If you’ve been stopped in Cary, Apex, Raleigh or any other part of Wake County on a DWI, be prepared for a long, and expensive process. That’s because, as I’ve explained elsewhere on this website, the Wake County District Attorney rarely dismisses a DWI charge, and rarely reduces the DWI charge to a lesser charge – such as careless and reckless.
Consequently, you’ll need to hire an attorney – or, if you can’t afford one, have one appointed to represent you by the Public Defender – and pay a variety of fees.
If you’ve been stopped on a DWI, and your license is suspended, the first step is to get you Limited Driving Privileges. By statute, Limited Driving Privileges are granted – ordinarily – from 6 am to 8 pm Monday through Friday and, generally, after the first 10 days of your suspension.
So if you had your license suspended for thirty days on 12/1/09 and want to get your license restored as quickly as possible, you will need to petition the court for Limited Driving Privileges. But before that you, will need to get an alcohol assessment completed. This is a behavioral assessment performed by a court-approved agency. The assessment takes about an hour, and costs $100.
After the assessment is completed, you should have the agency fax it to your lawyer. In addition, you will need to have your insurance company fax your lawyer a DL-123 form. And you will need to get a Seven (7) year driving record from the DMV – your lawyer can do this for you.
On the 9th day, your lawyer will file the petition with the clerk of court. On the 10th day, your lawyer can appear on your behalf in courtroom 1A to request the petition from a judge. You will need to carry this signed and stamped petition with you as you drive. The Limited Driving Petition costs $100.
On the 30th day, your lawyer can request a return of your full license. After paying yet another fee, you will get your license back, and will be able to drive normally with no restrictions on your driving. However, if you are convicted of a DWI, you are subject to a year-long suspension of your license, and must request, yet again, Limited Driving Privileges. At the end of the year, you can get your license returned to you.
In addition to these expenses, you may also be encouraged or required to participate in alcohol education programs as a result of your alcohol assessment. And, if convicted, you face additional fines depending on your DWI sentencing level.
The good news is that most of these expenses are spread out over the year. The bad news is that they do add up.
If you have any questions on how you can minimize expenses, feel free to call me at (919) 352-9411 at your convenience.