North Carolina Traffic Tickets
Drivers who received traffic tickets in North Carolina have several options available to settle their case. Motorists can fight traffic tickets if they are able to prove their innocence in court. If drivers decide to submit an NC ticket violation payment, they automatically plead guilty to their charges. Certain violations are referred to as waivable offenses, and they can be resolved without a mandatory court appearance. Motorists who are wondering where to pay tickets or how to answer to other types of driving-related citations can learn more in the following sections.
Fighting a North Carolina Ticket
To initiate the procedure of contesting a traffic citation in NC, drivers are generally required to notify the presiding court of their intention to plead “not guilty” to the offense in question. If you choose to fight your traffic ticket, you will need to contact the court and enter your plea in due time. Once you do so, the court typically sets a trial date. When preparing your North Carolina traffic ticket defense, make sure you have all the necessary evidence at your disposal to contest the matter. Note that in case of a more serious violation, the court may appoint a traffic attorney for you, provided you are not able to afford one. The consequences of fighting these citations will depend on whether or not you are found guilty to your charges. Should the judge rule in your favor, your ticket may be dismissed and demerit points may not be placed against your driving record.
Paying a North Carolina Ticket
When motorists decide to pay driving tickets in NC, they waive their right to a court trial or hearing and admit their guilt. If your violation is designated as “waivable,” you may settle your case without appearing in court. The methods to submit a North Carolina traffic ticket payment generally depend on the court handling your case. Typically, drivers have the option to pay driving fines online, in person or by mail.
Lost Tickets in North Carolina
Motorists who have misplaced their NC traffic citation will still need the information displayed on the form to resolve their issue. To successfully pay speeding tickets online or via other methods, drivers generally need to provide the citation number, as well as the amount due. In the event of a lost traffic ticket in North Carolina, the fastest way to obtain such details is by using the state’s online citation query. Note that the online provider may not offer enough information to answer to your ticket. If this is the case, contact the traffic violation court in the county where you received your ticket. If you do not remember the county where you were cited, contact the NC Administrative Office of the Courts for detailed information.
North Carolina Fines and Penalties
If you choose to resolve your case by providing NC ticket violation payments, you must do so in a timely manner. Failure to pay traffic fines in North Carolina properly will have an adverse effect on your licensure. In addition to the base traffic ticket fees, other costs may be charged depending on your situation. NC Chief District Court Judges have set a price list for violations that do not require a mandatory court appearance. The following list includes several offenses and their corresponding base fines:
- Driving too slowly – $25
- Failure to provide valid license or driving with an expired credential – $25
- Lane violations – $50
- Speeding in school zone or on school property – $250
Keep in mind that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, commonly referred to as DUI offenses, carry heavier penalties. DUI convictions may be difficult to fight.
Points in North Carolina
Once you pay driving tickets in NC and waive your right to a court trial, negative driving points may be placed against your driving record. The number of points assessed upon a conviction of a specific traffic violation also generally depends on the type of the offense. Several NC traffic violations and the points attached to each are outlined in the following list:
- Failure to provide liability insurance – 3 points
- Operating through safety zone – 3 points
- Unlawful passing – 4 points
- Reckless driving – 4 points
- Aggressive driving – 5 points
Note: Drivers who amass seven points may be required to complete a driver improvement clinic and earn a 3-point deduction.
How Tickets Affect a North Carolina Drivers License
If you have been issued a North Carolina traffic citation and you fail to meet the corresponding traffic violation court requirements, you are at risk of losing your privilege to drive. Failure to appear in court, for instance, may result in additional costs and a suspension of your credential. The accumulation of negative points due to several traffic tickets in NC will also lead to a driving license suspension. If you amass 12 points within three years, you may lose your privilege to drive for a specific period of time, depending on the number of previous offenses.
North Carolina Car Insurance Fines and Violations
Motorists who fail to successfully prepare a North Carolina traffic ticket defense and dismiss traffic citations, or choose to plead responsible in court may receive higher auto insurance premiums. Several convictions of violations on your driving record may affect your insurance rates, as coverage providers generally use your driving history when negotiating the terms of your policy. Contact your lawyer or insurance agent to learn more about the insurance consequences of your violation.