A reinstated license is necessary after a DUI charge with suspension. Getting your license suspended due to a DUI conviction or other offense can drastically change your life. Going to work, school, grocery stores, and maintaining a social life becomes even more difficult. Fortunately, a suspended driver’s license is not the end of driving for you. Having your driver’s license back is possible, especially with the help of an Asheville DUI attorney.
To help you get started, we’ll outline the steps you need to take to get your license reinstated. We’ll also explain what to expect if part of your license reinstatement process includes a DMV hearing.
Top Reasons for License Suspension in Asheville
There are different reasons your license could get suspended in Asheville, North Carolina. This section will look at the top reasons you might have a suspended driver’s license and the basic steps you need to take to get your license reinstated.
Failure to Appear
One of the leading reasons your license could get suspended is failure to appear for your court date. This could be for a misdemeanor traffic offense like driving without insurance, aggressive driving, etc. If you do not appear on your court date or reschedule within the next 20 days, you could get your license suspended.
However, there are cases where the judge decides to suspend your license upfront and skip the 20-days grace period. If that is the reason why your license was suspended and you’re looking to get it reinstated, follow the steps below:
- Attend your court appearance to finalize the ticket
- Pay the administrative penalty for missing your first court appearance
- Pay the ticket fee and other court fees
- Follow up with the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle and pay the reinstatement fees for your driver’s license.
The combined fees would cost over $500. Once you pay all the charges, you can reinstate your driving privileges.
Sometimes, a traffic violation could be why your license got suspended. For example, running a stop sign, getting a speeding ticket, failing to yield, and many more might not seem serious.
However, when there are multiple violations on your record, the court could suspend your driver’s license. There would be points on your license for every traffic violation, and once you have up to 12 points in three years, you could get your license suspended for 60 days.
If there have been previous suspensions on your record, then the suspension would be more than 60 days. After satisfying the length of your suspended license, you can then pay a restoration fee. The restoration fee in Asheville is $70.
You will also have to pay a $50 service fee if you didn’t give the court your license during the suspension period. Most times, you don’t need to apply for a new driver’s license or take tests to get your driving license back if it was suspended for traffic violations.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
In Asheville, driving under the influence is one of the leading causes of driver suspension. If the police catch you driving under the influence, they could immediately suspend your license for 30 days.
If you refuse to take a blood-alcohol test at the police station, it could result in a one-year suspension of your driver’s license. The number of convictions also affects how long your license suspension will be.
The first DUI conviction would result in a one-year suspension. However, if it is the second conviction, it could last for two years. As an offender, you would have to complete the term of your license suspension before applying to the DMV office to have your license reinstated.
To reinstate your license, you need to pay a reinstatement fee of $140.25. You will also have to pay service fees if you need a new driver’s license. Your Asheville DUI attorney can guide you through the process to ensure there are no errors.
How to Get Your Driver’s License Reinstated After a Permanent Revocation
If you’ve had more than three DUIs on your record, your license will be permanently revoked. However, you could always apply to have your driver’s license reinstated once you meet some requirements.
- You’ve gone two years without a driving permit.
- You’ve had no drug or alcohol offenses for at least two years.
- You don’t use controlled substances illegally, nor do you use prescribed medication or alcohol excessively.
Once you apply to have your license reinstated, a hearing will be scheduled where you can appeal to have your driver’s license reinstated. If you meet these conditions and the court finds you safe to drive, you pay the fees specified. You would also have to follow the conditions placed for your license reinstatement for some time.
What to Expect at Your DMV Hearing
If you have to go through a DMV hearing to get your license reinstatement, it helps to know what to expect. North Carolina laws provide DMV hearing discretion on whether you’re eligible for license reinstatement.
The hearing officer usually explains the process, and everything is recorded. A formal transcript would also be available. If there are testifying witnesses, they need to show proof of identification.
The hearing officer could ask you questions like if you’re seeking drug or alcohol treatment. They could also question witnesses and consider the sincerity of your remorse and rehabilitation efforts. Sometimes, the hearing officer gives you an answer on the same day of your hearing or at a later time. If you have a DUI attorney with you at the hearing, they will ensure your rights are duly protected.
Asheville DUI Attorney Explains How to Get a Hardship License
Sometimes, you might want to have access to driving while you’re serving the suspension term. That’s where a hardship license comes into the picture. It is also known as a restricted or paper license. It provides you with restricted driving privileges during the suspension period. A hardship license lets you drive to essential destinations like school, workplace, medical appointments, and court dates.
Note that not everyone would qualify for a hardship license in North Carolina. For example, an underaged teen caught driving under the influence won’t be eligible for a hardship license. However, if you’re of legal age, you can get a hardship license if you complete the substance abuse assessment and provide documentation of your work and school schedule. You will also have to pay the application fee for the hardship license.
Consult With an Asheville DUI Attorney Today!
If you’re facing a driver’s license suspension because of a DUI charge, we can help you get your license reinstated. Our legal team will petition the court on your behalf, defend your legal rights, and ensure you take the correct steps to have your license reinstated.
Our Asheville criminal defense attorneys can guide you through the reinstatement process if you have already started the process. We have experience helping clients get their driving privileges back and on the road. Contact Asheville DUI Guy today for a free initial consultation.