There’s an old saying: “what you don’t know won’t hurt you.” While that can be true, when it comes to driving with a revoked license, what you know can hurt you, especially if you get caught. As tempting as it may be to drive without a valid license, it is illegal, even though you may be cautious and alert in the process. It is always better to consider alternative ways to get around town than to deal with serious legal consequences if you get pulled over.
In order to be convicted of Driving While License Revoked (DWLR), the State must prove four things – that the defendant was:
- a motor vehicle
- on a public street or highway
- while knowing that his or her license is revoked.
The State can prove the defendant had “knowledge” of your license being revoked by showing that the DMV mailed to him or her proper notification.
How Your License Can Be Revoked
Your license can be revoked for a number of reasons. Some examples include prior DWI convictions, various court sentences, using a license or ID that is not yours, or not paying any of several fines or court fees. You can also have your license revoked if you are not regularly paying court-mandated child support. Excessive speeding and failing to show up for a court proceeding can also cause license revocation.
Failure or refusal to take a DWI chemical test can cause you to lose your license, as can more serious offenses such as vehicular manslaughter or failing to stop after a hit-and-run accident. In the latter situations, an auto accident lawyer in Raleigh will help you secure the best possible outcome, but a license revocation may still be possible.
Consequences of Driving with a Revoked License
DWLR in North Carolina can be either a class 1 or a class 3 misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. A conviction for DWLR if your license is revoked for an implied consent offense (e.g., DWI) is a class 1 misdemeanor, and your license will be revoked for at least one year, two years, or permanently, depending on your driving record.
DWLR is only a class 3 misdemeanor if your license was revoked because you did not go to court for a previous traffic ticket, or if you did not pay the court costs/fines on a previous traffic ticket. A conviction for the class 3 variety of DWLR will not revoke your license, but it does carry 8 insurance points, meaning your automobile insurance rates will increase 195 percent per year for three years if convicted. It is important to note, however, that if you are convicted for a moving violation (e.g., speeding, running a stop sign) that you got while your license was suspended/revoked, then the DMV will revoke your driving privileges for at least one year, and maybe permanently, depending on your driving record.
Not being able to drive because of a DWLR conviction, or for old tickets that haven’t been taken care of, can be frustrating. Most people in North Carolina have grown accustomed to driving themselves around generally spread out cities and towns. Nevertheless, there are some great, viable options for transportation in and around the Triangle that do not require you to have a license.
Lee County has implemented its COLTS (County of Lee Transit System) transportation option that will transport Sanford citizens to various points throughout the city. Wake County also has its GoRaleigh transit system that provides bus service throughout the greater Raleigh and downtown areas. For a small fare, citizens can go virtually anywhere in the city.
Sanford has taxi services that operate throughout the day and night, and Raleigh does as well. There are also rideshare services that work like taxi services and may be more cost-effective for users. Uber and Lyft are available in both cities, and there are carpooling and vanpooling options like Share The Ride NC. And don’t forget biking or walking. Any of these options will help you avoid DWLR charges.
Getting around for daily life activities is a necessity, but breaking the law to do so is always avoidable. Consider these alternative ways of transportation before driving with a revoked license. If you need an experienced car accident lawyer to assist you with DWLR charges, contact us today.