Common Questions and Helpful Answers About NC Criminal and DWI Charges
It is natural to have many questions and concerns when charged with a crime in North Carolina. These charges can have serious consequences and long-lasting effects on those charged with their families, so they need reliable answers quickly. Here, Todd Browning and Howard Long share their answers to many of these tough questions. Find out their thoughts on DWI, traffic charges, and many other crimes.
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Are there better options than a Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC) for speeding tickets?
Yes, if you have been charged with a speeding offense or other traffic violation in North Carolina there are potential options that are more beneficial than using a PJC.
Depending on the speeding offense or traffic violation you were charged with, as well as your prior driving history, you may qualify for a reduction to other offenses such as:
- Improper Equipment
- Failure to Notify the DMV of Address Change
Unlike most traffic offenses like speeding tickets and reckless driving, offenses such as these will not result in points on your North Carolina driver’s license or insurance. In fact, Failure to Notify the DMV of Address Change generally doesn’t even show up on your driving history.
Even if you don’t qualify for a reduction to a traffic offense such as Improper Equipment or Failure to Notify DMV of Address Change, in many situations a simple reduction in your speed may be more beneficial than using a PJC. Again, this is very fact specific but largely depends on if and when you, or another person on your insurance policy, have been convicted of a speeding offense or other traffic violation.
Contact Our Charlotte Traffic Ticket Defense Lawyers
Browning & Long, PLLC can help you determine if you may qualify for a reduction to Improper Equipment, Failure to Notify DMV of Address Change, or speed reduction. Contact us now for a free consultation.
What are the benefits of using a Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC) for my NC traffic violation?
The major benefits of receiving a Prayer for Judgment Continued pertains to driver’s license points and insurance premium surcharges. Since a PJC is not a judgment, the underlying speeding ticket or traffic violation that you used it for will not count as a conviction. As a result, no points will go on your North Carolina driver’s license and your insurance premiums won't increase.
Can I Use a PJC for my Charlotte Traffic Ticket Case?
While a Prayer for Judgment Continued may be used for a variety of North Carolina offenses, it is most frequently used for traffic offenses such as speeding and reckless driving charges. However, if you have been charged with certain traffic violations you will not be able to receive the benefits of a PJC.
Charges that are excluded from using a PJC include the following:
- Speeding violations in excess of 25 mph over the speed limit
- Passing a stopped school bus
Additionally, if you hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL), or were driving a commercial vehicle, a PJC will not prevent a speeding offense or other traffic violation from counting as a conviction. And if you are licensed in a state other than North Carolina and receive a PJC for a North Carolina speeding offense or traffic violation, it’s possible - and likely - that your state will not recognize that PJC; thus, the conviction will count against you.
How Many Times Can I Use a PJC in North Carolina?
For purposes of driver’s license points, a third or subsequent PJC within a five-year period will count as a conviction. With regard to insurance premiums, a second PJC during a three-year period will result in a conviction. This ultimately results in increased insurance premiums based on both the original PJC and new PJC, both of which will now count as convictions.
To further complicate matters, you may not be able to benefit from a PJC if you, or another person on your insurance policy, has previously used a PJC. For insurance purposes, PJCs are accumulated by everyone on your insurance policy, not just you.
Find Out if a PJC Will Work for Your Case
While a Prayer for Judgment Continued sounds great, there may be better options for you. Not only may there be better options than a PJC, but your specific situation could prevent you from receiving any of the benefits.
The inner workings of a PJC are extremely complex. Contact our Charlotte traffic ticket defense attorneys at Browning & Long, PLLC for a free legal consultation to determine if a PJC is right for you.
What is the difference between DWI and DUI in North Carolina?
To begin, DWI stands for Driving While Impaired; DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence. While the correct legal term for impaired driving in North Carolina is Driving While Impaired (DWI), there is no practical difference between it and Driving Under the Influence (DUI), or one of the many other terms used to describe impaired driving, including the following.
