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Wilmington, NC License Revocation and Suspension Attorney

Having a driver’s license is not a right, but it is often a necessity. Public transportation is limited in Wilmington and not very convenient. You need to drive to work, take care of your family and live your life. Unfortunately, this privilege can be suspended or revoked. Once it happens, it can be difficult to have your license reinstated without help.

When you are facing a driver’s license suspension or charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license, contact an experienced suspended license lawyer. There are ways to keep you on the road and at Goolsby Law Firm, we can explain your options.

Attorney Thom Goolsby has decades of experience helping people deal with Wilmington, NC traffic offenses and driver’s license issues. Attorney Goolsby is in court most days, but call or text (910) 763-3339 or contact us online. He’ll be in touch as soon as possible to set up a free, initial consultation.

NC Driver’s License Suspension v. Revocation

A driver’s license suspension means your driving privileges are temporarily taken away. A suspension is for a specific time and once you complete the suspension period and any other requirements, you can have your license reinstated.

When a driver’s license is revoked, your driving privileges are terminated. A revocation remains in effect until you correct the problem and become eligible to apply for a new license.

If you are not sure whether your license is suspended or revoked, talk with a revoked license lawyer. We can make sure you fully understand your circumstances, rights and options.

Common Reasons for License Suspensions & Revocations in Wilmington

Your driving privileges can be suspended or revoked for several reasons, including:

  • Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol (DWI/DUI)
  • Refusing to submit to a chemical test (implied consent violation)
  • Failing a chemical test
  • Speeding
  • Accumulating too many points
  • Failing to appear in court
  • Failing to pay fines
  • Failing to stop at the scene of an accident
  • Causing a fatal crash
  • Two or more reckless or aggressive driving convictions within 12 months
  • Two or more transporting open alcohol container convictions
  • Two or more motor vehicle theft convictions
  • Committing a vehicle-related felony
  • Driving with a suspended or revoked license
  • Moving violations with a suspended license
  • Violating an ignition interlock device restriction

If you have received written notification that your license is going to be suspended or revoked, contact a suspended license attorney as soon as possible. There are steps you can take to keep your license or minimize the consequences of a suspension or revocation.

NC Administrative Hearings for Suspensions and Revocations

When your license is going to be suspended or revoked, it may trigger an automatic administrative hearing. If it does not, you should retain a license restoration lawyer and ask the DMV for an administrative hearing.

To request a hearing, you must complete an administrative hearing form (HF-001) and mail it in with the appropriate fee. The DMV will notify you of the hearing date within 30 days of processing your form.

Though having an attorney at the administrative hearing is not mandatory, it is highly recommended. The outcome of this hearing is critical and these can be very technical proceedings.

With an experienced revoked license lawyer’s help, you may be able to show that a mistake was made. This defense could keep your license from being suspended or revoked. You also can use the hearing to pursue a shorter suspension period or to ask for a hardship license.

Limited Driving Privileges in Wilmington, NC

If your lawyer can show good cause, the hearing officer has the discretion to grant you limited driving privileges. This is commonly called a hardship or restricted license.

With a North Carolina hardship license, you can drive to and from:

  • Work
  • School
  • Court-ordered assessment or treatment
  • Probation-related community service
  • Emergency medical care
  • Religious services
  • Household maintenance

You should speak with a suspended license lawyer about the eligibility requirements for limited driving privileges under North Carolina General Statutes §20-179.3.

Driving with a restricted license is helpful, but your options for when and where you can drive will be limited. If you are pulled over and you are driving outside of your restrictions, you face additional legal trouble. Your privileges can be revoked and you may face an additional criminal charge.

Charges for Driving on a Suspended License

When your license is suspended or revoked, you cannot drive any vehicle. Driving with a suspended or revoked license is a Class 3 Misdemeanor under North Carolina General Statutes §20-28.

If convicted, you can be sentenced to community punishment. If you have four prior convictions, you can receive an intermediate punishment. If you have five or more prior convictions, you can receive active punishment. Active punishment includes jail time. It will also mean additional points on your driver’s license.

Driving while your license is suspended or revoked due to a DWI/DUI is a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Depending on your criminal record, you can be penalized with up to 120 days in jail.

Your license suspension or revocation period will also be extended. For a first offense of driving on a suspended/revoked license, an additional suspension or revocation of one year is added. A second offense will result in a two-year suspension or revocation.

A third offense for driving on a suspended license can result in the permanent loss of your license. However, a permanent revocation does not necessarily last forever. After several years, you may request an administrative hearing and ask for full or limited driving privileges. Speak with a revoked license lawyer about how to avoid the permanent loss of your license.

How to Reinstate a Suspended License in Wilmington, NC

Once you have completed the suspension period and any other requirements, your license may be reinstated automatically. If so, you will not have to apply for a new license, but you do have to pay any relevant fees before you can drive again. There is a $65 restoration fee and a $50 service fee. If you had a DWI suspension, there is also a $130 DWI reinstatement fee.

Getting Back a Revoked License in North Carolina

People often ask us whether a revoked license can be reinstated? The answer is yes, but it is more complicated than the straightforward reinstatement process after a suspension.

A revocation is not for a specific period. Instead, your license remains revoked until you correct the issue that caused the revocation. Before you go to the DMV and ask for a driver’s license, you must resolve the underlying issue.

Revoked license reinstatement requires you to go to the DMV and apply for a new license. You also may have to go through an administrative hearing and have a hearing office approve your request for a new license. When you apply, you must pay reinstatement fees and have proof of insurance.

We recommend you work with a driver’s license reinstatement attorney to pursue a new license. You do not want to waste your time and have your first attempt fail. A lawyer will review your circumstances, confirm your issues have been resolved, determine when you are eligible and guide you through the process.

Talk with a Suspended License Lawyer Today

Many people who face a driver’s license suspension or revocation or who are caught driving with a suspended or revoked license think they are out of options. This worry is far from true, but they may continue driving without a license — racking up charges and making their situations worse.

There are steps you can take to keep your license or obtain a restricted license.

The first step is talking to an experienced and approachable attorney who knows the North Carolina criminal and traffic laws inside and out. Wilmington license revocation and suspension attorney Thom Goolsby is ready to help.

Call the Goolsby Law Firm at (910) 763-3339, send a text at (910) 262-7401 or explain your license issue online. We’ll be in touch ASAP to set up a free consultation.


“I lost my carry concealed permit due to the misapplication of the law by law enforcement. My guns were taken from my home, and my permit was suspended. Thank you Thom Goolsby for standing up for the Second Amendment and my gun rights. You corrected the mistake of law enforcement, and I got my permit back. I appreciate your skill and advocacy.”

- Criminal Defense Client

“Thank you Thom Goolsby for helping me with my case. I heard that you were a super attorney, and I heard right! Thank you for your attention to detail and for helping me with this important matter. Your office was always available to assist me, and your care and concern meant a great deal to me. If I ever need an attorney again, you will be the first person that I call.”

- Personal Injury Client

“Thank you for walking me through the process for getting my open container and underage possession of alcohol charges dismissed. You arranged for a very simple deferred prosecution. It was easy to comply, and my record is now clean. I appreciate your excellent help!”

- Criminal Defense Client

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    “This is what I do. This is what I love. I care about my clients. I will help you.”

    212 Walnut St. Suite 100
    Wilmington, North Carolina 28401

    Like any quality criminal defense attorney, Thom Goolsby may be in court when you first call, but leave a voice mail or send a text. We’ll get with you as soon as possible, so we can go over what happened, evaluate the case, and explain what comes next.