Speeding is a common traffic violation that can result in various consequences, including fines, license points, and increased insurance premiums in Mecklenburg County. In most cases, speeding is considered a traffic infraction in North Carolina.
However, there are instances where speeding can be charged as a crime. You should obtain the assistance of an experienced speeding ticket attorney if you are facing charges for speeding as a traffic ticket or as a misdemeanor to help you get the charges dismissed or reduced to a less severe offense with less harsh penalties.
Common Speeding Violations and Penalties in North Carolina
There are many ways an individual can be charged with speeding as a traffic violation in Charlotte. Common speeding violations include the following:
Speeding Above the Posted Speed Limit
If you are stopped for driving above the posted speed limit in North Carolina, you may face fines, license points, and increased insurance premiums. The penalties vary based on the speed you drove above the limit. For example, you could face these consequences:
- Driving 1-5 mph above the speed limit. $5 fine and court costs and fees.
- Driving 6-10 mph above the speed limit. $10 fine and court costs and fees.
- Driving 11-15 mph above the speed limit. $30 fine and court costs and fees.
- Driving 16 mph or more above the speed limit. $50 fine and court costs and fees.
Speeding Below the Posted Speed Limit
While it may seem counterintuitive, driving below the posted speed limit can also result in a violation in certain circumstances. For example, if you are driving at an unreasonably slow speed that impedes the normal flow of traffic, you may be charged with a violation. The penalties for driving below the posted speed limit can include fines and license points, depending on the specific circumstances.
Speeding in a Construction Zone
Speeding in a construction zone is a more serious offense in North Carolina. Construction zones often have reduced speed limits for the safety of workers and other motorists. If you are speeding in a construction zone, you may be ordered to pay a $250 fine, court costs, and fees. In addition, you could have driver's license points and insurance points added to your record.
Speeding in a School Zone
Speeding in a school zone is a particularly serious offense, as it puts the safety of children at risk. In North Carolina, school zones have reduced speed limits during specified hours. As with speeding in a construction zone, you could pay a fine of $250, court costs and fees, and have driver's license points and insurance points added to your driving record.
When Speeding Is a Criminal Offense in North Carolina
While most speeding violations are considered traffic infractions in North Carolina, there are certain circumstances where speeding can be charged as a misdemeanor rather than a traffic citation. Understanding these crimes and their potential penalties is essential to know what to expect in your criminal case. You should also hire a skilled speeding ticket lawyer as soon as possible. You could have strong defenses to the charges you face even if you are guilty.
Common misdemeanor charges you could face for speeding include the following:
- Driving 15 mph over the speed limit or over 80 mph. If you exceed the speed limit by 15 mph or more over the speed limit or go over 80 mph in North Carolina, you may face a Class 3 misdemeanor criminal charge. A conviction can result in fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment. The penalties' severity may depend on your case's specific circumstances and your prior driving record.
- Reckless driving. Speeding can be charged as reckless driving if you are driving carelessly or heedlessly in disregard for the safety of others or driving at a speed that is likely to endanger another person or property. Reckless driving is charged as a Class 2 misdemeanor in North Carolina. Your punishments can include up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. A conviction for reckless driving can also have long-term consequences on your driving record and insurance rates.
- Drag racing. Engaging in drag racing is a criminal offense in North Carolina. You could be charged with a Class 2 or Class 3 misdemeanor depending on whether the race was a prearranged race or willful racing. The punishments can include a jail sentence, fine, driver's license revocation, and the seizure or sale of your vehicle.