There are many different reasons that a ticket may be cited in North Carolina – but speeding is, by far, the top violation. You have to understand that if the speed limit is 55 miles an hour, an officer can detain you for going 56 miles an hour. Many people believe that you can “go five over” and still be within the speed limit – but the truth is that you can be cited for going even one mile over the posted speed limit.
While speeding is the number-one cited traffic violation, it is followed closely by:
- Reckless Driving,
- No Operator’s License, and
- Driving While License Revoked.
The Most Common Mistakes People Make When They Receive A Traffic Citation
The number one most common mistake people make is paying their ticket without seeking the advice of legal counsel.
Oftentimes, an attorney will give you a consultation regarding a speeding ticket without charging. That consultation puts you in a better position with more understanding than just handling it on your own.
When you pay that ticket off and have not spoken with an attorney, you are pleading guilty as charged. This will result in your being assessed however many points for the license and insurance purposes that the state legislator has associated with that guilty plea.
The number two mistake that people make when they receive tickets is being uninformed.
Let’s say you want to resolve your ticket on your own, that’s fine. But, at the very least, try to make sure that:
- You have looked up what you’re charged within the statute;
- You have gotten your driving record from the DMV;
- You are taking your driving record with you when you go to court;
- You go to negotiate with the district attorney;
- You understand what impact a guilty plea would have on your driver’s record.
A lot of times, folks in court will see other individuals handle their speeding tickets without the benefit of a lawyer. And they say “Okay, this person can handle it, I’m going to do the same thing they’re doing.”
You have to understand that another person’s driving history is different from your driving history – and a guilty plea will impact your driving history differently than anyone else’s.
When People Who Are Facing Traffic Violations Try To Handle It On Their Own
A large percentage of folks try to resolve the tickets on their own – and they often end up suffering adverse consequences. You see them in court: they’re nervous, they don’t know what to say, and they’re scared.
When I’m in court observing, I can tell that people are pleading guilty and their license is going to be suspended based on their pleas.
Often in these situations, the judge will ask an observing attorney, “As a friend of the court, will you please advise this person that what they’re about to plead guilty to will result in their license being suspended?”
So, if you’re lucky, an attorney may sometimes come in and stop you as a friend of the court. In this situation, I would go up to someone and say, “Hey listen, you don’t want to do that”.
There are many times when folks try to handle their speeding tickets on their own. This is why we see a lot of folks being charged with driving while their license is revoked – because they didn’t realize that their plea was going to end up suspending their license.
The Negative Consequences Of Trying To Pay Your Traffic Ticket And Move On
If you try to pay your traffic ticket without an attorney’s help, it may result in an assessment of points to your driver’s license and negative impacts on your insurance.
In North Carolina, we have two different types of points – driver’s license points and insurance points. You have to evaluate the negative impact on each point system before you enter your plea.
You can get 12 driver’s license points before your license gets suspended. So if, for example, you are facing a 2-point violation, you may think that “pleading guilty” would leave you with a 10-point buffer before a negative impact occurs.
The thing you must understand is, in this case, your insurance premium would increase by 2 points – resulting in a 15-20% insurance premium increase. So while you wouldn’t get your driver’s license suspended based on points, you’re still going to have an insurance premium increase based on the insurance points associated with the offense.
This insurance premium increase is the often most adverse consequence of trying to resolve these matters without the benefit of legal advice.
For more information on Traffic Violations In North Carolina, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (252) 572-4495 today.