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If you’re like most people, the first thing you do when you get a ticket is panic. What should you do? How will this affect your driving record and insurance rates? This blog post will answer some of the most common questions about getting an NC traffic ticket. We’ll cover everything from what to expect if you pay a ticket to how a citation can impact your car insurance rates. Let’s get started!

How to Look Up a Ticket Online in NC

To look up a ticket online, have your citation and go to the NC Judicial Branch Citation Lookup.  You can also pay the ticket or request reduction, compliance, or dismissal.

Can You Lose Your License for Speeding Tickets?

Yes. The following scenarios will cause you to have your driver’s license suspended unless you can get the charges dismissed or reduced. 

Driving privilege revoked for at least 30 days if convicted of:

  • Driving >15 mph over the speed limit while at a speed >55 mph
  • Going in your car  >80 mph

Driver’s license will be revoked for 60 days if convicted of:

  • Two speeding charges within one year
  • Speeding plus reckless driving on the same occasion
  • One conviction for speeding faster than 75 mph

You can also lose your license for a DWI or prearranged racing.

How Can You Get a Traffic Ticket Dismissal? 

The District Attorney’s office may agree to process an online reduction of the charge to a less severe offense.

For specific “correctable” traffic offenses (for example, an expired inspection), the District Attorney’s office may agree to process an online dismissal of the charge upon receiving proof that you have corrected the problem. See “How to Get a Ticket Dismissed in NC” for more in-depth information.

If you have other types of tickets, you most likely need the help of an attorney to get reduced or dismissed charges.

What if You are Speeding in a Construction Zone?

Orange work zone signs mean motorists must slow down to the posted speed limit. The minimum fine for speeding in a work zone is $250. If you pay a ticket online, you admit guilt. If you admit to speeding more than 15mph over the posted speed limit, you could have your driver’s license revoked. 

What is a Prayer for Judgement?

After a defendant has been found guilty or entered a guilty plea, the judge can choose to enter a prayer for judgment continued which means that a judgment is never entered in the case by the court. You only pay the court costs in the matter.

However, if you commit another offense within 3 years, you may have to face charges for both offenses.

What happens if you fail to appear in court for a ticket in NC?

According to the NC Judicial Branch

If you do not appear in court, your case will be marked “called and failed.” After 20 days, the court may issue a Failure to Appear against you, which may result in an additional fee if you are found guilty or responsible for the offense.

After 20 days, if you have not appeared in court, the court will notify the NC DMV of your failure to appear. The DMV will then suspend your driver’s license indefinitely until you resolve the case. You will receive a notice of license revocation from the NC DMV. 

If you resolve the case before the revocation goes into effect, you can avoid the cancellation of your driver’s license. In some cases, a failure to appear can result in an order for your arrest. If you were arrested for the offense and released on bond, failing to appear can cause you to lose the bond.

What if I’m going 15 over the limit?

You can lose your driving privilege for at least 30 days if a court convicts you of driving any vehicle more than 15 mph over the speed limit while driving at a speed greater than 55 mph.

You can also lose your driving privileges for driving greater than 80 mph.

If you are found guilty of 15 mph over the speed limit, you will have to pay the citation, and your insurance will go up by 45%.

What kinds of traffic tickets make my insurance go up?

Insurance rates go up by 30% for:

  • Most moving violations
  • Speeding 10 mph or less over a speed limit under 55 mph.
  • At-fault accident causing bodily injury of $1,800 or less; OR resulting in property damage (including damage to your own property) of $2,300 or less
  • No Insurance Points for bodily injury if expenses were solely for diagnostic purposes

Insurance rates go up by 45% for:

  • Illegal passing
  • Following too closely
  • Driving on wrong side of the road
  • At-fault accident with total property damage over $2,300 but less than $3,850
  • Speeding >10 mph over speed limit at >55 mph and <76 mph
  • Speeding 10 mph or less over speed limit in speed zone of 55 mph or higher

Insurance rates go up by 60% for:

  • At-fault accident resulting in death or total bodily injury more than $1,800; OR resulting in total property damage of $3,850 or more
  • No Insurance Points for bodily injury if expenses were solely for diagnostic purposes

Insurance rates go up by 80% for:

  • Reckless driving.
  • Hit-and-run resulting in property damage only. 
  • Passing a stopped school bus.
  • Speeding >75 mph when the speed limit is <70 mph.
  • Speeding >80 mph when the speed limit is >70 mph.
  • Driving by a person less than age 21 after consuming alcohol or drugs

Insurance rates go up by 195% for:

  • Driving during revocation or suspension of license or registration.
  • Aggressive driving

Insurance rates go up by 260% for:

  • Highway racing or knowingly lending a motor vehicle for highway racing
  • Speeding to elude arrest

Where to Get a Copy of Your Driving Record

You can order your NC Driving Record at NC DMV.

Are Parking Tickets Traffic Violations?

Yes. Parking tickets are traffic offenses you don’t have to appear in court for (waivable) unless you wish to contest them, hoping for a dismissal. These offenses include:

  • Illegal parking in handicapped space
  • Parking and towing violations 
  • Any parking violation other than violation of the handicapped parking laws 
  • Violation of local ordinance regulating operation or parking of vehicles

Can I lose my license for not having enough car insurance?

If law enforcement catches you driving without car insurance in North Carolina, the state may:

  • Suspend your driver’s license
  • Charge fines ranging from $50–$150
  • Require jail time

The penalties are more severe for frequent offenders. The NCDOT explains, “Insurance companies are required to notify the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles if liability insurance on a vehicle is canceled or coverage lapses for any reason.”

NCDMV sends you a liability insurance termination when you let your insurance coverage cancel. If you don’t respond within 10 days, the NCDMV can revoke your vehicle’s license plate and charge you civil penalties, late fees, interest, and collections.

We Can Help

If you pay a ticket, you are pleading guilty to the offense. In many cases, the traffic attorneys at Hopler, Wilms, and Hanna can work with the DA’s office to help you get reduced or dismissed charges. It’s never wise to just pay for a ticket without considering your options. Contact us and start fighting for your future. Find out how we can help you move past this and into a brighter future.

 

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