Skilled Defense in Traffic Matters
Charges of traffic offenses can affect your career and your ability to drive. If you have received a traffic ticket, our firm can skillfully fight your charges to protect your driving record, your criminal record, and your reputation.
Our representation is available to residents of the Charlotte area, as well as people who were charged while visiting the area. We offer reasonable attorney's fees. Contact us for a free initial consultation with a Charlotte traffic attorney.
Traffic Violations in North Carolina
This article focuses on the problem that many of us have faced - points, or as we used to call them - points received in connection with traffic violations in North Carolina (traffic points).
As every driver probably knows, traffic violations can lead to higher insurance premiums, criminal convictions, loss of driver's license, and even jail time. Many are also familiar with the existence of the points system, but few people know that there are two types of points - DMV points and Insurance points. What is the difference between them and how do they affect the above consequences?
The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may revoke license for a specified period depending on the severity of the offense. The degree of its severity is determined by the point system adopted in the state. DMV calculates points according to the scale below (Table A.)
12 points within three years are threatened with the loss of a driver's license (Driver's License suspension). The first revocation of rights under this system must be no more than 60 days. The second should not exceed 6 months, and any subsequent should not exceed one year.
If the driver has collected many points and there is a risk of losing driver's license, DMV provides a program called Driver Improvement Clinic. As agreed by the DMV, it provides the option to remove three points from the Driver's License Record, but it does not remove points for insurance cost purposes.
Points are considered by the North Carolina DMV on two occasions:
The driver is found guilty of a violation that occurred in our state and with a North Carolina Driver's License, or
On transfer to the North Carolina DMV under an interstate treaty, if there is one with the state in which the violation occurred.
If your driver's license is from another state, NC DMV only records your violations in North Carolina. Depending on your state's agreement with North Carolina, it may notify your state of conviction, after which your License will be reviewed in accordance with your state's law. However, the NC DMV may revoke a North Carolina driver's license if it is convicted of an out-of-state offense that, if committed in North Carolina, would also result in a revocation of a driver's license in our state.
North Carolina cannot revoke license given out by another state but has the right to revoke your North Carolina road use privilege and notify your state DMV for further action. Table “A” below lists the possible charges and the number of points they carry.
Most people are concerned about the impact of points on their liability insurance. Insurance companies are guided by different criteria for assessing the cost of insurance (Insurance rate), but it is mainly determined by five factors:
Insurance points - North Carolina insurance points, or SDIP points (Safe Driver Incentive Plan points) received over the past three years, and road accidents.
The main car insurance rates in North Carolina are set out in the North Carolina Personal Automobile Manual and the NC Rate Bureau.
Has the insurance company transferred your insurance to reinsurance?
Region of residence in North Carolina.
Points will be awarded if there was a moving violation in the last three years or an accident occurred in which the insured driver is the culprit. The charges include: pleas of guilty, no contest, suspended sentences, forfeiture of bail and the payment of court costs, and a fine. The number of points will also determine the payment amount.
If you received a ticket in connection with a traffic accident in which it was your fault, it is possible to avoid conviction on this charge by receiving an explanatory letter from your insurance company that it took financial responsibility for the accident. Upon submission of such a letter, many district attorneys will dismiss the charge.
Another factor that determines the cost of your insurance is where you live in North Carolina. Our state is divided into nineteen territories, each of which has a certain starting cost (base rate). For example, the base rate for personal injury coverage worth $ 100,000 / $ 300,000 for a car owner is $ 170.00 in Asheville, while an identical policy in Charlotte costs $ 311.00.
The next factor is driver experience. It is usually closely related to age, with the result that its impact is felt mostly by young people between the ages of sixteen and nineteen and by those who pay for insurance for young people. This factor often nearly doubles the cost of insurance.
Table “B” below is based on North Carolina Department of Insurance policy. It lists the violations and associated insurance points. Table “C” shows how insurance points affect the percentage increase in insurance payment.
Table A. Schedule of Driver-s License Points
Passing a stopped school bus.
Reckless driving (Misdemeanor)
Hit and run, property damage only (Misdemeanor) (If personal injury = Felony)
Following too closely
Driving on wrong side of road
Running through a stop sign
Speeding in excess of 55 miles per hour
Failing to yield right-of-way
Running through red light
No driver's license or license expired more than one year
Failure to stop for siren
Driving through safety zone
No liability insurance
Failure to report accident where such report is required
Speeding in a school zone in excess of the posted school zone speed limit
All other moving violations
Failure to properly restrain a child in a restraint or seat belt
Littering (G.S. ¤14-399) involving use of motor vehicle
Seat Beat Violation
Improper Equipment/plates/registration/muffler/inspection sticker display
Table C: Insurance Points Assessed => Percentage of Rate Increase
Offense=> Insurance Points
Manslaughter or Negligent Homicide 12 Points
Pre-arranged Highway Racing 12 Points
Hit and Run (injury/death) 12 Points
DWI (.08 BAC or more) 12 Points
Transporting Illegal Liquor for Sale 12 Points
Highway Racing 10 Points
Speeding to Elude Arrest 10 Points
Driving While Revoked or Suspended 8 Points
Aggressive Driving (Comm. Lic.) 8 Points
Aggressive Driving (Class C License) 8 Points
Reckless Driving 4 Points
Hit and Run (property damage) 4 Points
Passing a Stopped School Bus 4 Points
Speeding (75 mph or greater when limit < 70) 4 Points
Speeding (80 mph or greater when limit 70) 4 Points
Driver under 21 driving after Consuming Alcohol/Drugs 4 Points
At-Fault Accident (injury/death >$800, or property damage >$3,000) 3 Points
Illegal Passing2 Points
Following Too Closely 2 Points
Driving on Wrong Side of Road 2 Points
Stop Sign/Stop Light Violation1 Point
Speeding Through a Safety Zone By Speed
Driving with no Operator’s License 1 Point
Failure to Yield Right of Way 1 Point
Failure to Stop for Siren 1 Point
Driving with no Liability Insurance 1 Point
At Fault Accident (property damage > $1,800, but < $3,000) 2 Points
Speeding (>10 mph over limit when speedlimit is > 55, but < 76) 2 Points
Speeding (less than 10mph over limit when speed limit is 55 or greater) 2 Points
Speeding when limit is 55 mph or greater By Speed
Speeding when limit is 55 mph or less By Speed
Speeding in School Zone By Speed
All other Moving Violations 2 Points
Failure to Restrain Child in Restraint 1 Point
At-Fault Accidents (injury or property damage < $1,800) 1 Point
Speeding (10 mph or less over limit when speed limit is less than 55) 1 Point
Littering from vehicle 1 Point
Non-Moving Violations 0 Points