Driving on a Suspended License

Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can I represent myself on a traffic ticket?”


North Carolina, like other states, requires all drivers to have a valid driver’s license. To obtain a driver’s license for the first time, drivers must pass written and road tests. The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV) provides you with a license to drive as a privilege. Therefore, there are some circumstances in which the state may suspend or revoke your driving privileges. If you have a suspended or revoked license it means that you did something to cause the situation. An experienced North Carolina attorney will help you resolve the problem so you can legally drive once again.


road-signs-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-suspended-license-attorney-300x225Difference Between a Suspended and Revoked License


You may find that your license is suspended or revoked, leaving you unable to drive. A suspended license means that you have the loss of your driving privileges for a period of time. After the suspension is over, you will be able to drive again. A revoked license means that your driving privileges have been taken away indefinitely. You will therefore need to do something if you want to reinstate your license. Whether you have a suspended or revoked license, the result is the same. You cannot drive until you reinstate your driving privileges. If you drive without a valid license, you are subject to further action.


Why Was My License Suspended?


In order to get your driving privileges back you must first know the reason the NCDMV suspended or revoked your license. Here are some reasons why the NCDMV may have taken away your driver’s license:


  • Excessive points. The NCDMV uses the point system for driving infractions. Every time you get a moving violation you will accumulate a number of points. When you accumulate 12 points in a three year period your license will be suspended. A first suspension is for 60 days, a second suspension is six months and a third suspension is for a period of one year.
  • Driving on a suspended license. If you receive a traffic violation while you are driving with a suspended license, you will receive further suspension or revocation of driving privileges.
  • Driving while impaired will result in an automatic suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. In North Carolina, the legal driving limit is 0.08% BAC (blood alcohol concentration)
  • If you get a ticket for speeding more than 15 mph over the limit while driving 55mph or more, you will get a suspension of 60 days for the first offense. You will also be subject to suspension if you are speeding at a rate of greater than 80mph, or when you receive more than two speeding charges in a year. If you are charged with reckless driving and speeding at the same time, you will face a license suspension.
  • Failure to pay child support. If you fail to comply with a court order for child support payments, the court could suspend your driver’s license.


What to Do After Your License is Suspended or Revoked


If you have a suspended or revoked license, you do not want to risk further punishment by driving. Instead, find out the specific reason that your license was suspended or revoked. The NCDMV provides information regarding your driver’s license upon request. Once you know the reason for the suspension you can begin to take action. If your license was suspended, for example, for failure to pay child support, you may be able to get it reinstated once you comply with the original order. If you receive a ticket that will put you over the point limit, you will want to fight the ticket in court. An experienced attorney will help you with legal representation in court.


There are some instances in which you may be able to obtain a hardship license, even if your license was suspended. A hardship license allows you to drive for specific reasons such as to get to or from work or school. An attorney will assist you in presenting your case to the judge. It is important to note that a judge has the discretion to grant a hardship license but is under no obligation to do so.


If you have a suspended license or are concerned about your driving privileges, we can help. Please contact us today to get a phone, video or in-person consultation by calling at (704) 370-2828 to speak with our detail-oriented and well-versed lawyers with offices in Charlotte, Lake Norman, and Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today or find additional resources here.






The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.







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