“My license has been indefinitely suspended. What can I do to get my license back?”

Perhaps you have received THAT letter – the one from the DMV which says your license is scheduled for an indefinite suspension.  What has caused you to receive this letter, and what should be your next step?

For most people, the indefinite suspension happens for two reasons:  (1) you failed to appear (FTA) at your scheduled court appearance for a a North Carolina traffic offense or (2) you failed to comply (FTC) with the monetary obligations for a North Carolina traffic ticket that was previously resolved.

Your failure to appear or your failure to pay can have serious consequences which lead to the suspension of your license.  What most people don’t realize, however, is that your North Carolina license isn’t immediately suspended for either reason.  For example, when you initially miss your scheduled court appearance, your ticket is marked as “called and failed”.  As long as your ticket is rescheduled within 20 days, the DMV will not be notified, and thus, you will never get the dreaded, aforementioned letter.

The problem is that most people do not reschedule their North Carolina traffic ticket within 20 days, which then leads to the DMV being notified, and a “failure to appear” being entered.   At that point, their license is still not suspended, however they must now resolve the case within 60 days.  Otherwise, their license will be suspended at 12:00 a.m. on the 60th day.

What I have discovered is that many people confuse resolving the case with rescheduling the case.  As a result, they have the mistaken belief that rescheduling the case halts the suspension process.   Once the “failure to appear” is entered, the case must be rescheduled, disposed, and all applicable court costs, fine, and fees must be paid prior to the date and time indicated in the DMV letter.

The process for suspension is similar when North Carolina traffic tickets are not paid in a timely manner.  Once the speeding ticket or other North Carolina traffic offense is resolved, you must pay the ordered court costs, fine, and applicable fees by the ordered compliance date.  Normally, if you fail to pay within 20 days of that compliance date, the DMV will be notified and a “failure to comply” will be entered.  Once again, the DMV will send a letter of notice which indicates that the person’s North Carolina license will be suspended unless the total amount due is not paid within 60 days.  Once the “failure to comply” is entered, an additional fee of $50.00 will be owed.

Therefore, if your North Carolina license is suspended, or if you have received a North Carolina speeding ticket or some other type of citation for a North Carolina traffic offense, your best option is to call an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable about North Carolina speeding and traffic tickets.  By hiring an attorney, you may be able to have this case resolved without ever appearing in court.  In addition, you don’t have to worry about missing work to appear, and your attorney will appear to make sure that you don’t receive a failure to appear.

An experienced traffic attorney, with experience in North Carolina traffic law, will guide you through this process to make sure that all of your rights are being protected and that all of your possible defenses are being asserted.  Please call us at (336) 725-6559 and schedule a free consultation with a Winston-Salem traffic lawyer to assist you.  Our office is located for your convenience in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Woman Sentenced to Eight Years for Smuggling Cocaine on Cruise Ship

Melina Roberge was traveling around the world, and documenting her extravagant lifestyle by posting pictures on Instagram. Her Instagram followers, however, probably had no idea that she was funding this lifestyle by smuggling cocaine.

Roberge was sentenced to eight years in prison on Wednesday after pleading guilty to smuggling 95 kilos of cocaine into Australia.

So what would have been the result if Roberge had been charged in North Carolina?  There are a number of North Carolina criminal laws related to the possession of cocaine, possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, sell and/or deliver cocaine, and trafficking cocaine.  The type of charge that a defendant will face is based upon the amount of cocaine and the circumstances surrounding the arrest and investigation.

In Roberge’s case, based upon the amount of cocaine, she would have likely been charged with trafficking cocaine.  Under North Carolina criminal law, criminal charges involving the possession of cocaine are distinguished in the following manner:

A charge involving 28–199 grams of cocaine will be charged as as Class G felony.
A charge involving 200–399 grams of cocaine will be charged as a class F felony.
A charge involving 400 or more grams of cocaine will be charged as a class Class D felony.

North Carolina felony drug charges have serious penalties and consequences.  If you are charged with a North Carolina drug crime in Winston-Salem such as possession with intent to sell or deliver cocaine (PWISD cocaine) or trafficking in cocaine in Forsyth County or one of the surrounding counties, you need to speak with a Forsyth County criminal defense attorney in Winston-Salem.  Please call our office at (336) 725-6559 for a free consultation with an experienced Winston-Salem criminal defense attorney with knowledge about drug charges to review your case and to discuss your options.

Members of Migos’ Entourage Faces Drug Charges After Concert in North Carolina

First of all, let’s be clear.  No member of the Grammy-nominated hip-hip group Migos has been charged.   The group recently performed at Appalachian State University, and police stopped their tour bus after smelling the odor of marijuana coming from the bus.  After the stop, a search of the bus occurred, and that search resulted in the police find 420 grams of marijuana, which is still less than a pound of marijuana.

Two passengers on the bus were charged with misdemeanor drug possession for charges involving marijuana, Codeine, and Xanax.  Jharon Murphy, who is not a member of the group, was charged with the most serious charges.   Murpy was charged with possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana (PWISD marijuana), which is a class I felony.  Under North Carolina criminal law, a person charged with this offense faces a maximum penalty of 24 months in prison.  Does that mean that he automatically faces 2 years in prison for this charge?  Absolutely not.

With structured sentencing guidelines in North Carolina, a person’s prior record is taken into account along with the type of North Carolina criminal charge.  With that sentencing framework, judges are then provided guidance regarding the type of sentence they are able to impose.  In addition, there may be some type of plea bargain that the State and the defendant’s attorney will ask the judge to consider and accept, and that plea arrangement may provide additional terms and conditions for the judge to consider.

In any event, if you are charged with a North Carolina drug crime such as misdemeanor possession of marijuana, possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana (PWISD marijuana), trafficking in marijuana in Forsyth County or one of the surrounding counties such as Guilford County, Davie County,  or Davidson County), you need to speak with an experienced North Carolina criminal defense attorney.  North Carolina felony drug charges have serious penalties and consequences, but you have rights and options.  Please call our office in Winston-Salem at (336) 725-6559 for a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney with the experience and knowledge about drug charges to review your case and to discuss your options.