From the moment you see the red and blue lights flashing behind your vehicle, you’ll start worrying about your license. Even if you are convicted of DUI for the first time, the judge will still suspend your driver’s license for six months or more. That’s why it’s a good idea to retain a seasoned DUI attorney in Asheville.
Having an attorney by your side can make all the difference in your DUI case.
Everybody Convicted of DUI in North Carolina Will Face a Suspension of Their Driver’s License
In North Carolina, anybody convicted of DUI will face a driver’s license suspension. It doesn’t matter if you had a perfect driving record before being arrested for DUI. The laws are very clear about this.
What this means is that, even if it’s your first offense, there’s a good chance your license will be suspended. Our Asheville DUI lawyers understand how devastating this can be. That’s why they work so hard to negotiate a favorable plea with the prosecutor.
Your License Will Be Suspended Whether It’s Your First, Second, or Third Offense
A lot of our clients ask our DUI attorneys in Asheville how long their licenses will be suspended. While we would love to tell them that we’ll convince the judge not to suspend their license, that isn’t the case.
Even if it’s your first DUI, your driver’s license will be suspended. The length of the suspension depends on whether it’s your first, second, or third offense.
- 1st Offense – Mandatory suspension of 1 year.
- 2nd Offense – License suspension as long as 4 years.
- 3rd Offense – Can face a permanent suspension.
Of course, your license can be suspended longer if you were involved in an accident after drinking and driving.
Your Asheville DUI Lawyer Can Ask for a Hardship License
If you desperately need your driver’s license, your Asheville DUI lawyer can request a hardship license on your behalf. Of course, there’s no guarantee the judge will grant your request.
Hardship licenses are given to defendants who can demonstrate that they need to drive back and forth to work or school. They are sometimes issued to parents who have young children or a child with special needs.
There’s No Guarantee the Judge Will Approve Your Request
One of the things your DUI attorney in Asheville will have to do is convince the court that you deserve a hardship license. They can submit proof that you need to travel for work or school. They can also submit evidence showing that you have a medical condition that requires you to travel for treatment multiple times per week.
If the judge approves your request for a hardship license, it will come with a caveat. If you’re caught driving without proof of your hardship license, you can be arrested.
Your travel will also be limited to the purposes for which the hardship license was granted.
It Will Be Difficult to Get a Hardship License if It’s Not Your First Offense
It’s one thing if it’s your first DUI and you’re asking for a hardship license. It’s something else entirely if you have been arrested and charged with DUI several times in the last few years.
For example, if you’re convicted of DUI for the third time in five years, there isn’t much point in requesting a hardship license. The way the judge sees things, you have no respect for the law. Why else would you have several DUIs over a few years?
How Long Will Your License Be Suspended?
If you’re wondering how long your license will be suspended, the answer is that it depends. It will depend on whether it’s your first, second, or third offense. With each DUI conviction, the court starts to see you as a habitual offender.
Another factor that may impact your driver’s license suspension is whether you were in an accident. If you were arrested for DUI after being involved in a crash, the court will not look favorably on you.
Your Asheville DUI lawyer will do the best they can. However, if it’s your second or third DUI offense, there won’t be much your attorney can do. The judge has the right to suspend your license for up to four years.
The Best Case is Your DUI Attorney in Asheville Negotiates a Favorable Plea Deal
If you are convicted of DUI, you’ll be facing fines, possible jail time, and a suspension of your driver’s license. The best approach is to try to get the charges reduced or dismissed rather than think about a conviction.
Your best chance of doing this is to retain a seasoned DUI attorney in Asheville. They will try to poke holes in the State’s case. They will also reach out to the prosecutor to see if they’re willing to entertain a plea deal.
Perhaps the Prosecutor Will Agree to Reduce the Charges to Reckless Driving
If it’s your first DUI offense, there is a chance the prosecutor will consider a plea deal. Usually, with a first offense, your Asheville DUI lawyer can try to get the charges reduced to reckless driving.
While you’ll still have to pay fines for a reckless driving charge, you won’t face a mandatory 1-year suspension of your driver’s license. In addition, you won’t have to worry about possible jail time.
With So Much at Stake, Talk to an Experienced DUI Attorney in Asheville!
Most of our clients have never been arrested for DUI before. They are terrified and admit that they need an experienced Asheville DUI lawyer. Others insist they can handle the matter themselves. It isn’t until they’re convicted and have their license suspended that they regret not hiring a DUI attorney in Asheville.
With so much at stake, we always suggest that you at least talk to an Asheville DUI lawyer. Sometimes, having an attorney can mean the difference between having the charges reduced and being convicted of DUI.
We recommend that you contact our office and schedule a time to come in for a consultation. If need be, one of our DUI attorneys in Asheville can even come to the police station after your arrest.