Should I Pay My Speeding Instead of Hiring a Lawyer?
On behalf of Randall & Stump, PLLC in Traffic on Wednesday, June 16, 2021
When you pay a speeding ticket or misdemeanor citation instead of hiring a lawyer, you could be setting yourself up for more severe consequences. If you automatically pay a speeding ticket, you may incur points on your license, higher insurance rates, and even risk a license suspension.
However, a traffic court defense lawyer may be able to help you avoid these unpleasant results. Our lawyers may recommend you contest the ticket or seek mitigation. Depending on your driving record, hiring an attorney to clear another citation may be less expensive than increased auto insurance.
Consider the Consequences of a Ticket
You can expect to pay $250 or more for a speeding ticket in a school or work zone. If you contest a ticket in traffic court and fail, you pay fines and court costs. That is why you should consider talking to a traffic court lawyer about your ticket.
Fines and Court Costs
With most traffic tickets, you can choose to pay a predetermined fine, or you can go to court.
If you challenge the ticket in court and lose, you’ll end up paying fines, court costs, and other fees. Even if you succeed in getting a Prayer for Judgment Continued, you’ll have to pay court costs. This might still count against you for driver’s license and insurance points.
If you want to contest a ticket in traffic court, we recommend hiring an attorney. A traffic lawyer is more likely to get better results because we handle these matters often. We know what to expect in court and how to craft a convincing argument on your behalf.
Driver’s License Points
Moving violations in North Carolina mean driver’s license points. If you accumulate 12 points within three years, the state suspends your license.
The more license points you accumulate, the more likely you are to have subsequent license suspensions.
- 1st suspension: 60 days
- 2nd suspension: Six months
- 3rd or more suspension: One year
If you already have points on your record, we strongly suggest you hire a lawyer. You don’t want to risk losing your license for months.
Moving Violations Point Assessment:
- Speeding: Two points
- Speeding in a safety zone: Three points
- Speeding over 55 miles per hour: Three points
- Speeding at 80 miles per hour or higher when the limit is 70 or higher: Three points
- Running a red light: Three points
- Driving on the wrong side of the road: Four points
- Reckless driving: Four points
- Passing a stopped school bus letting kids on or off: Five points
The actual cost of a speeding ticket comes from increased insurance premiums. Insurance companies use a separate point system called the Safe Driver Incentive Plan. The more points you have, the higher your insurance rates.
Even something as simple as one speeding ticket will increase your premiums, depending on how fast you were going and where you were speeding.
One point on your license can increase your insurance rates by 30%. Two points increase your rates by 45%, three points increase your rates by 60%, and four points increase your rates by 80%. That adds up to thousands of dollars over several years.
When You Could Avoid Points
If you were speeding by 10 miles per hour or less, you wouldn’t get an SDIP point if:
- The violation wasn’t in a school zone
- You haven’t had another moving traffic violation for the experience period
A Prayer for Judgement Continued doesn’t count as a prior conviction for this exception. A Prayer for Judgement Continued is a judicial action that allows traffic violators to plead guilty to an offense and then ask the judge to dismiss the violation.
Call Us Before You Pay Your Ticket
Many people choose to pay a traffic ticket because they find traffic court intimidating or don’t realize the long-term effects. A traffic lawyer can help you avoid getting points on your license, translating into higher insurance premiums.
Before you plead guilty by paying your ticket, talk to a traffic court lawyer with Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys. Call (980) 237-4579 or use our online form to schedule your free consultation.