Traffic Resources


Driver’s License Points

Our Criminal Law Division understands the importance of being licensed to drive. Going to work, picking kids up from school, shopping for groceries – driving, for better or worse, has become an essential feature of our daily lives.

Driver’s License Points are assigned by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV) for certain traffic offenses, including speeding tickets. They are used for the purpose of suspending and revoking licenses.

If you receive 12 or more points over a 3 year period, the NCDMV can suspend your license if they choose. However, after the accumulation of 7 points, you may have the opportunity to attend a Driver Improvement Clinic, and upon its completion, 3 points may be deducted from your record. Upon losing your license, the process of reinstatement is used to be able to drive lawfully again. During the first 3 years after reinstatement, the accumulation of just 8 points (not 12), can cause a second suspension of your license.

The following tables show what convictions carry what points depending on whether you were driving a commercial vehicle.

DRIVER’S LICENSE POINT SCHEDULE
FOR NON-COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
ConvictionPoint Value
Passing a stopped school bus loading or unloading children5
Aggressive driving5
Reckless driving4
Hit and run, property damage only4
Following too closely4
Driving on wrong side of road4
Illegal passing4
Failure to yield right-of-way to pedestrian pursuant to GS 20-158(b)(2)b.4
Failure to yield right-of-way to bicycle motor scooter, or motorcycle4
Running through stop sign3
Speeding more than 55 mph3
Speeding through a school zone3
Failure to yield right of way3
No driver license or license expired more than one year3
Running through red light3
Failure to stop for siren3
Speeding through safety zone3
Failure to report accident where such report is required3
No liability insurance3
All other moving violations2
Littering involving a motor vehicle1
DRIVER’S LICENSE POINT SCHEDULE
FOR COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
ConvictionPoint Value
Passing a stopped school bus loading or unloading children8
Rail-highway crossing violation6
Careless and Reckless driving in violation of G.S. 20-140(f)6
Speeding in violation of G. S. 20-141(j3)6
Aggressive driving6
Reckless driving5
Hit and run, property damage only5
Following too closely5
Driving on wrong side of road5
Illegal passing5
Failure to yield right-of-way to pedestrian pursuant to G. S. 20-158(b)(2)b.5
Failure to yield right-of-way to bicycle motor scooter, or motorcycle5
Running through stop sign4
Speeding more than 55 mph4
Speeding through a school zone4
Failure to yield right of way4
No driver license or license expired more than one year4
Running through red light4
Failure to stop for siren4
Driving through safety zone4
Failure to report accident where such report is required4
Possessing alcoholic beverage in the passenger area of a commercial motor vehicle3
All other moving violations3
Littering involving a motor vehicle1

But there are other ways for the NCDMV to suspend or revoke your license. For example, your license will be revoked for at least 30 days if you are convicted of exceeding the speed limit by more than 15 mph if you are driving at a speed greater than 55 mph. That means being convicted for speeding 61 mph in a 45 mph zone will cause you to lose your license for at least 30 days.

The NCDMV has another rule where they can suspend your license for 2 convictions for speeding over 55 mph in the same year. Thus, two convictions for speeding 56 mph in 55 mph zones – just 1 mph over the limit! – can cause you to lose your license. For further references see North Carolina G.S. § 20-16 and § 20-17 which outlines the authority of the NCDMV to suspend and revoke licenses.


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Five Reasons to Hire a Traffic Lawyer

  1. An experienced Criminal Trial Lawyer knows the law and how to effectively represent your interests in court.
  2. The right plea may help you keep your license and avoid costly insurance rate increases..
  3. A traffic ticket can sometimes be a misdemeanor offense punishable by jail, probation, or community service hours, which your lawyer could help you avoid.
  4. The lawyer can often go to court for you so you don’t have to miss work.
  5. The risk you face by not having a lawyer combined with the reward of having one weighs heavily in favor of retaining a lawyer to protect your interests.

