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Raleigh, NC 27601

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
Conviction Point Value
Passing a stopped school bus loading or unloading children 5
Aggressive driving 5
Reckless driving 4
Hit and run, property damage only 4
Following too closely 4
Driving on wrong side of road 4
Illegal passing 4
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 motorcycle 4
Running through stop sign 3
Speeding more than 55 mph 3
Speeding through a school zone 3
Failure to yield right of way 3
No driver license or license expired more than one year 3
Running through red light 3
Failure to stop for siren 3
Speeding through safety zone 3
Failure to report accident where such report is required 3
No liability insurance 3
All other moving violations 2
Littering involving a motor vehicle 1
DRIVER’S LICENSE POINT SCHEDULE
FOR COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
Conviction Point Value
Passing a stopped school bus loading or unloading children 8
Rail-highway crossing violation 6
Careless and Reckless driving in violation of G.S. 20-140(f) 6
Speeding in violation of G. S. 20-141(j3) 6
Aggressive driving 6
Reckless driving 5
Hit and run, property damage only 5
Following too closely 5
Driving on wrong side of road 5
Illegal passing 5
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 motorcycle 5
Running through stop sign 4
Speeding more than 55 mph 4
Speeding through a school zone 4
Failure to yield right of way 4
No driver license or license expired more than one year 4
Running through red light 4
Failure to stop for siren 4
Driving through safety zone 4
Failure to report accident where such report is required 4
Possessing alcoholic beverage in the passenger area of a commercial motor vehicle 3
All other moving violations 3
Littering involving a motor vehicle 1

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.

Does that sound like something a friend would do?


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What We Can Do

What you should know

What we can do

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David Coolidge
David A. Coolidge
is heading up our team as criminal defense attorney and graduate at the top of his class from Duke University School of Law ...
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Steven P. MacGilvray
Steven P. MacGilvray is an Associate Attorney at Coolidge Law Firm, focusing primarily on Criminal Defense. Mr. MacGilvray graduated from Regent University School of Law ...
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Brent Blakesley
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