- Driving While Impaired (DWI)
- Driving While Intoxicated
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- Operating a Motor Vehicle Impaired (OMVI)
- Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI)
- Operating While Impaired (OWI)
- Operating While Intoxicated
- Operating Under the Influence (OUI)
- Drunk Driving
- Drugged Driving
Speak To A Charlotte DWI Lawyer Today
Regardless of what you called it, being convicted of DWI in Charlotte, North Carolina indicates that you drove a motor vehicle while you were impaired by some impairing substance. It is not necessary for the impairing substance to be alcohol as some of the terms above would indicate (i.e. Driving While Intoxicated, Operating While Intoxicated, or Drunk Driving). In fact, it is possible to be convicted of DWI when you are impaired by a substance other than alcohol, including, but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, and prescription medications. Thus, the term Driving While Impaired, or DWI for short, was created to include any and all substances that a person may consume that might impair their ability to drive.
More DWI Information:
Can I purchase a handgun in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina if I'm convicted of DWI?
As is often the case with the law, the answer to this question is “it depends.” Generally, you must have either a North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit or a North Carolina Handgun Purchase Permit to purchase a handgun. The Concealed Handgun Permit allows you to carry a handgun concealed in certain situations, while the Handgun Purchase Permit simply allows you to purchase a handgun.
In North Carolina there are many requirements you must meet in order to obtain one of the handgun permits mentioned above, as well as many reasons to deny you from obtaining one of these permits. This FAQ does not address all these requirements and reasons for disqualification, just those that pertain to DWI convictions. So let’s take a look at the requirements to obtain each type of permit as it concerns DWI.
North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit and DWI Convictions
As hinted at, the North Carolina General Statutes (N.C.G.S.) dictate who qualifies for a North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit. As these statutes pertain directly to DWI, you cannot be granted such a permit if you have been convicted of an impaired driving offense listed below within three years prior to the date your application is submitted. Those impaired driving offenses include the following:
This essentially means that if you have been convicted of one of these three offenses, you must wait three years from the date of your conviction to submit your application for your North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit.
To read more about the other requirements to obtain a North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit, see N.C.G.S. 14-415.12.
North Carolina Handgun Purchase Permit and DWI Convictions
Even if you don’t qualify to get your North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit because of an impaired driving conviction, you may still be able to purchase a handgun by obtaining your North Carolina Handgun Purchase Permit. As it pertains to DWI, the relevant law indicates that such a permit may not be issued to you if you are under an indictment for or have been convicted in any state, or in any court of the United States, of a felony. Since DWI related convictions are typically classified as misdemeanors and not felonies, North Carolina law does not seem to prohibit you from purchasing a handgun by obtaining your North Carolina Handgun Purchase Permit when you are convicted of DWI.
To read more about the other requirements to obtain a North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit, see N.C.G.S. 14-404.
Although North Carolina law does not seem to prohibit it, the better inquiry may regard federal law; that is, under federal law does a DWI conviction prohibit you from possessing a handgun?
Can my NC driver's license be revoked for speeding?
Yes. Regardless of your driving history, if you are convicted of certain speeding offenses your North Carolina driver’s license may potentially be revoked by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). These speeding offenses include the following:
- A conviction for speeding greater than 75 mph in a zone less than 70 mph
- A conviction for speeding greater than 80 mph in a 70 mph zone
- A conviction for speeding greater than 15 mph above the speed limit in a 55 mph zone
- A conviction for speeding greater than 80 mph
This means that even if you have a perfectly clean driving record, being convicted of one of the above speeding offenses can cause your driver's license to be revoked. These revocations generally result in a 30-day suspension. However, a limited driving privilege may be available for first time offenders.
Other Speeding Violations That Can Revoke Your License
Other than those traffic violations listed above, there are also other speeding violations that can potentially revoke your North Carolina driver’s license that depend more on your driving history. These speeding offenses include the following:
- Two or more convictions for speeding greater than 55 mph, both of which occur within a 12-month period
- One conviction for speeding greater than 55 mph and one conviction of reckless driving, both of which occur within a 12-month period
- One conviction for speeding greater than 55 mph and one conviction of aggressive driving, both of which occur with a 12-month period
Get Your Driver's License Restored
If you think you fall into any of the categories above, it is important to contact an experienced speeding ticket attorney at Browning & Long, PLLC. These skilled lawyers may be able to help you avoid a license revocation by discussing your legal options, such as speed reductions, a Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC), and more. Call (980) 207-3355 now for your free consultation.