StayinIn

By John O'Neal - O'Neal Law Office

We've all had that feeling, haven't we? Cruising down the highway or street when we suddenly realize that our speedometer is uncomfortably above the posted speed limit. Your heartbeat quickens as you hope your momentary transgression did not attract the attention of a law enforcement officer. Your heartbeat quickens for good reason as traffic tickets can and do affect your driver's license and auto insurance. So what do you do if you actually get a ticket? Far too many people bumble their way into District Court and try and guess at the best way to resolve the situation. Many others just cave in and pay the ticket without a fight. Neither of these are good ideas. The more tickets you accumulate, the more points you can accumulate. In North Carolina, driver's license points are assigned for different violations of the motor vehicle laws. Whether it is passing a stopped school bus (5 points), littering (1 point), running a stop sign (3 points) or another violation, you could be assigned driver's license points which could eventually accumulate and result in the revocation or suspension of your license. Did you know that speeding over 75 mph on some highways could lead to an automatic suspension of your driver's license? Under current law, 12 driver's license points within a three-year period could lead to a suspension of your driver's license. There are numerous other points and possibilities for points that could affect your ability to drive. Moreover, too many driver's license points will lead to an increase of your insurance rates or even cancellation of your insurance coverage by some companies. In order to operate a motor vehicle in North Carolina, you must have a valid driver's license and current liability insurance coverage.

Many persons have their driver's license suspended because of a failure to appear in court for a previous traffic matter or paying a traffic ticket after the due date. Unpaid or unresolved traffic tickets have a snowball effect making it progressively more difficult to retain or regain your driver's license. Of course, it is never a good idea to drive if your license has already been suspended or revoked. Receiving a traffic ticket while one's driver's license is already suspended or revoked further extends the period of suspension of revocation.

On a practical level, not having a driver's license can make one's life very difficult. Relying on public transportation is not an option in many cities and lacking a driver's license makes daily travel a cumbersome venture. Lack of a valid driver's license could also disqualify you from obtaining certain jobs. Traffic tickets can pose major headaches for school bus drivers and commercial truck drivers.

The ability to drive in North Carolina is a virtual necessity and it is far too important to leave to chance. To preserve your driver's license and insurance rates, you should have an experienced attorney handle that traffic ticket for you. If you have questions about a traffic matter in Guilford County and the surrounding area, call the O'Neal Law Office at 336-265-0231 for a free consultation to see if we can keep you in the driver's seat.

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