Category Archives: DWI

Can a Traffic Ticket Affect the Renewal of My Green Card in Raleigh, NC?

When it comes time to renew your green card, one of the questions you’ll be asked is if you were arrested, or committed any violations. If you’ve received a traffic ticket, even for something minor, you must answer “yes,” no matter how minor. Because if you answer “no,” they’ll find out anyway. Not telling the truth can definitely have an effect on your green card renewal. But a ticket, especially for something minor, doesn’t necessarily mean your green card won’t be approved.

Getting A Ticket

Can a Traffic Ticket Affect the Renewal of My Green Card in Raleigh, NC?Since becoming a US citizen takes a long time, a “green card” can give you the time you need to stay in the US while your citizenship is being processed. If you acquire a driver’s license in the US, you’ll also have to follow the laws for driving a car in the state where you live.

You may find yourself with a ticket one day. Don’t ignore it, take care of it. An attorney who understands how traffic court operates can help you so that it doesn’t become a bigger problem.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will ask you about any arrests, tickets or other infractions. As embarrassing as it can be to admit, you should always say “yes.”

After you fill out Form I-90 with USCIS, you’ll also be required to submit fingerprints, which are forwarded to the FBI. After the FBI receives your fingerprints, they’re checked against multiple law enforcement database. If you’ve received a citation of any kind (or have an arrest), the FBI will know immediately.

The Misdemeanor

Obviously, serious felonies crimes will most certainly affect your green card, and possibly derail your citizenship. But a misdemeanor is a different story.

Under US Immigration Law, a misdemeanor is one that:

  • Is punishable by one year or less of imprisonment
  • Is punishable by more than one year’s imprisonment, but is a misdemeanor by state law, as long as the sentence the individual actually received was one year or less.

Most minor traffic tickets are misdemeanors, and won’t cause a problem for your green card renewal, as long as you don’t lie about it.

However, federal immigration laws are different than most state laws regarding misdemeanors. This means that some things considered misdemeanors at the state level may actually be a felony under federal immigration laws.

What Is A Crime For Immigration

Crimes that will affect your immigration are any misdemeanors involving:

  • Drug/controlled substance violations
  • Any crime involving violence
  • Any crime involving moral turpitude

Conviction of a crime that involves violence is a felony under immigration law, even if it’s considered a misdemeanor at the state level, and is grounds for immediate removal from the US. (If you’re accused of a crime involving violence, contact an immigration attorney immediately.)

Conviction of two crimes involving moral turpitude that were not from a single act is grounds for removal by DHS. This is true of crimes that the state considers a misdemeanor. However, a single act of moral turpitude would not be enough for DHS to initiate removal if the maximum sentence at the state level is less than one year.

Conviction of a controlled substance violation, which includes paraphernalia, is also grounds for denial of your green card and removal, even if the state considers it a misdemeanor. The exception is for less than 30 grams of marijuana.

Particularly difficult is the possession of marijuana, which is actually legal in a number of states (but not in North Carolina.) While less than 30 grams is not grounds for denial of your green card and removal, it is grounds for inadmissibility. This means if you leave the US, you can be denied re-entry. You’ll have to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility to be allowed back into the US.

Ticketed In Raleigh? Call Today

A traffic ticket probably isn’t the end of the world, but it can cause problems, especially if you ignore it. Don’t let a traffic ticket raise your insurance rates or cause problems getting or renewing your green card.

If you have received a traffic ticket and would like to learn more about your options, contact Dewey P. Brinkley in Raleigh, NC. You can use our online contact form or call our offices any time or call 919-832-0307. We look forward to hearing from you.

Can A DWI Conviction Be Expunged From My Record In Raleigh, NC?

If you’ve been arrested of DWI in Raleigh, you may have been told that you can have it “expunged,” or removed from your record. North Carolina does allow some types of charges and convictions to be expuncted (as it’s called here), including DWI arrests, dismissals, and non-convictions.

But for a conviction, it’s a different story.

The Short Answer: No

Can A DWI Conviction Be Expunged From My Record In Raleigh, NC?

North Carolina does NOT allow a conviction for DWI to be expunged from your record. Last year, Senate Bill 445 changed some of the time frames to allow more people to clear their records of old charges and arrests, including DWI. The idea was to give more than 2 million North Carolina residents the opportunity to clear their criminal records in a shorter amount of time after paying their debt to society and open up more job and housing opportunities. Once the process was completed, they could truthfully answer that they did not have an arrest record.

