We’ll Help You Navigate NC Traffic Laws
Getting a speeding ticket or other traffic citation in North Carolina can have major consequences beyond just court costs and fines. It can affect your insurance rates, add points to your license, result in a license suspension and/or jail time. Traffic laws vary from state to state, and what can be done to reduce penalties from a ticket may vary from county to county within the state. It can be confusing and difficult to know how to proceed in many cases without the help of a professional. An experienced attorney can help reduce your penalties and lead you to a better outcome. Call Sawyer Law today at 336-274-5552 for a FREE consultation to find out what can be done.
Accident related tickets
Running red light/stop sign
No operator's license
No seat belt
Passing a stopped school bus
Hit & Run
Fail to yield to emergency vehicle
Driving while impaired
and many, many others.
The Consultation with a Lawyer is FREE
At Sawyer Law you can consult with a professional for FREE, over the phone, so that you can best decide what to do. North Carolina traffic laws can be complicated. Even with a clean record and a first time offense there are options to just paying that ticket that you might not know about. If you have had other violations in the past, just paying your ticket may result in a revoked license or worse. Oftentimes, this can result in a snowball effect of mounting legal fees and court costs that can be difficult to overcome.
Don't let this happen to you. We, at Sawyer Law, can help streamline the court process to make this as easy and painless for you as possible. After a brief phone consultation, you can best decide how you want to proceed. Retaining our firm to assist you will take only a few minutes in many cases, and save you the time of researching your individal situation. In most cases you will not have to appear in court. Our attorney fees are very reasonable, and we accept payment plans.
Why Should I Hire Sawyer Law?
Hiring a lawyer to help you is an important decision. Wendell Sawyer, the source and inspiration of Sawyer Law, began his practice over 30 years ago. He deliberated over each and every case and tried to get the best possible outcome for every single client. Because of this, he was recognized as an outstanding attorney by Martindale Hubbell as long ago as 1995. At Sawyer Law we carry on the legacy left by Wendell Sawyer. Your ticket is our problem once you leave it with us. We will work to get you the best outcome possible.
Easy Access and Answers to All Your Questions
Call us any time at 336-274-5552. During the week we answer calls or check messages until 9 p.m. On weekends, leave a message and your call will be promptly returned. Most cases can be completed without your appearance in court or even in our office. Documents can be emailed, or faxed, or we can access them through the court system if you have misplaced them. Payments can be made over the phone with a debit or credit card, or through the mail. If you do want to visit our office,, we are conveniently located at 1400 Battleground Avenue, Suite 110-B, right across from the Red Cinemas in the Executive Forum.
Should I Just Pay my Ticket?
Oftentimes, the police officer who gave you a ticket will tell you that you can just pay that ticket on line. But by doing so, you may be missing many better opportunities and you will be waiving your right to plead not guilty. In some cases, just paying the ticket may trigger additional insurance points to activate from something in the past. Doing so may also trigger a revocation of your driver's license with certain offenses. Don't make these mistakes! Call Sawyer Law at 336-274-5552 and let us help you. You have nothing to lose, the consultation with an experienced attorney is FREE
How Serious is this Ticket?
Some traffic tickets are classified as infractions, others as criminal misdemeanors. Tickets classified as misdemeanors will appear on your criminal record and can cause problems when you least expect it, such as when you are applying for a new job or for a lease on a new apartment. We know you want to put this ticket behind you and get on with your life, but just paying off a ticket to "get rid of it" may result in consequences that will haunt you in the future. By consulting with Sawyer Law before you decide what to do you can be sure you get the best result.
Should I Try to Fight this Ticket?
Sometimes it may be in your best interest to fight the charges. There are a number of defenses that may be available to you. Having an attorney on your side ensures that the state must prove its case against you. Even if you decide to plead guilty we can often negotiate a plea reduction which may eliminate points and reduce the impact on your license. In other cases, we may argue in front of a judge for a Prayer for Judgement, which may delay imposing the sentence on your case indefinitely.
What If I Left the Scene of an Accident?
When you’re involved in an accident, you’re required to remain on the scene until the police arrive. It may be helpful to call for medical assistance if necessary. You’ll need to provide identifying and insurance information.
Leaving the scene of an accident, known as a hit and run, can result in a criminal charge. The police may charge you with either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the injuries resulting from the accident. A hit and run with a fatality may result in a prison sentence. Any previous criminal record may affect your charge as well.
