Traffic Ticket FAQ in North Carolina

What do I do if I missed my court date?

Failing to appear on your court date carries heavy consequences, including fines, the revocation of your license, and a possible warrant for your arrest. Contact the clerk’s office of the county you were ticketed in (this information should be on your citation) as soon as possible about rescheduling a court date. You may also want to contact a traffic ticket lawyer regarding the penalties stemming from your failure to appear.

Can I take care of a traffic ticket issued across state in my own county?

If you want to contest the ticket in court, or if a court appearance is required, you must appear at the court listed on your ticket. In some instances, you may have a traffic ticket attorney appear for you.

What is a “prayer for judgment continued?”

A prayer for judgment continued, or what is often referred to as a PJC, means that although a person pleads guilty, or is found guilty, the court does not enter the conviction. This spares the defendant of paying fines and from receiving driver’s license points and insurance points.

Will my car insurance rates increase if I plead guilty to a traffic violation?

Check with your car insurance company. Each insurance provider maintains different policies regarding traffic violations. You should also compare auto insurance rates online to ensure you're getting the best deal.

What is a waivable offense?

This refers to North Carolina traffic violations that can be handled outside of court; you, the defendant, can waive your right
to appear in court by paying the traffic fine before the court date listed on your citation. These generally refer to minor offenses, such as driving with a broken headlight.

How many driving points can I accumulate on my driving record before the state suspends my driver’s license?

If you accrue 12 points or more on your driving record within 3 years, the state may suspend your driver’s license.

Why is it a good idea to order a driving record?

It’s always good to periodically check your driving record for errors, especially if you have a history of traffic convictions. Points added in error, could affect your North Carolina driver’s license status and/or car insurance premium.

My driver’s license has been revoked, yet I still need a car to commute to and from work. Do I have any options?

In some situations the court may grant you a limited driving permit. This will allow you to drive, but under strict conditions. Depending on your situation, you may be allowed to only drive to and from work, or to and from school.

Are traffic ticket fines the same throughout the state of North Carolina?

Yes, fines, along with court costs are uniform throughout NC. For more information, visit our section on NC traffic ticket fines and penalties.

Are deferral programs available for reducing or dismissing a charge?

Deferral programs vary by county. Contact the District Attorney’s office for the county you were ticketed in for information.

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