FAIL TO OBTAIN DL/INCREASE PUNISHMENT.

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
House Bill 338 (Public) Filed Tuesday, March 24, 2015
AN ACT TO INCREASE THE PUNISHMENT FOR CERTAIN OFFENSES OF FAILING TO OBTAIN A DRIVERS LICENSE BEFORE DRIVING A MOTOR VEHICLE.
Intro. by Millis.

Status: Re-ref Com On Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House (House Action) (Jul 30 2015)
H 338

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Jul 22 2015 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition. 

    Amends proposed language in GS 20-35 to provide that a vehicle driven at the time the person committed the third or subsequent offence of failure to obtain a driver's license will become subject to forfeiture in accordance with the procedures in GS 20-28.2, GS 20-28.3, GS 20-28.4, and GS 20-28.5. Makes organizational changes to the statute. 

    Deletes proposed new GS 20-28.10. 

    Adds sections making the following changes.

    Amends GS 20-28.2 to amend the definition in the statute to also make it applicable to new GS 20-35(a4), concerning convictions of a third or subsequent offense of failure to obtain a license before driving a motor vehicle, who at the time of each offense was ineligible to receive a license. Amends the term innocent owner to add that it also includes a motor vehicle owner who (1) if the offense resulting in seizure was a failure to obtain a license before driving a motor vehicle punishable by GS 20-35(a4), did not know and had no reason to know that the defendant did not have a driver's license and was ineligible to receive a driver's license or (2) if the offense resulting in seizure was a failure to obtain a license before driving a motor vehicle punishable by GS 20-35(a4), knew that the defendant did not have a driver's license and was ineligible to receive a driver's license because the defendant did not meet the requirements in GS 20-7, but the defendant drove the vehicle without the person's expressed or implied permission, and the owner files a police report for unauthorized operation of the motor vehicle and agrees to prosecute the unauthorized operator of the motor vehicle. Adds and defines the term no drivers license acknowledgment. Amends the statute to allow a judge to determine whether the vehicle driven by a person without a license at the time of the offense becomes subject to a forfeiture order; sets out times at which the determination can be made. Requires the vehicle to become subject to an order of forfeiture if the greater weight of the evidence shows that the defendant is guilty of failure to obtain a license before driving in violation of GS 20-7(a) and is punishable under GS 20-35(a4). Adds that a vehicle must be ordered released to an innocent owner upon satisfactory proof of the execution of a no drivers license acknowledgment if the seizure was for a violation of GS 20-7(a) and is punishable under GS 20-35(a4). Makes conforming changes. 

    Amends GS 20-28.3 to add that a motor vehicle is subject to seizure if it is driven by a person who is charged with a third or subsequent offense of failure to obtain a license before driving a motor vehicle that is punishable under GS 20-35(a4). Requires the clerk to release the vehicle to a nondefendant vehicle owner conditioned on payment of all towing and storage charges, upon the execution of a no drivers license acknowledgment if the seizure was for a violation of GS 20-7(a) and is punishable under GS 20-35(a4). Adds that if the seizure was for an offense of failure to obtain a license before operating a vehicle, a defendant vehicle owner may file a petition with the clerk seeking a pretrial determination that the defendant does not have at least two prior convictions of failure to obtain a license before driving. Sets out requirements for scheduling a hearing before a judge and providing notice of the hearing. Allows the clerk to issue an order releasing the motor vehicle to the defendant when the district attorney determines that the vehicle is not subject to forfeiture and consents to the release of the vehicle. Specifies that at a pretrial hearing under this subdivision, the court is not required to determine the issue of the underlying offense of failure to obtain a license before driving, only the existence of two or more prior convictions of failure to obtain a license before driving.

    Amends GS 20-28.8 to require the clerk of court to report the execution of a no drivers license acknowledgment to the Division of Motor Vehicles. 

    Amends GS 20-54.1 to require revocation of the registration of all motor vehicles registered in the name of a person convicted of failure to obtain a license before driving in violation of GS 20-7(a), and prohibits registering a vehicle in that person's name until the person's license is restored. Requires the convicted person to surrender registration within 10 days of the notice of revocation of registration.


  • Summary date: Apr 21 2015 - More information

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition:

    Makes technical and clarifying changes.


  • Summary date: Mar 24 2015 - More information

    Enacts new GS 20-35(a3) concerning penalties for failing to obtain a license, providing that a second or subsequent offense under GS 20-7(a) for failing to obtain a license before driving a motor vehicle  will be a Class 2 misdemeanor if at the time of each offense the person was ineligible for a driver's license because he or she did not meet the requirements in GS 20-7. Provides for a $400 fine for violations of this subsection. Further provides that a conviction for a third or subsequent offense of the above can result in an active sentence of not less than 20 days and not more than 60 days and the vehicle driven at the time of the offense will be subject to forfeiture. Provides that the above provisions do not apply to someone that fails to obtain a license before driving a vehicle but is eligible to receive a driver's license at the time of the offense or to a person who is driving on a revoked or suspended license.

    Enacts new GS 20-28.10, Seizure, impoundment, forfeiture of motor vehicles for certain offenses of failing to obtain a license before driving a motor vehicle, providing that if a person is convicted of a third or subsequent offense of GS 20-35(a3), the vehicle being driven at the time of the offense will become subject to seizure, impoundment, and forfeiture. Provides legal authority and procedures governing the seizure, impoundment, and forfeiture, including GS 20-28.2 through GS 20-28.9 and GS 20-54.1. Provides a definition for an innocent owner, which is a person who did not know and had no reason to know that the defendant was engaging in a violation of GS 20-35(a3). 

    Effective December 1, 2015, applying to offenses committed on or after that date. 


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