This article explains the basics of North Carolina traffic offenses, it includes information on:
- The most common ticketed traffic offenses in North Carolina.
- The differences and distinctions between traffic misdemeanors and felony offenses.
- The potential advantages of hiring a traffic ticket defense attorney in North Carolina.
What Are The Most Common Traffic Offenses Ticketed In North Carolina?
Speeding remains by far the most common traffic offense ticketed in North Carolina. This includes offenses where the driver was either driving above the speed limit or failing to reduce speed for special circumstances like roadwork.
When Does A Traffic Violation Become A Misdemeanor Or More Serious Offense?
A traffic violation reaches misdemeanor status if you are committing a more serious, risky, or concerning violation. For example, if you are speeding at 15 miles per hour or more over the speed limit, that would be a misdemeanor offense.
Anything less serious than a misdemeanor is an infraction, for example, a seatbelt violation is going to be an infraction. Most non-moving violations are typically infractions and moving violations involving speeding 15 miles per hour or more over the speed limit are usually misdemeanors.
Alternatively, if there was a collision, and certainly if there was injury or property damage, the violation may be charged as a felony. For example, driving while drunk and hitting a car that seriously injured or killed the other driver would be a felony-level offense.
What Scenarios Most Commonly Lead To A Suspended License?
Suspending a license is one penalty available to the judicial system or DMV after a serious driving infraction or misdemeanor. The most common scenario resulting in a suspended license, however, is actually when someone fails to show up to court or not paying the fine for their original ticket.
Having several tickets in the span of a year or two can cause points against your license to accumulate, if those points reach a high enough number, they can cause the DMV to suspend your license as well.
Should I Just Pay My Fine And Be Done With It?
One of the ways that people get suspended licenses is by receiving multiple tickets, even very simple tickets, in a short period. If you just pay your fine and be done with it, then those points go on your license.
On the other hand, if you hire an attorney and they can reduce your charge to a violation that would not add points to your license you would therefore no longer be at risk of a suspension. You would also have to worry less about future tickets potentially revoking your license.
Therefore it is always recommended to at least consult with an attorney so they can go over the available defenses or possible ways to remedy the ticket.
Do I Really Need An Attorney For Traffic Offenses In North Carolina?
It might seem easier to just pay your traffic ticket and be done with it, but this move can come with hidden cumulative consequences. What people do not often realize is that there are many different ways to resolve a traffic offense.
Taking into account your driving record, the road conditions on that day, and the ability for an attorney to speak on your behalf, you could get the charge against you reduced to something that would not impact your insurance or driving record, the insurance cost adjustment alone probably makes the attorney’s fees well worth it.
Additionally, having an attorney means that you don’t have to come to court in person and so the cost that you pay for an attorney might be cheaper even than the travel costs, or the day of work you will have to miss by going to court.
For more information on Dealing With Traffic Offenses In North Carolina, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (252) 371-0127 today.