It’s easy to dismiss a speeding ticket. After all, society tends to treat it as the kind of thing that most drivers do and only some get “caught.” However, in North Carolina, it’s critical that you take speeding seriously. The state has some of the toughest penalties for speeding, and traffic violations in general, in the entire country. It’s important to realize the significant effects that some of these penalties can have on your life. You can benefit, though, from working with a lawyer who can take steps to protect your interests in these cases and see that you are given a fair opportunity to defend yourself. We have successfully defended speeding tickets before at Christina Rivenbark & Associates, and we are ready to defend your Oak Island, NC case as well.
The penalties for a particular speeding offense can fall into a broad range. They are typically determined by a variety of factors, including:
It’s important to realize that, while most speeding tickets are infractions rather than full-fledged crimes, there are some cases in which it can be bumped up to a criminal offense. For instance, driving more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit is considered a Class 3 misdemeanor. Street racing, depending upon the nature of the race, could result in either a Class 1 or Class 2 misdemeanor. Reckless driving is a potential Class 2 misdemeanor as well. Some of the potential penalties for various speeding tickets could include:
A: Different traffic offenses carry with them different DMV point totals. If too many points, usually 12 or more, are accumulated in a three-year span, this could lead to a license suspension. Generally, the points will only stay on your license for three years, although they can stay longer for more serious convictions. It’s important to realize, though, that this is not the only case in which a license suspension is possible. For instance, if you were to accumulate another eight points within three years of your license being reinstated from a suspension, then it could result in another suspension. Excessive speeding can also result in an automatic suspension of your license.
A: In addition to DMV points, North Carolina also has a points system that affects a driver’s insurance plan. It is called the Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP), and drivers are given different point levels based on the kinds of infractions that they commit. The points will result in higher insurance premiums. In most cases, the points will fall off after three years.
A: There are several different circumstances when a speeding ticket could, in fact, result in seeing your license suspended. For instance, if the infraction, no matter how minor, results in you having 12 DMV points on your license in the last three years, this will very likely result in a suspension. Additionally, there are cases for certain levels of excessive speed above the speed limit where a suspension is possible regardless of how many DMV points are on your license. Examples include going more than 55 miles per hour and receiving a ticket for being 15 miles per hour or more over the speed limit. Another case is if you are driving more than 80 miles per hour in a zone where the speed limit is 70 miles per hour. License suspensions are usually 60 days for the first suspension, as long as six months for the second, and up to a year for each suspension after that point. These suspensions are serious, and driving on them can result in very serious consequences.
A: Working with a lawyer can give you a better chance of getting out of a speeding ticket or at least not being subject to the most significant penalties. We can investigate the case and put together a number of possible defenses. In some circumstances, it may also be possible to plea down to a lesser charge. Our experience in handling these cases gives us an advantage, as we know what the courts are expecting to be shown and how to challenge that evidence.
Many people mistakenly think of speeding tickets as a nuisance but not as a particularly serious situation. This, though, is not the case. North Carolina takes speeding particularly seriously and, depending on the nature of the offense, delivers significant penalties for it. Don’t think that, just because you’ve been given a ticket, you can’t fight against the situation. There are plenty of means available for defending against speeding tickets. With a good lawyer on your side, like those at Christina Rivenbark & Associates, you have a real chance of winning your case and avoiding North Carolina’s harsh treatment for speeding violations. Contact us today to discuss your situation.