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Are DWI Records Made Public in North Carolina?

By Joel Hancock

When you make a huge mistake, such as driving while impaired (DWI), you probably hope to accept the consequences and then move on with your life. However, it’s not always so simple. When you have been arrested for DWI in North Carolina, the records are public, which allows for anyone to find them. 

Criminal records as a rule are considered public information since it is deemed in the best interest of the public to be aware of them. For this reason, they are easily available and accessible. You can find these records both through the courthouse as well as through many websites that specialize in offering them. With this information at our fingertips, employers will likely notice your criminal history when they choose to run a background check on you before hiring you. 

Freedom Of Information Law

Under North Carolina’s Freedom of Information law, the public is granted access to government-created records. Criminal records (assuming they are not expunged from your record) can be accessed through various means: online databases, courts, and law enforcement agencies. For a small fee you may even be able to request a copy of a specific record. Under state law, public records must be available for a small fee or for free and must be accessible through the internet. 

Non-legal Consequences of DWI Arrests

Future Employment

Unless it was expunged, you will be required to disclose your DWI arrest when you apply for a job, for a credit card or credit, for housing, and for school. The only time a DWI will be expunged is if the case has been dismissed. A DWI conviction cannot be expunged in North Carolina.  

Current Employment

Depending on your current employment, you may be fired after you are arrested for DWI. This is even more likely if your job involves some type of driving as part of your job responsibilities (e.g., bus drivers, truck drivers, delivery drivers). If you must seek new employment you should be aware that you will be barred from certain jobs:

  • Military and government positions
  • Positions related to working with children
  • Positions that require you to drive
  • Jobs that require you to handle sensitive and confidential information

Insurance Rates

Another direct impact of a DWI arrest is the marked increase in your insurance rates. As a newly branded “high-risk driver,” your rates will increase almost instantly after your arrest. Many companies will refuse to insure drivers who have been arrested for DWI and drop you entirely. However, there are companies that will insure someone who has been arrested, albeit expensively.

Joel Hancock at Hancock Law Firm, PLLC Helps Those in North Carolina Who Have Been Charged with DWI

If you have been charged with a DWI, you have the right to defend yourself and prove your innocence. Your best bet of doing so successfully is with the help of a knowledgeable and experienced North Carolina criminal defense attorney who understands what you are up against and will fight on your behalf. 

At Hancock Law Firm, PLLC, we fully understand what is at stake and will do everything that we can to help you to fight this order. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

About the Author
Joel Hancock is a native of Carteret County, NC. He devotes 100% of his practice to defending those accused of traffic infractions, DWI, misdemeanors, and felonies in Carteret County, NC.
Posted in DWI