Traffic

Traffic Ticket Attorneys

Getting ticketed is a very serious matter. Fines, getting points on your license, and even losing your license altogether can have disastrous consequences.

Improper handling of traffic infractions, even if accidental, can result in skyrocketing insurance premiums and more legal trouble. With so much red tape to get through, you need the very best legal representation for your case. If you received a traffic ticket in Sampson or Duplin County, let our attorneys work with you on your case to prevent insurance increases.

Ludlum Law Firm handles traffic tickets in Sampson County, NC and Duplin County, NC. Contact us today for a free legal consultation session with one of our lawyers. We also have a library of free articles for you to browse below.

Six Ways to Reduce your Traffic Violation Charges

Six Ways to Reduce your Traffic Violation Charges

Dealing with a traffic ticket can be tricky, even minor infractions can increase your insurance rates dramatically, waste precious time, and potentially lead to the loss of driving privileges. There are a few different ways to handle a simple speeding ticket in North Carolina, some more favorable than others. Not all types of disposition are available for every speeding case. Several factors determine which of these six results is possible, such as the speed involved, your driving record, and even how polite you were to the charging officer.

FAQs

Speeding

From the southern most tip of Duplin County below Wallace, to north Sampson County there is approximately 50 miles of interstate. That is a lot of real estate with endless hiding places for law enforcement to set up speed traps. If you are one of the unfortunate who have been cited for speeding in Duplin or Sampson County, it is imperative that you call Ludlum Law Firm for a free consultation.

What not to Do

People often ask me “Cant I just pay this ticket off?” Of course you can, but doing so is pleading guilty to the charge. Pleading guilty to speeding charges in most cases will result in insurance increases and points on your driving record. If the speed is high enough, or your record bad enough, “paying off” the ticket could result in loss of your driving privilege. In almost every case the insurance premium increase will result in you paying far more in the long run than it costs to retain Ludlum Law Firm.

Insurance Points

So exactly how much will your speeding conviction increase your insurance premium?  The good news is the insurance increase will be the same regardless of what insurance company you are with because the points are dictated by North Carolina Statute. View a complete list of points from the North Carolina Insurance Points Chart. Some examples are:

Driving 11 or more miles per hour above a posted speed limit of 55 mph: 2 points (45% increase in insurance premium)
Driving over 75 mph where the posted speed limit is less than 70 mph: 4 points (90% increase)
Driving over 80 mph in a zone where the posted speed limit is 70 mph or more: 4 points (90% increase)
Note: in addition, these points accumulate on your record and do not get erased for a period of 3 years. Getting additional speeding tickets will add to the points that you already have.

For further interesting reading and some examples of these increases using actual premium numbers, visit the blog “Do’s, Dont’s, Myths and Math.” (blog)

What Can Be Done

There are several options in our “bag of tricks” that we can use to prevent your insurance from increasing and loss of license as a result of your ticket. In our blog “TO PJC, or Not to PJC,” we discuss these options in great detail. Some of the options include

  • Outright dismissal of your charge (rare, but it does happen)
  • Reduce the charge to Improper Equipment
  • Have the speed reduced and request a Prayer for Judgment (PJC)
  • Have the speed reduced to a speed that will not result in points (record dependent)
  • Enroll you in a qualified Defensive Driving School for a reduction
  • Plead you to a charge that results in less insurance points than your current charge
Underage Drinking

Duplin County and Sampson County are located between two major thoroughfares that see a tremendous amount of young drivers each year. Interstate 40 stretches for 50 miles through Duplin County and Sampson County and links the triangle area to North Carolina’s beaches, as well as UNCW. Additionally, highway 24 links two of the largest military bases on the east coast and passes through more than 30 miles of countryside in Duplin County and Sampson County.

