When Can You Drive After Conviction or Plea to a Charlotte NC DWI
Initially after an arrest, those persons charged with a DWI in NC can apply for a pre-trial limited driving privilege ten (10) days after arrest. This Limited Driving Privilege is valid for twenty (20) days. Your original license will be returned thirty (30) days after arrest and upon payment of a $100.00 “civil restoration fee.” This license will be effective unless you are found guilt or plead guilty to the DWI.
If you are found guilty or plead guilty, you will have to surrender your drivers license in the courtroom before you leave. All clients then want to know when they can apply for a post-trial driving privilege. In some cases, you could be eligible immediately. Certainly, if you have decided to plea before your next scheduled court date, our office will prepare the necessary documents for the judge to sign that day and get everything filed before we leave the courthouse. We walk you through the entire process including going to Room 4000 to get you set up for community service and payment of fines and court costs. Even in those cases where you decide to take your case to trial, we will still have everything ready, just in case. Better to be prepared.
The process for getting a post-trial LDP is essentially the same, but there are a few distinctions in the types of privileges available depending on the circumstances of your particular case. Another major difference is who can sign. In a pre-trial situation, any District Court Judge can execute a LDP. Post-trial applications can only be signed by the trial judge, or if he or she is not available, the Chief Judge for the county.
Types of Post-Trial Limited Driving Privileges Available
(1) Limited Driving Privilege – same as pre-trial and lasts for entire one year suspension. BAC level must be below 0.15% to qualify.
(2) Interlock Driving Privilege – required for BAC of 0.15 or greater; ignition interlock device must be installed prior to privilege and remain in vehicle for a minimum of 1 year; certificate from installer required to be submitted with application; privilege is only available 45 days after guilty plea or conviction.
(3) Refusal Privilege – most difficult privilege to obtain; only available after 6 months; many judges are reluctant to sign this privilege application.
As you can see, the process of getting a post-trial limited driving privilege can be confusing and difficult. You also have to know the judges and their preferences. Although the requirements are the same, each case is different and options will depend on your particular circumstances. Don’t worry. This is what we do.