As of September 25th, North Carolina residents will have the ability to “fight” your traffic ticket online via a new program called iPlea.iPlea allows persons charged with certain types of traffic violations to potentially obtain a reduction online directly from the local District Attorney’s office. Should you, as the defendant charged with the offense, choose to accept the District Attorney’s offer you can then pay for your ticket on the spot and avoid a court appearance. The service is available at onlineservices.nccourts.org.
For some defendants this may be a viable alternative to the headache of spending at least a morning navigating the local District Courthouse. However, there are many serious problems you can face should you be on the receiving end of a traffic citation and choose to go it alone.
The immediate problem is that you are in fact agreeing to plead GUILTY when you pay this ticket off. You really are not “fighting” your ticket at all. You are simply receiving a canned, cut/paste offer from the District Attorney’s office which limits your constitutional rights to confront witnesses, potential right to appeal, the opportunity to negotiate a better deal in person, and outright ignores the fact you are innocent until proven guilty.
Sure, it is just a traffic ticket and society at large places a premium on getting things done instantaneously but the State has no duty whatsoever to your interests such as 1) whether or not your insurance increases dramatically, 2) whether you even keep your license, and 3) if you drive commercially, whether you even get to keep your JOB.
None of the above will be explained to you when you “fight” your ticket online. What the user is left with is that opportunity to “negotiate” with a trained prosecutor whose ethical duty is AGAINST YOU and for the State. In the end you will then choose which level of guilt you are comfortable with but make sure to have your credit card handy.
Is it worth a few minutes of your time to consult with a lawyer that is on your side?
My name is Jeremy Cotten and I represent clients in Wake, Johnston, Harnett, Lee, Chatham, Orange and Sampson counties. Give me a call anytime for a free consult.