Are you driving on a suspended license?
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In North Carolina, a number of actions can result in the suspension of your drivers license, professional license or wildlife license – most notable among these is failure to pay your child support obligations. Today we'll look at what circumstances can cost you any of these licenses and how bankruptcy can help you get them back, no matter why you lost them.
If you are a non-custodial parent and are court ordered to pay child support, if you fall 90 days behind on your payments, your license can be suspended until you get current or on a payment plan the court finds acceptable. The court will order you to appear and will physically take your license and destroy it. You can also have a block put on your motor vehicle registration for non-payment of child support so that you can't renew your tags.
In the same manner, occupational and professional licenses can be taken away for non-payment of child support. This includes commercial driver's licenses, medical and dental licenses, cosmetology licenses, electrician's licenses, etc. Hunting, fishing and trapping licenses can also be suspended for failing to pay child support once you go past the 90 day delinquency mark. Non-payment of parking tickets or citations for moving violations can also result in suspension of your driver's license, as well.
Once your driver's license is suspended or revoked, for whatever reason, driving becomes an infraction of the law. If you are caught driving on a suspended license, it will result in a class one misdemeanor charge and one year additional license suspension for a first offense. A second offense will result in an additional two year's suspension and a third offense will cost you your license for good.
You can see quickly why looking for a solution is far preferable to taking the risk of driving on a suspended license. Similarly, if you are caught working while your professional license is suspended, the consequences can be dire. Instead, the best approach is to look for a permanent and legal solution to get your license back for good. Bankruptcy can help. There are two approaches to consider depending on how much debt you have and what type.
Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will not relieve you of any of the child support, alimony, citation or court fines that you owe. But what it will do is strip away all of your other unsecured debts such as credit cards, medical bills and other debts that are taking up your cash. If unloading these debts will free up enough money to catch up your support or other obligations that have cost your license(s), this can be a good approach. Catch up or pay off what you owe and with proof of payment, you can get your drivers and/or professional licenses restored.
If, however, you don't qualify for a Chapter 7 or even getting rid of those debts won't free up enough money to enable you to take care of the obligations and get your license back, you should consider a Chapter 13. This will allow you to get onto a payment plan to catch up your past debts, including child support, alimony and any court fees. Once your payment plan has been approved by the Trustee and bankruptcy court, you should be able to present it to the court that suspended your license and have it restored. You'll need to stay current on your payment plan to ensure you don't get it taken away again.
If you're at risk of losing your license or have already lost your license because of back child support obligations or court fines and have other debts that are overwhelming you as well, bankruptcy may be the best solution. To find out more, contact the law offices of John T Orcutt for a free consultation today.