Traffic Tickets

How will a ticket I receive affect my insurance?‎

If you fail to properly handle a traffic ticket you could suffer between a 25% and ‎‎400% increase in your insurance premiums for three years. Insurance premium ‎increases are merely an immediate consequence of many moving violations. In ‎the unfortunate event that you suffer a license revocation, other downstream ‎consequences frequently arise such as loss of employment and other family ‎strains. Many people simply pay a ticket without consulting with an attorney and ‎find themselves losing their license or suffering great financial hardship due to ‎the consequences of a license revocation. ‎
A knowledgeable attorney can help you avoid such problems and protect you ‎from the impact of future violations as well.
The Safe Drivers Incentive Program ‎is legislation enacted by the North Carolina General Assembly that controls when ‎insurance companies can raise your rates. Points are assessed for convictions and ‎at fault accidents occurring during the three years immediately before the date of ‎application for the insurance issuance or renewal. The link above shows how ‎many points you could receive for different traffic violations and the financial ‎impact your conviction could have on your insurance premiums. If you hire me ‎to represent your traffic charge, I will explain what options are available to you ‎in order to remove or reduce the impact of a ticket on your insurance.‎
Insurance points are almost always costly and complex. If you would like to ‎discuss your case call me (919) 586-7072 to set up your FREE consultation‎.

What are Driver’s License Points?‎

Driver’s License Points are assigned by the North Carolina Division of Motor ‎Vehicles (NCDMV) for most moving violations. They are used for the purpose of ‎suspending and revoking licenses. These are not the same as points for insurance ‎purposes – they are on a different schedule and are used to determine insurance ‎premium increase. ‎

If you receive 12 or more license points over a 3 year period, the NCDMV can ‎suspend your license if they choose. However, after the accumulation of 7 points, ‎you may have the opportunity to attend a Driver Improvement Clinic, and upon ‎its completion, 3 points may be deducted from your record. After losing your ‎license, the process of reinstatement is used to be able to drive lawfully again. ‎During the first 3 years after reinstatement, the accumulation of just 8 points (not ‎‎12 as in above), can cause a second suspension of your license.‎

The following tables show what convictions carry what points.‎

DRIVER’S LICENSE POINT SCHEDULE

FOR NON-COMMERCIAL VEHICLE

Conviction Point Value
Passing a stopped school bus loading or unloading children 5
Aggressive driving 5
Reckless driving 4
Hit and run, property damage only 4
Following too closely 4
Driving on wrong side of road 4
Illegal passing 4
Failure to yield right-of-way to pedestrian pursuant to GS 20-158(b)(2)b. 4
Failure to yield right-of-way to bicycle motor scooter, or motorcycle 4
Running through stop sign 3
Speeding more than 55 mph 3
Speeding through a school zone 3
Failure to yield right of way 3
No driver license or license expired more than one year 3
Running through red light 3
Failure to stop for siren 3
Speeding through safety zone 3
Failure to report accident where such report is required 3
No liability insurance 3
All other moving violations 2
Littering involving a motor vehicle 1

DRIVER’S LICENSE POINT SCHEDULE

FOR COMMERCIAL VEHICLE

Conviction Point Value
Passing a stopped school bus loading or unloading children 8
Rail-highway crossing violation 6
Careless and Reckless driving in violation of G.S. 20-140(f) 6
Speeding in violation of G. S. 20-141(j3) 6
Aggressive driving 6
Reckless driving 5
Hit and run, property damage only 5
Following too closely 5
Driving on wrong side of road 5
Illegal passing 5
Failure to yield right-of-way to pedestrian pursuant to G. S. 20-158(b)(2)b. 5
Failure to yield right-of-way to bicycle motor scooter, or motorcycle 5
Running through stop sign 4
Speeding more than 55 mph 4
Speeding through a school zone 4
Failure to yield right of way 4
No driver license or license expired more than one year 4
Running through red light 4
Failure to stop for siren 4
Driving through safety zone 4
Failure to report accident where such report is required 4
Possessing alcoholic beverage in the passenger area of a commercial motor vehicle 3
All other moving violations 3
Littering involving a motor vehicle 1

‎ ‎
You do not have to accumulate 12 license points over three years for the DMV to ‎revoke your license. There are other ways for the NCDMV to suspend or revoke ‎your license. For example, your license will be revoked for at least 30 days if you ‎are convicted of exceeding the speed limit by more than 15 mph if you are ‎driving at a speed greater than 55 mph. That means being convicted for speeding ‎‎61 mph in a 45 mph zone will cause you to lose your license for at least 30 days. ‎The NCDMV has another rule where they can suspend your license for 2 ‎convictions for speeding over 55 mph in the same year. Thus, two convictions for ‎speeding 56 mph in 55 mph zones – just 1 mph over the limit – can cause you to ‎lose your license. A DWI charge will cause a civil revocation of your license for ‎‎30 days and a conviction carries a 1 year suspension of driving privileges. ‎

The loss of your driver’s license can have devastating short and long-term ‎impacts on your and your family. If you would like to discuss your case call me ‎‎(919) 586-7072 to set up your FREE consultation.‎

How are Insurance Points different than License Points?‎

Insurance Points are used in determining insurance rates. The North Carolina ‎Department of Insurance (NCDI) mandates how the insurance companies can ‎raise your rates based on certain motor vehicle offenses and accidents. A ‎legislative act known as the North Carolina Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP) ‎requires the assignment of Insurance Points – the more points, the higher the rate. ‎Each point represents what is called a surcharge, which is a fixed percentage ‎increase in the premium amount. Insurance Points can possibly be added together ‎among different convictions over time. To determine whether a prior conviction ‎still carries insurance points, we examine what is called the “Experience Period.” ‎The Experience Period is the 3 years immediately preceding the date you apply ‎for insurance, or the 3 years preceding preparation of renewal of your insurance ‎policy. ‎

The table below shows the current surcharge rates for insurance points in North ‎Carolina:‎

SURCHARGE RATES

Points % of Rate Increase Points % of Rate Increase
1 25% 7 160%
2 45% 8 190%
3 60% 9 225%
4 80% 10 260%
5 105% 11 300%
6 130% 12 340%

The table below shows the amount of insurance points certain offenses carry, as well as the insurance points for certain motor vehicle accidents.

