Every road in North Carolina has a posted speed limit for a reason. It indicates that the nature of that specific road, and the setting in which it resides, mean that it is not safe to go any faster than what has been determined and posted. Speed limit decisions are made with the safety of everyone in mind.
However, these limits are often violated in North Carolina. Sometimes, people are aware of the limit and choose to drive faster. Other times, they may have missed a change in the speed limit but will still receive a consequence if caught. If you are a driver in North Carolina, it can help to understand how much a speed ticket could cost to ensure you are being treated fairly if pulled over by law enforcement or to help you avoid speeding altogether.
If you have been caught speeding, and the officer has decided to write you a ticket and not let you go with a warning, you can expect to be charged anywhere from $10 to $250. How fast you were reported to be driving influences where you fall in that range.
The most expensive ticket you could receive is if you were found to be speeding in a posted school or work zone. These areas are highly marked with an abundance of flashing signs to alert drivers that they need to reduce their speed to keep the students or workers safe. You could receive up to a $250 fine for neglecting to slow down in these areas. On top of all these fees, there could be an extra $200 or more for court costs. While these ticket fees are not going to cost you thousands of dollars in a single incident, repeat offenders have been seen racking up an extensive legal bill, which is only the start of their punishment in North Carolina.
A speeding fine could be just the start of your consequences. North Carolina also operates on a driving record point system. Each violation, depending on the seriousness of the offense, is assigned a different point value.
Typical speeding violations in North Carolina will add 2-3 points to your record. If you receive 12 points within three years, it is an indication that you are not a safe driver in North Carolina and continue to pose a risk to the safety of others, despite receiving several punishments already. You will lose your license for a certain period once you hit the 12-point mark.
Once you get your license back from the original suspension, you do not get another 12-point grace period within 3 years. That number is reduced to 8 points. If you hit that again, you will lose your license for an even longer period of time and may even have to spend some time in jail. This is to deter unsafe behavior on the road and maximize the safety of other North Carolina drivers.
If you are driving from another state, and are caught speeding in North Carolina, you will face the same repercussions as the local residents do. There is no reduction in how much you might have to pay for a ticket or in any points being added to your license. The North Carolina DMV will report the violation to your state of residence. Depending on how they handle out-of-state violations, you could face additional penalties.
Absolutely. Everyone has the legal right to challenge what they have been accused of violating on the road. To start this process, you must request a trial. When the trial begins, you and your Speeding Ticket Attorney in Gastonia, NC, have the responsibility of reviewing the chain of events that happened on that day and presenting compelling evidence that makes the court question the original accusation. Without hiring a traffic attorney who has already represented a ton of clients in similar situations in North Carolina, you dramatically increase your risk of failing to make your case and being stuck with the original consequences.
The answer to this is highly dependent on how your insurance company handles situations where their customers violate a traffic rule. From the insurance company’s perspective, they consider you at higher risk of needing their services because you have been found to neglect a safety rule. However, you can sometimes restore their confidence in you by attending a traffic safety course, for example. This can show that you are feeling the weight of the violation and want to ensure it does not happen again.
It is true that a first-time traffic offender has a better chance of reducing their punishment than someone who has been in traffic court many times. One of the programs that exist for these situations is called a “Prayer for Judgement Continued,” otherwise known as the acronym PJC. This is where a judge has the discretion to agree that the individual is guilty of the alleged offense but offers the PJC to hold the individual accountable without this being reflected on their driving record. It is not guaranteed that all first-time offenders will receive a PJC. It is up to the discretion of your judge and how apologetic you appear in court.
If you are facing a speeding ticket in North Carolina, and don’t know where to turn, contact the team at The Law Firm of Brent D. Ratchford today. We know that these situations can cause a ton of stress for our clients, and we aim to reduce your legal burdens and get you back on the road safely.