Many people ask after they get a speeding or traffic ticket, “Why do I need a lawyer? Can’t I just pay it off?” The State of North Carolina surely makes it easy for you to do so. You can just mail in your check or pay online.
But is that really the best solution? The traffic offense lawyers of Strickland Agner Pittman don’t think it is. We believe you should protect your rights and contact an attorney instead.
The stakes may be higher than you imagine. When you plead guilty to a traffic ticket in North Carolina:
- You must pay a fine and court costs.
- You get points added to your driving and insurance records.
- Depending on your offense and record, you may lose your license.
- You will see your auto insurance premiums, in all likelihood, increase.
A lawyer from our firm can review your case and go over your options with you. We can even go to court on your behalf.
We generally cover Wayne, Lenoir and Greene counties. But we are happy to discuss traffic tickets with drivers from our neighboring counties of Wilson, Johnston, Duplin and Sampson Counties. We also assist out-of-state drivers and those with a commercial driver’s license.
If you have received a traffic ticket in any of these counties, contact us today and see if we can help you!
What Do You Need to Get Started?
After you contact us by phone or online, you can take the following steps:
- Scan or copy your speeding or other traffic ticket
- E-mail or mail the copy of your ticket to us.
We can review your case and your options. Instead of pleading guilty, those options may include:
- Contesting the ticket based on the evidence (or lack of evidence)
- Asking for a reduction of the charge (such as a lesser speeding offense)
- Moving for a Prayer for Judgment.
The last possible option, often called a “PJC,” can be used by your household once every three years or twice every five years. It can help to keep points off your insurance record and potentially save you money in the long run.
If we represent you, then you will need to:
- Sign a Waiver of Appearance form
- Get the form notarized
- Mail the original to us or drop it off at our Goldsboro office.
- Pay the required fees and costs.
We will need your fees and documents before we go to court on your behalf. You can pay by Visa, Mastercard, Paypal or personal check – whichever is most convenient for you.
What Can a Traffic Ticket Do to Your North Carolina Driving Record?
If you are found guilty of speeding or another traffic offense in North Carolina, points will be assigned to your driving record. The record is kept by the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
If you get 12 points or more on your driving record in a three-year span, you could lose your license to a suspension that may last as long as 60 days. A repeat traffic offense could result in a six-month suspension.
Consider how the following driving record points are assessed in North Carolina:
|Passing a stopped school bus||5|
|Following too closely||4|
|Driving on wrong side of road||4|
|Making an illegal pass||4|
|Running a stop sign or red light||3|
|Failing to yield right of way||3|
|Speeding in excess of 55 mph||3|
|Driving with an expired license||3|
|Speeding in a school zone||3|
|Failing to properly restrain child||2|
The risk of piling more points onto your record should be a concern if you have previously been found guilty of any of these traffic offenses.
What Can a NC Traffic Ticket Do to Your Insurance Premiums?
If you have been charged with a speeding or other traffic ticket in North Carolina and just pay it off, your insurance rates could go up substantially. It will depend on two factors:
- The severity of the original charge
- How many points are already on your auto insurance record.
You could pay a new, higher insurance rate for as many as three years. Of course, any rate increase would depend on each individual insurance carrier.
Consider this: If your auto insurance rates increase by $200 for six months for three years, you could end up paying $1,200 more than you do now. The costs and fees of working with an attorney to resolve your ticket pales in comparison.
You can count on a lawyer from Strickland Agner Pittman to work hard for you and seek a more favorable result with your traffic ticket. We want to help you avoid a major spike in your insurance premiums.
What Happens If You Ignore a Traffic Ticket in North Carolina?
Simply ignoring your traffic ticket or refusing to pay your fine and costs is the option you should never take. If you do, you run the risk of being charged with two additional offenses:
- Failure to appear – If you miss your traffic ticket court date, you will be charged a $200 administrative penalty within 20 days. You also will receive a letter from the DMV. If you don’t resolve your charge within 60 days from that letter, your license will be revoked.
- Failure to comply – If you fail to pay your fines and costs, then you will get another letter from the DMV. If you fail to pay within 60 days from that letter, your license will be revoked, and you will be hit with a $50 administrative penalty.
The convenience of working with an experienced Goldsboro traffic offense lawyer clearly should outweigh facing those consequences.
Contact a Goldsboro Traffic Ticket Attorney Today
Our attorneys have many years of experience with handling speeding and traffic tickets in Wayne, Lenoir, Greene and surrounding counties. Call us today or reach us online and allow us to get started on your case.