North Carolina Speeding Ticket Fines & Penalties
The fines and costs associated with North Carolina traffic tickets vary depending on what you're cited for. But moving violations all have a set price that must be paid if you admit guilt or are found guilty of committing the offense. You might also face more than just North Carolina traffic ticket fines. Additional costs include court costs if you decide to challenge your ticket in court. These fees definitely add up:
- General court of justice fee
- Facilities fee
- Misdemeanant confinement fund fee
North Carolina Traffic Ticket Penalties
The penalties for North Carolina traffic tickets are uniform throughout the state. One example of this is the points that are added to a drivers record for a moving violation. There are a set amount of points assigned to each illegal maneuver, and a driver will incur these points if he or she is convicted of a violation.
If you're unfamiliar with the North Carolina point system, the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) keeps track of drivers through their driving record, which lists any traffic citations a driver has received as well as accidents a driver has been involved in. Traffic violation convictions add points to your driving record. If you accumulate too many of these points during a certain amount of time, you could face additional consequences. For example, accruing 12 points within 3 years could lead to a suspended license. Some examples include:
- Littering from a motor vehicle: 1 point
- Running a stop sign: 3 points
- Reckless driving: 4 points
On top of the fines and court costs you might pay, there are other consequences that you need to watch out for. Typically these are drivers license suspension, revocation, and cancellation. License suspension is when your driving privileges are taken away for a designated amount of time. Your North Carolina suspended license can be reinstated at the end of this period if you meet the necessary requirements. Revocation is when your drivers license is taken away indefinitely. There is no guarantee that your license will be reinstated. License cancellation is when your driving privileges are made void or terminated.
Penalties for Drivers Under 18
If you are underage and you get a traffic citation, you may face harsher penalties. In the state of North Carolina, you could have your license taken away for the regular violations and other reasons:
- School suspension that lasts longer than 10 days
- Not having a high school diploma or a driving eligibility certificate
Penalties for Commercial Drivers
Drivers of commercial vehicles are subject to different penalties. As a commercial driver, no matter what vehicle you are driving at the time that you receive a ticket, you are required to let your employer know within 30 days of being convicted of any moving violation.
As with noncommercial drivers, the severity of the penalty for a traffic offense is directly related to how serious the violation is. The worse the offense, the harsher the penalties. In fact, some violations could result in the temporary loss of your driving privileges, even if it's your first time committing the offense. Some examples include:
- Operating any type of motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08
- Committing a felony with the use of a commercial motor vehicle
- Driving a commercial vehicle while your commercial drivers license is suspended/revoked/canceled
Another surefire way to temporarily lose your commercial license is by being a repeat offender of certain serious traffic violations within a specific period of time. A few of these types of offenses include:
- Reckless driving
- Erratic lane changes
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle without your commercial drivers license on you
There are some offenses that disqualify you from having a commercial drivers license altogether. Repeated convictions of serious offenses like driving while impaired is cause for a lifetime CDL disqualification. Other instances of lifetime disqualification include using a commercial motor vehicle to commit a felony involving the manufacture/distribution/dispensing of a controlled substance.
No matter what kind of drivers license you have, always be cautious about your driving behaviors. North Carolina traffic ticket fines and other penalties can stack up quickly. What starts out as a few points here and there could easily turn into a larger problem in no time. But if you stay on top of your driving record and follow the rules when you're on the road, you should be able to avoid the consequences completely. And improving your driving record is a cinch when you decide to take a North Carolina defensive driving course.