Traffic Ticket Information

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Traffic Law // DMV & SDIP Points // Failure to Appear Issues // DWLR // Motions for Appropriate Relief

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Traffic Law in North Carolina

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Receiving a traffic ticket is nothing to be ashamed of. Good law abiding citizens get tickets. While handling your citation, your task is to make an informed decision on how you navigate the many loopholes and traps found in the North Carolina General Statutes. Simply paying off your ticket using PAYNCTICKET.ORG which was information provided to you by the police officer or court clerk is an admission of guilt which can result in serious long term consequences to your license and insurance premiums.

Review the DMV & SDIP Points in the section below. At Baity Law, our attorney has successfully handled thousands and thousands of traffic tickets over the past 20 years on a daily basis. In fact, Mr. Baity enjoys the nickname of "Chapter 20" in administrative traffic court stemming from his breadth of knowledge in traffic and insurance issues based in Chapter 20 of the North Carolina General Statutes and other bodies of law. Even without a detailed defense, in most cases, Mr. Baity can enter a plea in your absence calculated to put you in the best possible position in light of your charge and the effects of the law. Your trust will be well-placed.

The North Carolina State Legislature passed a new surcharge in 2011 for non-moving violations of $50 over and above your court cost and regular fine. As a result, a non-moving violation (no points on your license or insurance) will cost more than the fee quoted on your citation. This surcharge has had a chilling effect upon individuals wanting to use a non-moving violation even though it is in their best interest. Keep in mind, if you pay what is on your citation, you are pleading guilty and will receive consequences based upon the point systems addressed below. When our attorney represents you, you will not be requested to appear in court unless he specifically tells you otherwise. This is true even if the police officer tells you that your appearance is mandatory.

Payment of legal fees can be made over the internet, by mail, in person, or by phone. Appropriate forms of payment include cash (do not mail cash), Visa/Mastercard, or by money order. Pricing for our services is enclosed in the advertisement you received. If your particular charge is not listed please contact us for pricing. We will match any verified attorney fee on speeding tickets. There is a $25 fee for any returned checks. Once the case is disposed of, you will receive a notice by e-mail or mail, your choice, to give you the information necessary to pay your court cost and fines directly to the Clerk of Court office at the address given. Keep in mind, there are deadlines to pay the court system. If your court cost and fines are not timely paid, you will be required to pay substantial late fees. We will give you all necessary information at the conclusion of your case. Your disposition letter will provide you with the exact address you need to pay for your court costs and fines directly to the Clerk of Court. Court cost and fines are required to be paid on the day of court. If not then they will assess an additional fee of twenty dollars.

Attorney For Traffic Tickets in Alexander, Catawba, Davie, and Iredell Counties

DMV & SDIP POINTS

North Carolina has two distinct point systems when dealing with traffic violations. The first point system is that which is enforced by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles for moving violations. The second point system is an insurance point system known as the Safe Driver Incentive Plan. This point system runs in conjunction with the NC DMV point system. An accumulation of these points can lead to increased insurance premiums of up to 400% and eventual suspension of your driver's license privileges.

Driver's License Points: The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles maintains a record of convictions and automobile accidents for every person licensed or required to be licensed. The NC DMV will assign points for convictions of North Carolina's Motor Vehicle Laws in accordance with the schedule below. If you accumulate 12 or more points within a three-year period, the NC DMV may suspend your license. The first suspension of your driver's license under the point system shall be for no more then 60 days. The second suspension shall not exceed 6 months and any subsequent suspension shall not exceed one year. If you are in danger of losing your license because you have accumulated too many driver's license points, the NC DMV may allow you to attend the Driver Improvement Clinic and have three points removed from your record. However, this does not remove the points from your insurance. You can only take this Driver Improvement Course once every 5 years. Once your license has been suspended, you can face a second suspension of your license if you accumulate 8 or more points during the three-year time period immediately following the reinstatement of your license. If you are convicted of two or more traffic offenses which were committed on a single occasion, then you will only be assessed driver's license points for the offense having the greater point value.

Schedule of NC DMV License Points

  • 5 Points

    • Passing a stopped school bus.

