Written by attorney James Kevan Minick

30 Day Civil Revocation: Losing Your License Before a Conviction in North Carolina

For many crimes and traffic offenses, a conviction can result in the revocation of a person’s driver’s license. However, can North Carolina revoke a driver’s license of a person charged with a crime prior to conviction? The answer unfortunately and astonishingly is yes.

For someone facing an alcohol related offense (or sometimes called an implied consent offense), there may be a pretrial revocation of driving privileges. A pretrial revocation most commonly occurs in the following four situations:

  1. Legal Limit – a driver charged with an implied consent offense registers a .08 or above reading on a chemical test;
  2. Commercial DWI – a driver of a commercial vehicle registers a .04 or above on a chemical test;
  3. Driving After Drinking Underage – a driver under the age of twenty-one registers a .01 or above reading on a chemical test; or
  4. Refusal – a driver charged with an implied consent offense refuses to submit to an implied consent offense.

Typically upon being charged with an offense where a pretrial revocation occurs, the person’s driver’s license is suspended for 30 days (30 Day Civil Revocation). The suspension can be longer (45 days) and the person may be able to get a limited driving privilege that allows them to drive during the final 20 days of the 30 day civil revocation (or final 15 days of the 45 day revocation). See our video attached.

It is also possible for the driver to request a hearing contesting on the validity of the pretrial 30 day civil revocation, and this hearing must occur within 3 business days of the request if requested in front of a magistrate judge or five working business days if requested in front of a district court judge.

Contact us for information on how to obtain a pretrial limited driving privilege and on whether a hearing contesting the validity of the pretrial revocation has merit.

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