New Legislation Targets Young Drivers

In 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation aimed at young drivers. The new law, N.C. Gen. Stat. 20-13.3, calls for a mandatory 30 day license revocation for certain young drivers charged with speeding in North Carolina. For more on this law visit the article “Whoa!!! Speed Racer”. (blog)

Points for Underage Speeding

20-13.3 is designed to scare young drivers by hitting them where it hurts, their freedom. But what should frighten the parents of these young drivers is not the revocation itself, but the insurance spikes they will incur if their child is convicted. Most insurance companies increase premiums simply when a young driver is added to a policy, and its for good reason. Young drivers are at a far greater risk of being involved in an accident. So, with young drivers especially, its imperative that you contact Ludlum Law Firm for a free consultation.  We can advise you on the best course of action to avoid insurance increases such as:

  • Driving 11 or more miles per hour above a posted speed limit of 55 mph: 2 points (45% increase in insurance premium)
  • Driving over 75 mph where the posted speed limit is less than 70 mph: 4 points (90% increase)
  • Driving over 80 mph in a zone where the posted speed limit is 70 mph or more: 4 points (90% increase)
  • Note: in addition, these points accumulate on your record and do not get erased for a period of 3 years. Getting additional speeding tickets will add to the points that you already have. View a complete list of insurance points.
Accident Tickets

How its Charged

When a motorist in Duplin or Sampson County is involved in an accident a State Trooper will respond to the scene and conduct an accident report.  Troopers are trained to analyze a number aspects of a crash and formulate an opinion as to how they think the accident took place and who they think is at fault. The trooper will issue a citation for whatever “Rules of the Road” he thinks were violated causing the accident.  Charges that generally result from a car crash include:

  • Careless and reckless
  • Exceeding a safe speed
  • Failure to keep a proper lookout
  • Stop sign violation
  • Failure to maintain lane control
  • Left of center

Accidents and Points

The important thing to remember about accidents is that generally your insurance company will increase your premiums for the simple fact that you are at fault in a crash. A conviction for any of the offenses listed above will result in further points to your insurance and license, compounding the problem. In addition, a conviction of any of these offenses can be considered an admission of liability on your part, exposing you to further civil damages.

How Ludlum Law Firm Can Help

In many cases, with proper documentation, we can have your accident ticket dismissed saving you a ton in premium increases. If we can’t have the case dismissed, we can work closely with your insurance carrier to insure we dispose of your Duplin County or Sampson County accident ticket in a manner that does not expose you to increased civil liability. Contact Ludlum Law Firm today for a free consultation about your ticket resulting from a traffic accident.

No Operator's License (NOL)

What is NOL?

NOL is generally charged when a person is caught driving and they have never obtained an operator’s license from the DMV. NOL itself is not an offense that will result in license revocation, but too many NOL convictions in a time period can result in a points revocation.  NOL charges, if handled improperly, can start a chain reaction that can dig a motorist into a deep hole that is at times impossible to dig out of.

How Can Ludlum Law Firm Help With Your Duplin Or Sampson County NOL?

Ludlum Law Firm has a number of tools at our disposal to assist you with your Duplin County or Sampson County NOL. We can:

  • Attend court on your behalf to prevent you from having to miss work
  • Have the charge dismissed (in certain cases)
  • Have the charge reduced to avoid insurance and license points
  • Obtain a Prayer for Judgment (PJC) on your behalf to avoid insurance and license points
  • Perhaps most importantly, review your driving record and insure your case is disposed of in a manner that does not cause significant problems in the future.
Driving While License Revoked

What Is Driving While License Revoked? (DWLR)

I often ask people “Why is your license revoked?” and get the answer “Well I’ve never had a North Carolina license.”  What they mean by this is they have never had the actual piece of plastic with their picture and name on it.  That is not what DWLR is.  DWLR means you were driving while your PRIVILEGE to drive is revoked.  That privilege can be revoked regardless of whether you have ever had the piece of plastic or not.

There are three types of license revocation in North Carolina. The first is an Indefinite Suspension.  This is generally caused by a person’s failure to do something.  This suspension will remain in place until that “something” is done.  It could be failure to pay a fine imposed by the court on an earlier ticket or failure to appear to dispose of an earlier ticket.  The second type of revocation is a Permanent Suspension. These are generally caused by certain convictions at a time when a person’s license is revoked for something else.  However, permanent does not necessarily mean permanent.  In some instances, cases can be reopened and modified to remove the Permanent Revocation in order to restore a person’s driving privilege.  The third type of suspension is a suspension for a definite period of time.  For example, conviction of first offense DWI carries a license suspension for a period of one year.  These revocations are generally only lifted after the period of time passes.