  • 4 Points

    • Reckless driving (Misdemeanor)

    • Hit and run, property damage only (Misdemeanor) (If personal injury = Felony)

    • Following too closely

    • Driving on wrong side of road

    • Illegal passing

  • 3 Points

    • Running through a stop sign

    • Speeding in excess of 55 miles per hour

    • Failing to yield right-of-way

    • Running a red light

    • No driver's license or license expired more than one year

    • Failure to stop for siren

    • Driving through safety zone

    • No liability insurance

    • Failure to report accident where such report is required

    • Speeding in a school zone in excess of the posted school zone speed limit

  • 2 Points

    • All other moving violations

    • Failure to properly restrain a child in a restraint or seat belt

  • 1 Point

    • Littering (G.S.14-399) involving use of motor vehicle

  • 0 Points

    • Seat Beat Violation

    • Improper Equipment/plates/registration/muffler/inspection sticker display

Points are only assessed for convictions of violations which take place within the State of North Carolina and if you have a North Carolina Driver's License or if that state transfers the ticket to the NC DMV under a compact which most all States now do. If you have an out-of-state driver's license, the NC DMV will only maintain a record concerning an out of state driver if a ticket is issued against that driver in North Carolina. If your state of licensure is a reciprocal state with North Carolina under the compact, then North Carolina may notify your state of licensure of the conviction. Your license will then be dealt with in accordance with your state's law. However, the NC DMV can suspend the driver's license of any North Carolina operator if they are convicted of an offense in another state, which if committed in North Carolina would be grounds for suspension or revocation of their license. N.C.G.S. 20-16(7)

If you have an out of state license and commit an offense which is suspendable or revocable in North Carolina, the NC DMV cannot suspend your driver's license but can suspend or revoke your privilege to drive in North Carolina. They will also notify your licensee state which may take additional action.
If you receive a notice from the NC DMV concerning suspending or revoking your driving privilege in North Carolina, you are entitled to a hearing if you follow the guidelines and procedures set out in the notice. Some offenses are suspendable without an opportunity for a DMV hearing. If that is the case, there is the possibility of obtaining a limited driving privilege.

SDIP Insurance Points:

The automobile liability insurance rates which are paid by licensed drivers in North Carolina are determined by five factors

  • The basic North Carolina automobile insurance rates which are set out in the North Carolina Personal Automobile Manual. Also see the NC Rate Bureau.

  • Insurance points which they have accumulated during the past three years for moving violations and accidents.

  • Whether their insurance company has transferred their coverage to the reinsurance facility.

  • What region of North Carolina they live in.

  • Whether that have three years or less driving experience.

North Carolina drivers will be assessed insurance points if convicted of a moving violation or if they have an at fault accident during a three year experience period. This three-year period is determined to be the three-year period immediately preceding the date of application, or the date of preparation of renewal of your insurance policy. A conviction includes pleas of guilty, no contest, suspended sentences, forfeiture of bail and the payment of court costs and a fine. Each household may receive one Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC) every three years without it counting as a conviction. Prayer for Judgment Continued upon the payment of costs, without more, does not constitute the entry of judgment.

  • 12 Points

    • Manslaughter (or negligent homicide) resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle. (felony)

    • Prearranged highway racing or knowingly lending a motor vehicle to be used in a prearranged race. (Felony)

    • Failure to stop and render aid when involved in an accident resulting in bodily injury or death (hit-and-run driving) (Felony)

    • DWI, driving a vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more; and driving a commercial vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.04% or more

    • Transportation of intoxicating liquors for the purpose of sale. (Misdemeanor)

  • 10 Points

    • Highway racing (not prearranged) or knowingly lending a motor vehicle to be used in the race.

    • Speeding to Elude

  • 8 Points

    • Operating a motor vehicle during a period of revocation or suspension of either the driver's license or vehicle registration. (Misdemeanor)

  • 4 Points

    • Failure to stop and report when involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in property damage only (hit-and-run). (Misdemeanor)

    • Reckless driving. (Misdemeanor)

    • Passing a stopped school bus.

