- North Carolina Traffic Law | What You Should Know About Fighting NC Traffic Tickets
- June 23, 2012
- Law Firm: Matheson Law Office PLLC - Raleigh Office
- If you have received a North Carolina Traffic Ticket, it's almost certain that you were inundated with Attorney Traffic Mailers from Traffic Attorneys in your area. These mailers talk about insurance points, license points, loss of driving privileges, Prayer for Judgments, court cost, insurance cost and many other factors that come into consideration when receiving a North Carolina Traffic Ticket. The following article will attempt to shed some light on some of these issues, along with discussing some of the issues that can come up when trying to fight a North Carolina Traffic Case.
First, almost all North Carolina Traffic Tickets carry with them points. Almost all have points assessed against the North Carolina Safe Drivers Initiative Plan. This plan dictates how much a local automotive insurance carrier can increase the driver's insurance premiums as a result of being convicted of a traffic violation. Under this plan, a driver's insurance can be raised as much as four hundred percent for the next three years for certain convictions. Additionally, most North Carolina Traffic Tickets also carry with them points against the Driver's North Carolina Drivers License. These points can, after accruing a large number of them, result in the suspension of a Driver's driving privileges. In fact, there are certain traffic convictions which, on their own, will result in the suspension of Driving Privileges (some include: DWI, Driving While License Revoked, prearranged racing, transporting illegal liquor for sale and hit and run where there is bodily injury or death).
When the attorney mailers discuss a Prayer for Judgment, they are discussing an option available in the North Carolina Court system for certain convictions which can help prevent points against the Insurance Incentive plan mentioned earlier and/or possibly avoid having the Driver's license suspended. A Prayer for Judgment is where the Defendant admits guilt but judgement is continued. Sometimes the judgment is continued for a set amount of time in order for the Defendant to complete some court requirements that will work to his or her benefit during sentencing. In traffic cases, a Prayer for Judgment will cause the judgment to be continued such that no points will result against the Driver's insurance and/or will avoid the Driver's license being suspended. Unfortunately, when a Prayer for Judgment is available to the Defendant, and more importantly under what charges are they available is very tricky. A Prayer for Judgement is limited to one per household for insurance and two per household for licenses every three years. To determine what qualifies as 'per household' you should speak with a local traffic attorney. As for when they are available for what charges, that is much harder to cover as each jurisdiction can handle these differently. As example, Raleigh handles a PJC for Driving While License Revoked completely differently then Durham.
Finally, when it comes to fighting North Carolina Traffic Case, this can be a difficult task. In most instances, the driver was pulled for violating some traffic law which, more then likely, the driver was charged for. If this is the case, it is hard to challenge the stop of the Driver as the Officer is not suppose to stop a driver without having reasonable suspicion of some criminal activity - including traffic violations. More importantly, if the stop was for speeding or Driving While Intoxicated, the courts have accepted certain machines which are used by the police in order to detect these types of violations and challenging in court can be difficult (though in some instances a good Defense Attorney can challenge that the machines were not properly calibrated at the time of the offense). Finally, if the Driver still wishes to challenge the ticket, it will require the Defense to provide some evidence that shows the evidence by the State is either incorrect or inadequate to lead to a conviction. For most Defendants, this will require the Defense to either place the Defendant or some other witness on the stand to prove the facts as the Defense contends. Unless the Defenses' evidence is overwhelming, the courts will normally defer to the testimony of the Officer unless the Defense Attorney has successfully shown it not to be reliable.
For advice on how to handle your particular traffic ticket or citation, speak with a local Traffic Lawyer.
Disclaimer - Information and advice offered in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is specific to North Carolina law. The viewing, receipt and/or exchange of information from this article does not constitute an Attorney-Client Relationship. For assistance regarding your particular legal question speak with an Attorney practicing in the field from which your questions derives.