Tag Archives: dwi attorney in raleigh

Can My DWI Record Be Expunged In North Carolina?

Whenever someone says, “background check,” you may be nervous about what they might find especially a DWI.  Whether it’s for a job, an apartment, or some other important event, you probably won’t want them to find it, but they likely will. If one of those discoveries is a DWI, the process might unfortunately end there. So sometimes getting a DWI record expunged is worth looking into.

So the questions remains “Is it possible to have a DWI expunged here in North Carolina?” Yes, but it depends on the circumstances. 

What Is An Expungement/Expunction?

This is when a judge orders a criminal record sealed so that it is not publicly available. This means that a criminal record would not show up in any type of background check or other publicly available checks.  However, prosecutors would still be able to access these records. For someone with a previous misdemeanor record, an expungement -also called expunction – means that they can answer the question, “do you have a previous criminal record?” with “No.”

Getting Rid Of A Record

Can my DWI Record be Expunged in North Carolina

Due to changes in the law, there is no limit on the number of expunctions you can request for both misdemeanors and felonies. However, there is a waiting period of five years for misdemeanors and ten years for felonies before requesting any expunction.

Under NCGS 15A-146, it is possible to have a felony conviction expuncted if:

• You don’t have another current felony conviction on your record
• The court and/or DA dismissed your case
• You were acquitted at trial by a jury

Misdemeanors are also eligible for expunction if the case was dismissed, or you were acquitted at trial by a jury. There is no fee to file this petition. Other cases involving a conviction will require a $175 filing fee for the petition. Expunctions take between nine and twelve months to complete.

If you were charged with DWI but not tried, the charges were dropped, your case was dismissed, or you were acquitted (found not guilty) at a jury trial, a DWI can be expuncted as any other type of charge meaning that in these circumstances, a DWI record be expunged.

When A DWI Cannot Be Expunged

A conviction for DWI is not eligible for expunction in North Carolina. The North Carolina legislature changed the laws surrounding expunction in 2015 so that a DWI conviction cannot be expunged or expuncted from anyone’s record. That’s why it’s important to have a strong defense when facing DWI charges heading into court, so you’ll have a better chance of a “not guilty” verdict or having your case dismissed.

For a single incidence of DWI in North Carolina, there is a seven-year “lookback period” for both in-state and out-of-state convictions. Felony habitual DWI carries a 10-year “lookback period.” This means that for the person arrested today for DWI, a judge could look up their record for ten years and include those previous charges to increase the penalties, such as jail time and fines.

However, if more than seven years have passed since the previous DWI, the current DWI is treated as a “first” offense.

Seeking Expungement?

Even if your case was dropped, dismissed, or you were acquitted, the process of eliminating it from your record is not automatic. You must file a petition to request expungement. Because it’s complex, an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh can help you clear your record.

As a former Wake County prosecutor, Dewey P. Brinkley has helped thousands of clients and successfully defended many in DWI cases. Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 (or use our online contact form) for a free consultation.

In Raleigh, NC Can Getting A Traffic Ticket Affect My Credit Score?

As if getting a traffic ticket isn’t bad enough, the idea that it might affect your credit score is even worse. You may have even been told that the traffic ticket goes on your credit report. But does it?

It doesn’t–but most bills that go unpaid for any length of time end up in a collection agency. Over time, if you still don’t pay the bill, the collection agency may be able to take you to court over the unpaid bill (depending on how much it is, along with attorney’s fees.) As a rule, the collection action and judgment is what ends up on your credit report—not the actual traffic ticket.

Two Separate Processes

man receiving a traffic ticket

The ticket is an action initiated by a police officer if you’re stopped for a violation, such as speeding. You can go to court to contest it (with or without an attorney), or you can just pay the fine and be done with it. Whichever you choose, there is likely a fine involved, which must be paid. If you don’t go to court, it’s an unresolved violation with additional fines and consequences, including a license suspension.

If you don’t pay the fine, it’s a delinquent charge after a certain number of days. The municipality that issued the fine may, at some point, send it to a collection agency for them to try and collect the money for it. Until recently, the collection agency’s action is what would and could affect your credit score.

