The only direct contact many North Carolina residents have with law enforcement is during traffic stops. At Greene Wilson Crow & Smith, P.A., our experienced traffic law attorneys are here to protect your rights if you find yourself charged with breaking the law while driving in the form of a traffic violation.
We are well aware of the consequences a conviction for speeding, drunk driving, or some other traffic violation may have on your pocketbook, your freedom, and your driving privileges. Armed with in-depth knowledge of North Carolina traffic laws and judicial procedures, our criminal defense attorney will stand ready to protect you.
Potential Consequences of Convictions for a Traffic Violation in North Carolina
Most traffic tickets may at first seem to be only an inconvenience. Depending on the severity and frequency of your violations, however, guilty pleas or convictions may result in:
- Expensive penalties
- Late fees and surcharges
- Points on your driver’s license
- Insurance points that will raise your rates
- Conviction for a misdemeanor or felony that will stay on your record
- License suspension
- Jail time
Traffic convictions can be costly in many ways. Fortunately, the ticket you receive or your arrest is so far only an accusation. Contact us promptly to give yourself the best possible chance for a dismissal of charges, a plea bargain to a lesser charge, or decreased penalties. Don’t forget that losing your license, even temporarily, will likely interfere with your job, your family responsibilities, and a large number of your activities.
If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and drive as a condition of your employment, not fighting traffic tickets can interfere with your ability to earn a living and provide for your family. It would be even more important to have adept representation in your corner fighting
How Greene Wilson Crow & Smith Can Help
Our involvement in your case will give you a distinct advantage in court since we are familiar with the advanced tactics of plea bargaining, courtroom procedure, North Carolina statutes, local ordinances, and the courts and judges serving Craven and Pamlico Counties. We are also practiced negotiators and litigators, so our skillset will serve you well whether or not your case goes to trial.
We may, for example, be able to get a speeding ticket reduced from 15-29 mph to 9 mph over the speed limit or to a nonmoving violation, such as a charge of “improper equipment — speedometer” that carries no points. In addition to speeding offenses, other traffic violations can be plea bargained, though plea bargains for DWI are rarely accepted. Still, in cases of DWI, our traffic lawyers may be able to bargain for lesser penalties, especially if this is your first offense.
Common Traffic Offenses in North Carolina
Whether you are charged with an infraction, a misdemeanor, or a felony, our experienced traffic attorneys will work to help you to achieve the best outcome. We are highly experienced in handling all types of traffic violations, such as:
- Texting while driving
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Disobeying state seat belt or child restraint laws
- Disregarding any traffic sign or signal
- Driving without a valid registration
- Driving an uninsured vehicle
- Speeding, driving recklessly
- Eluding law enforcement officials
- Failing to stop for a stopped school bus
Though you may have been told that fighting traffic tickets is pointless, this is far from true. Having our legal representation at the first sign of trouble can protect you not only from current inconvenience but from far more serious consequences.
Points for a Traffic Violation in North Carolina
In North Carolina, there are two types of points for traffic tickets: driver’s license points and insurance points. The latter will affect your insurance costs; the former may affect your right to drive. These points will remain on your record for 3 years and any tickets you receive during those years will be added to your total, putting you at greater risk of license suspension.
The important thing to remember is that points will be allocated according to the offense you are found guilty of, not the offense you were originally charged with. This means that if you are charged with a 4-point offense, but our traffic attorneys plea bargain you down to a 2-point offense, only two points will appear on your license and only two points will affect your insurance premium.
Though two points may not seem significant, once you acquire seven points on your license you may be required to pay for and attend a driver improvement clinic; if you accumulate 12 or more points within 3 years, your license may be suspended.
Prayers for Judgement
A Prayer for Judgement Continued (typically referred to as a Prayer for Judgement or PJC) is one way to get out of a ticket. PJCs, unique to North Carolina, only work on specific charges under certain circumstances. Still, when they work, PJCs allow drivers to avoid penalties and points, though they remain responsible for court costs.
A PJC is effectively like pleading guilty but not actually getting a conviction. The law allows the court not to enter a final ruling or conviction against the defendant, even if he or she has pleaded guilty. Theoretically, the decision to convict is only suspended; in fact, the court almost never takes further action.
It is important to note PJCs are granted at the judge’s discretion. Also, the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles only allows an individual two PJCs every 5 years, and drivers with commercial licenses are ineligible.
Is It Worth It To Get A Lawyer For A Speeding Ticket In NC?
Getting a lawyer for a speeding ticket in North Carolina can definitely be worth it. While a basic speeding ticket may only result in a small fine, the points on your license and insurance rate increases can end up costing you much more in the long run.
A traffic lawyer knows how to navigate the system to get charges reduced or dismissed when possible. This can help you avoid points, high fines, and increased insurance costs. An attorney may be able to get the charge plead down to a non-moving violation or utilize strategies like Prayers for Judgement to protect your driving record.
For commercial drivers or those close to a license suspension, a lawyer is critical to help preserve your ability to drive. Overall, for a relatively minor investment, a lawyer can potentially save you money and protect your driving privileges when faced with a speeding ticket.
What Is The Best Defense For A Speeding Ticket?
Some top defenses a lawyer may use to challenge a speeding ticket include:
- Procedural errors – Attacking mistakes by the officer in issuing the ticket can get it dismissed. Things like incorrect license plate or driver details on the ticket could invalidate it.
- Faulty or inaccurate equipment – If you can prove the radar gun, speed detection equipment, or officer’s speed estimation was faulty, the ticket can be challenged.
- Selective enforcement – Demonstrating others were speeding but not pulled over can show selective ticketing.
- Not the driver – If the registered owner was not the actual driver, the ticket can be challenged. The prosecution must prove who was driving.
- Emergency situation – Arguing there were hazardous conditions or some emergency requiring speed may justify it.
- Negotiation – The lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to amend the charge to a non-moving violation to avoid points.
An experienced traffic lawyer will evaluate the specifics of your ticket and defense options available under North Carolina laws to build the strongest case possible. The best defense depends on the details of each case.
Contact Our Competent North Carolina Traffic Violation Attorneys Today
Getting in touch with Greene Wilson Crow & Smith now will save you trouble later. We will work hard to protect you from high legal penalties, points that put your license at risk and cause your insurance rates to skyrocket. In some cases, we will be the only force standing between you and incarceration. Contact our office for a consultation.