Traffic tickets, speeding tickets, and other North Carolina traffic violations can be quite confusing. As an experienced traffic ticket attorney in Salisbury NC, I have gotten hundreds of questions from my clients about their speeding tickets and traffic violations. Here are answers to five of the most frequently asked questions about North Carolina traffic violations and speeding tickets.
1. How Many “Points” Will I Get For My North Carolina Speeding Ticket?
This is by far the most common question about North Carolina traffic violations. The answer to this question is complex and depends on the nature of your speeding ticket or traffic violation. However visit our page on the NC point system to get an answer to your specific question. Please be advised that hiring a traffic ticket attorney can likely prevent points on your insurance and your North Carolina driver’s license.
2. Can I Go To Jail For Driving While License Revoked (DWLR)?
It is certainly possible depending on your driving record and the reason why the license was revoked originally. There are two types of DWLR charges. First there is DWLR from an impaired revocation and lastly there is also a DWLR from a non-impaired revocation. A DWLR from an impaired revocation occurs when you were previously convicted of a DWI. DWLR impaired revocations are a Class 1 misdemeanor. A non-impaired DWLR usually occurs when your license was suspended due to, failure to appears, unpaid fines, or failure to pay child support. A charge of A DWLR for a non-impaired revocation is a Class 3 misdemeanor.
DA’s in some counties regularly reduce DWLR charges to “failure to notify the DMV of an address change.” When a DWLR charge is reduced to “failure to notify” it can help prevent further license suspensions. Rowan County will not reduce DWLR charges unless your license has been fully reinstated. If you’re in Rowan County you’ll certainly want to hire a traffic ticket attorney to fight your DWLR charge.
3. Do I Have To Go To Court For North Carolina Traffic Violations?
It depends. Some traffic tickets can be paid online. However paying a ticket off without going to court is NEVER a good idea. Heres more information about why its such a terribly, bad idea to pay a North Carolina speeding ticket off. For most traffic violations in North Carolina an attorney can appear on your behalf without your presence in court. Aside from DWI, and in some counties (Rowan County specifically) charges for DWLR, for most other traffic violations an attorney can appear on your behalf. A lawyer can appear on your behalf for almost every North Carolina speeding ticket. Traffic violations that allow an attorney to represent you without your presence in court are called waivable offenses. If your job won’t allow you to take off from work to go to court, you should hire a North Carolina traffic ticket attorney to represent you instead.
4. What Happens If I Miss My Court Date?
If you miss your court date, you will get a “failure to appear” (FTA) amongst other consequences. Failing to appear results in more problems than you originally had. The penalties for an FTA include: additional fines, possibly a warrant for your arrest, and your license will be suspended. If you’ve recently (less than 20 days) missed your court date you may be able to avoid some of these consequences. The best thing to do is to contact the clerk’s office of the county you received the speeding ticket. Most counties either force you to appear in person to reschedule or submit a written request to reschedule your traffic ticket. If its been too long since you’ve missed court and an FTA has been entered you’ll be charged a $200.00 FTA fee in addition to the court fees.
An experienced traffic attorney can not only reschedule your speeding ticket for you. In addition a speeding ticket lawyer can also attempt to get the judge to strike the $200.00 failure to appear fee. Be advised that every county is different and all have different policies as it relates to rescheduling missed court dates. If you have an FTA give us a call to help figure out all of your options. The quicker you hire an attorney the more options you have to get your traffic violation resolved more favorably.
5. What is a “Prayer For Judgment Continued (PJC)?”
A prayer for judgment continued (PJC) means a person is technically pleading guilty except the judgment is continued indefinitely. This means that although you plead guilty to a crime or traffic violation you will not be assessed the penalties for that conviction. For example, if you plead guilty for a speeding ticket, you will generally get hit with points on your license and points your insurance. However if you plead guilty to a speeding ticket and use a PJC you will not be punished with points on your license or your insurance.
Only a judge (or magistrate in some counties) can grant a PJC. Every judge has his or her own requirements and ideas when they believe a PJC is appropriate. A PJC is not a right; a judge’s decision to grant or decline your PJC is totally within his or her discretion. There are some cases where your traffic violation isn’t legally eligible for a PJC.
For a more detailed discussion on PJC’s see our post on what is a PJC? If you have any questions about your eligibility for a PJC contact us today for a free consultation. Remember using a PJC should never be your first option when charged with a North Carolina speeding ticket. Always consult with a North Carolina traffic ticket attorney before considering a PJC.
What Should I Do If I Have More Questions About North Carolina Traffic Violations?
I know many people have other questions about North Carolina traffic violations but these are just the top five. To get answers to your personal questions give our office a call at 704-856-9502, for a free consultation with a traffic ticket attorney. If you have a North Carolina speeding ticket or if you have been charged with a North Carolina Traffic violation, you need a traffic ticket attorney who is knowledgable about how speeding tickets affect your insurance points and driving record.