The most common traffic citation issued in North Carolina is for speeding. While a ticket for speeding, or other traffic violation, may seem inconsequential you may find yourself wondering if you really need an attorney or if you can handle it on your own. In most circumstances, you will greatly benefit from having an attorney. Therefore, before you submit to the easiest and most convenient route of paying the fine, speak with an attorney experienced in North Carolina traffic tickets. A knowledgeable attorney can provide you with sound legal advice as to the best avenue that you need to take for your situation and driving record.
How Our Attorneys Can Help with Your Traffic Violation in NC
After receiving a traffic ticket in North Carolina you have a few options as to how to resolve the matter. You can pay the fine, represent yourself, or hire an attorney.
Paying a traffic ticket fine will result in an admission of guilt and a conviction of the offense. This route can also lead to misdemeanor convictions, points being assessed on your license and increased insurance rates. Electing to defend against the ticket on your own in court can prove challenging. It may only be a common traffic ticket, however, you will still be required to follow the court’s procedures and rules of evidence. In addition, if you are not familiar with the laws of North Carolina or the appropriate defenses available then you could be headed for trouble and could end up facing a conviction. Therefore, your best course of action is to hire an attorney who knows the laws and available defenses and can advocate for your best interests.
Is it Worth it to Hire an Attorney for A Traffic Violation?
Court costs for most traffic offenses in North Carolina start from $191 and with fines added average between $200 and $300, however, these are just the beginning, and don’t account for the other associated costs. It is understandable that it may seem as if it is not financially sound to hire an attorney for a traffic ticket and the most economical thing to do is pay the fine and move on, however, the true cost of a traffic citation doesn’t end at court costs and fines.
For example, North Carolina’s Department of Insurance created the Safe Driver Incentive Plan (SDIP) to provide drivers with a financial incentive to drive safely. Or put more simply, reduced insurance rates to drive safely. Receiving a traffic ticket can significantly increase insurance rates. The actual increase in insurance premiums depends on the violation received the number of insurance points added to your record and your driving history. More points will result in higher costs. Therefore, if you already have a recent traffic violation, you definitely don’t want the addition of points from another violation adding to it.
In addition to insurance points, each conviction received for a traffic violation adds points to your license. Accumulate enough license points within a certain period of time and you could have your license suspended. Also, some tickets are classified as criminal offenses, not just infractions, and admitting guilt by just paying the fine can unintentionally subject an individual to a license suspension or even a criminal conviction.
Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, it may be possible for our attorneys to seek a reduction of the charges, a prayer for judgment continued (PJC), or even a dismissal. The traffic laws in North Carolina are complex and filled with nuances. Our attorneys understand the traffic laws and can help you navigate the charges you are faced with, along with your legal options and all possible outcomes. We can help you build a solid defense and when possible negotiate the best available outcome.
If you have received a traffic citation in North Carolina, before you pay the fine, contact us to see how we can help you minimize the negative consequences it can have on your driving record and wallet, we are available to schedule a consult by phone at 919-533-4115 or online by completing our online ticket evaluation form here.
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