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Wilmington, NC Traffic Offense Attorney

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.

Do Not Pay Off that Ticket!

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.


“I lost my carry concealed permit due to the misapplication of the law by law enforcement. My guns were taken from my home, and my permit was suspended. Thank you Thom Goolsby for standing up for the Second Amendment and my gun rights. You corrected the mistake of law enforcement, and I got my permit back. I appreciate your skill and advocacy.”

- Criminal Defense Client

“Thank you for walking me through the process for getting my open container and underage possession of alcohol charges dismissed. You arranged for a very simple deferred prosecution. It was easy to comply, and my record is now clean. I appreciate your excellent help!”

- Criminal Defense Client

I am so happy I hired him. I was charged with drug and paraphernalia possession. As a college student, I could not have these convictions on my record. I am so thankful I had Senator Goolsby representing me. He went into court, worked out a wonderful solution, and my charges were dropped.

- Criminal Defense Client

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Consequences of Traffic Offenses

If you are found guilty of a traffic infraction or accept responsibility by paying the ticket, you will have to pay the prescribed fine, court costs, and other fees. You will have insurance and driver’s license points assigned to your record and the offense will be part of your permanent record with the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Depending on the factors involved and your driving record, your license may also be suspended or revoked.

If the offense was a misdemeanor, you face more than fines and suspension. You could be held in custody and/or required to serve probation.

Depending on the class of misdemeanor and your prior convictions, you may face days, weeks, or months in jail.

  • Class A1 misdemeanor: 1-60, 1-75, or 1-150 days
  • Class 1 misdemeanor: 1-45, 1-45, 1-120 days
  • Class 2 misdemeanor: 1-30, 1-45, 1-60 days
  • Class 3 misdemeanor: 1-10 or fine only, 1-15 days or fine only, 1-20 days

There are also collateral consequences to consider. Businesses will see a traffic misdemeanor on a background check. This can impact your ability to get a job, rent an apartment, or be approved for a loan.

Traffic offenses also will lead to higher auto insurance premiums. Under North Carolina’s Safe Driver Incentive Plan, a traffic offense results in SDIP points, which increase insurance rates.

  • Speeding 10 mph or less over the limit: 1 SDIP point and a 30% rate increase
  • Speeding more than 10 mph over the limit: 2 SDIP points and a 45% rate increase
  • At-fault accident causing death or total bodily injury of more than $1,800: 3 SDIP points and a 60% rate increase
  • Reckless driving: 4 SDIP points and an 80% rate increase
  • Driving on a revoked or suspended license: 8 SDIP points and a 195% rate increase
  • Speed contests: 10 SDIP points and a 260% rate increase
  • Hit and run resulting in bodily injury or death: 12 SDIP points and a 340% rate increase

North Carolina Driver’s License Points

When you are convicted of specific traffic offenses, a certain number of points will be added to your driving record. Depending on the violation, you may be assigned between one and eight points. The number of points you receive vary depending on whether you were in a personal or commercial vehicle.

A sample of license points for personal drivers include:

  • Littering from a vehicle: 1 point
  • Other moving violations: 2 points
  • Driving without insurance: 3 points
  • Driving without a license: 3 points
  • Running a red light: 3 points
  • Speeding over 55 mph: 3 points
  • Hit and run, property damage: 4 points
  • Reckless driving: 4 points
  • Aggressive driving: 5 points

If you accumulate 12 points within three years, your license may be suspended. The first suspension for point accumulation is 60 days.

If you accumulate eight points within three years of having your license reinstated, your license can be suspended for six months.

A third or subsequent point-related suspension will be for one year.

If you received a traffic ticket and are worried about accumulating too many insurance or driver’s license points, contact us right away. Attorney Thom Goolsby understands the importance of keeping your driving record clean and insurance rates low. Everyone needs to get to work, be able to afford their car insurance and no one wants to lose their license.

  • Thom Goolsby has been selected as a top 100 trial lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association

License Revocations and Suspensions

A suspension is the temporary loss of your driving privileges for a specific period. Your license can be reinstated once the suspension period is over and you complete any terms of the suspension. You also must pay a fee and provide proof of insurance.

A revocation means your driving privileges have been terminated. You can only apply for reinstatement once you meet the eligibility requirements and you may be required to attend a hearing with the DMV.

In North Carolina, you can lose your license for various reasons.  Certain traffic offenses, such DWI, require your license be suspended or revoked for a period of time. Likewise, if you accumulate too many driver’s license points, you will receive notice of a suspension.

If you are facing a driver’s license suspension or revocation and you wish to try and get your license back, talk with traffic offense attorney Thom Goolsby about your options.

Goolsby Law Firm Case Results

  • Criminal

    Assault Charge Dismissed

    Recently, an individual in North Carolina found himself in some trouble when he was charged with assault after an incident at a nightclub. The individual denied assaulting the club’s bouncer, but still faced the criminal charges, so he reached out…

  • Criminal

    Veteran Facing Criminal Charges Found Not Guilty of Two Offenses

    When a disabled veteran was found with drug paraphernalia and marijuana in his vehicle, he was arrested and charged. To make matters worse, the officer who stopped him also charged the man with DWI (driving while impaired) and open container…

  • DWI

    Driving Charge Dismissed, DWI Charge Reduced in NC

    Recently, a Goolsby Law Firm client was charged with multiple offenses, including careless and reckless driving and driving while impaired (DWI). Upon BAC (blood alcohol content) testing, the individual returned a result of .19%. Knowing the effect a conviction on…

  • Assault

    Criminal Case Involving Multiple Charges Dismissed

    An individual was recently charged with multiple criminal offenses, including: Assault on a female Interfering with 911 emergency communications During their arrest, firearms and ammunition were seized at his residence. Maintaining their innocence and wanting to avoid a conviction, the…

  • Drug Crimes

    Multiple Charges Dropped in Criminal Case

    A Goolsby Law Firm client faced harsh statutory and collateral consequences when she was charged with the following offenses: Possession of drugs Driving while her license is revoked Fictitious tag No vehicle inspection No registration To further complicate matters, the…

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Get Back on the Road: Contact a Traffic Lawyer

Many people think the best way to deal with a ticket it is to pay the court cost and fine and move on, especially if you can avoid going to court. However, by doing so you are pleading guilty to the offense and will automatically receive the maximum insurance and driver’s license points. Instead of blindly paying off your ticket, we recommend talking with Attorney Thom Goolsby.

Fighting a ticket now can save you hundreds of dollars in court costs, fines, fees, and higher insurance premiums. Call us today at (910) 763–3339, send a text, or contact us online. We will get back with soon and help you deal with your ticket.

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Contact Goolsby Law Firm Today

Call 910-763-3339 Now Or Use Our Online Form

    “This is what I do. This is what I love. I care about my clients. I will help you.”

    212 Walnut St. Suite 100
    Wilmington, North Carolina 28401

    Like any quality criminal defense attorney, Thom Goolsby may be in court when you first call, but leave a voice mail or send a text. We’ll get with you as soon as possible, so we can go over what happened, evaluate the case, and explain what comes next.