FAQs — and Answers by North Carolina Traffic Attorneys

Q: How will a traffic ticket affect my insurance rates?

A: Depending on the type of violation, the number of violations, your state’s traffic laws and your insurance company’s policies, a traffic violation might result in increased insurance premiums. In general, receiving only one moving violation (such as a speeding ticket or a citation for running a stoplight) in a given time frame (typically three to five years) will not result in an increased insurance premium. However, more than one moving violation or a car accident in which you were at fault in a given time frame may result in an increased insurance premium.

Q: What does is mean that a traffic violation is a strict liability offense?

A: A strict liability offense is an offense for which proof of “criminal intent” is not necessary for conviction. Stated differently, proof that a traffic violation occurred is typically sufficient to convict the violator. Thus, a driver may be fined for turning into the wrong lane even if he or she did so accidentally, parking next to fire hydrant even if he or she did not see the hydrant, or for an expired parking meter even if he or she did not intend let the meter expire.

Traffic crimes can lead to missed work, stiff fines, lost driving privileges, increased insurance rates, and even prison time, especially for repeat offenders. If you’ve been charged with a traffic violation, treat it with the seriousness it deserves, and contact an experienced traffic law attorney at once.

Charlotte, North Carolina, Traffic Violations Attorneys

If you have received a speeding ticket or have received a fine for a traffic offense, points may be added to your driving record. These points will eventually cause your insurance rates to increase and could eventually lead to a loss of driving privileges. The lawyers from Bell & Bell Law Firm P.C. are highly adept at addressing issues of the points system, reducing driver’s license points, and preventing insurance increases. We help people throughout the Charlotte area including Mecklenburg County, Iredell CountyRowan County, Union County, Lincoln County, and Gaston County. The following is an overview of traffic violations in Charlotte, North Carolina. Please contact our firm to discuss your specific concerns in a free consultation.

Traffic Violations – An Overview

Although many traffic offenses may not carry the same stigma and penalties as other, more serious crimes, even the lower-level offenses can result in significant fines, loss of driving privileges, and increased insurance rates. And the more serious offenses, or even some less serious violations if they are part of a series of violations by the same offender, can result in imprisonment. Thus, traffic charges should not be taken lightly. An attorney can explain the possible consequences of the various violations and represent those charged with traffic offenses throughout the resolution of the matter, taking some of the mystery out of the process and increasing the chances of the least serious outcome.

Speeding Laws

Ordinarily speeding tickets are offenses or infractions rather than crimes, but it is not uncommon for speeding tickets to be treated as misdemeanors. If you received a speeding ticket, contact our firm to schedule a meeting with an attorney who can explain how the speed laws operate in our state.

Misdemeanor and Felony Traffic Offenses

Some traffic offenses are more serious than others and can result in penalties as serious as imprisonment. While a traffic infraction might be a minor matter if no one is hurt, the same incident can be a misdemeanor or felony if someone is hurt or killed or if there is serious property damage. Some specific traffic offenses, however, are considered serious violations on their own, such as drunk driving or operating a vehicle without a license. A person charged with a traffic-related crime should treat his or her situation seriously and contact an attorney who can help to protect his or her legal rights.

Point System

Many states utilize a point system to monitor the driving records of their citizens. Under a point system, traffic violations are assigned point values and the driving privileges of individuals who accumulate a certain number of points in a specified time period will be suspended or revoked. Points also can lead to increased auto insurance rates. Contact an attorney experienced in handling traffic violations in your area to learn more about the point values assigned to traffic violations in your state and what impact they may have on your driving future.

License Revocation or Suspension

Depending on the state, the particular traffic offense on which the suspension or revocation will be based or both, the decision to suspend or revoke a driver’s license may be required or within the discretion of the person or entity authorized to suspend or revoke the license. In all states, driver’s license revocation or suspension can have a serious impact on one’s life and should not be taken lightly. Contact our firm to schedule an appointment with an attorney who can explain the laws and regulations governing license revocation or suspension in our state.

Traffic Violations Resource Links

Summary of State Speed Laws (.pdf)
This publication is distributed by the US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and includes a Summary Table on Aggressive Driving Laws, a Summary Table of State Speed Laws, a Summary Table of Special Sanctions for Exceeding the Speed Limit in Either a Construction or School Zone, a State by State Analysis of statutes (or regulations) concerning speed limit or speed related violations, and an Appendix summarizing the Uniform Vehicle Code’s (UVC) provisions related to speed.

American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA): Information for the Public
The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) serves as an information clearinghouse and develops model programs in motor vehicle administration, law enforcement, and highway safety. The AAMVA’s Information for the Public Web site contains links to information identified by its staff as relevant to the general public.

State Transportation Web Sites (DOTs and DMVs)
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s mission is to identify problems, foster research that seeks solutions, and disseminate information and educational materials that promote good traffic safety practices.

State Statutes on Motor Vehicles
This Web page provides links to state statutes on motor vehicles. The Web page is provided by Wex, a product of the Legal Information Institute (LII) at the Cornell Law School.

What Happens if I’m Stopped by an Officer of the Law?
This Web page is provided by the US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and includes information intended to help drivers who are stopped by police officers.

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