The National Consumer Assistance Plan

This plan, developed by the big three credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, removes certain types of collection actions from credit reports in two stages.

·         As of June 15, 2016, collection agencies cannot report debts that did not originate from a contract or agreement to pay. This means that unpaid parking and traffic tickets, library fines, and other charges from governmental agencies, domestic and foreign, won’t appear on your credit report.

·         As of July 1, 2017, civil judgments tax liens and civil judgments can’t be included in a consumer’s credit report without either their Social Security number or DOB, in addition to the individual’s full name and address.

Some of these types of charges have lowered credit scores as much as 100 points. If a traffic ticket in collections negatively impacted your credit report, the new rules may remove them. Your credit score may benefit as a result.

But You Still Need To Pay The Fine

This is not to say that you can ignore the ticket and get out of paying the traffic fine—far from it.

By simply paying the fine, you are admitting guilt. Working with a traffic ticket attorney to have your charges reduced or to fight the charges may keep points off your record, but you still need to pay any fines and court charges.

You can also be charged $200 for “failure to appear.” Your ticket indicates the fines involved with the charges, as well as any additional fees if you don’t show up, don’t take corrective action (such as hiring an attorney to represent you in court) or don’t pay it within 20 days of issuance. Fines can increase the longer you ignore them.

Eventually, the state of North Carolina will notify you that your license is being suspended, and you’ll still have to appear in court.

Additionally, you’ll receive additional points on your driver’s license, and your insurance rates will likely increase.

Ticketed In Raleigh? Call Today

A traffic ticket isn’t usually a big problem. But don’t ignore it, or it can get worse. Don’t let a traffic ticket raise your insurance rates or get your license suspended.

If you received a traffic ticket in Raleigh, contact Dewey P. Brinkley in Raleigh, NC. You can use our online contact form or call our offices any time at 919-832-0307. We look forward to helping you.


In Raleigh, NC Does A Suspended License Show Up On A Background Check?

Job hunting is a lot more complex than it used to be. Credit and background checks are standard procedure for new hires, and in some cases, applicants. Many organizations feel that it’s better to do a background screen on an individual before they even interview them, especially since it’s now much less expensive.  In Raleigh, NC Does A Suspended License Show Up On A Background Check?


Background checks are part of the normal course of business for more than just jobs. If you’re trying to rent a new apartment, the new landlord or management company wants to make sure you’re someone they can reasonably trust to take care of their property and won’t be a “bad neighbor.

If you’re attempting to purchase a firearm, a criminal background check is standard procedure. Specific jobs, such as teachers and childcare workers, will undergo a more thorough background check to comply with the elevated standards that are part of the job.

What A Background Check Finds

When someone says they will be doing a “background check,” it means that they will be looking at your criminal history, particularly within the last 7 to 10 years. They will also be checking to see if your education and experience match what you’ve listed on your resume. Employment background checks can also include driving records, credit records, reference verifications, and drug screens, depending on the type of job you’re applying for. If you’re applying for a job that requires a valid driver’s license, a driving record check will likely be included.

If there is any adverse information in your report, particularly a criminal conviction, it will show up, and you’ll likely be questioned about it. If there is an entry that you know will appear, it’s best to mention it to the company before they run a check, and alert them that it will appear. A company considering you for a job where money is handled will want to know if you’ve previously been accused of or convicted of a money-related crime, such as embezzlement.

The National Driver Register

This division of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a nationwide database of individuals who have lost their driving privileges. The NDR is a repository of driving infractions from DMV offices around the US. Anyone running a background check with the NDR will find a suspended license, as well as a revoked or denied for cause, such as a DUI conviction.

Although all 50 states participate, it is not without error, and some records may not have been updated as they should have been. However, the driving records are not kept with the NDR, they are handled and updated at the state level. Record updates are done according to the individual state’s recordkeeping requirements.

Get Help With A Suspended License

If your license has been suspended, you may need help getting it reinstated. Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley is your best chance in Raleigh for reversing your suspended license and your driving privileges restored. Don’t let a suspension cost you your job, housing or other things. He can help you through the appeals process and defend you in court. Call today: 919-832-0307 (or contact him online) to schedule an appointment for your free initial consultation.