Raleigh DWI Attorney Questions New Fees for DMV Hearings
Breaking News! DMV to start charging you for hearings to get license back
The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles released its proposed rules on September 1, 2017. These rules cover hearing fees.
The DMV hearing fees range from $40 to $1,200. The fee for an applicant seeking the early restoration of their driving privileges after a DWI conviction is $425. To have a conference to determine the applicant’s eligibility to attend a driver improvement clinic is $40. It will be $450 for a hearing regarding refusal to submit to a chemical analysis.
Fees may be waived if an applicant can show they are indigent under a criteria set by DMV.
The development of fees came at the direction of the General Assembly. The aim is to have the DMV Hearing Unit’s fees become its only source of funding to cover its operating budget.
Why These Fees are a Problem
As a well-known DWI attorney in Raleigh for many years, I think these new fees will pose an unfair burden on many of our great citizens.
Driving is very important for most North Carolinians. Most North Carolinians do not have reliable public transportation options as an alternative, in case they cannot afford a DMV hearing to obtain their driving privileges.
Although driving is a privilege, and not a right, we must acknowledge that driving is an integral part of our society. Without being able to drive, someone can lose their employment or make it difficult to obtain further education.
Hopefully, those who cannot afford the fees can have them waived. But with anything in life, there will be people that fall out of that criteria but still not be able to afford the fees. What does this do?
A person may decide to continue working without a full or valid license until they can gather the necessary fee amount. Driving without a full or valid license leaves them at risk of being pulled over and given a ticket. A ticket means more money. It becomes a vicious circle.
Charging for hearings may lower the demand for hearings. This, in turn, may require less hearing officers. Once the extra hearing officers are fired, the remaining officers are left with a higher per-officer caseload.
If the number of hearing officers is reduced, this may put additional stress on rural DMV hearing officers. This may mean longer waits for a hearing and for a result.
Ultimately, it is a bad idea to charge for DMV hearings. Your tax money is already going to pay for DMV. Why does the General Assembly and DMV want more?