 

INSURANCE POINTS

Points Convictions and At-Fault Accidents
12 ManslaughterPrearranged highway racing

Lending a car for prearranged hwy racing

Hit-and-run resulting in bodily injury/death

Driving with blood alcohol level .08 more

Driving commercial vehicle blood alcohol .04 more

Driving While Impaired

Transporting illegal intoxicating liquor for sale

10 Highway racingLending a car for highway racing

Speeding to elude arrest

8 Driving during revocation or suspension of license or registrationAggressive Driving
4 Reckless DrivingHit-and-run resulting in property damage only

Passing a stopped school bus

Speeding in excess of 75mph when the speed limit is less than 70mph

Speeding in excess of 80 mph when the speed limit is 70 mph or greater

Driving by a person less than 21 after consuming alcohol or drugs

3 At-fault accident that occurs before Jan. 1, 2004, resulting in death, or bodily   injury* in excess of $1,500 or property damage of $2,500 or more**At-fault accident that occurs on or after Jan. 1, 2004, resulting in death, or bodily injury* in excess of $1,800 or property damage of $3,000 or more**
2 Illegal passingFollowing too closely

Driving on the wrong side of the road

At-fault accident that occurs before Jan. 1, 2004, resulting in property damage in excess of $1,500, but less than $2,500**

At-fault accident that occurs on or after Jan. 1, 2004, resulting in property damage in excess of $1,800, but less than $3,000**

Speeding more than 10mph over the speed limit provided the total speed is in excess of 55 mph, but less than 76 mph

Speeding 10 mph or less in excess of speed zone of 55 mph or greater

1 All other moving violationsAt-fault accident that occurs before Jan. 1 2004, resulting in bodily injury* of $1,500 or less, or property damage in of $1,500 or less**

At-fault accident that occurs on or after Jan. 1, 2004, resulting in bodily injury* of $1,800 or less, or property damage in of $1,800 or less**

Speeding 10 mph or less in excess of speed limit of less than 55 mph

* No SDIP points will apply for Bodily Injury if the insured furnishes proof that costs were solely for diagnostic purposes.** The greatest number of points will be applied for at-fault accidents resulting in Property Damage and Death or Bodily Injury

Certain Special Exemptions apply, that can be used to reduce what you pay for ‎insurance. They include:‎
‎.‎ Speeding 10 mph or less over the posted speeding limit if
You weren’t speeding in a school zone; and
You have no other speeding ticket or moving violation for the ‎Experience Period (excluding a single Prayer for Judgment ‎Continued (PJC) in the entire household)‎
‎.‎ A single PJC per household every three years, but a second PJC may cause ‎insurance points to be assessed for both the first and second offenses.‎
‎.‎ Some car accidents if
You have no property damage;‎
The damage is $1,500 or less;‎
You have no conviction for a moving violation with connection to the ‎accident; and
Your household has no convictions or at-fault accidents during the ‎Experience Period.‎

After a conviction that carries insurance points, your insurance company can ‎deem you a high-risk driver. This involves much higher premium costs over the ‎three years following your insurance point conviction. ‎

Insurance points are almost always costly and complex. If you would like to ‎discuss your case call me (919) 586-7072 to set up your FREE consultation. ‎

Do I need to appear in court?

It depends on your case. North Carolina has a specified list of “waivable ‎offenses” that your lawyer may go to court on your behalf to deal with your ‎charge. If your charged offense is not on that list, then you must appear in court.‎

Should you not want to go to court, but do want to prudently take care of your ‎case, you should always hire a lawyer to look after the matter. A lawyer will be ‎able to try to plea bargain the ticket, to get the best deal possible for your ‎situation. Paying the citation through the mail is like giving up.‎

If you value your time and want to avoid the stress of appearing in court in North ‎Carolina, contact me for a free consultation to learn how we can assist you in ‎handling this matter at (919) 586-7072.‎

Feel free to call me (919) 586-7072 weekdays, evenings, or weekends to discuss ‎your charge involving:‎

‎.‎ Careless and reckless driving
‎.‎ Driving after consuming alcohol if the driver is under 21‎
‎.‎ Driving while license or registration suspended or revoked
‎.‎ Driving with expired registration
‎.‎ Speeding tickets
‎.‎ Speeding to avoid arrest
‎.‎ Speeding in a construction zone
‎.‎ Speeding in a school zone
‎.‎ Failure to yield to emergency vehicle
‎.‎ Failure to yield right of way
‎.‎ Failure to have liability insurance
‎.‎ Failure to stop for a siren
‎.‎ Passing a stopped school bus
‎.‎ Running a red light
‎.‎ Running a stop sign
‎.‎ Illegal passing
‎.‎ Following too closely