Just north of the North Carolina-South Carolina border, Route 74 runs east to west through some of North Carolina’s most popular attractions. If you are from the Greater Charlotte Area, you may be aware of an issue on Route 74 coming out of Charlotte. Many drivers don’t realize that the speed limit drops to 55 mph after a two-mile stretch of roadway, where the speed limit is usually 70 mph. At the bottom of a hill, many drivers miss the small sign that indicates that the speed limit drops back down to 55 mph, though other speed limit changes on the route are indicated with double signs that aren’t easily missed. Meanwhile, troopers wait at the bottom of the hill to catch unsuspecting drivers, as they may unknowingly break the speed limit.
The majority of those who are cited with Route 74 traffic violations are out-of-towners passing through en route to Wilmington, NC, home of the University of North Carolina. Route 74 is also the road to Murphy, NC, where the casinos attract millions of tourists each year. Other destinations along this road are Andrews, NC, a scenic town at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, and Topton, NC, home of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, both of which attract travelers year-round. It’s no coincidence that on court day, in fact, 80% of those ticketed who come to pay their fine for a speeding violation on Route 74 are from out of town or out of state. If you have a traffic violation lawyer, however, the district attorney may reduce the violation.
The average cost for drivers ticketed on Route 74 in North Carolina for speeding fines is around $250. This includes the fine and court fees. However, if a driver is speeding 15 mph over the posted speed limit, or is caught driving more than 80 mph, it’s a Class 3 misdemeanor. This warrants the need for a speeding ticket attorney to advise you on getting the ticket reduced. That way, you can avoid having a misdemeanor on your driving record. Furthermore, if you are charged with reckless driving, with or without a speeding ticket, it is a Class 2 misdemeanor, which could mean up to 90 days of jail time, a fine of up to $1,000, and/or a suspension of your diving license.
North Carolina passes harsh laws to deter drivers from speeding in the state. In addition to high-priced traffic violations, and a variety of sentences for driving convictions, two separate points systems are applied to driving privileges: driver’s license points and insurance points.
Most speeding violations add three points to a driver’s license, though a reckless driving violation will add four points. Other moving violations and traffic citations can carry up to five points. A driver who accumulates 12 driver’s license points within three years can have their license suspended by the DMV for 60 days in a first-time suspension. After one suspension, a second suspension is possible after just eight more points and warrants a six-month loss of driving privileges. A third offense carries a 12-month suspension of driving privileges.
There are other ways to receive a driver’s license suspension for speeding other than the point system. Hiring a traffic ticket lawyer can improve your chances of receiving a lesser sentence or reduced charges. Speeding violations that can result in a suspended license are as follows:
Insurance points, on the other hand, are a way for the North Carolina Department of Insurance to regulate how much an insurance company charges for auto insurance. This is done through the North Carolina Safe Driver Incentive Plan, or SDIP. It gives drivers a financial incentive to drive safely and practice safe driving behaviors. A driver can accumulate insurance points just like driver’s license points based on traffic violation convictions and accidents. Drivers who have more points will pay more for auto insurance.
You must appear in North Carolina traffic court to contest a ticket. Paying your fine is equivalent to admitting guilt, so if you want to get it dismissed, don’t pay the fine before taking your case to court. When you get to court, the prosecutor will establish the proof that you were speeding, and you will have to refute the evidence. The easiest way to get a speeding ticket dismissed is by hiring a North Carolina speeding ticket attorney to represent you.
No, but it’s always a good idea to have one. Having the advice of a seasoned traffic court attorney can be invaluable in getting your charges reduced, keeping your driver’s privileges, or getting your ticket dismissed altogether. You have better chances of a favorable outcome with a lawyer in North Carolina than without one.
The actual fine for a speeding ticket that cites you for going 15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit is only $30. However, the court fees are around $200. Furthermore, you’ll have to pay more for your car insurance for up to three years and get points on your license, which can end up costing you more in the long run as well.
While speeding penalties in North Carolina are steep, the only way to get charged with a felony while speeding is if you’re going 15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit and if you’re also charged with a DUI because you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) equal to or greater than 0.14.
Paying a ticket is equivalent to pleading guilty. If you pay a ticket, it automatically looks bad to your insurance company, which can increase your insurance for up to three years. Furthermore, it adds points to your license. Speak with a knowledgeable speeding ticket attorney about your options. Contact Christina Rivenbark & Associates today to schedule a consultation.