If you have driven a car for any length of time, you’ve seen the red and blue lights in your rear view mirror. The police officer walks up to let you know what you did wrong. Perhaps you were lucky enough to just receive a warning. But chances are you got a traffic ticket. Now, the ball is in your court. Don’t risk having your driver’s license suspended. Whether you decide to pay it or fight it, you must address your traffic ticket fines.
Understanding types of traffic violations
Not all traffic tickets are created equal. Violations can be categorized broadly into two types: non-moving and moving violations. Non-moving violations include:
- Parking in a disabled space without a placard
- Having expired license plates
- Leaving a running vehicle unattended
Moving violations can be, for example:
Moving violations tend to be more serious. But non-moving violations are not to be taken lightly. No matter which type of violation you receive, you need to address it promptly, perhaps with the assistance of a traffic ticket lawyer.
Taking action when you receive a citation
When you receive a traffic ticket, you have an important decision to make. Are you going to pay the traffic ticket fines, or are you going to contest the ticket in court? Either way you go, you must act promptly to avoid a license suspension or revocation. Unpaid tickets put your driving privileges in jeopardy.
Knowing consequences of traffic tickets
Obviously, traffic tickets come with fines. But fines aren't the only potential consequences. North Carolina assigns point values to each traffic violation. Drivers accumulate points as they are convicted of these violations. The points associated with a violation stay on a driver’s record for three years. If a driver accumulates 12 points within three years, that driver’s license can be suspended for as little as 60 days or as much as one year depending on the driver’s situation. Some offenses come with automatic driver’s license suspensions or revocations. These are the most serious offenses such as DWI, driving more than 15 MPH while going at least 55 MPH and prearranged automobile racing. Getting your driving privileges reinstated is a pain, so be careful not to get your license suspended in the first place. You have to go to a driver’s license office, fill out paperwork and pay fees. It’s not fun, and it costs you money. In addition to the penalties enforced by the courts and fees assessed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), your automobile insurance rates can increase drastically when you are convicted of a traffic violation. The insurance company sees you as a greater risk and therefore reflects that in the amount you pay for coverage.
Keeping away from traffic tickets
The best way to avoid traffic tickets is to drive safely. Obey traffic rules and maintain control of your vehicle. Do this, and the police officer won’t need to pull you over. In addition, keep your driver’s license and vehicle’s plates up-to-date. Park your car according to the law and following posted signs. These actions keeps citations for non-moving violations from appearing under your windshield wiper and ruining your day.
Getting the advice you need
Even if a traffic ticket seems insignificant to you, it certainly is not. It carries real consequences beyond the dollar amount of the fine associated with it. You must act quickly. Charlotte, NC, attorney Jason Reece can help you understand your options for handling your traffic ticket. Contact Jason by calling 704-714-8888, or use this form to schedule a free consultation.