Motorists will receive a specific number of penalty points in North Carolina if they are convicted of a certain motor vehicle violation within state. Demerit points generally have adverse effects on the offender's driving record, and the accumulation of too many driving record points may have a serious impact on his or her licensure as well. Aside from any administrative traffic violation penalties imposed by the state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), violators of the set road rules and regulations may also be punished by the corresponding court. Find out more about the North Carolina DMV point system and see how to get points removed from your report by reading the below sections:
- Moving violations and points in North Carolina
- Penalties in North Carolina
- How to fix a North Carolina driving record
- Disputing a North Carolina moving violation charge
Moving Violations and Points in North Carolina
In order to assess driver violation points following a certain traffic misdemeanor, the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles has developed an official point schedule. Per the NC point system, a different amount of points will be assessed against your driving transcript for different offenses, depending on their seriousness. A lower number of moving violation points will be calculated for less severe infractions, such as failure to provide proof of vehicle insurance or running through red light. No traffic violation points in North Carolina will be added on your record upon conviction of offenses such as improper plates/registration, overload, illegal parking and others. The below list outlines several violations penalized under the state point system and their corresponding negative points:
- Aggressive driving - 5 points
- Reckless driving - 4 reckless driving points
- Following too closely - 4 points
- Speeding in excess of 55 mph - 3 speeding ticket points
- Operating without a driving license (or with an expired credential) - 3 points
Drivers of a commercial motor vehicle may face double the amount of fines or penalties, if they commit an offense for which points may be assessed.
Penalties in North Carolina
Both the state DMV and the court may impose a harsh NC traffic ticket penalty to drivers who deliberately violate state laws. Severe traffic violation penalties, including license suspensions will be administered upon accumulation of too many infraction points on the motorist's record. Drivers who amass as many as 12 points within a period of three years for the first time, for instance, may lose their privilege to drive for 60 days. Any following offense of this type will result in a longer suspension period.
Note: Once you reinstate your suspended driving license due to a point-related offense, all prior points (except insurance points) will be canceled. Should you amass eight demerit points within three years upon reinstatement, you may incur a second suspension.
Certain penalties, such as DWI penalties in North Carolina include different levels of punishment, as DWI offenses are considered highly serious and dangerous to the general public. When issuing NC drunk driving penalties, the DMV and the presiding court will often take into consideration your driving history. Therefore, if you have been convicted of driving while under the influence for the second time, you will be required to serve a jail sentence, in addition to having your credential suspended/revoked. Your DWI penalty may also include mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in addition to other requirements. Speeding ticket penalties in NC will also include a suspension or revocation of your license, provided you have been speeding over the posted limit by 15 mph while already operating faster than 55 mph.
How to Fix a North Carolina Driving Record
If you are wondering how to clear your driving record in North Carolina, thus avoiding the negative consequences on your driving license and record, you may do so by taking a state-accepted driving course. Typically, you may be required to enroll into a driver improvement course following the accumulation of seven demerit points on your report. Once you successfully complete your NC driving safety course, you automatically become eligible for a three-point deduction. To qualify for the program, however, you must have a conference with a hearing officer. In addition to this, you must not have attended such course more than once within five years.
Disputing a North Carolina Moving Violation Charge
Contesting a traffic ticket in North Carolina is a process which is typically completed through the court handling your case. In order to initiate the procedure of fighting speeding tickets or other types of summons, drivers will need to notify the presiding court of their decision to plead "not guilty" timely and properly. The next step when disputing a traffic ticket in NC is waiting for a trial date to be scheduled. Motorists who wish to win their case and avoid points on their license history may consider hiring an attorney to represent them in court. In the event of a more severe infraction, the presiding court may appoint a lawyer for the driver, if he or she is unable to afford one.