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What if I Lost My Traffic Ticket?

If you are issued a speeding ticket or citation for another traffic violation in North Carolina, the officer who stopped you will issue you a ticket at the time of the citation. The ticket will contain important information, including a court date, which will usually be one to two months from the date of your ticket.

But what happens if you lose your traffic ticket?

It happens, and there are steps you can take to ensure you comply with the law. Here’s what you can do to make sure you adequately handle your case and prevent any unnecessary complications or fees.  

Look Up Your Court Date Online

You can look up your court date, even without your ticket, by accessing the North Carolina Judicial Branch’s website. By entering your first and last name, you’ll be able to quickly access the county in which you received the citation, your charges, and your court date.

What If My Name Doesn’t Show Up on the Website?

If you can’t find your traffic citation, your information was likely either entered incorrectly or you have already missed your court date. You can call the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm at (919) 890-1000 to track down an answer. One of the clerks will be able to pull your file and let you know when you are (or were) scheduled to appear in court. 

What If I Missed My Court Date?

If you’ve lost your traffic ticket and discover that you’ve missed your court date, it is important that you contact a North Carolina criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You’ll be issued a “failure to appear,” or FTA, twenty days following your missed court date. In addition to any fines resulting from your original traffic citation, if you miss your court date, the court can issue an additional fine of $200.

In addition to this fine, if another twenty days pass, the court will notify the North Carolina DMV of your failure to appear and the DMV will suspend your driver’s license until your case is resolved. 

If you find yourself in this situation, an experienced North Carolina traffic law attorney can assist you with getting your case back on track. Jeremy Cotten is a passionate criminal defense attorney who has served thousands of clients through Wake, Johnston, Harnett, Orange, Sampson, Lee, and Chatham Counties. Give him a call or head to the main page to chat with a legal assistant 24 hours a day.

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