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Can I Get Limited Driving Privileges After a DWI in Charlotte?

On behalf of Randall & Stump, PLLC in Driving While Impaired, DUI/DWI, DWI, Traffic on Tuesday, May 14, 2019


One of the consequences of a DWI (driving while impaired) conviction in North Carolina is the automatic revocation of your driving privileges in North Carolina. For most people, losing their driver’s license can create major problems in their day-to-day lives, making it difficult to get to and from work, and take care of their family. Thankfully, there are some circumstances for which North Carolina does allow for limited driving privileges in DWI cases, but be aware that the process can be challenging to navigate.

At Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys, our we know that the consequences of a DWI conviction can extend well beyond the courtroom. We work with our clients to help them get a fair result and make sure that their DWI doesn’t leave them in an impossible situation. If you would like to learn about how we can help you, call us at (980) 237-4579, or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Pre-Trial Limited Driving Privileges

Upon getting arrested for a drunk driving offense, your driver’s license will automatically be revoked for 30 days, even though you haven’t been convicted yet. However, North Carolina does provide for limited driving privileges in this situation. On the 11th day of your suspension, you can apply for limited driving privileges if you meet the following requirements:

  • At the time of your offense, you had a valid driver’s license.
  • You do not have any other pending DWI charges or convictions.
  • You have completed a substance abuse assessment.
  • You have not been convicted of DWI within the last seven years.

Post-Conviction Limited Driving Privileges

If convicted of a first-offense DWI, your license will automatically be revoked for one year. However, you can apply for limited driving privileges if you meet the statutory requirements and you were sentenced to a level III, IV, or V DWI. Generally speaking, this means that there were no grossly aggravating factors in your case, such as driving with a minor in the vehicle or causing an accident that resulted in injury. There may be other requirements that you need in your specific case, so it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney to understand what you will need to show to apply.

Applying for Limited Driving Privileges After a Conviction

In the event that you qualify for requesting a limited driving privilege, there is a strict application process that you will need to follow in order to obtain limited driving privileges after an NC DWI conviction. To begin, you will have to make a formal request for a limited driving privilege to a judge and provide all required documentation for their review. If the judge grants your request, you must then file an application with the clerk’s office in the county where you were charged. As part of the application, you will have to fill out the appropriate forms, provide substantial documentation, such as proof of insurance, and pay all required fees.

The Limitations of Your Limited Driving Privileges

In addition to your driving hours and days being restricted, you need to be aware that your limited driving privileges will not allow you to drive wherever you want during specified times and days. They allow you to drive only for the following purposes:

  • School
  • Work
  • Household maintenance
  • Court-ordered alcohol treatment or assessment
  • Community service as required by probation
  • Emergency medical needs
  • Religious services

You cannot drive for any purpose outside of these needs. You also cannot drive a commercial vehicle or drive with any alcohol in your system. Violating the terms of your limited driving privileges is a very serious matter – not only will you lose your privileges, but you will likely be charged with an additional crime subject, and subject to additional punishment.

Charged with DWI in Charlotte? Contact Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys

At Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneysv, our first priority is getting your DWI charges dismissed or getting an acquittal. However, we know that the suspension of your driving privileges can create incredible hardship. We can walk you through the process so that you can get to work or school and take care of your family. If you would like to schedule a free consultation with one of our criminal defense attorneys, call us at (980) 237-4579, or our online contact form to discuss how we can help.