You may not consider getting a speeding ticket in North Carolina a big deal. However, speeding tickets come with serious consequences, such as high ticket fees, points on your driving record, insurance points, and increased insurance costs. If your violation is serious enough, your driver’s license could be revoked. In addition, a speeding conviction could be a misdemeanor offense. This could result in you having a permanent criminal record that may impact your career, housing, and more throughout your life. Because of these potential consequences, you need to hire an experienced speeding ticket attorney to help you build a strategy to have the charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.
What Are Common Speeding Violations in North Carolina?
There are a number of speeding ticket violations that you could be charged with. These include the following:
- Speeding above the posted speed limit. Motorists can receive a ticket for driving faster than the posted speed limit. When there is no posted speed limit, the speed limit is 35 mph in a municipality, 55 mph outside of a municipality’s borders, and 70 mph on a highway. While many speeding tickets are infractions, a speeding ticket for driving over 15 mph over the posted speed limit or over 80 mph is a Class 3 misdemeanor.
- Speeding below the posted speed limit. It is a violation of North Carolina law to drive on interstate and highway roads at less than 40 mph on a road with a posted 55 mph speed limit or less than 45 mph on a road with a speed limit of 60 mph or greater. It is also a speeding violation to drive so slowly on a highway that it impedes the normal flow of traffic.
- Speeding in a work zone. Speeding in a work zone is similar to other speeding offenses except for the fees. The fine for a conviction is $250.
- Speeding in a school zone. Speeding in a school zone is treated very seriously by North Carolina prosecutors because of the danger it poses to children. A school zone can be designated by a sign or electronic flasher. The fine for speeding in a school zone is the same as for driving in a construction zone—$250. This conviction will also include insurance points, which is not always the case for speeding in a work zone.
- Speed competition. Speed competition is unlawful racing. There are two types of speed competition charges: pre-arranged or not-prearranged competitions. A pre-arranged speed competition is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries penalties that include a three-year driver’s license suspension and possible seizure of the vehicle involved in the competition. A non-prearranged competition is a Class 2 misdemeanor, which could result in a one-year discretionary suspension of the person’s driver’s license.
- Reckless driving. Reckless driving is a very broad offense. You could be charged with reckless driving for driving carelessly and heedlessly in disregard of the safety of others or for driving without due caution and at a speed or in a manner that could endanger others. This charge could be issued in addition to a speeding ticket. It is a Class 2 misdemeanor, which could include penalties of up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Suspension of the person’s driver’s license is also possible.
Penalties for Speeding Ticket Violations
The cost of a speeding ticket will vary depending on where you receive the ticket. The costs could be different in various court systems. However, here are some possible penalties:
- Fines that range from $10 to $250 or higher if you are convicted of a misdemeanor offense
- Court costs of approximately $200 to $250
- Driver’s license points
- Insurance points and increased insurance costs
- Suspension of your driver’s license
- Jail sentence
- Permanent criminal record
Even if you are guilty of speeding, you may be able to reduce the penalties and long-term consequences—such as a driver’s license suspension, permanent criminal record, and increased insurance costs—with the help of an experienced traffic law attorney. At Browning & Long, PLLC, we are experienced in helping clients handle their speeding ticket violations and work hard to achieve the best possible outcome. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options and learn how we can help you.