 misdemeanor which also makes it a waivable offense. Another apparent benefit of this statute is that pursuant to 20-28(a1) a conviction of driving while license revoked will also be treated as a conviction of a no operators license for license and insurance purposes. The problem is that even though the class of misdemeanor has been reduced the dwlr conviction will still cause a suspension and, therefore, has to be handled properly (dismissal or prayer for judgment).

Charging language. The language of the citation used has been revised to reflect whether the dwlr is for an impaired or non-imparied offense. This is why you will see on the calendar the language “dwlr – non-impaired” meaning the revocation was not related to impaired driving or a refusal.

Move Over Law Extended To Maintenance Workers

Drivers are now required to pull over or slow down for utility and road maintenance workers displaying flashing amber lights.

If you are in an area with at least two or more lanes available in each direction, you’re required to move over at least one lane. If there’s only one traffic lane, then you have to slow down, and be prepared to stop.

This new group is being added to help prevent accidents and keep our roadways safer for these workers. If a driver gets cited for non-compliance with the “Move Over” law the penalty is a $250 fine, plus court costs.

Have a problem and need advice on a “Move Over” law violation?  Call us at 919-875-8773

Chat or call 919-729-9000 now to speak to a dedicated traffic ticket attorney.