Why should I take a traffic ticket seriously?

Many people in North Carolina might see traffic tickets as more of nuisance than anything else.

On the one hand, no one in the Charlotte area wants to pay a fine and face the possibility of a mandatory defensive driving class and several years of higher insurance premiums.

On the other hand, it might not seem worth it to put up a big fight over a traffic violation, especially when a person is unfamiliar with the system and thus feels like little or nothing can be done.

Some North Carolina traffic offenses can end with a criminal conviction

Most people probably now that drunk or drugged driving is a criminal offense in North Carolina that can leave a person with a permanent record and facing other penalties, including jail or a license suspension.

However, other traffic offenses in this state are also criminal violations. Take, for example, North Carolina’s definition of reckless driving.

Unlike other states, the definition of reckless driving is extremely broad, meaning that police and prosecutors have considerable leeway to bring charges.

Even someone who was simply careless or driving a little too fast and caused an accident can wind up on the receiving end of a misdemeanor reckless driving charge.

Someone facing a criminal traffic offense should carefully consider his or her legal options.

For commercial drivers, even seemingly routine traffic offenses can be serious

Likewise, commercial drivers have to take any traffic ticket seriously. A single ticket can endanger a driver’s career depending on the policies of the driver’s employer or insurance carrier.

Not surprisingly, drivers who have major incidents on the road, like driving under the influence or leaving the scene of an accident, risk losing the privilege of driving a commercial vehicle.

There are also a number of traffic violations which can cost a driver his or her commercial driving privileges for two to four months.

For example, following too closely while driving a commercial vehicle, going 15 miles per hour or more over the speed limit, or erratic lane changes are all examples of “serious” violations. For the second serious violation in any 3-year period, the driver is not allowed to operate commercial vehicles for 60 days. Further violations within the same period will result in a 120-day ban.

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