There are approximately 150 different traffic violations you can be charged within North Carolina. We handle all of them!
Even though speeding tickets are common throughout the State, they can have a very real and serious effect on your driver’s license and insurance rates. Individuals charged with speeding infractions that go to court without a lawyer can be making a big mistake by not realizing the consequences that can accompany even a simple speeding ticket. We will work for you to minimize the impact of the ticket on your license as well as the financial impact of an insurance rate increase, which on average is a 25% increase in your insurance rate per point. Merely paying off your speeding ticket is equivalent to a guilty plea which could have serious negative implications for your license and driving record.
There are a number of factors to consider in how you deal with a criminal traffic charge, and making the wrong decision could result in significant fines, insurance penalties, and possible revocation of your license. Your traffic history, as well as pending charges and the timing of the charges, play a large role in how to handle your ticket. Sometimes, a reduction in speed is all you need, but other times a ‘Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC)’ or a reduction to ‘Improper Equipment Violation – Speedometer’ is required to avoid points and revocation. Some judges and some district attorneys are more likely to offer such relief, while others will deny it. Every court and courthouse has its own rules, regulations, and procedures for handling traffic cases, and often you can run afoul of those local rules.
How Many Points Is a Speeding Ticket in NC?
That is a vague question to ask considering the many factors that go into determining how many points your offense(s) may be worth. The below chart is a “guide” based on NC DMV statutes and guidelines. Here are the 10 ways you can get points on your license for speeding in NC.
|01||Speeding (less than 10 mph over limit when limit is 70 mph or greater)||3 Points|
|02||Speeding (less than 10 mph over limit when limit is 55 mph or greater)||3 Points|
|03||Speeding (under 10 mph over limit when limit is less than 55 mph)||2 Points|
|04||Speeding (more than 10 mph over when limit is between 55 mph & 76 mph)||3 Points|
|05||Speeding in A School Zone||3 Points|
|06||Speeding Through a Safety Zone||3 Points|
|07||Speeding when limit is 55 mph or greater||3 Points|
|08||Speeding when limit is 55 mph or less||2 Points|
|09||Speeding (75 mph or greater when limit less than 70 mph)||Suspended|
|10||Speeding to Evade Arrest||Suspended|
Other License Point Violations
These are various other traffic violations that “award” your DMV record with points the following 28 ways to rack up points on your license in NC are ordered by severity.
|01||Non-Moving Violations||No Points|
|02||Littering from vehicle||1 Point|
|03||All other Moving Violations||2 Points|
|04||Failure to Restrain Child in Restraint||2 Points|
|05||At Fault Accident (property damage > $1,800, but < $3,000)||3 Points|
|06||At-Fault Accidents (injury or property damage < $1,800)||3 Points|
|07||Driving with no Liability Insurance||3 Points|
|08||Driving with no Operator’s License||3 Points|
|09||Failure to Stop for Siren||3 Points|
|10||Failure to Yield Right of Way||3 Points|
|11||Stop Sign/Stop Light Violation||3 Points|
|12||Driving on Wrong Side of Road||4 Points|
|13||Following Too Closely||4 Points|
|14||Hit and Run (property damage)||4 Points|
|15||Illegal Passing||4 Points|
|16||Reckless Driving||4 Points|
|17||Aggressive Driving (Class C License)||5 Points|
|18||Passing a Stopped School Bus||5 Points|
|19||Aggressive Driving (Comm. Lic.)||6 Points|
|20||At-Fault Accident (injury/death > $800, or property damage > $3,000)||Suspended|
|21||Driver Under 21 Driving after Consuming Alcohol/Drugs||Suspended|
|22||Driving While Revoked or Suspended||Suspended|
|23||DWI (.08 BAC or more)||Suspended|
|25||Hit and Run (injury/death)||Suspended|
|26||Manslaughter or Negligent Homicide||Suspended|
|27||Pre-arranged Highway Racing||Suspended|
|28||Transporting Illegal Liquor for Sale||Suspended|
Failure to reduce speed
These tickets are normally associated with an accident and, if so, we can normally have these dismissed with proof that any claims associated with the accident have been paid. If there is no accident involved then they are treated as minor moving violations and must be addressed properly to avoid an insurance increase.
Speeding in a construction zone
This speeding charge is treated as a typical speeding charge for insurance purposes but carries with it a mandatory penalty currently at $250.00. We handle these charges as we would a standard speeding charge but we will often be able to have the penalty reduced so that the financial effect is minimized.
Speeding in a school zone
If you are convicted of speeding in a school zone then your insurance will increase whether or not you have a clean driving record. Furthermore, district attorneys and judges are often reluctant to reduce these charges to keep them from affecting your insurance due to the public policy involved. Despite this, we are often successful in keeping even this type of charge from affecting your insurance.