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Nine Things You Should Know About Traffic Offenses

  1. Convictions for certain offenses and speeds carry insurance points and driver’s license points.
  2. Insurance points can increase the price you pay for car insurance, sometimes significantly.
  3. The NC DMV keeps track of driver’s license points for the purpose of taking your license away.
  4. Besides driver’s license points, certain traffic ticket convictions can trigger an automatic license suspension.
  5. Community service hours, probation, jail time … all are possibilities for certain convictions.
  6. A plea bargain may be possible that can help prevent some of the bad consequences.
  7. Oftentimes a lawyer can go to court on your behalf so you won’t have to miss work.
  8. It is your lawyer’s duty to look out for your best interest. It is the duty of the Prosecutor to look out for the interest of the State of North Carolina.
  9. Coolidge Law Firm is dedicated to client satisfaction and would be glad to make it our duty to help you with your traffic matter.

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35 Arguments Against You

  1. You’ve had too many prior traffic ticket charges
  2. You were driving too fast for conditions
  3. You had a radar detector
  4. It was nighttime
  5. It was raining
  6. You were driving a sports car
  7. You had a prior Prayer for Judgment Continued
  8. You had a “bad attitude” with the police officer
  9. You didn’t pull over quickly enough
  10. You argued with the police officer
  11. You had a child in your car
  12. You refused to sign your ticket
  13. The traffic was too heavy for your speed
  14. You didn’t slow down when the police officer observed you or followed you
  15. You failed to wear a seatbelt
  16. You’ve had too many traffic ticket convictions
  17. Too many of your prior traffic ticket convictions were reduced
  18. You were late to court on your court date
  19. You weren’t cooperative with the prosecutor
  20. You don’t have cash money with you in court, regardless of your employment or income, and therefore “haven’t taken the matter very seriously”
  21. You should have called an ambulance rather than sped to the Emergency Room
  22. You aren’t dressed properly for court
  23. You had alcohol on your breath
  24. Your driving maneuver was considered too dangerous
  25. You had no excuse to speed
  26. You asked the prosecutor too many questions and were annoying
  27. You should have known the posted speed limit
  28. You should have been paying attention to your speed
  29. You should have had your speedometer calibrated to make sure it was accurate
  30. You’re too young
  31. You should have gone to driving school
  32. You should have known the law
  33. You broke the law even though your driving was not dangerous
  34. It doesn’t matter that you don’t think you broke the law
  35. The prosecutor refusing to reduce a ticket until you admit that you did something illegal, the opposite of the essence of a proper plea bargain.

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Role of the Prosecutor

Let’s face it: The prosecutor is not your friend.

  • The Prosecutor represents the State of North Carolina.
  • The Prosecutor is not allowed to look out for your best interest.
  • It is unethical for the Prosecutor to give you advice on how a traffic ticket conviction will affect your insurance or license.
  • A traffic ticket is a criminal offense which, depending on the circumstances, can be punished by:
    • Fines
    • Community Service
    • Mandated Insurance Points Probation
    • Loss of License
    • Jail
  • The consequences and punishment for a simple traffic ticket conviction are considered in the interest of justice for the Prosecutor, an oath they swore to uphold.
  • You may pay your insurance company thousands of dollars more in premiums for a simple traffic ticket.

Does that sound like something a friend would do?


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What We Can Do

What you should know

  • Depending on the circumstances, you could be facing a Jail Sentence upon conviction.
  • Misdemeanors are punished according to Record Levels – 1, 2, or 3 – with Level 3 being the most severe.
  • A Record Level is determined by your past criminal record.
  • Strict Probationary Sentences, long Community Service hours, and expensive Fines comprise just some of the other possible consequences of conviction besides jail.
  • Many times a conviction for a misdemeanor cannot be expunged.
  • A misdemeanor conviction can greatly affect your employment status, and your ability to get a new job.
  • The Prosecutors and the State have vast resources to use against you in court and at trial.
  • Sometimes you can be charged with a misdemeanor crime, even though no police are involved in the case, or the police investigated and declined to press charges.

What we can do

  • Our team has extensive experience investigating misdemeanor cases and successfully seeing misdemeanor cases through trial.
  • Review police documents and interview police witnesses to know what evidence that the State and Prosecution has against you.
  • Before court we can talk over the phone and meet in person to learn about your case and to decide on a strategy on how to proceed.
  • Subpoena and prepare necessary witnesses for trial.
  • Explore opportunities to have charges dismissed or reduced, or arrange a plea where certain consequences – such as jail time – are taken off the table.
  • Identify a possibility for a Deferred Prosecution, where the charges against you get dismissed in exchange for adhering to certain conditions.
  • Examine any chance for a Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC), explaining to you what it is, and pursuing this plea in court at the appropriate time.

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