If you receive a speeding ticket, you do not just want to pay the fine. You would be pleading guilty to speeding. In addition, you could face long-term consequences, such as points on your driving record, higher insurance costs, and a possible permanent criminal record. The better option may be to retain an experienced speeding ticket attorney who can raise your defenses to get the ticket dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense.
Common Speeding Violations in North Carolina
North Carolina is a basic speed law state. This means that it is a violation of the law to drive at speeds that are unreasonable for current conditions. Some common speeding violations that you could be charged with violating include:
- Speeding over the posted speed limit—even one mile over this is a violation
- Driving below the posted speed limit
- Speeding in a work zone or school zone
- Engaging in speed competition—a Class 2 misdemeanor
- Reckless driving—also a Class 2 misdemeanor
Common Defenses to a Speeding Ticket
There are a number of defenses that you may be able to raise that could get your speeding ticket dismissed or reduced to a less serious infraction. Some of these defenses can be used whether or not you were speeding. Common defenses that could help you fight the charges include:
- Necessity. If you had to speed to avoid a serious accident, you may be able to argue that you had no choice but to speed. This is the necessity of speeding defense. Other situations where you might use this defense is if you had to speed to avoid an obstacle in the road, had a mechanical problem with your vehicle, or felt the sudden onset of an illness that required you to pull over.
- No posted speed limit. If there was no posted speed limit or the sign was hidden by a tree or bush, you may be able to argue that you did not know the speed limit for this reason. However, there are default speed limits for unmarked roads, so you would need to be certain that you were not going faster than that speed limit.
- Not speeding. If you were not speeding, you would want to raise this as a defense. Proving this will most likely require you to challenge the radar gun’s accuracy.
- Radar gun inaccuracy. In North Carolina, police officers use radar guns to clock drivers’ speeds. You may be able to argue that the officer’s gun picked up another vehicle’s speed or that it had not been properly maintained and calibrated. In addition, reflective surfaces can interfere with obtaining an accurate reading.
- Speedometer calibration. If you believe that your speedometer was not working properly, you may need to obtain a speedometer calibration to prove this. However, this can be expensive, so you want to discuss its usefulness with an experienced attorney before paying for one.
- GPS. You may have a GPS defense if your GPS shows that you were going a slower speed than the officer claims. For this defense to work, you would need a GPS report showing your vehicle’s speed at the time the officer claims you were speeding and proof that your GPS is accurate.
- Not the person driving. In most cases, it will be clear who the driver was. However, in limited circumstances, such as a serious accident, the officer could incorrectly identify you as the driver.
Have you Received a Traffic Citation in Charlotte, NC?
If you received a traffic citation, you need to speak with an experienced traffic ticket attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Charlotte office directly at 980.207.3355 to schedule your free consultation.