But a conviction for DWI is a different matter. Previously, the conviction had to be more than 15 years old, and there was a process to remove it. But after December 2015, that “loophole” was eliminated. Under North Carolina state law, (§15A-145.5(a)(8a)). DWI convictions are specifically excluded from expunction (as well as felony convictions that include violence.) DWI convictions can no longer be expuncted, no matter how old they are.

If You’ve Been Arrested For DWI

An arrest doesn’t always mean a conviction. Being convicted of DWI means that the charge won’t “fall off” or go away.

After an arrest, the burden of proof shifts to the state. After an arrest, the state must prove that you were, in fact, driving while intoxicated and in violation of the law. The three elements of proof are:

  • You were driving
  • You were on a public road in the county where you were arrested
  • You were impaired while driving

Although the legal blood alcohol level is .08, you can still be arrested if your level is below that, and if the officer can show that you were “appreciably impaired” (or if you refuse to test altogether.) The state’s standards for DWI are things like unsteady walking, “red, glassy eyes,” slurred speech, and the smell of alcohol. However, the machine used to detect the presence of alcohol isn’t perfect, either. False positives are frequent, even in sober individuals. It’s not uncommon for police to arrest someone who cooperated with police and did consume alcohol but was well below the legal limit and not impaired.

What if you weren’t drinking or impaired at all? This is where a defense attorney can challenge faulty evidence from a faulty device and show that you were, in fact, arrested when you were not impaired. Find someone who will examine all the evidence and determine if the state unlawfully arrested you. An experienced defense attorney will fight to have your charges dismissed, reduced or a conviction to a lesser charge than DWI.

It’s also a good idea to keep good written records detailing your dealings with police, and the state of North Carolina. These will come in handy for your attorney and ensures that you won’t forget an important detail.

Wake County’s Premier DWI Defense Attorney

North Carolina has some of the strictest DWI laws in the country. An arrest for DWI in Raleigh is a serious crime. Your license can be suspended, you’ll face high fines and you could serve jail time. Don’t take chances going to court—a strong defense from an experienced DWI defense lawyer is your best bet.

As a former Wake County prosecutor, Dewey P. Brinkley has helped thousands of clients and successfully defended many in DWI cases. A charge and a conviction are two different things. His aggressive defense will fight to have your case dismissed or for a verdict of “not guilty.”  Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 (or user our online contact form) for a free consultation. You can also email us at dewey@deweybrinkleylaw.com.

Appealing a Suspended License in Raleigh, NC

If your driver’s license has been suspended, it’s inconvenient, but may not be permanent. North Carolina has an appeals process for a license suspension so that you can, eventually, get it back.

Why Was Your License Suspended?

There are a number of reasons why your license can be suspended. The ease or difficulty of appealing depends on why your license was suspended, and for how long. The state will notify you in writing of the suspension, and list the reason.

If your suspension is for an insurance lapse, failing to pay a ticket or appear in court, excess points on your driving record, or other administrative reason, you simply need to comply with the requirements and your license will be reinstated.

However, if you’ve lost your license for things like speeding or failing to stop and render aid in an accident, the suspensions are longer. Charges such as DWI, death by vehicle (misdemeanor) participation in illegal street racing and refusing a blood test can lead to suspensions of 1 to 4 years.

Appealing a Suspended License in Raleigh, NC

Additionally, your license can be suspended for:

  • Two speeding convictions over 55 mph in a 12-month period
  • One conviction of speeding (over 55) with one conviction of reckless driving in a year
  • As part of a sentence or suspended sentence that revokes your driving privileges
  • A conviction for speeding in excess of 75 mph

Subsequent DWIs or felony death by vehicle incurs a permanent license suspension.

A suspension can also be part of a separate action, such as a criminal conviction or failure to pay child support. In cases like these, you’ll need to comply with the requirements (such as pay back child support or serve a jail term) before you can go through the process of getting your license back.

A suspension becomes part of your permanent driving record.

Administrative Hearings

Once you’re notified that your license has been suspended, you may be able to request an administrative hearing to appeal. This will depend on the reason your license was suspended, and you’ll retain your driving privileges (and your license) until the hearing. The hearings are not guaranteed and will be granted based on the reason for the suspension.

