The last thing drivers want to see is flashing blue lights behind them. Sometimes, you may drive away with a warning. However, more often than not, if an officer thinks that you committed a traffic violation, you will be ticketed. Traffic tickets mean inconvenience, added expense, and other consequences, such as increased insurance rates, points on your driving record, and possible license suspension.
Whether you receive a speeding ticket or are charged with something more serious, such as driving while your license is revoked or careless and reckless driving, the best thing to do is to contact a traffic offense attorney right away. By speaking with a defense lawyer, you can learn more about what you are facing. You can also discuss how to improve your situation, the possibilities of defending yourself, and the likelihood of having the ticket dismissed in court.
Attorney Thom Goolsby knows what it is like to deal with North Carolina traffic tickets and is happy to help with yours. Attorney Goolsby is in court most days, but if you call (910) 763–3339, send a text, or contact us online, he’ll be in touch as soon as possible to set up a free, initial consultation.
The Levels of Traffic Offenses in NC
In North Carolina, there are significant differences between a traffic infraction and a misdemeanor traffic offense. Traffic infractions are relatively straightforward violations, typically resolved with a fine and court cost. However, you may also be penalized with insurance points that drive up your rates, as well as driver’s license points that could cause your license to be suspended or revoked.
You have the option to pay traffic infraction court costs and fine right away. However, this is the same as pleading GUILTY. If you pay the court costs and fine, you are accepting all of the consequences: points on your insurance and license, as well as increased insurance premiums.
Misdemeanor traffic offenses are much more serious. Misdemeanor traffic offenses are CRIMES. A common example is a careless and reckless driving charge. You can face incarceration, probation, community service, driving school, court costs, fines, loss of your driving privilege, insurance increases, license points, and more. These are not the types of charges you should risk handling by yourself in traffic court. You need to talk with an experienced traffic offense attorney about the best defensive strategy to avoid a conviction.
Traffic Offenses We Defend Against
At Goolsby Law Firm, we handle all types of traffic tickets and driving offenses, including:
Speeding Ticket (15 Over) (NCGS §20-141)
If you were driving 15 miles per hour more than the speed limit, or over 80 mph, then you will be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor. You can fight speeding tickets! You do not have to just pay the fine and deal with insurance and license points and increased insurance premiums.
Speed Competitions (NCGS §20-141.3)
If you are accused of participating in a prearranged race with another driver, you will be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. If you willfully engaged in a speed competition, you face a Class 2 misdemeanor. Whether the prosecutor believes the race was scheduled or not, you should work with a traffic offense attorney right away.
Careless and Reckless Driving (NCGS §20-140)
If you are pulled over for driving with a willful or wanton disregard of the rights and safety of others or for driving without due caution and at a speed that is likely to endanger others and property, you will be charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor. This charge is a crime and is far more severe than speeding. You should talk with a criminal defense attorney about the best way to defend yourself in court.
Driving on a Revoked/Suspended License (NCGS §20-28)
If you drive while your license is revoked or suspended, you will be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor. If your license is revoked because of impaired driving, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Running a Red Light (NCGS §20-158)
Failing to stop at a stop sign or driving through a red light is an infraction and you will be ordered to pay a court cost and fine. Insurance and license point apply for three full years.
Hit and Run (NCGS §20-166)
In North Carolina, all drivers have a duty to stop if they are in a crash. If you fail to stop and you reasonably should have known the crash caused serious bodily injury or death, it is a Class F felony. If the collision caused injury, expect to be charged with a Class H felony. If the accident caused only property damage or you could not have reasonably known someone was injured or killed, then this is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Driving While Impaired (DWI) (NCGS §20-138.1)
If the police stop you and you are under the influence of an impairing substance, have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher, or any Schedule I drug in your system, you will be charged with a DWI. North Carolina has six levels of DWI. Penalties range from 60 days to three years in jail.