At the Law Office of Daniel Hines Entzminger, we have handled thousands of traffic tickets over the last decade. We know the best ways to resolve your particular ticket, and will work hard to get the best possible outcome for you.
DO I NEED A LAWYER TO REPRESENT ME FOR MY TRAFFIC TICKET?
This question is more complicated than it may initially seem, depending on your specific circumstances. The answer to this question may be different for you than for another individual, even if you both have been charged with the same offense. If you have never had a ticket before, (or if you have not had a ticket in a long time,) and you have the available time to spare to go to court, then in many cases, you can handle your ticket on your own, without the assistance of legal counsel. In many other instances, it may be in your best interest to consult with an attorney regarding the best way to resolve your matter.
HERE ARE SOME REASONS WHY YOU MAY WANT TO HIRE A LAWYER TO HANDLE YOUR TRAFFIC TICKET.
1. To prevent your insurance rate from increasing.
Most people who have been charged with a traffic offense understand that if they handle their ticket improperly, that their insurance rate may increase. An experienced attorney knows how to best handle your ticket to avoid insurance increases. Failing to handle your citation in the right way can be a costly mistake.
2. To prevent the North Carolina DMV from assessing driver’s license points on your driving record.
All properly licensed North Carolina motorists are all on a point system. If a motorist accumulates too many points in a given period of time, that individual’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle in North Carolina may be suspended. An experienced attorney knows the best way to reduce the impact of driver’s license points on your driving record.
3. To prevent the North Carolina DMV from revoking your privilege to drive.
It may sound ridiculous, but some people go into court and try to handle minor traffic offenses on their own, only to wind up leaving the courthouse without knowing that their license has been suspended. I was in court in a neighboring county recently, and I witnessed one such event take place. An older lady had gotten two relatively minor speeding tickets within a short span of time. She appeared in court and decided to represent herself on these matters. The assistant district attorney reduced both of the tickets to lesser speeds, and the lady entered pleas of responsible to both. By entering pleas of responsible to both of those traffic tickets, that nice lady’s license was suspended by the DMV. That lady had other options, and could have used those options to save her driver’s license.
4. For convenience.
For many traffic cases, an attorney may appear in court on your behalf without you ever having to appear in court. For many individuals, this benefit alone is worth having an attorney handle their case. Not only will you not have to take away from your normal routine to make an appearance in court, but you also will receive the peace of mind in knowing that you have an experienced attorney handling your case.
INSURANCE POINTS AND INSURANCE COSTS
The chart below shows how your insurance cost will increase based on the number of insurance points assessed:
% of Rate of Increase
Cost if Basic Rate is $300
% of Rate of Increase
Cost if Basic Rate is $300
HERE ARE SOME OF THE MORE COMMON TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS AND THE INSURANCE POINTS ASSOCIATED WITH EACH.
OFFENSES CARRY 4 INSURANCE POINTS
- Careless/Reckless driving
- Hit-and-run resulting in property damage only
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Speeding in excess of 75 mph when the speed limit is less than 70 mph
- Speeding in excess of 80 mph when the speed limit is 70 mph or greater
OFFENSES CARRY 2 INSURANCE POINTS
- Illegal passing
- Following too closely
- Driving on wrong side of the road
- Certain speeding violations of more than 10 mph over the speed limit
- Speeding 10 mph or less in excess of speed zone of 55 mph or greater
OFFENSES CARRY 1 INSURANCE POINT
- Speeding 10 mph or less in excess of speed limit in less than 55 mph zone
- Stop Sign or Stop Light Violations
POINTS ARE GIVEN FOR THE FOLLOWING OFFENSES
Passing a stopped school bus 5
Following too closely 4
Illegal passing 4
Failure to yield right of way 3
Driving with No Driver’s License 3
Failure to report accident 3
Failure to secure a child in vehicle 2
Aggressive driving 5
Hit and run, property damage only 4
Driving on wrong side of road 4
Speeding in excess of 55 mph 3
Running through red light 3
No liability insurance 3
All other moving violations 2
Reckless driving 4
Failure to yield right of way 4
Running through stop sign 3
Driving through safety zone 3
Failure to stop for siren 3
Speeding in a school zone 3
Littering involving the use of a vehicle 1