To request a hearing, you can contact the central DMV office in Raleigh at 919-715-7500, or by writing to:

North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles

Driver License Hearings
3118 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27697

The DMV will notify you in writing of the day and time of your hearing. If you lose this hearing, you can appeal the decision to the North Carolina Superior Court in your resident county. But you must file your appeal to NC Superior Court within 30 days.

Getting Your Driver’s License Back

If you’re not able to win on appeal, you’ll need to go to your local DMV office after your suspension is over and pay a $50 fee ($100 if you were suspended for DUI) and re-apply for your license. You may be required to re-take any testing involved.

Get Back Behind The Wheel

Having your driver’s license suspended or revoked doesn’t mean you’ll never legally drive again. But license restoration is a process and can take some time. Need help? Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley is your best chance in Raleigh for getting your license back and your driving privileges restored. He can help you through the appeals process and defend you in court. Call today: 919-832-0307 to schedule an appointment for your free initial consultation.

 

How Can I Get My Raleigh DWI Dismissed?

North Carolina takes drunk driving very seriously. With some of the strictest laws in the US, a DWI is a difficult charge to defend, and even more difficult to dismiss. But with the right legal representation, good fact investigation and a strong defense, a DWI can, in some circumstances, be dismissed. Here’s what you need to know.

Was The Arrest Conducted Correctly?

How Can I Get My Raleigh DWI Dismissed?A police officer must follow specific, proper procedures for a drunk driving (or any) arrest. He or she must have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to pull a vehicle over, and be able to prove that you were, indeed driving while intoxicated or otherwise impaired.

There are some occasions where an officer made multiple mistakes in the arrest and the DA dismisses the case, but those are very rare. If you’re not lucky enough to have the charge dismissed by the DA before trial, you’ll have to fight in court.

If the arresting officer mishandled the arrest or made other mistakes that are crucial to the arrest and criminal case, a judge may decide to dismiss the case completely. But you must have all the facts of your case documented, along with any evidence. Mistakes like:

  • Failing to read your Miranda rights (right to remain silent, to have an attorney, etc.)
  • Acting in a disrespectful and/or intimidating manner
  • Displaying any improper conduct toward you during your arrest
  • Improperly administering a breathalyzer or field sobriety test

Evidence That Disproves The Officer’s Claim And Creates Doubt

Again, the police officer must have probable cause to pull you over and begin an arrest. His or her testimony carries a lot of weight in court. However, details are important here. For instance, if the officer did not actually witness you driving the car while inebriated, there may be some doubt involved, and the case could be dismissed.

Witnesses who can corroborate your story can also be helpful. If bloodshot eyes are the only evidence of your “intoxication,” they could indicate another condition such as allergies or fatigue (or crying.) Without additional evidence, such as an odor of alcohol, a field sobriety test, or a blood alcohol level test, the prosecution can’t positively prove that you were driving and intoxicated.

One medical condition that can actually raise BAC is Candida albicans. That’s a scientific name for yeast overgrowth in the gut. In advanced cases, yeast overgrowth can actually cause detectable levels of alcohol in the blood without a drop of alcohol consumed. Candida can be diagnosed by a simple blood test and is easily treated and eradicated with antifungals and diet. But left untreated, candida can cause symptoms that could lead an officer to believe you’re actually driving drunk.

This is where you’ll need a good criminal defense attorney at your side, both before and during the trial. Your attorney can request evidence from the police department from the arresting officer’s records, including any video. He or she can also investigate other evidence before the trial that can prove your innocence.

You Can’t “Plead Down”

In some states, a DWI can be reduced to a lesser charge, like reckless driving. However, North Carolina doesn’t allow reductions of DWI. In fact, under N.C.G.S. 20-179.4, DWI charges are actually more difficult. Unless the state can’t produce a witness, such as a police officer or other witness that can prove that you’re guilty, your case will go to trial.

Get Help From Raleigh’s DWI Attorney

An experienced DWI attorney can review your case, examine details, investigate and find out the exact circumstances of your case before you go to court. That’s why it’s important to have someone who knows how to defend someone in a DWI case and bring a successful outcome.

Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County prosecutor who will prepare a strong defense and make sure you receive a fair trial under the law. Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307  for a free consultation. You can also email us at dewey@deweybrinkleylaw.com.

Are Raleigh DWIs Public Record?

Public records are any kind of information pertaining to a governmental agency. It’s data or other information collected by the government that isn’t of a confidential nature. The most common public records are birth and death records, marriage and divorce records, lien information and bankruptcy records, but there are quite a number of others. Accessibility depends on what state you live in.

Companies that charge for online record searches (i.e., Intellius) also use public records for background checks and people searcher functions. While they can provide the information you can find yourself, the sites can gather it much faster.

But after a DUI arrest, you may be wondering if anyone else can, or will, find out about it.

Arrest Records Are Public Records

Are Raleigh DWIs Public Record?

If you’ve been arrested in Raleigh for DWI—or anything else—anyone can find out about it through a public record search.

According to the Wake County website, any kind of governmental record collected by any state agency is considered to be “property of the people.” Any information of this kind is to be made public unless it is specifically marked as confidential in nature (i.e., with identifying information such as a date of birth or Social Security numbers.) This includes arrest records, real estate deeds and other types of information that involves a public entity. Wake County abides by the North Carolina Public Records Law, found at N.C.G.S. Chapter 132, which explains public records in further detail.

Public records are required to be made available to the public for free or for a “nominal cost,” but are also accessible online. Internet access to public records is immediate, as well as saves Wake County money on maintenance, staff, and overhead.

City-County Bureau of Identification (CCBI)

Wake County arrest records are in the CCBI portal and are searchable for free. The types of offenses that are in the database are listed in the North Carolina General Statute § 15A-502. Driving while intoxicated is included in the list. You can access the database online and for free. However, current case status and dispositions are not included in the database but are available in the Wake County Clerk of Superior Court’s Office.

How It Affects You

Anytime you’re asked if you’ve been arrested, you’re required to disclose that you have (unless you’ve had an expunction in NC.)  Background checks for employment, housing, education and other things are easy to get, so if you don’t answer truthfully, you’ll be found out almost immediately.

Loans like mortgages, student loans, credit cards and other types of revolving charges may be more difficult to get. This can limit your ability to acquire housing, education, and other necessities.

Additionally, a DUI arrest almost immediately raises your insurance rate, since you’re now “high risk.” You may even be dropped by your insurance company, but there are some insurers who offer insurance to those who have a DUI.

Fight The DUI

Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County prosecutor who works to defend DUI cases. He will prepare a strong defense and make sure you receive a fair trial under the law. Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 for a free consultation. You can also email him at dewey@deweybrinkleylaw.com.

 

Can a DUI/DWI be expunged in Raleigh, NC?

Getting a DUI can be embarrassing—and expensive. It can also follow you around for a long time. Employment and other opportunities could be lost because of one mistake. Car insurance will be very expensive. You could also lose your job, custody of your children and even your home over a DUI.

But what if it were just one? What if your DUI was an anomaly, and not who you really are? Can you have that charge expunged, and “make it go away?” It’s possible but time-consuming. There are specific conditions you have to have to be “rid” of a DUI.

Changes In Expunction Laws

Can a DUI/DWI be expunged in Raleigh, NC?

Last year, Governor Cooper signed Senate Bill 445 into law, which took effect in December of 2017. This new bill reduces the waiting time for nonviolent offenders to apply for expungement. Some of the changes include:

  • Instead of 15 years, the wait time for misdemeanor convictions is 5 years
  •  Instead of 15 years, the wait time for felony convictions is 10 years
  • Law enforcement and prosecutors now have access to your records
  • There is no longer a limit on the number of dismissals that can be expunged, as long as you have no felony convictions

This bill is expected to help more than 2 million North Carolina residents get rid of old dismissed or “not guilty” charges that remain on their criminal records. Even if dismissed, old charges can inhibit the ability to find employment, housing education and other opportunities. Once completed, the charge will not show up on routine background checks but will be retained in the event of additional charges later.

The request for expungement must be filed in the county where it occurred. For instance, if you live in Wake County, but were charged during a beach weekend in Carteret County, you’ll have to file your expungement request in Carteret County since that’s where the charge originated.

Currently, it takes about nine months to one year for an expungement to be completed. With more individuals eligible for expungement, the wait time may be a little longer as more people take advantage and file to have old charges dismissed.

