Traffic offenses do not only include minor infractions and speeding tickets; multiple lesser offenses can result in more serious charges being brought against you, and modern legislative trends indicate that certain offenses may receive harsher punishments in the future. Common violations receiving more attention in the legislature include:
- Driving while impaired (DWI or DUI)
- No Operators License
- Driving without a license, or with a suspended or revoked license (DWLR)
- Violation of rental vehicle agreement
- Driving without insurance or without adequate coverage
- Negligent, Careless or Reckless driving
- Hit-and-run, or leaving the scene of an accident
- Failure to Yield
- Running a Stop Sign or Red Light
- Failure to Move Over for Emergency Vehicle
Paying the Fine = GUILTY
Most minor violations may not subject you to jail time, but simply paying the fine is an admission of guilt, resulting often in a severe increase in your insurance cost (for three (3) years), and a possible suspension of your license for thirty (30) days or more.
Additionally, some seemingly minor “traffic” violations may constitute “criminal misdemeanors”, such as a careless and reckless driving, driving while license revoked, etc., and therefore will show up on your criminal record forever (whether applying for school, college, a job, background check, and possibly even credit applications.
At Mast Law Firm, our traffic ticket law firm and attorneys can help protect you and in many instances, minimize any points that may be added to your Driving Record and Insurance Record. In North Carolina, your Driver’s License record typically allows you to accumulate up to twelve (12) points in a three (3) year period before a revocation, but a different set of points are associated with Insurance regulations which is associated with certain percentages in increases in your insurance. Your insurance company can inform you how much your insurance rates may increase.
Prayer For Judgement – Insurance Points
Prayer for Judgment: in North Carolina, for insurance purposes, you are generally only allowed one (1) PJC per three (3) year period “PER HOUSEHOLD” meaning that if you yourself uses one, e.g. you have a charge reduced to from 25 mph over the speed limit to only 14 mph over the speed limit, based upon the reduced plea, you may not have any effect on your license or insurance. But, if another member of the household or insurance policy has a similar situation and tries to use a PJC (or has used one recently), it may be ineffective, and the insurance company might assess increased insurance points based upon both conviction to the policies.
Often, we can handle your matter without the need for you to take off of work or school. Additionally, we can obtain most information from you via email without the need to make an appointment and lose time. We typically can send a “Waiver of Appearance” via email, fax, or mail which will allow us to appear in court on your behalf.
An important note: It is highly recommended that you obtain and retain counsel prior to your court date. Due to a recent state-wide increase in court costs and fines, a missed court date may add an additional Two-Hundred Dollars ($200.00) to the standard court costs and fines that may be associated with your citation.
Missed Court Dates – Lose Your License
Generally, after twenty (20) days following your missed court date, your information will be entered into a National Data Base used throughout the Country. Your “North Carolina Driving Privileges” may be revoked (even if you have an out-of-state license), and if your license is somewhere else, your license may be subject to revocation there as well. This means that even after we assist you in resolving an outstanding or old traffic matter, you will likely have to pay a “reinstatement” fee to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles / NCDMV, and possible your home state, and even possibly have to re-take a test/questionnaire. It is recommended that you contact the NC DMV at 919-715-7000 to find out how much if any fees may be associated to reinstate your privileges if this is your situation.
Also, in North Carolina, after an individual acquires a certain number of points on their record, receives a Driving While License Revoked charge, and/or a Driving While Impaired (aka DWI or DUI), you may lose your license privileges for a period of time. Depending upon your record, you may be eligible for a Limited Driving Privilege by our attorneys filing a Petition for a Limited Driving Privilege (Work / School License).
Permanently Revoked License
Additionally, some individuals who may have had a string of bad luck, and who may have accumulated several DWLRs or DWIs may have had their license “permanently revoked”. However, “permanent revocation” does not necessarily mean that it is forever. After a period of time, you may be eligible for a hearing before a DMV Hearing Officer (judge), and we can assist you in trying to return your driving privileges to you. Depending upon your record, you may have certain stipulations imposed, such as certain driving times, alcohol / drug assessments and treatment, an interlock system in your car (i.e. breathalyzer for your car to start it), and/or other stipulations.
Our experience has taught us that letting any violation go unattended can have a serious impact on your license and insurance, so prompt attention is critical. Contact us right away if you have been charged with a traffic violation. Call our Smithfield, North Carolina office at (919) 934-6187, or toll free at (800) 280-6676 or our Cleveland/Garner office at (919) 661-2005. You can also send us an e-mail on our contact us page. For more information, visit our legal services page.