What penalties could I face for driving too closely in North Carolina?

Cars Driving Close on the HighwayGetting a traffic ticket for driving too closely may not seem like too big of a deal. However, you could face long-term consequences as well be required to pay a fine and costs. Also, in some situations, tailgating can lead to more serious charges as well as a ticket citation.

What Is the Offense of Driving Too Closely?

North Carolina Code Section 20-152 makes it a traffic offense to follow other motor vehicles too closely. You could be ticketed for this offense if you do one of the following:

  • You follow a vehicle more closely than is prudent and reasonable given the speed of other vehicles, traffic, and road conditions.
  • When driving on a highway other than in a business or residential district, you follow another vehicle and do not allow enough space for an overtaking vehicle to enter and occupy the space in front of your auto without danger. However, this traffic rule does not prevent drivers from passing other vehicles.

What Are the Penalties for Tailgating?

You would be required to pay a $35 fine and costs if you plead guilty to or are convicted of driving too closely. In addition, you could face these long-term consequences:

  • Two points on your driving record
  • Increased auto insurance costs
  • Driver’s license suspension if you have too many points on your driving record

Tailgating Can Result in More Serious Criminal Charges

In addition to being issued a ticket for driving too closely, you could also be charged with reckless driving or aggressive driving. Both are misdemeanor offenses that can result in a jail sentence, large fine, and a permanent criminal record.

If you injure or kill someone in a car accident because you are tailgating, you could be charged with a much more serious felony crime, such as:

  • Felony assault
  • Manslaughter
  • Second-degree murder

Get the Legal Assistance You Need From an Experienced Charlotte Traffic Ticket Attorney

Tailgating is a waivable offense, which means that you can just plead guilty and pay the ticket. However, this may not be in your best long-term interests. Take advantage of our free consultation to learn about your options. Call our Charlotte office today to schedule a free consultation today.