The Type Of DUI

Were you arrested for DUI, but not charged? Did you go to trial but found not guilty? Or were you convicted in a trial?

If your charge was dismissed, or you were acquitted, you can file for an expunction immediately, if you have no other felonies on your record. The judge is allowed discretion in approving an expunction, even if all the conditions are met.

But if you were convicted of DUI in North Carolina, expunctions are not included, and not allowed under §15A-145.5(a)(8a).

Driver’s License Suspension For DUI

If your license has been suspended for DUI, it’s a completely separate administrative matter. The North Carolina Department of Transportation has information on suspensions, revocations, and instructions on restoring your license. If your license has been suspended because of a DUI, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you restore your driving privileges as well.

We Can Help Expunge Your Record

A criminal charge doesn’t go away on its own—you have to request an expungement when the time is right. It’s a complicated process, and an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh can help you through the process.

Dewey P. Brinkley understands that DUI is not who you are. It doesn’t have to last forever. As a former Wake County prosecutor, he has helped thousands of clients and successfully defended many in DUI cases. Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 (or user our online contact form) for a free consultation.

Suspended License Attorney In Raleigh, NC

Having your driver’s license suspended in Raleigh can be a very big problem, particularly if you have to drive to your job, drive for your job, or otherwise need transportation. Public transportation may be difficult, inconvenient or non-existent for where you need to go. Taxis and other private transportation can be expensive. Dewey P. Brinkley can help you bounce back after receiving a suspended license.

Why Was Your License Suspended?

Suspended License Attorney In Raleigh, NCNorth Carolina will suspend your license for a myriad of reasons. Drunk driving is an obvious reason, (including things like refusing to take a breath or blood test) but there are many other reasons:

  • A certain number of accumulated “points” on your driving record
  • Speeding, greater than 15 miles over the speed limit if you’re over 55 mph, 30 days
  • Failure to stop and render aid at an accident, 1 year
  • “Willful racing” (illegal street racing, as well as watching, betting on or participating in racing), 3 years (vehicle will also be seized)
  • Driving without insurance or allowing insurance to be canceled
  • Failure to appear in court and/or pay traffic fines
  • Failure to pay child support

Your license can also be suspended for multiple minor infractions, such as accumulated tickets and/or traffic fines.

  • One speeding conviction for speeds greater than 75 mph
  • Two convictions of speeds greater than 55 mph within a 12 months period
  • One conviction of speeding faster than 55 mph with a reckless driving  conviction within a one-year period
  • A suspended court sentence (or part thereof) requiring that you may not operate a motor vehicle for a specific period of time

Driving while your license is suspended is a Class 1 misdemeanor, and you could receive a fine as well as jail time.

How Do I Get My License Back?

For simpler suspensions, such as unpaid tickets and fines, it’s just a matter of complying with the requirements of the ticket or going to court. You’ll also have to pay a fine, as well as possible court costs, in addition to

You won’t have to re-apply for your license after a suspension, you’ll just have to comply with the conditions to release the suspension. You may also be offered the option to attend administrative hearings, which may shorten your suspension. (Some suspensions may require this step.)

Administrative hearings also have fees, from $40 to $450, depending on the reason for your suspension/revocation.

Hardship Licenses

In some cases, you can apply for a hardship license that includes very limited driving privileges. You can’t request one if you’ve had a DUI conviction, requested one in the last 3 years, facing pending charges or have several concurrent charges in North Carolina or any other state. In addition to proof of insurance, you’ll need a viable reason for driving, such as to and from work, maintaining your household and providing emergency medical care.

License Revocation

More severe than a suspended license, revocation means that you are no longer allowed to drive. Depending on the severity of your revocation, you can still have your driving privileges restored, it may just take longer (and cost more.)

You’ll be required to schedule and attend an administrative hearing. Before requesting a hearing, North Carolina’s DOT suggests consulting a suspended license attorney to see if your situation warrants one, or if you need one.

Start Driving Yourself

A suspended or revoked license doesn’t have to mean the end of everything. Dewey P. Brinkley is your best chance in Raleigh for getting your license back and your driving privileges restored. Call him today at 919-832-0307 (or contact him online) to schedule an appointment for your free initial consultation.

Are DUI Checkpoints Legal?