    • Speeding in excess of 75 miles per hour (mph) when posted limit is less that 70 mph. (Misdemeanor)

    • Speeding in excess of 80 mph when limit is 70 mph or greater

    • Driving by a person under 21 after consuming alcohol or drugs

  • 3 Points

    • At-fault accident that results in bodily injury (in excess of $ 1800.00) or death or total property damage (including the insured's prop) of $ 3000.00 or more

  • 2 Points

    • Illegal passing

    • Speeding more than 10 mph over the limit, if total speed was in excess of 55 mph but less than 76 mph.

    • Speeding 10 miles or less in excess of limit in speed zone of 55 or greater*

    • Following too closely.

    • Driving on the wrong side of the road.

    • Each at-fault accident that results in total damage to property which is in excess of $1 ,800.00 but less than $ 3000.00

  • 1 Point

    • Speeding 10 mph or less in excess of a speed limit of less than 55 mph*

    • Any other moving violation.

    • Each at-fault accident that results in total damage of $ 1,800.00 or less *

    • *Points are not assigned for these violations unless the same driver has been convicted of at least one other moving violation during the experience period (the last three years).

    • The number of insurance points a driver receives will determine the surcharge which will be added to their insurance costs. See the surcharge table below:

Insurance Surcharge Table

  • One point equals a 25% surcharge ( increase in insurance rates )

  • Two points equal a 45% surcharge

  • Three points equal a 65% surcharge

  • Four points equal a 90% surcharge

  • Five points equal a 120% surcharge

  • Six points equal a 150% surcharge

  • Seven points equal a 180% surcharge

  • Eight points equal a 220% surcharge

  • Nine points equal a 260% surcharge

  • Ten points equal a 300% surcharge

  • Eleven points equal a 350% surcharge

  • Twelve points equal a 400% surcharge

For 1 point accidents ($1800.00 or less) there
is no surcharge assessed if:

  • The operator was not convicted of a moving traffic violation in connection with the accident.

  • No licensed driver in the owner's household has a conviction for a moving traffic violation or other at fault accident during the three-year period immediately proceeding the date of application or the date of preparation of renewal of the policy

  • There was no personal injury.

FAILURE TO APPEAR MATTERS

If you failed to make an appearance in court or failed to hire an attorney to appear for you using a waiver of appearance, then your license will be suspended until the matter is resolved. A Failure To Appear Fee of $200 will be assessed in addition to court for cost and fines. On more serious non-waivable traffic matters, an Order For Arrest will be issued and the driver will be arrested.

At Baity Law, we routinely assist clients who find themselves in this situation. Mr. Baity will get the OFA stricken and add the case back on the docket for the most advantageous disposition in your situation. Most times, we can get the court to agree to strike the FTA fee of $200. This is a cheaper, quicker, and less stressful way to handle the situation rather than being arrested and having to post a release bond.

DWLR CHARGES

A DWLR charge received before December 1, 2013 can subject the driver to active jail time since it is a Class 1 misdemeanor.  A DWLR received after December 1, 2013, is a class 3 misdemeanor. A DWLR Impaired Revocation is still a class 1 misdemeanor.  A conviction of DWLR may subject the driver to an additional suspension of one year on his/her license.  Mr. Baity is well versed in the law and will assure that your case is handled properly so that you avoid the many potential traps and pitfalls.  

Maybe your license is suspended due to unpaid or multiple unpaid tickets. Do not simply pay off these tickets without first giving us a call. Even if you are told that you simply need to pay off the tickets by the DMV or Clerk's office, many times there are circumstances that will cause an additional revocation period.

At Baity law, we are experienced in getting client's license issues corrected so that they may get their license reinstated, many times without additional suspensions. Be assured, Mr. Baity will be with you in court to minimize punishment by seeking avoidance of an active jail sentence, and probation. Let Mr. Baity put his 20 years of experience to work for you.

MOTION FOR APPROPRIATE RELIEF

Perhaps you went into court believing that you could handle your traffic ticket by yourself or simply just paid off a bunch of old traffic cases, and now your getting a sky rocketing insurance bill or you've received a suspension notice from the DMV. At Baity Law, we are experienced in handling these types of situations. In many cases, Mr. Baity can get the case re-opened in court and have the District Attorney's office and the judge agree to the entry of a new disposition in your case which could eliminate or minimize the consequences that you previously created.

To learn more contact our office for a free consultation.

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