When I began the practice of law in North Carolina in 1993, most of the District Attorney Offices would not engage in negotiation or the reduction of traffic charges with the general public. To receive a reasonable reduction, you needed the services of an experienced attorney. This changed over time, and direct negotiation with the public became more acceptable, and eventually became a very common practice in almost all counties. However, you should realize that the District Attorney represents the State. The District Attorney's loyalty is to the State. The District Attorney does not represent you, and cannot provide you legal advice. You may agree to plead guilty to a reduced charge that causes you DMV points and insurance points. You may even make the mistake of agreeing to plead guilty to a charge that causes a revocation of your driver's license from DMV. An experienced traffic attorney knows of these potential problems, and will guide you away from these perils. Here are some of the common potential problems that you probably did not know about when handling a traffic citation of your own:
- A conviction of a speed above 55 MPH will cause you 3 DMV points.
- A conviction of a speed of 10 MPH or more above the posted speed limit will cause you DMV points and insurance points.
- Two convictions of speeds in excess of 55 MPH in a 12 month period will cause a revocation of your driver's license from DMV.
- One conviction of a speed in excess of 55 MPH and one conviction of Careless & Reckless Driving in a 12 month period will cause a DMV revocation.
- A conviction of a moving motor vehicle violation while your driver's license is revoked will cause a DMV revocation.
- A conviction of speeding in a work zone or school zone carries a mandatory fine of $250.00, plus the cost of court.
- A conviction for passing a stopped school bus causes 5 DMV points.
- A conviction for illegal passing causes 4 DMV points.
- A conviction for a stop sign or stop light violation causes 3 DMV points.
An experienced traffic attorney may be able to correct a problem that you may have caused by handling your traffic citation on your own, but it is much more difficult. Call me for questions about your traffic citation before you go to court on your own.