Drunk driving. It’s a serious problem in the US, including North Carolina, and one that even the US Supreme Court feels is important enough to rule on.

The Fourth Amendment

This is the amendment that prohibits illegal search and seizures. However, The Supreme Court has ruled that because drunk driving is such a danger, DUI checkpoints aren’t illegal. They just have to be random, and not used for general crime control.

Are DUI Checkpoints Legal?

In other words, the checkpoints are put up randomly and in various places, (i.e., not on a particular intersection every weekend) to enable police to check for drunk drivers. Should police encounter other, non-vehicular violations, (such as wanted suspects for other crimes) they are allowed to place these individuals under arrest. But they can’t use the checkpoints for that reason.

Checkpoints also have to be publicly announced. You can find out when and where checkpoints will happen at RoadBlock.org or DUIBlock.com.

North Carolina’s Gen. Stat. §20-16.3A also makes the state’s DUI (“sobriety”) checkpoints legal for the purpose of finding and removing drivers under the influence who are a danger to other drivers.

Checkpoints usually occur late at night and early in the morning in the areas of bars and restaurants where, presumably, drunk drivers will frequently be caught.

Probable Cause

As a rule, a police officer must have probable cause to suspect you and stop you for something. Because of The Supreme Court’s ruling, DUI checkpoints in response to the innate dangers of drunk drivers do not override the rights of all drivers under the Fourth Amendment.

You Are Required To Stop

Since police officers are looking for drunk drivers at DUI checkpoints, you are required to stop. If you’re not drunk driving, have a current license and insurance, and not committing any other sort of crime, your stop will be quick and easy. It’s better to just go through the checkpoint and you’ll be on your way, even if it’s just a few minutes of delay.

If you see a DUI checkpoint or roadblock and turn left, right or around to avoid it, the police have the right to follow you, stop you, and specifically ask you why you avoided the stop. Even if your turn was completely legal and legitimate, (such as turning at an intersection or stop light to go to your residence or workplace) police have the right to stop you and ask about it.

Detecting Inebriation

If the officer suspects any inebriation or you exhibit signs of it, you’ll be asked to pull over and exit your vehicle. The officer will then ask you to submit to field sobriety testing and may administer a breath and/or blood test. You are required to comply or risk seizure of your driver’s license.

Get A Strong DUI Defense Attorney

The laws surrounding DUIs are complex. Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County Assistant District Attorney who has strongly defended numerous DUI cases and will fight for you in court. A DUI is a serious charge, and you need someone who will make sure your rights are protected. Call the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at 919-832-0307 to schedule your free DUI case consultation.

Raleigh, NC Suspended License? Here’s What to Do

Most of us don’t think about what would happen if we lost our driving privileges. How would you get back and forth to work, and run errands? Get to your doctor’s and other appointments? Having a suspended license can be very difficult to overcome. A suspension (or revocation) also becomes a permanent part of your driving record that you can’t expunge.

If you are suddenly without the ability to drive yourself around every day, you may need an attorney to help you get your license back.

The Reason

There are a number of reasons why North Carolina may suspend your license. While DUI is a frequent cause for suspension, there are others, including:

  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Refusal to take a blood or breath test at a traffic stop or DUI checkpoint
  • Accumulated “points” on your driving record from minor violations
  • Unpaid traffic tickets and other issues
  • Part of a separate criminal court sentence
  • Non-DMV related issues reported by other state agencies, such as failure to pay child support

How Long Is My License Suspended For?

Depending on the violation, you’ll lose your North Carolina driving privileges for anywhere from 30 days to 4 years (for a second offense DUI.) Once that period is completed, and you’ve fulfilled the suspension requirements, your privileges will be restored. You do not have to re-apply for a driver’s license after a suspension.

Multiple offenses (especially from DUI) involve a revocation or permanent loss of your driving privileges.

How Do I Get It Back?

Raleigh, NC Suspended License? Here’s What to Do

Your license can be restored after meeting eligibility requirements and paying all fines and fees. You may be required to attend an administrative hearing to shorten your suspension. A hearing may be required to determine your eligibility for restoration of your driving privileges after the revocation period.

North Carolina charges fees to restore your driver’s license once your requirements are completed (i.e., substance abuse assessment, driver’s ed, etc.) To pay these fees, you can go to any driver’s license office to pay in person, or by mail. These fees are separate from any other fines or charges imposed by the court or the DMV.