DWLR Punishment

Most people don’t realize that DWLR is a class 1 misdemeanor in North Carolina. Conviction of DWLR exposes a person to as much as 120 days in the North Carolina Department of Corrections.  Countless, otherwise law abiding citizens, have been sent to PRISON for conviction of DWLR.  In light of that, the points assessed for DWLR conviction seem insignificant.  But conviction does result in insurance increases that most motorists would never be able to afford, not to mention further revocation of driving privileges.

How Can Ludlum Law Firm Help You With Your Duplin or Sampson County DWLR?

There are a number of things we can do to assist you.

  • Keep you out of prison
  • Have the charge reduced so you don’t incur a longer period of revocation
  • Obtain a Prayer for Judgment (PJC) to avoid license points and insurance points
  • Have the charge reduced to a nonmoving violation to avoid further revocation and insurance increases
  • Rehabilitate your record to assist you in obtaining a valid license
  • Have the charge dismissed (in special cases)
  • Minimize fines and court costs
Careless and Reckless

When Its Charged

C&R is often improperly charged by law enforcement officers.  Generally, when a person is charged with a high rate of speed, officers will also charge C&R.  N.C. Gen. Stat. 20-140(b) defines reckless driving as driving “any vehicle upon a highway or any public vehicular area without due caution and circumspection AND at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person.”  So, by statute, a high rate of speed alone is not enough to convict of C&R;  the state would also have to prove some lack of caution and circumspection.  But don’t try to fight your Duplin County or Sampson County reckless driving charge alone, the consequences are simply too high.

A conviction of reckless driving will result in 4 insurance points, which will cause a 90% increase in premiums.  Additionally, a conviction of C&R and speeding can cause license suspension.  In front of the wrong judge, a conviction of reckless driving could result in 60 days in jail.

How Can Ludlum Law Firm Help With Your Duplin County Or Sampson County Careless and Reckless Charge?

With C&R charges in Duplin County and Sampson County, Ludlum Law Firm always starts by interviewing the charging officer.  This interview, combined with our knowledge of North Carolina traffic law, allows us to determine whether the state can actually convict you of C&R.  If it appears the state can convict you, there are several options at our disposal to minimize the damage, including driving school and a plea bargain to a less serious offense.  If we determine that the state can’t prove its case against you, it puts us in a better bargaining position with the District Attorney. We will work to dispose of your case so you don’t incur license or insurance points.

Other Traffic Offenses

If your case is not listed in our subheadings that does not mean that it’s not important or that we don’t handle cases like yours.  All traffic offenses are important because nearly all of them carry negative consequences.  We have a reputation for  being forthright and honest with clients; if we can’t help you with a matter, we wont take your money.  We will simply advise you that there is nothing we can do to improve your situation. So contact Ludlum Law Firm today for any of your Duplin County or Sampson County traffic questions; consultations are free.  Here is a list of other common cases we handle:

  • Driving motorcycle without being licensed to do so
  • Impaired instruction
  • Illegal use of license
  • Fictitious information to an officer
  • Possession of an open container in a motor vehicle
  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Driving too slow
  • Failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident
  • Speeding in a school zone
  • Racing
  • Speeding on bridges
  • Stop sign/light violations
  • Driving on wrong side of the road
  • Passing violations
  • Following too closely
  • Turning violations
  • Speeding in a work zone
Driving Record Rehabilitation

With the countless ways for a motorist to lose his North Carolina driving privilege, even a simple mistake can be devastating. After that first mistake, it just becomes easier and easier for the Department of Motor Vehicles to find other reasons to further revoke the privilege.  In no time at all a simple mistake, such as paying off a speeding charge, can snowball into a disaster wherein a person isn’t eligible for a license hearing for decades, if ever.

Just because you find yourself in a seemingly impossible situation regarding your driving privilege, all hope is not lost. Ludlum Law Firm offers free consultations to discuss reopening and correcting Duplin County and Sampson County issues that are causing license revocation. Even if you have convictions in other counties, give us a call; we have an extensive list of traffic attorneys across North Carolina that we can call to assist us in rehabilitating your record.

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