What is a 30 Day Civil Revocation?
In North Carolina, it’s possible to have your license revoked immediately upon getting charged with a criminal or traffic offense before even going to trial. Unfortunately, getting your license back in this situation can be tricky. But, it’s doable and you’ll need to act quickly.
If you are charged with driving while impaired (DWI) you will be subject to an immediate 30 Day civil revocation of your driver’s license if:
- you refused to submit to a breath test
- you refused to submit to a blood test, or
- you got a .08 or greater on either the breath test or blood test
While you have a right to a criminal trial, the 30 Day Civil Revocation of your driver’s license is immediate. You can get a limited driving privilege after ten days, but you also have the possibility of immediately petitioning to reverse the revocation.
Limited driving privileges will allow you to drive to work, school, the grocery store, and anywhere necessary for the maintenance of your household. However, if you choose to fight the civil revocation and win the petition to reverse the revocation, you get your full license restored immediately.
Proper Procedure for a 30 Day Civil Revocation
In order to initiate a civil revocation, a law enforcement officer must demonstrate that he had “reasonable grounds” to believe that you were driving while impaired and either willfully refused to give a breath sample or had a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit (.08).
If the Chemical Analyst believes you deliberately did not blow hard enough, or if you refused a test then the Chemical Analyst must create and send the Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) a statement swearing that the person willfully refused. This is called an “affidavit” and it must contain facts explaining the probable cause for you to be subjected to the Implied Consent requirements and must state that you were notified of your Implied Consent rights. If the DMV does not receive a properly executed affidavit then the DMV has no statutory authority to revoke your driving privileges for the refusal.
After an affidavit and revocation report is filed, the magistrate inevitably finds probable cause and enters an order revoking your driver’s license for 30 days. This is called a “Revocation Order”.
How to Fight a 30 Day Civil Revocation
Contesting a civil revocation is particularly vital if you have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) because you will lose your CDL immediately and then be disqualified for a year regardless of the fact that your criminal case has not been heard.
You only have ten days in which to request a hearing to contest this civil revocation and one-year disqualification from a CDL. This request must specify “the grounds upon which the validity of the revocation is challenged” and the hearing itself will be limited to the grounds detailed in the request.
Contesting the revocation report is important because, if it is not challenged, the judge may simply accept any fact listed in the revocation report as true. However, if contested, the judge must find that each condition of revocation was met by “the greater weight of the evidence” in order to sustain the revocation. At the end of the hearing, the judge must enter an order either sustaining or rescinding the revocation. This decision is final and not appealable.
Civil revocation hearings in North Carolina can be overwhelming and complex but there are ways to fight them and the attorneys at Dummit Fradin have a stellar track record of fighting for their clients in civil revocation hearings.
Limited Driving Privileges
It is also important to remember that while you are subject to a civil revocation for driving while impaired you will be eligible for a limited driving privilege after ten days if you held either a valid driver’s license or a license that had been expired for less than one year. Additionally, you must have obtained a substance abuse assessment and have agreed to participate in any treatment programs that were recommended as a result of the assessment. Learn more about how to petition for a limited driving privilege.
Call Today to Fight a 30 Day Civil Revocation
Remember, you only have ten days to submit a DMV hearing request to fight a 30 Day Civil Revocation. Contact us today to schedule a personal consultation with our criminal defense attorneys. They’ll help you understand your options, answer every question you have, and design a defense strategy specifically for you.