Additionally, if your suspension involves another agency, you will also be required to complete their requirements before your license is restored. For instance, if your license was suspended for back child support, your license won’t be restored until your balance is paid in full and brought current.

Applying For A Hardship License

Under certain circumstances, you can also apply for a “Hardship License” that would allow limited driving privileges after you’ve completed part of your suspension or revocation.

In addition to proof of insurance, you’ll have to offer a valid reason, such as driving to and from work, provide emergency medical care, and/or to run your household.

Your “limited license” would allow you to drive for 1 year, or for the remainder of your revocation, whichever is shorter.

Get Your License Back

Losing your license can be devastating. An experienced attorney can help you through the process of restoring your driving privileges.  Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley has helped hundreds of people restore suspended and revoked North Carolina driver’s licenses. Call us at 919-832-0307 to schedule your free consultation. We can’t get every suspended (or revoked) license restored, but we’ll help you through the process, and help you avoid mistakes that may extend your suspension.

Will a DUI Affect my Visa, Green Card, or Citizenship Application?

Becoming a US citizen is an arduous, time-consuming process. Even getting a visa or becoming a permanent resident with a “green card” can take time, and there’s a lot of administrative work involved. The last thing you need on the way to becoming a law-abiding US citizen is to break the law. But if you’ve done just that with a DUI, it could impact your immigration status. A strong criminal defense attorney can defend you in court against a DUI.

Gaining US Entry

Will a DUI Affect my Visa, Green Card, or Citizenship Application?

The US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) is a division of Homeland Security, and now manages entry into the United States. Their services include citizenship and permanent residency, including naturalization, bringing foreign family members of US citizens into the US, assisting with foreign adoptions and relocating foreign persons into the US after wars and disasters. They also assist people wishing to work in the US with HB-1 visas.

USCIS examines not only your application but your character. A single DUI conviction will not necessarily bar you from citizenship or a green card. But if a DUI is not your first, or it’s combined with another crime or crimes, (such as drug possession) you may very well lose your visa, green card status, or have your citizenship application disqualified. You will likely also be deported.

Medical Conditions

One of the many determining factors for US admission is a person’s health and medical conditions. As a medical condition, alcoholism can be grounds for denying US admission and would be a separate ground for disqualification.

Full Disclosure

You should always disclose a DUI when asked, particularly on your N-400 application. If you don’t, it will show up during a criminal background check anyway. Lying on your citizenship application will increase the chances it will be declined.

Immigration officials take DUI very seriously because it is a serious crime. You will be asked about the DUI and any mitigating factors, such as harm to anyone else in the car or if children were in the car with you. North Carolina also has some of the strictest DUI laws in the US.

Some things that will prevent you from getting a visa, green card or citizenship status include:

  • Crimes of ”moral turpitude,” that is, crimes that display a lack of “good moral character
  • Violations of controlled substances (drug) laws, either of the US or another country
  • Numerous criminal convictions that brought prison sentences of five years or more, whether singly or together
  • Participating in or benefitting in any way from:
    • Illegal drug trafficking, inside or outside the US
    • Human trafficking, inside or outside the US
  • Money laundering
  • Prostitution

Any one of these crimes, combined with a DUI or two will affect your application. You can review the list of disqualifications for permanent residency and citizenship at the USCIS website. Your immigration attorney can help you sort through your application, review any potential issues and help you resolve them. You’ll need a criminal defense attorney to help you with a DUI.

Form I-192

If you are barred from entering the US for one of the above inadmissibility criteria, you can file an I-192 Waiver for “Forgiveness of Inadmissibility.” While it is not a guarantee, should you find yourself deemed “inadmissible” as a result of a DUI, you can ask for forgiveness to enter the US. However, this form is for non-immigrants only, and not for individuals who intend to stay in the US and live here.

Legal Defense For DUI

If you’ve been arrested for DUI, and don’t know where to turn, call us for help. Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County Assistant District Attorney and has worked with many individuals to reduce their penalties or acquit them. Call him at 919-832-0307 to schedule your free consultation. He will aggressively defend you in court. (Note: Dewey P. Brinkley is a criminal defense attorney, and does not practice immigration law.)