Receiving a speeding ticket is one of the most common ways a person will come into contact with the police and the criminal justice system. If you have received a speeding ticket in North Carolina, you will want to consult a North Carolina criminal defense attorney to discuss how you can potentially avoid excess fees, insurance points, and points on your DMV record. For now, though, here is an overview of what you can do to guarantee the best possible outcome for yourself after you have received a speeding ticket.
What type of ticket did you receive?
First, it is important to note what type of traffic citation you received. Depending on the violation, you will have gotten an infraction (for a minor speeding violation) or a misdemeanor (for a more serious traffic violation, such as speeding that amounts to reckless driving). Infractions carry less severe penalties, but both types of citations cannot be ignored and must be addressed.
Option 1: Should I pay the ticket?
At first glance, the easiest option is to pay your fine. While you will be issued a court date, most speeding tickets can be settled up online, and you will never have to appear in court. However, there are more costs associated with admitting guilt than just the fine. You will likely receive insurance points, which increases your monthly payment, and points on your DMV record, which, if you collect too many points over a certain period, can lead to a license suspension.
While it might seem like an easy way to get rid of a ticket, you should always consult with a North Carolina criminal defense attorney before paying the fine because there may be additional ramifications beyond the fine.
Option 2: Should I fight the ticket in court?
A second option is to appear for your court date issued on your speeding ticket. At this time, the district attorney will bring the case against you before a judge. While you do not need to be represented by an attorney in traffic court, it is always best to have one. A criminal defense attorney specialized in traffic violations can discuss the process with you, represent you to ensure the best outcome, and avoid any pitfalls you might be unaware of.
Your lawyer might suggest other options, such as a plea agreement with the prosecution. Depending on your record, you might be able to plead to a lesser moving violation or even a non-moving violation. Additionally, your lawyer might be able to negotiate a “prayer for judgment continued,” which means a guilty judgment will not be formally entered against you, and you will likely not receive any insurance or DMV points.
If you’ve recently received a speeding ticket in North Carolina, Cotten Law can help. Jeremy has represented tens of thousands of clients and has hundreds of stellar reviews online. Our offices serve clients in central North Carolinaincluding Wake, Johnston, Harnett, Orange, Sampson, Lee, and Chatham Counties.
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