Penalties for a North Carolina Speeding Ticket

A police officer is using a handheld RADAR gun to target a vehicle coming off a bridge - north carolina speeding ticket concpet

Speeding violations are taken very seriously in North Carolina and the consequences can be severe. Not only might you be required to pay a substantial monetary fine — but depending upon how many points you have on your license, you can face increased insurance premiums and license revocation. In some cases, a speeding conviction might even be considered a misdemeanor offense. It’s important to understand the penalties you might face for a North Carolina speeding ticket and how they can impact you.

Common North Carolina Speeding Tickets and Penalties

There are a variety of North Carolina speeding tickets that can be issued for a wide range of infractions and offenses. The type of ticket you receive can depend upon how fast you were going above the posted speed limit and the location you were speeding.

Some of the most common North Carolina speeding tickets that are issued include the following:

  • Speeding above the posted speed limit — A driver can receive a speeding ticket in North Carolina for operating their vehicle faster than the speed limit that is posted. When no speed limit is posted, it is typically 35 miles per hour in a municipality, 55 miles per hour outside of a municipality’s borders, and 70 miles per hour on highways throughout the state.
  • Speeding below the posted speed limit — It is against the law to drive at a speed less than 40 miles per hour on highways where the posted speed limit is 55 miles per hour, or less than 45 miles per hour where the posted limit is 60 miles per hour or more.
  • Speeding in a work zone — Operating a motor vehicle in a work zone above the posted speed limit can come with more severe penalties than a regular speeding ticket. If you were found speeding more than 15 miles per hour over the limit, your license can be revoked if you are found guilty or simply pay the fine without attempting to fight the ticket.
  • Speeding in a school zone — Speeding in a school zone can pose a serious risk of danger and you can be charged with an infraction, assessed a fine, as well as incur DMV and insurance points.
  • Reckless driving — Reckless driving in North Carolina is not only considered a traffic violation, but it is a Class 2 misdemeanor that can come with a jail sentence up to 40 days, a fine up to $1,000, points on your license, and increased insurance premiums.
  • Unlawful racing — Any person who willfully operates a motor vehicle in a prearranged speed competition with another vehicle can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction for willfully engaging in a speed competition that was not prearranged is a Class 2 misdemeanor. If found guilty, your license can be revoked for three years.

Driving more than 80 miles per hour is considered a misdemeanor offense. You can also be charged with a misdemeanor for driving in excess of 15 miles per hour in a 55 miles per hour zone. These types of offenses require a court appearance — failure to appear can result in license revocation. The DMV will also revoke your driving privileges for a period of 30 days if you are convicted of one of these misdemeanor speeding offenses.

Costs of a North Carolina Speeding Ticket

When you get pulled over for speeding, your first thought is probably how much you will be required to pay for the ticket. The cost of a North Carolina speeding ticket can depend on how much faster than the posted limit you were driving, and where you were speeding. Significantly, speeding in a work zone or school zone comes with an automatic $250 fine — regardless of how many miles over the speed limit you were driving.

In addition to the costs of the ticket, it’s essential to be aware that there are usually additional monetary penalties that can be associated with a speeding ticket in North Carolina. For example, speeding tickets usually include a court date and a corresponding court fee, which can be anywhere between $100 to $200. Although a court appearance can typically be waived in most cases by simply paying the ticket, in doing so, you would be admitting guilt and accepting the additional punishments of license points and increased insurance premiums.

North Carolina Speeding Ticket License Points

The amount of DMV points assigned for a speeding ticket in North Carolina can depend upon the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the violation. Speeding by ten miles per hour or less when the speed limit is 55 miles per hour can result in two DMV points. However, if you were speeding in a school zone, going more than 55 miles per hour, or driving 80 miles per hour when the limit is 70 miles per hour, you could be assessed three points on your license.

If you incur 12 points on your license within a three-year time period, your license may be suspended. Eight points incurred within three years following the reinstatement of a license can lead to an additional suspension. Once driving privileges are reinstated, all points that previously appeared on your license would be canceled.

Insurance Penalties

Apart from the DMV points that you might incur on your license, you can also be assessed insurance points and increased insurance rates. Critically, speeding 10 miles per hour or less over the limit when the posted limit is less than 55 miles per hour can result in one insurance point — and a 40% increase in your rate. Insurance rates increase with the number of points accrued. While two insurance points corresponds with a 55% increase, three points can mean a 70% insurance rate increase. Eight insurance points can result in a 200% increase, and your premium can climb to a 340% increase for 12 insurance points.

Contact an Experienced Traffic Ticket Attorney

If you receive a speeding ticket, there is a lot at stake. It’s vital to have an experienced attorney who can safeguard your rights and help fight the charges against you. The Johnston County traffic ticket attorneys at Reece & Reece, Attorneys at Law provide aggressive advocacy for a wide range of North Carolina speeding tickets and other traffic-related offenses. Call (919) 300-1249 to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help.

Categories: Traffic Infractions