However, you may have mitigating circumstances that can help get your charges dismissed. Perhaps you left the scene to get help. Or maybe you weren’t aware that you hit another car. This can happen sometimes in tight parking spots.
If you do hit a parked car, leave a note under the wiper blade. Include your name, address, phone number, and explanation. Check the other car for signs of damage and call the police if you see any. Take several photos of the other car’s license plate as well as the incurred damage. Finally, be sure to call your insurance company and give them the details.
It's Easy to Forget to Renew Your Registration
Every year, the DMV requires motorists to renew their motor vehicle and pay the applicable property tax. Prior to renewing, motorists must get a safety inspection and in certain counties an emission test too. Sometimes, without meaning to, we simply forget to get this done.
A police officer can issue a ticket for an expired registration. Settling an expired registration ticket requires a trip to the court house. Often, you can get the charge dismissed if you present proof that you have since renewed your registration. Failure to appear in court can lead to a failure to appear fee and driver license revocation.
North Carolina’s DMV is digital. So, as soon as you renew your registration, the DMV updates your information. Even if you wait until the last minute to renew your registration, your car is safe to drive.
Distracted Driving Can Lead to Running a Red Light or Stop Sign
From time to time, many of us become distracted when driving. Perhaps something caught our eye or maybe our kids were arguing in the back seat. Whatever the reason, you weren’t paying attention and drove through a red light.
Running a red light/stop sign is the most common traffic violation. It involves proceeding through an intersection with a red light. Or, you may have failed to come to a complete stop at a designated road sign.
Either of these scenarios counts as a moving violation. While a moving violation is a less serious offense than other traffic laws, it still can have serious implications. You could face points on your license and a fine. Moreover, your insurance company will assess points resulting in an insurance surcharge for up to 3 years.
Passing a Stopped School Bus
When you’re driving along and you come to a stopped school bus, you must stop too. Only if you’re in the opposite lane in a 4-lane roadway with a median or turning lane can you continue. You must remain stopped while the mechanical arm is out and the lights are flashing.
Passing a stopped school bus is a Class 1 misdemeanor in North Carolina. You could be facing a hefty fine or probation, community service, or driving school. Additionally, if convicted, you’ll receive 5 points on your driver’s license and 4 points on your insurance policy. This can increase your insurance premiums by 80% for three years.
The courts cannot grant a prayer for judgment to a driver who passes a school bus unlawfully. Moreover, multiple offenders can have their license revoked. Depending on the number of convictions, the DMV may permanently deny you a license.
Pull Over When You See Flashing Blue Lights or Hear a Siren
Many different law enforcement agencies patrol the roads of North Carolina. You’ll know them by their flashing blue lights. When you see the lights flashing or hear the siren, you must yield the right of way. Moreover, you cannot claim you didn’t see the lights or hear the siren as a reason for not stopping.
Failure to do so is a class 2 misdemeanor. If convicted of this moving violation, you’ll receive 3 points on your license and 1 point on your insurance. Penalties can be even more severe if you fail to yield leading to an accident of the emergency vehicle.
Defenses to a Reckless Driving Charge
Most states, including North Carolina, take reckless driving very seriously. Reckless driving endangers other drivers so the penalties can be severe. Although broadly defined, reckless driving involves a careless disregard of the safety of others. Improper passing, not slowing down to avoid a collision, and fleeing to elude are examples of reckless driving. Sometimes even speeding can result in a reckless driving charge depending on how fast above the limit you were traveling.
North Carolina classifies reckless driving as a Class 2 misdemeanor. A conviction will show up on your criminal record. You could face large fines and even jail time. The number of points assessed ranges from 2-5 depending on the conviction.
Driving Without Insurance or License
As a condition of driving, you must carry insurance. Sometimes you may have forgotten to pay the bill and suffered a lapse in coverage. If you’re in an accident during a lapse in coverage, the injured party could sue you exposing your assets.
Driving without a license encompasses more than just driving without a license issued by the DMV. If you have restrictions and drive outside of these, the DMV considers you driving without a license.
The penalties of every traffic law are specific to the circumstances of each case. At Sawyer Law, we’ll review the facts to find a reasonable outcome. Call us at 336-274-5552 for a consultation. Everyone deserves another chance and we can help you get yours.