Traffic Violations

Traffic Violations

What happens when I receive a traffic ticket?

When you receive a traffic citation, it means a law enforcement officer has issued you a summons for violating a traffic law. This could be for a traffic infraction (speeding, failing to stop or yield, or failing to wear a seat belt) or a traffic related misdemeanor (driving under the influence or reckless driving). The traffic ticket contains a court date for you to appear before an assistant district attorney or a magistrate. Missing your court date will result in you receiving a “failure to appear.” You will then receive a letter from the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (“NCDMV”) informing you that if you do not resolve this matter within 60 days, the NCDMV will revoke your license.

Traffic Tickets:

The average American will receive seven traffic tickets throughout his or her life. That is roughly one ticket every 10 years. Some people, if able, will choose to pay the fine and avoid the inconvenience of going to court. But is that really the best decision for you?

  • When you pay the traffic fine you choose to plead guilty to the charge, which could negatively affect your license, your driving record, and your insurance for years to come.

What happens when my license is suspended or revoked?

  • When a driver’s license is suspended, it is withdrawn for a temporary period and may be reinstated once the terms of the suspension are fulfilled. When a driver’s license is revoked, the license has been terminated and will be reinstated only if the driver meets eligibility requirements and any conditions set forth at a hearing by the NCDMV.
  • Whether your license is suspended or revoked will depend on your driving record and the current traffic violation.
  • A license could be suspended or revoked due to an accumulation of points, driving while impaired, driving while license is suspended or revoked, and many other reasons.
  • Revoked or suspended licenses may be shortened by an administrative hearing.

Will I receive points on my license?

How many points you receive on a driver’s license depends on what charges you are pleading guilty to and what charges you have plead guilty to in the past. 

  • A driver’s license may be suspended if you accumulate 12 points within a three year period, and may further be suspended if you accumulate eight points following a reinstatement period. 
  • Once a driver’s privilege is reinstated, all previous points are canceled.
  • A driver may be requested to attend a driver improvement clinic if the driver accumulates seven points on the 12 point scale (or four points on the eight point scale). This course is offered once every five years and upon completion of this course, the NCDMV will deduct three points from the driver’s driving record.

Below is a list of the Schedule of Points Value under North Carolina General Statue § 20-16.

  • Passing stopped school bus……5
  • Aggressive driving……5
  • Reckless driving…….4
  • Hit and run, property damage only……4
  • Following too close……4
  • Driving on the wrong side of road……4
  • Illegal passing……4
  • Failure to yield right-of-way to pedestrian pursuant to G.S. 20-158(b)(2)b……4
  • Failure to yield right-of-way to bicycle, motor scooter, or motorcycle……4
  • Running through stop sign……3
  • Speeding in excess of 55 miles per hour……3
  • Failing to yield right-of-way……3
  • Running through red light……3
  • No driver’s license or license expired more than one year……3
  • Failure to stop for siren……3
  • Driving through safety zone……3
  • No liability insurance……3
  • Failure to report accident where such report is required……3
  • Speeding in a school zone in excess of the posted school zone speed limit……3
  • Failure to properly restrain a child in a restraint or seat belt……2
  • All other moving violations……2
  • Littering pursuant to G.S. 14-399 when the littering involves the use of a motor vehicle……1

If you have a Commercial Driver’s License (“CDL”), then the driver license points
increase for the commercial driver. Having points on your license could affect your job and the ability to obtain employment. Below are the schedule points for drivers who have a CDL under North Carolina General Statue § 20-16

  • Passing stopped school bus……8
  • Rail-highway crossing violation……6
  • Careless and reckless driving in violation of G.S. 20-140(f)……6
  • Speeding in violation of G.S. 20-141(j3) ……6
  • Aggressive driving……6
  • Reckless driving……5
  • Hit and run, property damage only……5
  • Following too close……5
  • Driving on wrong side of road……5
  • Illegal passing……5
  • Failure to yield right-of-way to pedestrian pursuant to G.S. 20-158(b)(2)b……5
  • Failure to yield right-of-way to bicycle, motor scooter, or motorcycle……5
  • Running through stop sign……4
  • Speeding in excess of 55 miles per hour. ……4
  • Failing to yield right-of-way……4
  • Running through red light……4
  • No driver’s license or license expired more than one year……4
  • Failure to stop for siren……4
  • Driving through safety zone……4
  • No liability insurance……4
  • Failure to report accident where such report is required……4
  • Speeding in a school zone in excess of the posted school zone speed limit……4
  • Possessing alcoholic beverages in the passenger area of a commercial motor vehicle……4
  • All other moving violations……3
  • Littering pursuant to G.S. 14-399 when the littering involves the use of a motor vehicle……1

What will happen to my insurance?

A traffic violation can result in DMV points, as well as insurance points that will increase your insurance rates as they accumulate. The list below shows how insurance rates will increase based on the numbers of points one has:

1 point: 30% increase
2 points: 45% increase
3 points: 60% increase
4 points: 80% increase
5 points: 105% increase
6 points: 130% increase
7 points: 160% increase
8 points: 195% increase
9 points: 225% increase
10 points: 260% increase
11 points: 300% increase
12 points: 340% increase

Below is a list of traffic violations and the North Carolina insurance points associated with them:

Littering while driving: 1 insurance point

Speeding (10 mph or less over limit when speed limit is less than 55): 2 DMV points; 1 insurance point

Speeding (10 mph or less over limit when speed limit is greater than 55): 2 insurance points

Speeding in a school zone:  generally; insurance points depend on speed

Speeding over 55 mph: insurance points depend on speed

Speeding (80 mph or higher when limit is 70 mph or higher): 4 insurance points

Speeding (75 mph or higher when limit is less than 70 mph): 4 insurance points

Lack of liability car insurance: 3 DMV points

Failing to stop for siren: 1 insurance point

Running a red light: 3 DMV points; 1 insurance point

Running a stop sign: 3 DMV points; 1 insurance point

Driving on the wrong side of the road:  2 insurance points

Following too closely behind another car:  2 insurance points

Reckless driving:  4 insurance points

Aggressive driving: 8 insurance points

Passing a stopped school bus: 4 insurance points

Driving while revoked or suspended: 8 insurance points

Should I hire an attorney?

You are not required to have an attorney represent you at your hearing. However, if you have any questions about your traffic ticket or the ramifications it may cause, please call Weaver, Bennett & Bland to set up a free consultation with one of our traffic law attorneys.

Your Business Law Attorneys & Advocates:

Katelin Taylor