What does it mean to waive a traffic offense?

Woman Being Pulled Over for a Traffic ViolationIn North Carolina, being issued a traffic ticket is a more serious offense than in other states. For many tickets, you must attend a court hearing in order to learn your punishment. However, if you were given a ticket for certain minor offenses, you have the option of waiving the traffic offense.

Waiving a traffic offense is choosing to resolve your traffic ticket without going to court. You do so by paying the fine and cost before your court hearing. Offenses, when this is permitted, are often referred to as “waivable” offenses because you are waiving or giving up your right to go to court and fight your ticket. You are pleading guilty to the offense, and the court will treat your criminal case as if you plead guilty.

Examples of Traffic Violations That Are Waivable

There are currently over 40 speeding and other traffic offenses where a court hearing can be waived. Some of these include:

  • Speeding over the speed limit as long as it is not over 80 miles per hours
  • Exceeding a safe speed
  • Failure to use seat belts
  • Cell phone usage by a driver under 18 years old
  • Possession of an open container of alcohol in a vehicle
  • Failing to stop for a stoplight or a stop sign
  • Failure to yield to a pedestrian

How Can You Tell If Your Traffic Ticket Is Waivable?

The police will often note on a traffic citation whether it is a waivable offense, and, if so, the fines and costs that would have to be paid to waive it. In addition, each year the chief district judges review and publish a list of waivable traffic violations. You can find a current waiver list on the North Carolina Judicial Branch website.

Are you considering waiving your traffic offense? This may not be in your best interests if you have defenses that may result in the ticket being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. Our experienced Charlotte traffic ticket attorneys are here to explain your options to you and to fight for the best possible option in your case. Start an online chat to schedule a free consultation today to learn more.