Prayer for judgment
Essentially, what a PJC does is continue the judgment. Take a speeding ticket for example. A conviction of the ticket would carry license points, and often times, insurance points as well. However, if the court grants a PJC, then no points will result. A PJC also prevents the imposition of a fine.
Anyone can make a mistake, but the costly ones often stay with you. As a criminal defense and traffic / DUI attorney here in Western North Carolina, I seek to provide my clients with clear, honest legal advice to help mitigate the impact of those mistakes, while being mindful of their budget.
As a former assistant district attorney, I’ve tried hundreds of DUI / DWI cases, and fight for my clients to achieve the best result possible. I pride myself on offering honest case assessments free to potential clients, and fighting to protect the rights of individuals that seek my assistance.
I provide legal advice and representation for DUI / DWI, traffic violations, and criminal offenses in the following counties and cities of Western North Carolina: Jackson, Rutherford, Polk, McDowell, Transylvania, Madison, Yancey, Haywood, Henderson, and Buncombe.
Look over the following categories and see if any are an area that I can be of service to you. I will do my best to fight for you and give you the best legal defense, you deserve.
Call us now for a free consultation. We accept payments by check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. Most charges allow me to appear on your behalf, without the need for you to attend court.
Driving While License Revoked
This is a serious misdemeanor offense that could cause a further period of suspension and/or possible imprisonment. At our firm, we are experienced in reviewing driving records to determine the cause of license suspensions and what can be done to have the license reinstated. The proper handling of this type of ticket by an experienced attorney can not only avoid the imposition of heavy fines and imprisonment but can also result in reducing the effect on insurance and reinstatement of a license so that future problems can be avoided.
Pleading to a charge of Driving While License Revoked, or to any moving violation during a period of revocation, will revoke your license for a minimum of one additional year, and in some cases can lead to permanent license revocation. There are ways of avoiding this extreme impact on your ability to drive.
Failure to Maintain Lane Control
In North Carolina, there are many ways to get this type of ticket dismissed. Most of the ways are going to involve motions. For this, you are probably going to need an attorney. Failure to maintain a lane is a 3 point violation. If you do not have any other points on your license, this can cause your insurance premiums to increase by 60%… Each circumstance is different. Let us evaluate your case to determine the right path to take.
A lawyer should be involved from the outset of a reckless driving charge in North Carolina. The highly specific nature of the possible penalties, including both criminal penalties and the influence of the reckless charge on a driver’s license, requires that dedicated legal counsel is involved in your case from the outset. For more insight into North Carolina’s reckless driving laws, including how your specific reckless driving case is likely to proceed, please call us for a consultation.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident
North Carolina has laws covering hit and run accidents. Generally, a hit and run occurs when a driver is involved in an accident with a pedestrian, another car, or a fixed object, and leaves the scene without identifying himself or herself or rendering aid to anyone who may need help. The definition of hit and run generally doesn’t include fault. The violation is committed when the driver leaves the scene, regardless of whether he or she caused the accident. Duty to stop in the event of accident or collision (NCGS section 20-166) Penalties for leaving the scene of an accident include fines and jail time and may be classified as either misdemeanors or felonies. Typically, felony hit and run occurs when a driver leaves the scene of an accident in which a driver or pedestrian has been injured. In addition, a driver who leaves the scene of an accident may also have his or her license suspended.
Distracted driver accidents have become one of the most common causes of car accidents in North Carolina and across the country. Distracted driving covers a wide range. Sometimes, drivers simply look away for a second at something other than the other cars on the road. Maybe they’re fiddling with the radio or sipping hot coffee. Cell phone accidents and texting while driving accidents are the most common kind of distracted driver car accidents.
Running a Red Light or Stop Sign
If you are charged with a red light or stop sign violation, there are a number of options that can be pursued aside from just pleading guilty. Depending on your specific situation, it might be best for you to take a prayer for judgment continued (PJC), make some sort of plea agreement involving driving school or community service in exchange for a non-moving violation or a city code violation. Of course, you can always choose to go to trial. We can and will work with you to find the best solution. Attempting to handle a stop sign or red light ticket without counsel can be a huge mistake.
Passing a School Bus
While many people consider passing a stopped school bus to be a minor traffic offense, law enforcement officials and traffic courts in our state take a much more serious view. If you have been given a traffic citation for passing a stopped school bus, you will want to contact our firm, who can defend you against your ticket and possibly help you avoid penalties such as license points and monetary fines. According to our state’s traffic laws, it is a misdemeanor offense to fail to stop for any school bus that is displaying its mechanical stop sign or flashing red lights and stopping to allow the receipt or discharge of passengers. Any driver approaching a stopped school bus from either direction may not attempt to pass the bus until it has stopped displaying its stop sign or flashing lights and has started to move. It is important to note, however, that a driver who is traveling on the opposite side of a road that is divided by a barrier or median does not have to stop. This exception also includes roadways with a center lane for left turns, as long as that roadway features at least four additional turns.