Driving While Licensed Revoked: The Toilet Bowl Effect

North Carolina has a budget deficit of… billions?

So why, in an age of scarce resources and limited budgets, does the State continue to insist on punishing people for Driving While License Revoked with jail time, eating up court time, imposing costs on judges, prosecutors, police, and, let’s not forget, citizens.

The DWLR, one might be tempted to say, falls most heavily on the poor, who already have difficulty paying for the high cost of car insurance, gasoline, registration, licensing fees in a state with very poor to non-existent public transportation.

The problem with a DWLR is that it starts out simply enough.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this story.

“I got a speeding ticket. I mailed in my payment, but it got lost in the mail.”

OR

“I got a speeding ticket, but I forgot to mail in my payment.”

First, it was not a very smart idea to simply mail in a speeding ticket. But most of us have made that mistake. For most people, the matter is fixed when the DMV mails a form notifying you of a potential suspension.

But some of us forget to update DMV with our mailing addresses. Or DMV fails to send the notice in time.

That’s when a person’s license is first suspended. And that suspension, if not handled properly, can start someone down what I like to call the toilet bowl of the permanent revocation.

That’s because, given that people need to work, get their kids to school, and run errands, and given that we live in a region that has very poor public transportation, a person may continue to drive on a suspended license, hoping to resolve the matter before he is caught driving that way during a traffic stop.

Or a person may not even know that the license was suspended.

That can cause a second ticket. Let’s say, while driving on a suspended license, the person is stopped for speeding 70 in a 55. The person, again not taking it very seriously or not having a lot of money to hire a lawyer, pays the ticket.

Now the person has pled responsible to a moving violation during a period of suspension, which causes an automatic revocation of the person’s license.

Now the person is in real trouble, because if that person driving again and is caught, the person will be charged with Driving While License Revoked, with an extended period of revocation.

Ultimately, if the person continues to drive with license revoked, the person may face “permanent revocation”.

The costs of resolve this matter will run into the thousands of dollars, cost days of missed work, and heartache.

Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.