Speeding Tickets in Charlotte
Were you pulled over and ticketed for speeding or another traffic violation? If you have a Charlotte speeding ticket, you need to carefully consider your next steps. Many people choose to simply pay a fine and move on without understanding the potential consequences of doing so. When people opt to just pay the fine for their traffic ticket, this is the same as pleading guilty. You will have the speeding ticket on your record, and driver’s license and insurance could be impacted more than you expect. Your other option is to fight the ticket with the help of a Charlotte speeding ticket lawyer from Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys.
We will vigorously fight to have the ticket dropped, dismissed, or reduced. We are often successful in having tickets reduced to non-moving violations, which can lower a speeding ticket’s cost and avoid license points, insurance increases, or license suspensions. To discuss the best way to handle your speeding ticket, call a traffic lawyer from our firm today at (980) 237-4579, or reach out through our online form to schedule a free case evaluation.
The Speed Limit in Charlotte, NC
Anywhere you drive in Charlotte, North Carolina, you should adhere to the posted speed limit signs. However, when there are no signs in sight, then you need to know the speed limit required by law. Under North Carolina General Statute §20-141(b), it is illegal to drive in excess of:
- 35 mph inside municipal corporate limits
- 55 mph outside municipal corporate limits for all vehicles except school and school activity buses
Municipalities can also have their own speed limits, as long as they do not exceed 55 mph. Charlotte’s municipal ordinances state the city streets are 35 mph unless otherwise posted. Many neighborhoods are reduced to 25 mph.
If you are concerned about a ticket you received while driving on a Charlotte highway at a speed above the posted limit, contact a Charlotte speeding ticket lawyer from our firm for help today.
Getting a Speeding Ticket in Charlotte
NCGS §20-141 outlines speed restrictions you must follow to avoid a speeding ticket. The statute details that you shall not drive a vehicle on a highway (which encompasses all public roads) or in any public area at a speed greater than is reasonable under the existing conditions.
The wording of traffic laws is important. It does not say that it is illegal to drive faster than the posted speed limit – though this is also true. It is illegal to drive faster than is prudent and reasonable, which can vary depending on the traffic, road conditions, and weather.
It also is possible to be ticketed for driving too slowly. Under NCGS §20-141(h), you shall not operate a motor vehicle on the highway at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic. However, there is an exception. You can drive very slowly if it is to comply with another law or for safety purposes.
If you received a ticket for driving too fast or slow, call a speeding ticket lawyer in Charlotte, NC as soon as you can at (980) 237-4579. It is best to be fully aware of your options instead of simply writing a check. If you pay speeding fines without fighting the ticket, this is the same as pleading guilty.
Certain speeding charges may also result in misdemeanor reckless driving charges. This can result in more serious criminal penalties and significant consequences for your driver’s license and insurance. If you are speeding more than 15 mph over the speed limit or in excess of 80 mph, you may get reckless driving charges. It’s best to work with a speeding ticket lawyer who can help you get your reckless driving charges reduced or eliminated.
Speeding in a School Zone or Work Zone
Speeding in a school zone is punished more harshly than speeding in other areas in town. North Carolina law gives municipalities the right to set school zone speed limits. For example, in Charlotte, school speed limit zones are set at 25 mph, which is common. The speed limit zones are in effect 45 minutes before school begins, and 15 minutes after school begins. It then starts again 15 minutes before school lets out, until 30 minutes after the school day ends. If you drive faster than the posted speed limit in a school zone, you can be ticketed for an infraction and required to pay a fine of $250.
There is a similar law for work zones. If you drive through a construction or work zone, and you drive faster than the posted limit, then you can be fined at least $250 in addition to other fines and penalties. When you are driving, keep in mind a highway work zone continues until you see a sign that says the work zone is over.
Points on Your License for a Speeding Ticket
At Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys, we are often asked how many points a speeding ticket in North Carolina is. It is an important question. If you are found guilty of speeding in Charlotte, then you may also have points added to your record. These points can have a significant impact on the long-term cost of your speeding ticket and your driving privileges.
The possible driver’s license points for speeding are:
- 80 mph or greater – Three points
- Speeding through a safety zone – Three points
- Speeding in a school zone – Three points
- Speeding when the limit is 55 mph or less – Two points
- Speeding when the limit is 55 mph or greater – Three points
Additionally, certain excessive speeding tickets can lead to your driver’s license being suspended. To learn more about this possibility, speak with a Charlotte speeding ticket lawyer right away.
Speeding also leads to insurance points. These points contribute to your insurance rates going up. Depending on the speed limit and how much faster you were driving compared to the limit, your record may obtain one, two, or four insurance points. One point can increase your rate by up to 30 percent, while four points can increase your rate by as much as 80 percent.
Misdemeanor Charges for Speeding
A speeding ticket is typically an infraction. For most speeding offenses, you cannot be jailed. Instead, the sanction is a fine. However, you can face misdemeanor charges for speeding. Under NCGS §20-141(j1), if you drive more than 15 mph over the limit or you drive more than 80 mph, you will be charged with a class 3 misdemeanor. You can be sentenced to one to 20 days in jail, though you can also fight to receive a fine only if your situation allows for it. If you are a commercial driver carrying a load subject to permit requirements and you drive more than 15 mph above the speed limit or the restricted speed, then you can be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor, which is punishable with one to 60 days in jail.
If you are facing a misdemeanor charge for speeding, you need to contact an experienced Charlotte speeding ticket lawyer at Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys at (980) 237-4579. We are highly experienced in handling both traffic infractions and criminal charges. We will vigorously fight these charges to help you maintain a clean driving record.
Fighting a Speeding Ticket in Charlotte, NC
When you receive a speeding ticket, the best thing to do for yourself is to contact a speeding ticket lawyer. Fighting a ticket requires that you do not pay it since this means you agree you are guilty. However, you cannot ignore the ticket. You have to properly address it in court to argue against it. If you do not pay the ticket or appear in court, then you face an additional infraction and fine. Your failure to appear becomes a separate offense.
Your best chance of obtaining a beneficial result in your case is to hire a Charlotte speeding ticket lawyer. Your goal in fighting a speeding ticket is to have it dropped by the prosecutor, dismissed by the judge, or reduced to a less serious offense. Your attorney will thoroughly review the circumstances and advise you on the likelihood of having the ticket dropped or dismissed.
Your lawyer will also discuss with you how to get a speeding ticket reduced in Charlotte. One of the best possible outcomes, other than a dismissal, is to have your ticket reduced to a non-moving violation, such as improper equipment. This technically means you do not have a properly functioning speedometer. However, this reduction is not available if you received a ticket for speeding more than 25 mph over the limit.
Another possibility is for your lawyer to argue for the speeding ticket to be reduced in terms of how fast you were going. For example, instead of being ticketed for going 15 mph over the limit, you may only be ticketed for going nine mph over as opposed to the increased speed.
Additionally, you could seek a prayer for judgment (PJC). In this process, you admit responsibility, but the judge does not enter a judgment against you into the record. Your record will say PJC, and as long as you do not have two PJCs in five years, you will avoid driver’s license points.
To learn more about your options for fighting a speeding ticket, call Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys at (980) 237-4579 to talk to a Charlotte speeding ticket lawyer. We will thoroughly review your case and advise you of the strongest strategy.