Most North Carolina drivers are aware of the points system for driving offenses in the state, but there are a few persistent misconceptions about this system that all drivers should understand. Any time a driver commits a speeding offense or any other traffic offense, they will accumulate demerit points on their license. In addition to the associated penalties for the offense itself, any traffic violation is also likely to lead to further penalties the driver may not immediately recognize.
All drivers must understand the speeding ticket points system. While it’s always best to drive defensively and abide by the rules of the road at all times, it is always possible for a driver to have a speeding ticket issued unfairly. In this situation, experienced legal counsel is an invaluable resource, and the team at Christina Rivenbark & Associates can help you through any such situation.
Police officers can use various methods to measure a driver’s speed. The most commonly used technique is the use of a radar or laser-based speed measurement device. The officer simply points the device at a moving object to measure its speed. However, radar alone is not enough for the police to justify a speeding ticket. If the police officer conducts a traffic stop and issues a speeding ticket, they must also provide corroborating evidence alongside their radar gun reading to justify the ticket.
North Carolina police may also use aircraft to monitor traffic speeds, and many police officers will confirm suspected speeding through pacing, a process of matching a driver’s speed over a set distance to verify that they are, in fact, driving faster than the posted speed limit. If you are convinced that you were not speeding or that the police officer who issued your ticket did not use an appropriate measurement method, it’s vital to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible and to prepare for a traffic court hearing.
After you have been issued a speeding ticket, you can either pay the fine or contest the ticket in traffic court. Don’t assume that paying the fine settles the matter, as you could face additional consequences that aren’t immediately obvious, like a significant increase to your auto insurance premium rate. In addition, if you have accumulated demerit points on your license, the newly issued ticket could mean more points that push you over the 12-point threshold for license suspension.
When you appear in traffic court, the police officer who issued your ticket will explain how they measured your speed, and the judge will listen to your side of the events in question as well. It’s possible that the police officer won’t show up to the court hearing, but do not assume this means you automatically win your case. Working with an experienced speeding ticket attorney is the best option for anyone in this situation.
If you are facing a traffic court hearing for a speeding ticket, your attorney may uncover valuable evidence and defense options that work in your favor and increase your chances of avoiding the penalties associated with your ticket. The speeding ticket attorneys at Christina Rivenbark & Associates have successfully represented many past clients in traffic court, and we are fully prepared to leverage this professional experience on your behalf. We will prepare you for your court hearing, identify any and all defenses available to you, and assist you in arguing for lighter or alternative penalties if necessary.
The number of points a driver has attached to their license in response to a traffic violation depends on the severity of their offense. It’s possible for a single traffic violation to result in as much as 12 points and immediate revocation of the at-fault driver’s license. Less severe traffic offenses may only result in one to three points on the at-fault driver’s license. For example, speeding 10 mph or less over the speed limit often results in two demerit points.
Demerit points will remain on a driver’s license for three years after they are issued. When a driver accumulates points for multiple offenses, they will drop off their license in the order in which they were accrued. For example, if you are issued three points in January of 2023, they will expire in January 2026. If you are later issued another two points in June of 2023, those two points will not expire until June 2026. In the interim of June 2023 until January 2026, you would have a total of five points attached to your license.
Speeding more than 75 mph in a speed limit zone under 70 mph will typically lead to four points on your driver’s license in North Carolina. Any speeding over 80 mph will also automatically lead to four points on your license, even if the posted speed limit is over 70 mph. For example, if you are driving 82 mph in a 75 mph zone, you would still incur four points even though you were only driving 7 mph over the speed limit.
If you believe your recent speeding ticket was issued unfairly you have the right to contest the ticket in traffic court. However, you must follow the instructions included on your ticket to schedule a hearing and then appear before a traffic court judge to make your case. While traffic court is less demanding than criminal court, it is still best to have experienced legal counsel on your side to advise you through the various stages of your case.
Christina Rivenbark & Associates can provide robust and communicative legal counsel for any type of speeding ticket case. Remember that paying the fine for your ticket amounts to admitting fault, so it’s always advisable to have legal counsel you can trust to navigate this difficult situation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team and learn more about the legal services we offer.